Senior Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat threatened on Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority will carry out its threat to charge Israel with war crimes in the international court if it does not agree to direct talks for establishing a Palestinian Authority independent country based on the PA’s definition of borders.
He also said that it will be Israel’s fault if Palestinian Authority violence and terror escalates unless Israel agrees to its conditions for talks, which U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said must begin by Friday. Facing total rejection, Kerry already has asked PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for an extension of the deadline until June 20, according to the Palestinian Authority.
Erekat’s rhetoric is nothing new, and that is exactly why it may not work this time.
Virtually every American reporter who does not have an obvious agenda has learned that the Palestinian Authority has been twisting everyone around its twinkie for 20 years by making up its own rules of the game every time Israel is ready to play ball.
Abbas is assuming that Kerry will literally sell out Israel for the sake of continuing the dead, buried and decomposed peace process.
Given the grumbling social mood in the United States and the growing impatience of the American electorate for their government’s involvement in the quicksand of dead-end foreign affairs, Abbas is in for a nasty surprise when President Barack Obama finally lives up to his word that there is no sense trying to force an agreement when there is none to be made.
While Abbas continues to say the “ball is in Israel’s court,” he actually has taken the ball home ever since he took the audacious move to tell President Obama to get lost while he went to the United Nations for a General Assembly resolution recognizing a Palestinian Authority state exactly as he wants. Jerusalem would the PA’s capital, Israel would return to the Temporary Armistice lines of 1949-1967, and millions of foreign Arabs would flood Israel and reduce the Jews to a minority.
Abbas figures that the resolution is a stepping stone is in his grand winner-take-all strategy, even though there will be no winner and no one will take it all.
After the General Assembly resolution, Abbas won Palestinian Authority membership on UNESCO and pulled out his “war crime” threat.
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki then generously promised Kerry the PA would not seek membership on the International Court of Justice, as a “goodwill gesture” for Israel to think twice before rejecting the idea of accepting PA demands.
Al-Maliki said the PA was giving Kerry time to manipulate things the way Abbas wants.
Now that time has all but run out, Erekat pulled out the war crime threat again while crying on the shoulders of journalist and diplomats, saying, “If people like us don’t succeed to make peace with the Israeli government, what will the Palestinian people think?”
For good measure, he poured honey all over Kerry, stating that “Kerry’s failure cannot be an option.”
Kerry told American Jews on Monday that if the peace process fails, as if it hasn’t already, “What will happen if the Palestinian economy implodes? If the Palestinian security forces dissolve? If the Palestinian Authority fails?”
Erekat answered that question on Tuesday by threatening to charge Israel with war crimes, which is going to be chapter 2543, more or less, in the Decline and Fall of the Peace Process.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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