Here's the situation. We have Israel surrounded by Muslim states that are out to destroy it. I say that because after 62 years of existence, there have been many wars against it from these neighbors. Hamas terrorists in Gaza rule the area and their charter says to destroy Israel. They are still shooting rockets at Israel. Despite this, USA is pressing Israel to give up land again to create a Palestine on its doorstep.
First it was Mitchell meeting with Netanyahu followed up with THE phone call from Hillary Clinton. Abbas has said that he would finally talk to Netanyahu provided:
provided that they were based on a statement from March 19th by the Quartet of mediators: USA, European Union, Russia and the UN. Out of this quartet, I do not see one group that is pro-Israel in any way. The USA used to be, but the new direction it has taken is more likely to be against us.
The Quartet wants Israel to halt settlement building in Judea/Samaria and come to a full peace agreement with the Palestinians within 24 months. They also want Palestine to be created with borders before the 1967 Middle East war. I just read that Russia is supplying Iran with uranium to start up their program, and Iran is a country who has called for Isael's destruction. I can see how Russia will vote concerning anything about Israel.
Obama wants the talks to go back two years where they had broken off when Israel conducted Operation Cast Lead when rockets were being fired from Gaza by Hamas terrorists for 6 long years. Incidently, rockets are still being shot from there. From January to July of this year, 120 rockets have been fired at Israel.
Clinton conferred before the telephone conversation with the foreign ministers of Jordan and Egypt. They are former countries that have fought against Israel but right now are at peace. I have a feeling that they will go along with Syria and Iran's feeling about having Israel in their midst. It is Syria and Iran who are backing so much of the terror coming from Gaza.
Abbas has no power over Gaza. They are completely in the hands of the Hamas terrorists.
Netanyahu wants the talks to start immediately without any such "precondition". I go along with him. Talks are to talk about things. You don't settle something before the talks. That's what the talks are for. There are a lot of things to talk about, here. The people with the most at stake are the Palestinians who think they want a state so badly. Yet they're playing the "I won't talk to you until I get my own way " game. Hillary endorses this stand, evidently as she is nudging for it.
All of Mitchell's mediations have made little progress that can be seen. I don't know what he thinks he can do when Hamas, not under Abbas's authority, refuses permanent accommodations with our Jewish state. In fact, their charter says they will destroy Israel. I haven't heard of him trying to change their minds on this as a prerequisite for peace, which in my opinion, should have been done a long time ago.
If I were Netanyahu, and thank Ha Shem that I'm not, I would say, when Hamas changes their charter to accept Israel and welcomes Israel and breaks bread with salt with them, then I'd consider talking to Abbas or whoever it would be by then. Otherwise I wouldn't bother wasting my breath talking to them or stressing about it. They're being pig-headed (pardon the expression) , and one can't reason or discuss a thing when they are at this level of reasoning.
Update: 8/15/10 Hamas refuses to talk. Read reference below. Just as I figured. It'll take miracle to get Hamas to consider peaceful conditions.