-By Batsheva Haber
“Hi! So you want to do business with me? No, you don’t? Well, let’s do business anyways! No, really, I want to do business with you!! Please??? Here, I’ll give you all this free stuff! Plus, I’ll halt my companies’ progress for you! Still not enough? Here’s some more free stuff! Don’t worry, there is no obligation on your part! You don’t have to do anything!! You will not have to meet any demands! Just except my gifts, no strings attached, I swear! Really, I just want to do business with you!! Here, take some more free stuff! And you know what, you don’t even have to recognize my company!”
This is what it would look like if the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was a business transaction run by the United States. Shall we take a look back? So far Israel has released tens of Palestinian prisoners – some of which were cold blooded murderers, froze the development in Israeli settlements multiple times, and agreed to major concessions in future negotiations. In return the Palestinians have- oh wait, they have done nothing but refuse to negotiate.
But all this red carpet treatment is not enough for our friends in The West. Two days ago Official Spokesperson for the United States Department of State Jen Psaki, said that it was not necessary for the PA to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state. Her claim was that there is no need for recognition of Israel, because a negotiation is about settling the issues on which the sides differ. Therefore “It’s not about demands,” and although the US sees Israel as a Jewish state, “that doesn’t reflect, of course, what the parties are going to agree to.”
Despite the fact that the negotiations are “not about demands,” Israel is under constant pressure from the US to concede to the Palestinian ones. On the other hand, when it comes to the one demand Israel put on the table – recognition of their right to exist – the Palestinians have no obligations whatsoever.
This is not a case to instate the American policy “the customer is always right”! Not when we are gambling with peoples’ lives!
Let me tell you how we do business in Israel. In Israel we acknowledge that in a good business transaction both sides need something from the other, and both are mutually benefited from the agreement. “Demands” are the foundation of any good business or negotiations. It’s all about what I have that you want, and what you have that I want.
Apparently what every kindergartener knows has somewhat been lost on the leaders of the free world. Business is a back and forth process, where each side decides what they are willing to give up on and what they are not. Negotiations require sacrifices on both sides, under the mutual understanding of benefits for all parties.
If one side is always the one making the concessions, and the other always benefiting without any obligations, it is not a business transaction, it is extortion.