Perpetually stalling negotiations to end the occupation allows Israel it to do exactly what it wants, without compromise.
Last month France presented to Israel its initiative for an international conference in Paris on peace in the Middle East. It anticipated Israel wouldn’t directly reject its proposal, but instead would claim to be “studying” it. France is aware of this common Israeli tactic, as it is one that Israel has used to gain the upper hand in all negotiation initiatives, even those of its strongest ally the United States.
The Jewish state has one unequivocal requirement for dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: direct negotiations, without preconditions. Israel then takes its time "studying" the negotiations and then simultanously establishes facts on the ground through Judaisation and settlements that are difficult to undo.
Despite Israel’s clear feet dragging, the international community, especially the United States and European Union, sticks to the two-state solution, i.e. a Palestinian state on the territory Israel occupied in 1967 with some slight variations, such as international control over part of Jerusalem. Yet, this solution is nowhere to be found in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu government's agenda, nor in its opposition's.
The Israeli government cloaks its inaction in resolving the colonial conflict with what are now tired justifications: Israel doesn’t have a Palestinian partner, the Palestinian Authority encourages violence, and there is an intifada in the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel often likes to add that the regional situation of the entire Middle East forbids it from adopting the two-state solution at this time. The alternative then, conveniently for Israel, is to do more of the same: construct more and more settlements and inflict unilateral and temporary solutions on Palestinians that leaves them with nothing. Experience shows -- and the Oslo agreements are testament to this -- there is nothing more permanent than the temporary.
The Arab Peace Initiative, based on UN Resolution 242, advocates for an Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in 1967, the establishment of a Palestinian state, and, subsequently, grantees Arab recognition of Israel. Yet this initiative, wholly unrecognized by Israel, is no longer on the negotiating table. At the same time, multiple forms of Arab contacts with the Jewish state are mushrooming. In this sense, by refusing to negotiate, Israel again is able to receive exactly what it wants (in this case, recognition from Arab states), without compromise.
We can hope, however, that an escalation of public opinion against Israel may render international governments more reluctant to bend to Israeli pressure, influence, distractions, and excuses. There is widespread support for recognizing the Palestinian state, as well as taking constructive measures for labeling settlement products.
States the globe over, however, are ignoring the wider boycott movement, which is currently making serious inroads in European and American universities. More recently, following Israel's talk of easing the Gaza blockade, countries are also taking steps to criminalize the BDS movement. The UK announced it was taking steps to counter any attempt to boycott Israel and prohibited publicly funded government councils and institutions from boycotting it. There is fear that Israel is pressuring additional countries to adopt similar legislation.