UPDATES 6 pm Israel time Saturday:
Massacres of rebel prisoners in Aleppo Syria, Hezbollah convoys ambushed in Lebanon, Turkish rioters against the “fascist Erdogan” tear gassed: the Middle East has just been one big happy place today.
In Israel, violent disturbances have centered on Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem during the last 24 hours with grenades and Molotov cocktails being thrown at Israeli security personnel.
The Palestinian deadline is ticking down. As you may not know, June 7th is the date that the Palestinians have declared as being the moment that they will begin to “pursue other options” against Israel if John Kerry’s efforts to get both sides to the so-called “negotiations table” fail.
Of course, there is no such thing as a deadline in the Middle East–particularly where the Palestinians are concerned.
Having said that, your humble servant was struck by some statements made by the Palestinian leadership yesterday, a leadership which is not even maintaining a pretense that it wants to “negotiate” about anything.
*Mahmoud Abbas, PLO Chairman: “Without Jerusalem being the capital of the Palestinian state there will be no political solution. Jerusalem is the essence of the State of Palestine. It is in the hearts of all Palestinians and Arabs and Muslims. We won’t leave this land despite all the pressure and assaults.”
“Jerusalem” again. Not “east Jerusalem”. Playing the victim card for the millionth time: “we won’t leave this land despite all the pressure and assaults.”
*Hanna Amireh, PLO Executive Committee member: “[Kerry] is only talking about about development in the context of an unrealistic economic plan. He only wants to talk about borders and security.”
Your humble servant thought that the Palestinians only cared about borders (of course I’m being facetious–we all know that they only want Israel and could care less about “1967” borders and security).
*Saeeb Erekat, Chief Palestinian negotiator: “All of Israel is saying that he [Abbas] is not a peace partner. They are talking about the need to get rid of him. He could meet the same fate as Yasser Arafat who was besieged and died for his principles.”
Yasser Arafat died for his principles? Here we go again with the canard that Israel killed Arafat (by the way, whatever happened to the reexamination of Arafat’s remains?)
Tayseer Khalid, PLO Executive Committee member: “There will be no return to the negotiating table with Israel as per the Israeli terms and conditions. Halting the Israeli colony construction in the West Bank and freezing the Israeli construction in occupied East Jerusalem along with an Israeli recognition of the 1967 border are the Palestinian demands to restart the peace talks. We hope the EU states and the Arab states would not support Kerry in pressing the Palestinians.This is a Palestinian sovereign decision with no room for bargain or compromise.”
No room for bargain or compromise. Well at least Khalid is honest–there has never been any room for bargain or compromise with the Palestinians.
The only thing that remains is to see how many concessions that Tzipi Livni and Benjamin Netanyahu can offer the Palestinians between now and June 7th. Your humble servant suspects that there will be a breathtaking torrent of them emanating from Jerusalem.