The Palestinian Authority’s two senior negotiators reportedly handed in their resignations to Mahmoud Abbas Thursday in protest over Israel’s plan to build thousands of more homes for Jews where Abbas wants a new Jew-free Arab country.
Don’t hold your breath. The Peace Process Follies are far from over.
Abbas has not accepted the resignations, submitted as part of a dramatic script to prompt the universal media and diplomatic world to blame Israel for beating the shaggy dog known as the “peace talks.”
The Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency, considered a reliable source for whatever goes on in Abbas’ Fatah movement and the Ramallah regime, reported Thursday night that Saeb Erekat and his sidekick Mohammed Shtayyeh told Abbas they are quitting because of the “apparent freeze in talks [with Israel]” and Israel’s refusal to honor alleged commitments concerning building in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.
Erekat later denied the report, but he previously has threatened to quit several more times.
He has been one the best Palestinian Authority actors around, which is why he is head of the delegation debating with Israel’s team, directed by Israel’s unofficial director of the U.S. State Dept. Middle East Desk, Tzipi Livni.
In the same theatre but on another stage, the Palestinian Authority foreign ministry has threatened to sue Israel in the international courts for building homes in “occupied territory” where Jews “occupy” homes, most of them on land that was no less occupied by Jordan after the Arabs failed to wipe out the infant modern Israeli state in 1948.
With the Palestinian Authority occupying the stage, there still is room for the main actor, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who will enter center stage next week.
Erekat’s song and dance Thursday, whether real or just a propaganda stunt by Ma’an on behalf of the PA, is just what he wants Kerry to hear and see, figuring is time to put a little more pressure on President Barack Obama’s fall guy, whose single objective is to deliver to Obama a piece of paper with the signatures of Abbas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
According to the script, Kerry will convince Abbas not to accept the resignations of the senior bluffers and then will praise Abbas for agreeing to continue to the peace process in the wake of Israel’s stubborn refusal to allow others to determine its border, its security needs and its chance to continue to exist as a country, Jewish or otherwise.