By Schmoel Yitzhak
From any angle, it should be impossible to seek hidden motives behind Benjamin Netanyahu's offer to the Palestinians.
In simple terms, it goes like this: "You (the Arabs) want Israel to extend a moratorium on building in the settlements; fine, you will get the extension."
"But in this world of Middle East politics, you no longer get something for nothing. And that is why you, too, must make a painful decision.
"You get the settlement extension and, in return, you unequivocally acknowledge Israel as -- what it was created for and what it is today -- a Jewish state."
Now, what's so complicated about that?
Nothing, really, unless you happen to be an analyst for the pro-Arab New York Times where any move by Israel reflexively is challenged with negativity.
Not surprisingly, the Times latest X-ray of Bibi's bid suggests that his offer would negate the Palestinians' long-standing "right of return" demand; as if that would ever be on Israel's negotiating table.
Mahmoud Abbas' "right of return" holds no more water than an Israeli counter-demand that every Arab country which expelled Jews -- and that would be virtually every one -- allowed them to return with full citizenship, voting rights and other "freedoms" that barely exist in every Muslim dictatorship.
Israel's prime minister is as transparent -- no, not you, Obama -- as one could get. You want to make a deal, here's the deal; even up -- or shut up!
There won't be a deal because Abbas has never wanted peace. Never, ever, despite the endless nudging from Obama and Hilary Clinton.
Bibi went overboard in the first place -- and against the wishes of his constituency -- in accepting a long, long moratorium on settlement-building in order to jump-start the alleged peace process.
So, what happened?
Mahmoud The Magnificent showed his respect for Netanyahu by procrastinating and procrastinating until his delaying tactics extended almost to the end of the moratorium.
And then, did the Arabs willingly return to the negotiating table?
Not by a long shot or a slingshot.
They hemmed and hawed; they deliberated; heaping delays upon delays.
Only a mammoth prodding effort by the United States got the "process" some traction and even then Abbas applied the brakes with a series of pre-conditions.
These are hardly the moves of a willing peace negotiator.
On the contrary, they are the patently obvious decisions of one with absolutely no interest in a face-to-face, long-term negotiating period that might -- just might -- produce some sort of agreement, armistice, if you will.
But it won't happen for a very simple reason:
The Arabs won't accept the simplest of deals -- another moratorium for acceptance of what already is fact; Israel as the Jewish State.
And, by the way, wonder of wonders, even the U.S. State Department now acknowledges that last (Jewish State) fact!