Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

April 1, 2014 - 5:50 pm

The Obama administration received a sharp rebuke on its drive to forge a Middle East peace process when President Mahmoud Abbas applied for Palestinian state membership in 15 international organizations.

Secretary of State John Kerry was supposed to meet with Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday, but that was abruptly called off.

“I’ve heard a rumor about, a quote not being invited sort of, but I’m not sure I’m going, regardless of that, whether or not we have certain things that we’re trying to figure out in terms of the logistics on the ground and what is possible,” Kerry said Tuesday at NATO before confirmation that the trip wouldn’t be happening.

The administration has been pushing for a framework agreement by April 29, which would extend the talks into 2015. The Palestinians complained that Israel wasn’t releasing prisoners on time and complained about construction in the West Bank.

The White House has been considering releasing Jonathan Pollard, a U.S. citizen sentenced to life behind bars in 1987 for spying for Israel, in an attempt to butter up Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept Obama and Kerry’s proposal.

“I continue to believe that releasing Jonathan Pollard is the right thing to do,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said. “However, releasing Mr. Pollard simply to keep Israeli-Palestinian talks going is totally misguided and would be seen as a desperate attempt to avert failure.”

Kerry swore, though, that even Abbas’ move in clear defiance of U.S. demands doesn’t mean failure.

“It is completely premature tonight to draw any kind of judgment, certainly any final judgment, about today’s events and where things are,” he said. “This is a moment to be really clear-eyed and sober about this process. It is difficult, it is emotional, it requires huge decisions, some of them with great political difficulty, all of which need to come together simultaneously.”

“And all I can tell you is that we are continuing, even now as I am standing up here speaking, to be engaged with both parties to find the best way forward. We’ve been in touch with the White House and Washington during the day, as well as all of the parties. And I’ve talked to many people on the ground in the region, and I will continue to even tonight.”

Kerry urged “both sides to show restraint” while a “team is on the ground” to work with both sides.

Abbas has said for nine months that he would set aside his pushes for statehood during negotiations, but instead he went on live Palestinian television to sign the applications for recognition by the agencies, including ones dealing with women’s rights and the Geneva and Vienna Conventions, a Palestinian official told the New York Times.

“We don’t want to collide with the U.S. administration. We want a good relationship with Washington because it helped us and exerted huge efforts. But because we did not find ways for solution, this becomes our right,” Abbas said.

At NATO, Kerry waxed that “it’s moments like this when we all need to remember exactly what brought us to this effort in the first place, what the goal is, and where everybody wants to end up.”

“I know that President Abbas in his comments made it clear that he intends to continue to work, even tonight, on this process that we are engaged in,” he said, adding in apparent reference to both Pollard and the Palestinian prisoners that “at this point in time, no agreement has been reached with respect to any prisoner.”

In fact, Kerry was insistent that Abbas hadn’t breached any part of the negotiations agreement because he wasn’t seeking UN recognition. “None of the agencies that President Abbas signed tonight involve the UN. None of them,” he said.

“And President Abbas has given his word to me that he will keep his agreement and that he intends to negotiate through the end of the month of April,” he added.

However, in the words of Abbas: “The Palestinian leadership has unanimously approved a decision to seek membership of 15 UN agencies and international treaties, beginning with the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

Palestinians were up in arms that Israel didn’t release a fourth batch of prisoners on March 29. “I’m not going to get into the who, why, what, when, where, how of why we’re where we are today. We’re where we are today – and the important thing is to keep the process moving and find a way to see whether the parties are prepared to move forward. In the end, this is up to the parties,” Kerry continued.

“…President Obama has been as committed to this as anybody. He has committed his personal time. He has committed my time. The President is desirous of trying to see how we can make our best efforts in order to find a way to facilitate. But facilitation is only as good as the willingness of leaders to actually make decisions when they’re put in front of them.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
There is no difference between the "moderate" and "extreme" Palestinians.

Both want Israel destroyed, refuse to recognize it's legitimacy, and differ only on tactics - whether the second holocaust should be brought about by gradual isolation of Israel (a la Czechoslovakia) or all at once (a la Poland).

As for the Palestinians having so much to give the world - quite true. Massive advancements in airport security, bomb-detection technology, and anti-short-range-rockets defensive systems would never have been developed if it wasn't for them. Not to mention their deep commitment to the environmentalist goal of zero, and preferably negative, population growth, especially among Jews.

Quick quiz for those who are not speakers of Hebrew or Arabic. Can you state the Arab word for "peace"?( No, it is NOT "salaam", whose meaning is closer to "permanent cease fire".) of course you can't. Can you name the Hebrew word for "peace" ? Of course. On the other hand, can you name the Hebrew word for "holy war"? Of course not. Can you name the Arabic word for it? Of course you can.

