The resumption of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority got off to a medically poor start.
In Washington, Israel’s senior negotiator Tzipi Livni fell all over herself praising U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and ended up with a fractured leg that required brief hospitalization.
Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat was treated in the same hospital for laryngitis, after screaming his head off at Israel’s refusal to freeze all construction for Jews in Judea, Samaria and areas in Jerusalem that were occupied by Jordan until the 1967 Six-Day.
Kerry also was hospitalized for a feared tumor after his head swelled to three times its normal size. Doctors took an x-ray and discovered that his head was empty and carried out a procedure to remove air that had filled the empty space. The medical team suffered severe burns from the hot air they released from the secretary’s head.
Martin Indyk, President Barack Obama’s personally-appointed Jewish savior of the peace process, also experienced difficulties. En route to Israel, he read comments by chairman Mahmoud Abbas that not a single Jew would be allowed to live in a future PA state, and he immediately threw up.
Once in Israel, all sides got down to business on Wednesday.
In a gesture to the Palestinian Authority, Livni insisted on a luncheon meeting in East Jerusalem, which the Arabs want as their future capital.
Erekat made a similar gesture and suggested a kosher restaurant.
Indyk, fearing that his being Jewish would be seen as the reason for the kosher restaurant, offered a compromise of going to McDonald’s in Tel Aviv. He lost out on that one.
However, they all agreed to leave a healthy tip and sent the entire tab to the European Union.
Since then, Israel announced the names of 26 terrorists to be freed, as Abbas demanded, a good will gesture that boosts the standing of the Islamic Jihad, Hamas and PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) terrorist groups, whose honorable members were all included.
The release of the terrorists reduces the need for Arab suicide bombers, since the Israeli government itself has decided to embark on suicidal policies.
Israel’s Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who lives in one of those settlements that the United States calls “illegitimate,” announced that tenders would be issued for more than 1,000 homes in Judea, Samaria and areas of Jerusalem claimed by the PA and which were occupied by Jordan from 1949 until the Six-Day War in 1967.
The Jordanian occupation was never questioned by the international community, which has lived up to its amazing record of singling out Israel for as much as it can get away with.
Palestinian Authority officials threatened to walk out on the talks because of Ariel’s building plans that, given the Israeli bureaucracy, will not become facts on the ground for several years, by which time the peace talks will have been at the beginning of their fourth decade.
The Arabs calmed down after the threat had made enough headlines to show that despite the obvious insincerity of Israel for peace, the Arab negotiators would be gracious enough to continue the talks as a goodwill gesture to foreign media and the Middle East desk at the U.S. State Dept., both of which would face serious unemployment if the discussions were to end.
Speaking of the State Dept., it made it absolutely clear to reporters that it would not follow the European Union’s lead to call Israeli settlements “illegal.” The United States prefers the term “illegitimate,” apparently reasoning that comparing Israeli settlers to bastards is more meaningful than accusing them of breaking a law that does not exist.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu