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How Not To Negotiate

Today, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised the following at the conclusion of the regional summit in Sharm el-Sheikh

  • The release of 250 Fatah members from Israeli prisons “without blood on their hands,” after they sign a commitment not to return to violence
  • Recognition of the Abbas government, with which Olmert promised to cooperate in implementing the Road Map
  • Improved freedom of movement
  • Defreezing of tax funds
  • Renewal of trade
  • The supply of electricity, water, health services and food to Gaza, since “one cannot punish this entire population only because it is under the rule of a terror organization.”
  • To do “whatever it takes to establish a palestinian state alongside the state of Israel”
  • For our part, we received a committment from Abbas to bring about the release of Gilad Shalit from Hamas (which he cannot possibly do, since he heads Fatah, the group with which Hamas is engaged in battle), and some very nice photo ops.

    I can just imagine the negotiation.

    Olmert: I see you need help, so here’s what I’m willing to do. I’ll release 100 Fatah prisoners without blood on their hands.
    Abbas: 150.
    Olmert: 250.
    Abbas: Deal.
    Olmert: But they cannot return to terror.
    Abbas: You can get them to sign a note. They are men of their word who would never lie.
    Saeb Erekat: Massacre!
    Olmert: Ok. And I’ll throw in improved freedom of movement, frozen tax funds, and a bonus set of steak knives. Just don’t give them to the prisoners we release.
    Abbas: Ok.
    Olmert: Shucks, I see you are still a little sad. So I guess we could also supply Gaza with electricity, water, health servicesand food. After all, one cannot punish the people because they are being ruled by the terrorists of Hamas. It is not like they voted for them or anything.
    Abbas: *cough*
    Olmert: Ok, and I’ll clearly state that we recognize your government and we’ll work to bring about a palestinian state. Damn, you drive a hard bargain.
    Abbas: Sucker
    Olmert: Sucker. He doesn’t know I also would have thrown in my Get Out of Jail Free card.

    About the author

    Picture of David Lange

    David Lange

    A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
    Picture of David Lange

    David Lange

    A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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