This sticking point is certainly not immune to the plethora of cynicism that has surrounded these talks since the beginning. Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat has expressed his hesitations due to the probability that the Israelis “would promise a full assortment of yogurt flavors, but most likely only provide tart flavors. I know that tart is the popular choice in health-conscience Hollywood, but what about the children. Nothing would make Israel happier than watching our poor kids running around in the streets, toasting yet another successful suicide attack with some delicious froyo, quickly relegated to puckered faces and watering eyes. They are a cruel people to be sure”. On the Israeli side, Defense Minister Ehud Barak was pessimistic about “the current infrastructure in the Palestinian Authorities being conducive to responsible toppings choices. The system currently in place could lead to catastrophes as large as mango and M&M’s topped Strawberry Tart”. Barak then proceeded to throw up a little bit in his mouth.
United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had stipulated that if the PLOGurt chain was to be established, the U.S. would join Israel in a joint-exercise that would aim to educate the Palestinian people on the benefits and pitfalls of the self-serve yogurt shop system.
Right-wing activists in Israel have pleaded in an open letter to Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, “not to be tricked into merely trading one freeze (the soon-ending 10 month freeze on building in the settlements) for another. If you concede now, next they will ask for our secret way to get rid of brain-freeze quickly. You must say here and now, no more freeze of any kind”.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, an outspoken critic of the current talks being conducted by his own government, was again protesting against the Prime Minister Sunday night, preaching to a crowd of his constituents, “that the only positive effect establishing PLOGurt in Gaza could have is showing the world that the only thing Palestinians have less tolerance for than lactose is the Jewish State”.
Many in academia have credited this seemingly one-sided skepticism for the PLOGurt peace initiative on the Palestinian’s history of balking on large gestures made by the Israelis. Bar-Ilan Political Science Professor Ayal Brandiess told E-Tone that, “Israel cannot afford to look foolish with this yogurt request since they were caught with the pants down when PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat walked away from an offer to open 40 Wetzel’s Pretzel stores in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem in 2000”.