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November 20, 2015 2:56 pm

Amnesia on Settlements Afflicts Martin Indyk

avatar by Benyamin Korn

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Martin Indyk forgets only concessions that Israel has made, Benyamin Korn argues. Photo: Robert D. Ward via Wikimedia Commons.

Martin Indyk only forgets concessions that Israel has made, Benyamin Korn argues. Photo: Robert D. Ward via Wikimedia Commons.

A form of amnesia must be affecting the Obama administration’s former chief Mideast negotiator, Martin Indyk. It is, however, a very selective kind of amnesia–he only forgets concessions that Israel has made.

Speaking recently at a conference in Tel Aviv, Indyk declared that the only reason there are no peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians is because of Israeli construction in Judea-Samaria. Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas would “become a partner tomorrow for the deal you’d like to make if there was a settlement freeze,” he declared.

That giant sucking noise was the sound of Indyk’s amnesia kicking in. His memory bank appears to no longer include any trace of the fact that on Nov. 25, 2009, at great political risk, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu initiated a 10-month freeze on Israeli construction in the territories.

For month after month, Israelis living in those areas were denied the right to add a porch or a nursery to their homes. Did peace result? Did even peace talks result?

Of course not.

“I can tell you, from personal experience, they [the settlements] are the problem,” Indyk said at the Tel Aviv conference.

Obviously, they are not the problem because Netanyahu froze them for 10 months and it made no difference.

Obviously, they are not the problem because the Israeli government has not built a single new settlement since then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin imposed the no-new-settlements policy back in 1992.

Obviously, they are not the problem because no settlements even existed in June 1967, yet the Arabs went to war against Israel.

And obviously, they are not the problem because no settlements existed in 1964, which is when the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was established to “liberate Palestine.”

Why, then, do critics of Israel, such as Indyk, continue to harp on freezing settlements?

It’s part of a salami strategy: slicing Israel apart, piece by piece. They demand a slice and when Israel finally gives in, they demand another. And another. And another.

They demanded that Israel recognize Yasser Arafat and the PLO. Rabin did it. Then they demanded that Rabin “end the occupation.” So he withdrew from the areas in Judea-Samaria, where 98 percent of the Palestinians live. And Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon withdrew from 100 percent of the Gaza Strip.

But that wasn’t enough. So they demanded an Israeli construction freeze. (Notice how they never ask the Palestinian Authority to freeze its own construction in the territories.) They got a freeze lasting 10 useless months. Now they demand another one. If they get it, it will only be a matter of time before they demand the dismantling of Israeli towns in Judea-Samaria and mass expulsion of their residents, just like it was done in Gaza.

And you can bet that even as Martin Indyk and his ilk make such demands, they will act, with straight faces, as if the withdrawal from Gaza had not resulted in rockets, terror and no peace. Because in the end, remembering the past is the obstacle to Israeli concessions–and amnesia is the key to bringing about another Israeli surrender.

Mr. Korn, chairman of the Philadelphia Religious Zionists, is former executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent and the Miami Jewish Tribune.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Yale

    It doesn’t take much to realize that restrictions on settlement activity mean that Palestinian leaders have nothing to fear from holding out and avoiding resolving the conflict. Settlements are the only serious threat Israel can pose to the Palestinian notion of the future, and halting them means that notion cannot be extirpated which is essential to getting a two-state solution.

    Palestinian leaders have made a series of seriously bad decisions in conducting their people’s relations with the Jews, and they seek to avoid having to acknowledge that. Their decisions are responsible for the suffering of the Palestinian Arabs for the last 67 years, which will become obvious if they ever make peace. They avoid that by making demands that no rational Israeli government should meet. The adoption of those demands at the international provides cover for their incompetence.

  • ART

    It is NOT amnesia. It is a planned intentional anti Israel policy. With Indyk it is also a service to his paymasters. The arab and muslim money behind Indyks so called think tank dictates his findings, though he just seems to hate Israel anyway. He should never have been an envoy since it was a clear conflict of interest, He has had a pecuniary interest derived from supporting one side

  • Nanushka

    “Indyk” means turkey in Polish and Yiddish. Gobble Gobble

  • dante

    indyk is delusional. and, he obviously has not read a newspaper or heard a broadcast in some years. but, then again, indyk doesn’t need to know the facts; for him, it’s always Israel’s fault and always within Israel’s power to change Israel’s enemies.

    I would recommend that, after he sees an orthodontist, he get help from psychotherapist. on second thought, he should see the shrink first. cosmetic dentistry can’t do much for that ugly mutt and there’s hope that with medication and therapy, indyk might become lucid. OK, it’s a long shot.

  • Keep lying to Yourself’s , it’s only bring about your Demise.

    Accept the Arab Peace Plan of 2002 or change your name to Masada !

  • Excellent. I once heard a recitation of all the attempts Israel has made since it’s inception to gain peace. The list included the times that Israel has relinquished land in return for verbal Arab promises. In these cases, the Arab promises weren’t worth the paper they were not printed on.

    I have looked on the internet and Google trying to find such a list, but have not. Surely it’s on there somewhere – or have all the peace efforts of Israel been forgotten?

  • Shulamith Goodman

    Martin Indyk is one of those Jews who greatly encourage our enemies to murder even more Jews in Israel.

    I hold Indyk and people like him directly responsible every time there is a terror attack. Jewish blood is on their hands. It is shameful and disgusting.

    They are more worried about a Jew in Israel building on an extra room in his home than they are about the Iranian threat to Israel and to the world.


    What can you really expect from a sardonic self-

    hating jew ???

  • Isaac Brajtman

    I went to a talk by Mr Indyk a year or two ago in Sydney. Everybody clapped when he ended his talk, but I thought maybe I didn’t understand what he said, because I wanted to boo, not clap.
    The more I think about it and the more I read what he says,the more I am sure he is an antizionist and should be boycotted by every Jewish organisation.

    He makes a very good living running down Israel.
    As an Australian Jew, I am not proud that he was one of us. Let him stay in America. We don’t need him here.

  • Hillel

    Indyk means a turkey on Polish. Draw your own conclusions.

  • AP

    Anti-Semitism is rampant in the Obama administration. He thinks he is an angel of peace. In reality, he is an undiscriminating equalizer, and he works without feeling or understanding. Angels and Devils are all the same. They should declare peace and equalize themselves based on a new starting point, because Obama does not like the idea that some are more moral than others, that some work harder than others and that some have received promises which should be honored. Whatever psychological issues underpin Obama’s compulsion to destroy what has been built up, I really believe that if the Palestinians were in the position of the Israelis, Obama would be trying to destroy the Palestinians instead of the Israelis. His hate is of a peculiar kind.

  • Fred

    Martin Indyk is a veritable idiot. He preens his feathers as a know all but do nothing. His mind fluctuated according to his material gain. He is his masters ( Obamas ) voice.

  • Paul Goodman

    Indyk has lost all credibility, so why does anybody listen to him or invite him to talk at conferences any more? He has an impossible agenda – to go down in history as the one who negotiated a two-state solution!

  • Hillel

    This brown nosing Jewish Kapo should go back to Melbourne and shut the f***k up.