The Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz announced September 25, 2012, that Harvard law professor and Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz had broken the deadlock between Israel and the Palestinian Authority with a revolutionary new plan for a settlement freeze. Details of the plan, however, indicate that the deadlock will be easy to repair.
Dershowitz is admired among Israelis for applying his courtroom tactics of distorting the truth in defense of Israel. His credibility among Palestinians is less well known, and rests upon his efforts to prevent the demolition of Palestinian homes, which he cleverly accomplishes by giving them to privileged Jews.
Such skills enabled him to obtain an agreement from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to resume the peace process in return for the settlement freeze. This reporter has since been able to talk to Professor Dershowitz and get the following details about the plan, not all of which have yet been shared with President Abbas:
- All settlement activity, including construction, annexation of Palestinian lands and demolition of Palestinian homes will be frozen whenever and wherever the temperature drops below freezing. [Note: freezing occurs at higher elevations in the West Bank in the few hours before dawn five to ten nights per year, in January and February.]
- The Palestinian Authority and Israeli government negotiators will conduct peace talks at any time that the temperature at the site of the talks remains above freezing.
- The talks will be located on top of the nuclear reactor in Dimona.
- The Palestinian Authority will be represented by any of the children below the age of 16 currently held in an Israeli prison.
- Israel will be represented by the chairperson (currently Dani Dayan) of the Yesha Council of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
- The negotiation teams are not permitted to take bathroom breaks at the same time.
- The Israeli representative will retain control of the reactor temperature at all times, including bathroom breaks when the Palestinian representative is alone above the reactor.
- The talks will continue as long as the Palestinian Authority negotiates in good faith.
- The good faith requirement applies only to Palestinian negotiators.
- The Israeli government shall provide the definition of the term “good faith” and any amendments that may be made thereto during the period of negotiation.
Dershowitz considers himself “an honest broker”, a statement with which renowned broker Bernie Madoff heartily agreed when I visited him in prison last week. “President Abbas is a very easy man to work with,” said Dershowitz. “He has instructed Palestinian ambassadors to participate in ceremonies marking the Holocaust, and he is not asking Israel to reverse its prohibition against ceremonies marking the Nakba (ethnic cleansing) of Palestine.”
Abbas was also optimistic. “I believe that we can negotiate as equals. Israel has already indicated that out of the 4.7 million registered refugees, it will accept the return of as many as a hundred that were twenty-five years or older when they voluntarily left of their own accord at the request of Arab leaders and without fear of Israeli ethnic cleansing activities in 1948, as well as an unlimited number of those who have died abroad. In addition, they have promised to return all Palestinian land and remove all settlements and settlers from such land, provided that they decide what constitutes Palestinian land. (See “Ehud Barak’s (latest) ‘Generous Offer’ to the Palestinians”.)
I have already recognized Israel’s right to exist, and this is a good basis for begging them to permit the existence of a demilitarized Palestinian state surrounded by Israeli territory without water or mineral rights or air space, on which a remnant of the Palestinian population may live. I owe it to my people to achieve this dream.