UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Wednesday, January 1 2014:
**HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Israelis have partied in the new year–with celebrations all over the country.
**There are reports today that former PM Ariel Sharon’s condition has significantly deteriorated over the last month. Sharon apparently had an operation one month ago which has unfortunately resulted in his imminent kidney failure. In two more months (February 26), Sharon will be 86 years old. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since January 4, 2006.
2014 is beginning with the same pathetic cycle that we saw so frequently take place in 2013.
It always goes like this: John Kerry arrives in Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu desperately tries to come up with more concessions to the Palestinians to make Kerry happy, and in the process gives away more Israeli territory and sovereignty. In return, the Palestinians offer nothing.
So what is Netanyahu giving away this time? In addition to agreeing not to announce any new construction in existing so-called “settlement blocks” until Kerry leaves, Netanyahu is set to announce a complete freezing of all construction outside of those blocks and submit a proposal as to which Jewish communities Israel would like to keep in a final agreement.
Would like to keep? In doing this, Netanyahu is revealing for the first time how he envisions a final territorial agreement–and of course he is telling the world what Israel is willing to give up.
And for what? Because Kerry has arrived and Netanyahu must give him something? Apparently so. As already stated, the Palestinians are offering nothing.
But there is more that Netanyahu is apparently willing to give this time, dangerously more. Apparently Netanyahu is now ready to give Kerry and the Palestinians the gift of Israel land in the Triangle Area to “compensate” the Palestinians for land on which the “settlement blocks” stand.
What you may ask, dear reader, is the Triangle Area?
In reality there are two such areas. Generally speaking, the northern triangle is a concentration of Israeli Arab towns and villages next to the Green Line, located in the eastern Sharon plain in Samaria (around Kafr Qara, Ar’ara, Baqa-Jatt, and Umm al-Fahm)–whereas the southern area is located in and around Qalansawe, Tayibe, Kafr Qasim, Tira, Kafr Bara, and Jaljulia. What exact territory Netanyahu is talking about is unclear–but it is highly debatable whether any of the Israeli-Arab residents of these areas would like to live in a “Palestine” instead of Israel.
Finally, more of Kerry’s framework agreement has been revealed. The American plan calls for Israel to immediately sign on to a Palestinian state based on the 1949 Armistice Lines (read the June 4, 1967 lines). The Palestinians on the other hand will not be asked to recognize Israel as a Jewish country until a final agreement is signed at some time in the undetermined future.
In other words, what we have is another series of Israeli concessions in return for absolutely nothing.