Saeb Erekat and Mohammed Shatayyeh finally have quit as Palestinian Authority negotiators after endless threats to do so because of Israel’s audacity to continue to permit Obama’s “illegitimate” Jews to build their homes in Judea and Samaria.
Erekat’s previous resignation was reported here two weeks ago, and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas quickly rejected it, but this time he accepted their decision. He added that maybe, just maybe, he can convince Erekat to change his mind.
Wednesday’s act in the Peace Talks Follies followed reports on Tuesday that Israel’s Housing Minister Uri Ariel is going ahead with plans for 1,500 new residential units in Judea and Samaria.
Erekat, with deft timing, pounced on the opportunity to resign, which Abbas ascribed to “lack of progress” in the discussions with Israeli negotiators Tzipi Livni and Shlomo Molcho.
Abbas has brilliantly danced circles around the Obama administration so that the U.S. State Dept. has no choice other than to dance to his tune or bail out as a power broker, which it isn’t anyway.
He told CBC television in Egypt, “Either we can convince it to return, and we’re trying with them, or we form a new delegation,” he said. Either way, “Bring on the clowns.”
Talks with Israel won’t resume for a week, giving the State Dept. plenty of time to put on a spectacular show of damning Israel, perhaps enough to give Erekat a sense of satisfaction that he caused more humiliation of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
On the other side of the coin, several Likud Knesset Members said after Wednesday’s Palestinian Authority terrorist murder of an IDF soldier that Livni and Molcho should quit the talks in protest over continuing terror.
That is not going to happen, but Wednesday’s murder certainly might be the last straw that will break the Cabinet’s back and refuse to approve stage three in the four-step release of Palestinian Authority terrorists.
If the Cabinet refuses next time around, it is bye-be to the peace talks, and Israel can justifiably point the finger at Abbas for not combatting terror while pretending he wants a Palestinian Authority country that will protect Israeli citizens.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu