– First, as I pointed out, it presumes incompetence and betrayal by the Obama administration. It presumes that any battle to block either unilateral independence or punishment of Israel for opposing it would be doomed. This includes a refusal for the United States or European states to punish the PA even while it is believed they will eagerly punish Israel.

Incidentally, this explains Kerry’s seeming slip about Palestine already being an independent country. Will the Obama administration recognize a state of Palestine not achieved through negotiation with Israel?

– Second, it presumes that after everything it has done for 20 to 40 years has proven to be based on false promises, Israel should base itself on more of such promises.

– Third, it presupposes that the punishment would be worse than the risk taken by Israel, and ignores any possible costs faced by the Palestinians. Just because the EU has put sanctions — far looser and less significant than they seem — against special economic privileges for Israeli settlements in Europe, does that mean the EU will enact major sanctions against Israel in its recognized territory? (If Israel has such indications we don’t know about it, and again, this shows how the United States has not fought against this.)

– Fourth, it assumes that having been given every reason to believe that they hold all the cards, the PA will not make compromises. This is not likely to result in a deal since Kerry has already told them that in a year or two more they can have anything. Here is Mahmoud Abbas radiating confidence that he is about to get a state. Remember that Kerry’s last Middle East negotiation was when he thought he would easily wean away Syria’s dictatorship from Iran

– Fifth, why would the PA keep any post-treaty commitments? We know that Hamas will not, and that Iran would not accept them. How long before new cross-border attacks and new demands would be made?

I presume that talks would fail, and after this explanation of what Kerry is doing, I feel even more strongly that this will happen.  That’s why the Israeli government has accepted this bad deal, believing, I think accurately, that the PA will make the talks fail. I understand why this option was taken — also, because there might be American or European threats and promises; nobody can be as bad as Obama in the future — but this tactic is getting tired.    

Related: From Bridget Johnson at the PJ Tatler: “Palestinians ‘Delighted’: ‘All Final Status Issues Will be Resolved’ in Kerry Talks.”