By Schmoel Yitzhak
Easily the most misleading thought rampant in the Middle East is that some sort of Arab-Israeli peace talks can be opened.
President Barack Obama treats his Mideast mediator George Mitchell like a yo-yo, dispatching him up and down, up and down, in the hopes that Georgie Boy can find some starting point for talks.
"Mitchell's Follies" doesn't even have an opening act because the Palestinians refuse to lift the curtain which, of course, is not exactly breaking news.
For talks to begin, an aura of compromise -- you give something, we give something -- must be felt among the participants.
But the Arabs idea of mediation is so absurdly one-sided it's astonishing that Curious George keeps playing the yo-yo game.
Here's what I mean:
A peace pact would no doubt entail that Israel cede portions of the West Bank (Judea, Samaria) to a Palestinian State where currently thousands of Israeli Jews are enjoying their lives.
Assuming that such land would be part of a deal-trade-off, it goes without saying that a certain percentage of the so-called Jewish settlers would not want to leave their homes, in the manner that many Arabs chose to stay in place when Israel became a state.
Those Arabs became Israeli citizens and have enjoyed representation in the Knesset. Their right to live in Israel is not questioned.
But what would happen if -- after a peace treaty was hammered out -- a similar percentage of Jews chose to live in the newly-minted Palestinian state?
You would think -- simply based on the fact that Arabs are allowed to live in the Jewish State that the vice would be versa.
The Arabs convoluted idea of equality does not follow a logical path and nobody has articulated that point more emphatically than the Palestinian Authority's negotiations department head, Saeb Erekat.
Interviewed by the Jordanian daily, Al-Dustour, the PA's senior official put the kibosh on any suggestions that Jews would be allowed to remain in a Palestinian state.
"Nobody," said Erekat, "should agree to Israeli settlers remaining in the Palestinian State."
Fortunately, there are some American Jews wise to the wiles of Erekat and will expose what he and his petulant PA is all about. One who does it better than most is Morton A. Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America.
"Saeb Erekat has provided further proof -- though none is needed -- to show that the PA demand that Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem become judenrein is official Palestinian policy.
"Conversely, he has shown that the PA's Salaam Fayyad's recent words in English to an American audience which implied that Jews would be allowed to live in a future Palestinian state was fraudulent."
Bottom Line: The Arabs idea of equality of citizenship goes like this: Palestinians can live in Israel and enjoy citizenship but Jews cannot live in a similar Arabs state.
Or, to put it another way; Israel makes concessions and in return it receives from the likes of Erekat nothing more than hot air!
Or, if you want perceptive analyst Barry Rubin's take, try this: "Obama demanded, Netanyahu agreed and Abbas still rejected direct talks."
And you wonder why Georgie Mitchell gets migraines from his yo-yo act.