Israel Forever

For the week ending 19 November 2011 / 21 Heshvan 5772

Negotiations Then and Now

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The government of Israelis constantly being maligned by the Arabs and their sympathizers as stubbornly refusing to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority for a settlement to end the conflict which has become the most discussed issue in world affairs.

The truth, of course, is that the Palestinians are willing to negotiate only if all their outrageous demands are met. They may make a show of desiring a peaceful settlement but what they really want is to have the entire land.

In the negotiations between the Patriarch Avraham and Ephron, which is recorded in this week's Torah portion, the Hittite prince starts off with a generous offer to give Avraham a burial plot for Sarah free of charge. But when Avraham insists on paying him, he is charged an exorbitant price, indicating that the original offer was nothing more than a show by a greedy landowner.

True negotiations today can only succeed if the other side can make peace with the fact that Israelis the homeland of the Jewish People forever.

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