Photo Credit: Matty Stern/US Embassy of Tel Aviv/Flash 90.
Kerry's main point in his meeting with Israel's opposition leader Herzog was to find out how many hands would be raised in the Knesset in support of the Netanyahu concessions. Everything else is just show business.

Secretary of State John Kerry may look like he’s pulling all the stops in pushing an Israeli-Palestinian deal, but, according to newly elected Labor party chairman MK Yitzhak Herzog, the U.S. can also read the writing on the wall. Herzog told Maariv that should there be no significant movement by the end of March, “it looks like the U.S. will take a step back and lower its profile” on the negotiations.

At the same time, Herzog was quick to point out, Kerry is filled with optimism regarding the chances of the current talks, telling his Israeli supporter on the left that both Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas have made brave and significant concessions.

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Kerry’s main point in his meeting with Israel’s opposition leader Herzog was to find out how many hands would be raised in the Knesset in support of the Netanyahu concessions.

“He asked us not to enable the toppling of Netanyahu should he lose parts of the right” in his own coalition, “who will decide to vote against him once there’s progress in the talks,” a source in Herzog’s circle told Maariv.

The ever-present danger in volatile votes like this, is that once the prime minister loses the support of a sizeable portion of his own coalition members, the next move is in the hands of the opposition leader, who calls for a vote of no confidence in the prime minister. At this point, if the same coalition members are angry enough, they add their votes to the opposition and take down the government.

Herzog wasn’t going to do that over the “peace process.” But the question remains whether Netanyahu really ahs the votes supporting the uprooting a constantly shifting number of Jews from Judea and Samaria (that number has gone from 150,000 down to 80,000 – neither of which have much reality to them, because the Palestinians want everything and the settlers won’t budge either, at least not without riot police bashing their faces in, which could spell the end of Netanyahu’s marriage with the right).

The same source said they were surprised by the seriousness of the current phase in the talks, and the fact that they now include all the “heavy” subjects, such as the right of return for Palestinians from around the world into Israel proper, the status of Jerusalem, Israeli control over the Jordan Valley, and, presumably, land swaps of settlements and Israeli Arab cities.

According to Maariv, based on information from senior political officials, Kerry plans to set up a direct meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas moments after the American “framework” document is finalized.

Kerry “is determined to hold a political summit meeting between the two leaders, as soon as he succeeds in getting agreements for that famous document,” the sources said.

Mind you, the “framework document” is expected to be merely a list of all the issues about which both sides disagree. Also, the document will not require the two sides to sign it, merely to acknowledge that, indeed, they disagree on those issues.

That’s not a lot to ask for. But there’s a reason for this strange document, which presents as success something which should have been the opening notes of the talks, rather than the sum total of their achievements after 7 months. Kerry intends to use this manufactured “success” as a basis for issuing a one-year extension to the talks, which are slated to conclude—based on the Secretary’s time limit—this February.

No one beats the State Department in smoke and mirror acts (Defense concentrates more on dog and pony).

Which makes our own headline here, based on the revelations in Maariv, about as hokum as anything the Secretary has been scheming. Kerry imposes a deadline, then creates a means to schlep out the deadline ad infinitum, then threatens to take his ball and go home in March, but by the time March rolls in the teams will be deep in phase two – and achieving nothing.

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Why wait until march Kerry? no-one wants you in Israel anyway get out now. Israel does not need the USA to tell them what to do, the Lord Almighty will look after them. Israel should never give up any land for the sake of a false peace treaty that has no foundation in reality. They should never let prisoners of terror loose neither, I think it,s a travesty of justice that the USA would even ask Israel to do so when they won't even release one Jewish prisoner that does not deserve to be held in a American jail. What a bunch of hypocrites.And as for Palastine! there has never been a Palestinian state, tell me who was the leader before Yasser Arrafat? you can't because they don't exist

  2. If the Arabs ("Palestinians") really wanted peace with the Israelis, they would not object to the Jews living in their midst in Hebron, Shchem, Shilo, Ariel, Efrat, etc.: with equal rights – just like the Arabs live in Israel – with representatives in Knesset. As long as the Arabs demand Judenrein Palestine, we know they just want to annihilate the Jews. Kerry – you are so full of @#$% – even your eyes are brown!

  3. I don't know why Kerry is still bothering Israel, people in America love Israel and will always support them, even if our government dose not. God is control of the Jewish people not America. I think Kerry is trying to be a hero, that will never happen. Do what you have to do for your own peace Israel.

  4. I don't know why Kerry is still bothering Israel, people in America love Israel and will always support them, even if our government dose not. God is in control of the Jewish people not America. I think Kerry is trying to be a hero, that will never happen. Do what you have to do for your own peace Israel.

