Abbas to Kerry: Please Beg Me More!
Abbas is convinced that it is only a matter of time before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry rushes back to the region in yet anther desperate effort to "salvage the peace process."
In recent weeks, according to Palestinian officials, Kerry has literally been "begging" Abbas to agree to an extension of the peace talks after the end of April.
Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership have concluded that the Obama Administration is prepared to do almost anything to show some kind of "victory" in the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis. Palestinian demands therefore have continued to increase almost every day.
Palestinian Authority [PA] leader Mahmoud Abbas is now waiting to see what the U.S. Administration will offer him in return for refraining from pursuing his bid to join various international treaties and institutions.
In recent weeks, according to Palestinian officials, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has literally been "begging" Abbas to agree to the extension of the peace talks after the end of April.
Hours after Abbas signed the applications for joining a number of international bodies and treaties, he received an urgent phone call from Kerry asking him to refrain from further moves that could "derail" the peace process.
Abbas is convinced that it is only a matter of time before Kerry rushes back to the region in yet another desperate effort to "salvage the peace process."
On Wednesday night, Abbas and the PA leadership received the first sign that the U.S. Administration was nervous and confused following the PA's surprise decision to join 15 international organizations and treaties.
Kerry's envoy, Martin Indyk, invited Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat and Israeli Justice Minister Tsipi Livni to an emergency meeting in Jerusalem to find ways of preventing the "collapse" of the peace talks in the wake of Abbas's decision to apply for the memberships.
The meeting lasted for several hours and, according to Palestinian sources in Ramallah, Indyk and Livni "reprimanded" Erekat for surprising Israel and the U.S. Administration with the new decision.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in happier times. (Image source: Nirvana News YouTube video still)
Abbas dispatched Erekat to the meeting to see what the Americans and Israelis are prepared to offer him in return for suspending this bid.
So far, however, Abbas does not seem to be satisfied with what his emissary, Erekat, heard from Indyk and Livni. Abbas is therefore expected to step up pressure on the two parties in the coming days and weeks, if he can, in the hope of extracting as many concessions as possible.
Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership have concluded that the Obama Administration is prepared to do almost anything to show some kind of a "victory" in the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis. Palestinian demands have therefore continued to increase almost every day.
Realizing how desperate Kerry is to achieve an extension of the talks, Abbas decided that this was the right time to set new conditions, such as the release of jailed Fatah militia leader Marwan Barghouti and Ahmed Sa'adat, Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Barghouti is in prison for his role in terrorist attacks against Israelis during the second intifada. Sa'adat is serving a lengthy prison term for his role in the assassination of Israel's Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi.
As Kerry increased his pressure on the Palestinians to agree to an extension, Abbas added two more conditions: the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and a complete cessation of construction in settlements and east Jerusalem neighborhoods.
Abbas has also made it clear that his decision to join international organizations and treaties does not mean that he is interested in a "clash" with the U.S. Administration.
Abbas is right. Of course he does not want a "clash" with President Barack Obama and Kerry. Rather, Abbas wants the two men to continue begging him not to walk out of the peace process and turn their entire Middle East policy into another blunder. He wants them to exert pressure on the Israeli government to accept both his old and new demands.
Abbas apparently thinks he is moving in the right direction, and that Obama and Kerry have no choice but to accept his demands and intensify U.S. pressure on Israel. Abbas does not want totally to walk out of the peace talks at this stage. He feels that he can still extract further concessions from the Israelis and Americans, and that his decision to join 15 international organizations and treaties has left the U.S. Administration in a state of panic that the peace talks might fail. Now he is waiting to see what price Obama and Kerry are willing to pay to avoid that scenario.
Reader comments on this item
|Wet behind the ears [78 words]||Bart Benschop||Apr 5, 2014 00:03|
|America begging terrorists [45 words]||Herb Glatter||Apr 4, 2014 14:22|
|↔ Hoist on their own petard [171 words]||Mark||Apr 9, 2014 04:45|
Comment on this item
by Salim Mansur
What we are witnessing is Israel engaged in a struggle against Hamas, against Palestinians, against Arabs, against Muslims, and against an expanding body of opinion in the West that is less and less inhibited from displaying the rancid anti-Semitism behind its support for those who openly call for another Holocaust for the Jews.
Gaza was returned to the Palestinians in 2005 as a test for building trust.
This verse [31:27 ] means that no one Muslim should claim that he has a monopoly over the reading of the Quran, for that would amount to reducing the majesty of God to the smallness of man.
The sound of battle is louder than the call to prayer.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
Evidently Abbas has reached the conclusion that unless he hurries up and declares his support for the Palestinian "resistance" in the Gaza Strip, his people will march on his office and force him to quit. Abbas's fear of a revolt has driven him into the open arms of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Another reason for the unexpected change in Abbas's policy might be the promise of financial aid he received from Qatar -- an enemy of Egypt's al-Sisi, but the largest funder of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
Abbas know that if he wants to survive, he will have to be on the side of the radicals.
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Lawrence A. Franklin
There is no change in U.S policy toward Israel that will win any true allies in the Middle East, despite what Arab leaders claim. They often assert that if only we would solve the Palestinian-Israeli problem first, relations would improve. This is a tactic. These leaders employ it simply to divert Western officials from making demands on them, instead of on Israel. The reality is that most Arabs view the U.S., its European allies and Israel with ineradicable contempt.
by Alan M. Dershowitz