Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Israeli-Palestinian Talks At Impasse; Negotiators Watch The Princess Bride Instead

with 4 comments

Pit of Despair

Tzippi Livni

Jerusalem, Israel (AP) – After several fruitless weeks of back-and-forth negotiations over so-called Final Status issues over which Israelis and Palestinians differ, the delegates to the talks have decided to abandon  the effort and watch The Princess Bride repeatedly instead.

The talks, conducted in secret, have apparently yielded no results yet on questions of: Palestinian refugees; the status of Jerusalem; borders; the nature of the hoped-for Palestinian military, if any; whether the nascent Palestine would recognize Israel as a Jewish state; and myriad other unresolved points of contention that have dogged the two sides since the Oslo Accords of 1993, which was supposed to be an interim agreement. Little progress has been made in the intervening two decades. As such, the delegates to yet another round of these negotiations held little optimism regarding the prospects  for a serious breakthrough. When The chief negotiator for Israel, Tzippi Livni, suggested they all watch the MGM classic instead, there was little resistance.

The delegates have maintained uncharacteristically tight lips outside the negotiating room, letting on only that Palestinian delegation head Saeb Erekat was fond of challenging interlocutors’ arguments and terminology with, “You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.” It became such a refrain that one of the other Palestinian negotiators retorted, “Stop saying that!”

Mr Erekat reportedly uses that line in response to the terms “Occupation,” “Right of Return,” “demilitarized,” and “Temple Mount.” He has also consistently referred to several Israeli policy decisions in the last twenty years as “the Cliffs of Insanity.” More than once he has also dismissed Ms. Livni’s offers as, “The promise of a woman.”

Not to be outdone, Israeli delegation member Yitzhak Molcho has taken to evoking certain dramatic lines from the film, such as, “I think you’re bluffing,” “It comes to this…” and “My way’s not very sportsmanlike.”

Palestinian negotiator Yasser Abed Rabbo, apparently enamored of the refreshments provided, is always the first to dig in and offer to share the food by declaring, “Anybody want a peanut?”

In the several renewed sessions that take place between screenings, the negotiators have adopted roles from the film, invariably seeing their own sides of the table as a better fit for the heroes and heroines of the story and painting the other side as Count Rugens and Prince Humperdincks. In a particularly heated exchange, one Palestinian negotiator threatened the Israelis with “humiliations galore.”

As negotiations continued, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu telephoned the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, to discuss whatever progress might be made. To conclude their conversation, Netanyahu asked Abbas, “Think it’ll work?”

Abbas responded, “It would take a miracle.”

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Written by Thag

October 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Man you are on fire these days.

    Trent Lewin

    October 30, 2013 at 2:39 pm

  2. Apparently Hamas hasn’t learned the lesson of never getting involved in a land war in Asia (Minor).

    Tony

    October 30, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    • You be careful. People Hamas cannot be trusted.

      Thag

      October 31, 2013 at 7:00 am


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