Misrepresenting Israel's stance on negotiations
YLE, our beloved state-controlled broadcasting company, is once again misleading the public about Israel. According to them, it's only now that Israel has agreed (article in Finnish) to negotiate peace with the Palestinians. And how have they done that? By agreeing to release a bunch of dangerous Palestinian prisoners. The Palestinian negotiators had set the release of these prisoners as a precondition - among several other preconditions such as freezing settlement constructions - for peace negotiations. Of course, Israel has been ready and willing to negotiate without preconditions for several years now. Remember the 2009 10-month settlement freeze (which did not apply to East Jerusalem, a plot of land Israel is never going to surrender)? The Palestinians stalled for months, entering the negotiations only when the freeze was about to expire, and then immediately demanded that the freeze be extended. So, if anything the Palestinians have refused to negotiate unless their conditions are met, as if they were in any position to present such demands. And, in any case, meeting any of these conditions would probably only bolster them to demand more.