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Award winning journalist Gary Baumgarten hosts the News Talk Online show on He asks critical questions, and invites people from all around the world to talk directly to his newsmaker guests using Paltalk's voice over IP technology. Gary came to Paltalk as director of news and programming from CNN where he was the radio bureau chief and correspondent in New York for a decade, where he covered, among other things, the 9/11 attacks in New York and Hurricane Katrina. He was previously reporter and assistant news director at CBS all news radio station WWJ in Detroit. Prior to that he was managing editor at Detroit Radio News Service and a reporter for the Jackson (MI) Citizen-Patriot, the Detroit News and a number of weekly newspapers. Paltalk is the largest multimedia interactive program on the Internet with more than 4 million unique users. News Talk Online is also syndicated by CRN Digital Talk Radio to cable systems serving an additional 12 million households.


SEPTEMBER 25, 2011 9:32AM

Palestinians reject Quartet proposal to restart talks

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Abbas passes on peace talks. Olivier Pacteau photo


Does the Palestinian Authority really want peace with Israel? Or is it just looking for political and public relations victory at the expense of Israel?

These questions come to mind today as the Palestinian Authority rejects moves by the Quartet to get peace talks with Israel rolling again.

If the PA really wants peace – and a state of its own – does it matter what path is taken? Why does it matter whether it comes through a UN resolution or through negotiations.

If it comes through a UN resolution – the dispute over land will continue. If the Israelis and the Palestinians agree to boundaries, then the fight over who controls what lands comes to an agreed upon end.

It seems negotiations would be better for the Palestinians.

So why are they rejecting talks?

Perhaps it’s because they don’t feel they are ready to really come into the international community as leaders of an independent nation. The status quo allows them the luxury of positioning themselves as the underdogs. And Israel as the bad guys.

The PA becomes entitled. Operating on the largess of other nations (including Israel) in order to exist. Able to complain when they don’t have all they want. Blaming others. But not accepting responsibility for their own destiny.

Any failure to achieve full freedoms and success can be laid at the feet of the Israelis.

Ostensibly, the Palestinian Authority lays this failure on a return to the peace table, predictably, on the Israelis. It says it won’t enter talks with Israel without preconditions. Israel must agree to pre-1967 boundaries and a settlement freeze before negotiating.

The Authority knows that Israel will not agree to pre-’67 boundaries. Making this condition assures that there will be no peace talks.

Perhaps it is time for Israel to play the same game. Perhaps Israel should draw up boundaries that it envisions. Present them to the world. And tell the Palestinians that Israel won’t return to the bargaining table unless the Palestinians agree to accept those boundaries first.

Of course, if Israel were to do that, it would be viewed as being obstructive to peace. Fair enough. But, then, why aren’t the Palestinians viewed as being obstructive now?

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quartet, israel, palestinians

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Why does sitting down, with the Israelis have anything to do with their statehood? Did Israel ask the British, if they could become a nation?
An excellent post... well done.
Ahem, Was it the UN or Britain's government that carved out the lands of Israel today? So? Irrespective of asking permission (and it seems to me there was a series of armed clashes about that as well) Israel became a state in effect to conditional decrees of powers for the warring nation victors of WWII.

Even so, doesn't this simply represent that the concept of coming to a table and engaging in dialogue between the state -- and people -- that exercise de facto control over their fate is actually a smart move?

I remember back in the late seventies and early eighties where Israel got the bad press for being so militiristically inclined whenever it came to the Palestinians. More so than today, even. And they earned that bad press. It keeps waltzing back and forth between Israeli and Palestinian obstinance, or fears of the other gaining some advantage.

It might help if the Palestinians weren't initially devoted to destroying the Israeli people and nation as part of their climb to some sort of statehood identity. Israel may not be doing a great job, but they don't have a political mandate that says, in order to become truly free, all enemies must die.

Both sides, need to stop trying to politically measure their dicksize, because both sides are being dicks about it. Then, when the testosterone levels subside, maybe they can talk about what's best for the people of both sides of this.

Sure would like to see a negotiated outcome to this that all sides, while maybe not being ecstatic about their points given, can at least not scream bloody murder on the compromises that will eventually be required for this insanity to end.

40 years of talking have seen the israelis eat their land away. if this is the result of 'talking to israel,' the marvel is that they 'talked' so long.

statehood for the palestinian people is not at the pleasure of israel to dispose,
Even the least informed Americans are seeing past Israel's lies. It's a good thing AIPAC pumps so much money around incumbent Congressmen, otherwise, the billions that we send to the Jewish State would long ago have disappeared.

Well, Israel can have its one State solution. On that day, it will face the fact that such a State contains 5.5 million Jews and 7 million Palestinians. Then, it will have to make its next decision, whether to remain Jewish or Democratic . . . because it won't be able to be both.
Good post, Gary. Lots to think about. One has to wonder if there will ever be a 'solution' that can be accepted by all parties... on both sides.