THAT, and only that, is what the Palestinians have "so much to offer the world" of.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hopefully this charade is really over. The problem that exists cannot be solved. It was being managed. But the ever so Frenchie Kerry couldn't keep his d**mned hands of things because he wanted his Nobel. Things are worse than before, and all that Israel got out of this was a whole bunch of threats, unrest and 76 murderers freed to go back to being murderers. O and Kerry and make a real winning team (sarc). One would hope that if Abbas goes to the UN, that Israel simply annex the parts of Judea and Samaria it needs for defense and for the people living there, and withdraw the IDF for the PA areas. We will see how long the PA (and particularly) Abba lasts.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I know what it is like to hear that you cannot go on a road or through a checkpoint because you are Palestinian."

Do you know what it is like to hear your father, mother, and three siblings being slaughered in the night because they are Jews?

"I understand the feeling of humiliation and powerlessness."

Do you understand the feelings of humiliation and powerlessness when you learn that your baby sister's head was cut off?
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (32)
All Comments   (32)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
"“I’ve heard a rumor about, a quote not being invited sort of, but I’m not sure I’m going, regardless of that, whether or not we have certain things that we’re trying to figure out in terms of the logistics on the ground and what is possible,” -- Well, I'm glad he cleared that up!
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is no difference between the "moderate" and "extreme" Palestinians.

Both want Israel destroyed, refuse to recognize it's legitimacy, and differ only on tactics - whether the second holocaust should be brought about by gradual isolation of Israel (a la Czechoslovakia) or all at once (a la Poland).

As for the Palestinians having so much to give the world - quite true. Massive advancements in airport security, bomb-detection technology, and anti-short-range-rockets defensive systems would never have been developed if it wasn't for them. Not to mention their deep commitment to the environmentalist goal of zero, and preferably negative, population growth, especially among Jews.

Quick quiz for those who are not speakers of Hebrew or Arabic. Can you state the Arab word for "peace"?( No, it is NOT "salaam", whose meaning is closer to "permanent cease fire".) of course you can't. Can you name the Hebrew word for "peace" ? Of course. On the other hand, can you name the Hebrew word for "holy war"? Of course not. Can you name the Arabic word for it? Of course you can.

THAT, and only that, is what the Palestinians have "so much to offer the world" of.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Honestly, who is the bad actor when it comes to the Middle East? The main agent is QATAR. No joke, quite serious... see here:
http://nyyrc.com/blog/2014/03/must-read-the-jihadi-threat-report-on-islamist-states-and-individuals-in-the-context-of-current-affairs/
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama had all those dinners with Rashid Khalidi. The LA Times had to kidnap and hold hostage a tape of Obama at a Khalidi award ceremony.

The MINUTE the hostage tape is released and fully revealed, we can assess the true intentions of the Gangsta Government, but not a moment before.

Thomas Sowell has stated he no longer sees innocent incompetence in the Obama cabal, he sees intent.

America is being weakened and knocked down the influence ladder. Obama/Kerry/Hagel/Biden/Rice/Power/Jarrett are waiting gleefully at the bottom rung.

We are being "transformed" from a free market hyperpower to a small c communist bandana republic. The Palestinians will continue to play Obama and Kerry for fools. Rashid Khalidi, Ali Abunimah love the act.

Nothing good will come of this....but plenty bad is on the horizon.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
This clown show would be hugely enjoyable out of schadenfreude alone if it wasn't for real.
Alas, the Pathetic Duo of Obama and Kerry are doing their level best to bring about WWIII and ruin this country in the process. Unfortunately, their level best is pretty good when destruction is concerned.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
See Obama’s star fall from the sky
Every dream he ever spun was a lie
Here’s the one bitter lesson of Obama’s history
His soul should no longer remain a mystery
So many stories to rearrange
What reality is reveling becomes ever more strange
And he has so many false faces
Any truth left in his mind erases
With all those lies
Dancing in his empty eyes!
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree with jbspry - did Kerry real say this stuff, or is this from the Onion? Kerry babbles like a word sausage grinder, none of anything he says means anything.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Blaming Bush is getting more than a little old!
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama and Kerry are both infected with that disease the affects a lot of "Progressives."

They are sure that they are smarter that everyone else and that they have "The Answer" to solving whatever problems they encounter.

They are also convinced that they are so persuasive that everyone will see how right they are and will immediately agree once they have explained it.

When faced with the fact that even after they have made their extremely clear explanations there are many that still do not agree with them the only explanation they can see is "racism" or profiteering.

After all, they reason, there is no good reason for disagreeing with them after having the smartest people in the world explain things.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perfectly put! Liberals are hilariously pretentious asses.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
“I’ve heard a rumor about, a quote not being invited sort of, but I’m not sure I’m going, regardless of that, whether or not we have certain things that we’re trying to figure out in terms of the logistics on the ground and what is possible...”

This man speaks for the most powerful nation on earth? Good God almighty!
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All