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EVERY PARTY NEEDS A POOPER . . . . By Jeff Dunetz (www.jeffdunetz.com)
"There should be no doubt about the commitment of the United States to this process at this time, no doubt about the commitment of the president and no doubt about my own personal commitment," Condoleeza Rice said during a news conference with Abbas at the Palestinian Authority's headquarters in Ramallah, just north of Jerusalem.  "This is a time when we want to seize the opportunity." 

Yes America, its time once again to play,  �Who Wants to Make Mid-East Peace?�  Your Government�s favorite board game.  It has been a long time since we played� so let me give you a refresher course on how the game works.  

Each round starts with a Palestinian leader renouncing terror.  Well Sort of.  Remember Oslo? Recall those promises to remove the call for the destruction of Israel from the PLO�s charter?  Ever wonder the destruction of Israel is still in the PLO charter eleven years later?  The reason is that a key part of the opening move for the Palestinian leadership is to convince the US it wants peace, but to use fuzzy language to provide an �out.�  Abbas for example has called for the end of attacks on Israeli civilians, but when push comes to shove, he knows that most Israelis have served in the military so there are very few civilians.  Cool game right? 

Once the Palestinian side makes its opening move governments across the world practically trip over their own underwear to get a seat at the game.  Usually the big player at the table is the United States.  The US has an important role at the table, we bring to the game a combination of threats and Jewish guilt (hey if guilt doesn�t work in Israel, it won�t work on anyone).  The purpose of the US prodding is to pressure Israel to make concessions that the US Government would not make in the same situation.  This part of the game is called "do as I say not what I do.� 

For example, recently Israel has agreed to release about 900 terrorists from its prisons.  The US is prodding for more, but at the same time, we have hundreds of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.  There is a difference of course between the Israeli prisoners and the American captives, the ones in Israeli jails have access to a court system.  

Another rule of �Who Wants to Make Mid-East Peace?� is called Jewish blood is cheap.  This is the part of the game that enables Condoleeza Rice to call for Israel to release prisoners who have killed Jews.  And on the same day, she can Abbas a condition of receiving US aid was that the people responsible for the killing of three American security guards in the Gaza Strip must be put in jail.  Confused?  Do not be it�s the American way.  In fact, this is one of the most popular parts of the game.  The part that says that a fence in Israel to keep out terrorists is bad, but a fence in the US to keep people from coming over from Mexico to get a job, is good.  France has developed a full-blown game out of this rule, called �Liberty, Equality, Fraternity---but No Jews� This game is all the rage across Europe and on US college campuses. 

Once the verbal part of the game is up and running, we begin the �hard choice� concession stage. The concession segment probably the most interesting segment of the game.  You see in the concession stage, only Israel gets to play. Working on the advice (and prodding) of its best friend the US, Israel gets to make territorial concessions without getting anything from the other side.  With Oslo, it worked like this:  Israel had to give up most of Judea and Samaria, and the top of the Temple Mount (Judaism�s Holiest site, not even hinted ad in the Quran).  In addition, every Jew that lives in the newly created Palestinian territories has to leave.  The Palestinians get a state, control of Jewish Holy sites, such as the Temple Mount, Joseph and Rachel�s tombs and guns supplied by Israel.  Don�t think that it is totally one sided, they do get to give up something too.  They have to give up some of their people.  You see they insist that hund reds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs get to move to Israel, to insure that the country no longer viable as a Jewish democracy. 

The �hard choice� concession stage signals that the game is nearing its end.  Just when everyone thinks that peace will be at hand, the Palestinian side will begin to back out.  At first, this is a negotiation move.  The American becomes so afraid to lose credibility that they become even more desperate for one-sided Israeli concessions.  The game ends when an Israeli leader visits a Jewish holy site (G-d Forbid!), giving the Palestinians the out that they were looking for, and an excuse to start the violence.

President Bush and Ms. Rice are saying that they have found a new version of game.  They say that the Palestinian ruler is board with the same old rules and wants to do play differently.  To be honest, I think we are all tired of the same old thing, and would welcome peace.  However, Ms. Rice�s statements about �hard choices� or Mr. Abbas� comments about �the Zionist enemy� and never giving up the right of return seem like the beginning of same old  tired board game.

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