  5. What's the point anyways? Israel is asked to give up land, piece by piece, to get any peace agreement, but the only way to satisfy the Arabs is to give up all the land. I think western leaders know the Palestinians and the rest of the Muslim world will never truly accept any peace agreement as long as Israel exists, so rather than fighting an immovable object, they ask Israel to make all the concessions. The west would reduce the size of Israel to one square meter, and even then, they'd still ask Israel to give up more rather than confronting the lunar eclipse. If you want peace, pray for the movement of immovable objects…or learn how to move them yourselves. Eventually, somebody's going to have to stand up to them, even if you force Israel into the sea.

  6. What's the point anyways? Israel is asked to give up land, piece by piece, to get any peace agreement, but the only way to satisfy the Arabs is to give up all the land. I think western leaders know the Palestinians and the rest of the Muslim world will never truly accept any peace agreement as long as Israel exists, so rather than fighting an immovable object, they ask Israel to make all the concessions. The west would reduce the size of Israel to one square meter, and even then, they'd still ask Israel to give up more rather than confronting the lunar eclipse. If you want peace, pray for the movement of immovable objects…or learn how to move them yourselves. Eventually, somebody's going to have to stand up to them, even if you force Israel into the sea.

  7. Why don't to tell Kerry, that Israel will not give up her land to anyone, EVER! Then offer peace for peace. If that's not good enough for Kerry and the Arabs then that's too bad because it IS good enough for God. Save Kerry time and effort and tell him peace for peace or no. In July of 2012 I wrote a small booklet that talks about some of what the Bible says will happen in the end times as well as what will happen during the period known as the seven (360 day) year tribulation and other soon to take place events. I don’t accept donations and it’s free. It’s about 6 or 7 pages, so it’s a short read. I encourage you to have a look: http://www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next

  8. —–

    almost 1400 hits please share on your list. rabbi rosenberg

    Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg SAYS President Obama You Have Some Nerve. ISRAEL Will Not LISTEN To You : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ig8c795KymA#t=63

    Trying to speak to Roosevelt behind closed doors didn't help the Jews of Europe, 6,000,000 Jews were slaughtered, murdered, burned, vanished!

    Speak Up!

    לנסות לדבר עם רוזוולט בדלתיים סגורים לא עזר ליהודי אירופה, 6,000,000 יהודים נטבחו, נרצחו, נשרפו, נעלמו!

    דברו בקול רם

    'Trying to speak to Roosevelt behind closed doors didn't help the Jews of Europe'

    Official in Prime Minister's Office reacts angrily to accusations that Israeli leadership harming strategic ties with Obama administration: Seventy-five years ago, the Jews tried to talk with Roosevelt, and that did not really help the Jews of Europe."

    If Israel is destroyed another Holocaust will have happened. Sis million Jews perished while the world abandoned us. Among the murdered was my family. American Jews speak out before it is too late.
    Downplaying the Holocaust — Sulzberger & NY Times: Anna Blech at TEDxHunterCCS – YouTube In my book "CONTEMPLATING THE HOLOCAUST'' I have entire chapter on this subject. Israel is in trouble and we listen to Obama and others who have interests OTHER than saving ISRAEL from destruction. . Let us stop being politically correct and protect . Israel.. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

  9. This "peace processes" are only a never end soap opera, the only way to get a peace with the arabs, Israel has to wait untill the muslims kill each other, this will take, perhaps 100 years like the christians kill each other in Ireland,the US and the EU has to get away from there, is not theis business.

  10. Pretty good analysis of the status of the current Peace Talks, I think, compared with the analysis of so many “Middle East Experts” I have read. And I wish to add my own opinion on the subject.

    When the Peace Talks fail at the end of April, the US will hand over the baton to the EU. The EU, in turn, will start imposing sanctions against Israel, and will take up the matter at the UN Security Council and impose more sanctions against Israel, the way the Security Council treated the apartheid South Africa. This time, however, the US will not veto the resolution unlike on the previous 49 occasions that it did, to protect Israel, And Israel will buckle under, at last, under the enormous economic pressure of the sanctions, and agree to stop all its settlements expansion activities, and end its illegal occupation of Palestine. That’s what will happen starting from May, 2014.

    Yesh Prabhu, Bushkill, Pennsylvania

  11. US should pull out. US has a history of "pulling out" having been defeated by the underdogs for years; Iran, Korea,Afghanistan, Iraq, cuba, Somalia. You would think after the US gets their ass kicked so many times, Kerry should find another thing to screw up since as a secretary, he has done a Lousy INCOMPETANT job.
    Does Obama hate him so much, he tries to keep him out of the country like Hilary?

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