United States Secretary of State John Kerry announced last Friday that Israelis and Palestinians had agreed to resume peace talks in Washington this week. The announcement came after he made several trips to the Middle East trying to bring them back to the negotiating table and after arm twisting, pressure and threats were applied to both parties, to the Palestinians because they have no interest in real, lasting peace with Israel and to the Israelis because they know this and see no point in discussing peace anymore with people who demonstrably aren’t interested in it and never have been.
Kerry was being disingenuous when he announced that they had agreed to resume peace talks. They hadn’t. All they agreed to do was discuss a framework for the resumption of peace talks, not conduct peace talks themselves. That’s not the same thing, not the same thing at all.
Nevertheless, Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top Palestinian official and one of only two people authorized to comment on behalf of the Palestinian leadership, announced earlier today that Palestinians had not decided to meet with Israelis in Washington this week and would meet with them only if certain pre-conditions were met.
In other words, talks about talks would only take place if pre-conditions to the talks about talks were met. That’s not negotiating, that’s blackmail. That’s also very, very typical of the way Palestinians “negotiate”.
Abed Rabbo’s announcement directly contradicted Kerry’s earlier announcement and came after the Palestinian leadership was heavily criticized by Palestinians of all stripes for agreeing to sit down with Israelis and talk about talks. It humiliated Kerry and made him and by extension the United States look inept and foolish. It was also reflective of the longstanding, pervasive total lack of interest on the part of Palestinians to negotiate real, lasting peace with Israel and of the anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli and anti-Israel nature of Palestinian society, of the deep hatred (based on Islam by the way) that Palestinians feel for Jews, Israelis and Israel. .
Kerry deserved it in a sense for being disingenuous though.
No doubt Kerry and the Americans are doing everything they can as we speak to save face and get the Palestinians to come to Washington to talk about talks. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. Better apply more pressure, make a few more threats and twist a few more arms.
Talks about talks?
Not so fast John.