By Schmoel Yitzhak
Persevering in the face of obstinacy, the European Union's Quartet of Middle East peace-seekers once again is trying to get the Israelis and Arabs (alias "Palestinians") back to the negotiating table.
After intense consultation, Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to sit down with Mahmoud Abbas to once and for all rev up the mediation machine. The Israeli leader had some reservations about the latest ground rules but nevertheless flashed his green light since the Quartet stipulated that talks would begin "without pre-conditions."
The Abbas' reply reverberated like a broken record. "We'll return to negotiations if settlement-building stops."
No matter how you shake it; no matter what language is employed, the Arabs answer is what it always has been: NO, NO, A THOUSAND TIMES NO; never a real peace with Israel.
It is ever thus; just as it was in 1948, after the Six-Day War, after Oslo; ALWAYS NO.
Any realist -- Hello, Barack Obama; Hello, Hillary Clinton, Hello, Catherine Ashton -- should have gotten the point a long time ago: the Arabs will only agree if they get their own way and this can only happen if they state pre-conditions that never can be met by a realist, which Bibi happens to be.
If nothing else, Israel's Prime Minister remembers how he once was suckered into granting a lengthy West Bank construction freeze so that Abbas, Inc. could be lured back to constructive talks. Bibi waited and waited and waited until the deadline was past and still Abbas remained AWOL.
So, what's the point of capitulating to his pre-conditions this time? None whatever.
And certainly not in the face of an Abbas' United Nations gambit that flies in the face of all logic.
Consider this; the Arabs -- er, "Palestinians" -- without any concern about repudiation are seeking approval of a state that would bar all Jews from living there. The Nazis called that kind of business judenrein and succeeded in large part achieving its end by exterminating more than six million European Jews.
Yet the fact that such an apartheid state is a key part of the Abbas program seems not to have disturbed America's illustrious president. I wonder how Obama would react to a Palestinian declaration that its new state also would forbid Africans from living in "Palestine."
But when it comes to a Judenrein Palestine, Uncle Sam's Chief Executive is silent; nor is a word heard from his Secretary of State either, nor Madame Ashton, who worries about apartment-building, either.
Have any of them bothered to remind Abbas that Palestinian plans to achieve statehood through the UN would violate earlier agreements. Over and over again, all major agreements between Israel and the Palestinians have required that disputes between the parties be settled through direct negotiations and not via third parties.
Furthermore, on September 9, 1999 a Memoradum at Sharm el-Sheikh barred unilateral moves such as the move being executed by the PA. The memo clearly spelled out what could or could not be done.
"Recognizing the necessity to create a positive environment for the negotiations, neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in accordance with the Interim Agreement."
Even Yasir Arafat agreed to these points a year later and the Road Map of 2003 echoed a similar theme -- "unilateral actions taken by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community."
You would think that Obama would once and for all understand that the Palestinians continue to slap down every conciliatory -- call it appeasement, if you will -- move Uncle Sam's leader proffers to them.
Members of Congress get it and they've voted to stop aid to Abbas, Inc. Instead, the president is "scrambling to keep Palestinian aid flowing."
As the late, great Fats Waller would say, "My, my, my."
Meanwhile, the PA's bosom buddies in Gaza continue to launch rockets, Egyptian terrorists continually sabotage oil pipelines to Israel, a soldier named Schalit remains holed up in some Gaza hideaway and Vice President Biden has the utter chutzpuh" to tell a group of Floridian Jews that he's responsible for keeping an ill Jonathan Pollard in jail. And brags about it, no less.
And as the curtain descends once more on the Middle East passion play, Bibi says yes, Mahmoud says no while the EU, UN, State Department and White House audience still can't find the bad guy in this Theater of the Absurd.