John Kerry

John Kerry Pushing 'Compromise' in Peace Talks Israel Suspended After Fatah-Hamas Unity Deal

Talk is cheap


Secretary of State John Kerry insisted there was "always a way forward" in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he was suspending those talks after Hamas (which has controlled the government in the Gaza Strip since a 2006 election) and Fatah (the ruling party in the West Bank and of the Palestinian Authority) announced a deal to work on a unity government and hold elections next year.

Kerry said Israeli and Palestinian leaders had to "make the compromises necessary," but didn't specify what those were, saying the decisions were up to the leaders themselves. Although currently on a tour of Europe to drum up support for sanctions against Russia over Ukraine, Kerry started his tenure as secretary of state last year by spending months pushing for a restart of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

According to a report on Israeli television station Channel 10, Netanyahu had authorized negotiators to talk about the borders of a future Palestinian state, a first. Aides to Netanyahu deny it. Israel suspended peace talks because it identifies Hamas as a terrorist group and oppose its inclusion in any government it would negotiate with. Hamas' prime minister, in turn, blamed Israel's response on the "occupation" and said it didn't want Palestinians to be "united."

A few days before the Fatah-Hamas deal was announced, Palestinian journalist Saud Abu Ramadan suggested in an op-ed that the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority's only remaining course of action was to dissolve itself "and thus render the Palestinian territories a state under occupation" which, he argued, would contribute to international pressure on Israel.

An analysis by Dan Perry of the Associated Press suggests three directions the Israeli-Palestinian situation could play out in from an Israeli policy perspective: an agreement on borders for a Palestinian state that would include some compromise on Jerusalem; a unilateral pull-out from the West Bank (as former prime minister Ariel Sharon did in the Gaza Strip), possibly linked with a military occupation; or the eventual emergence of a single state. Perry suggests the third option could happen absent action on the issue, a "logical long-term default." Perry reports Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas threatened something similar when he told Israeli lawmakers at a recent meeting he'd "hand over the keys" of his government for Israel to deal with.

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  1. Does anyone actually think the ten millionth round of peace talks is newsworthy? Using my powers of prophecy I can tell you exactly how this will go.

    Jordan is Palestine.

    1. Honestly, the whole Palestinian/Israeli thing just makes my brain hurt. Your solution is as good as anything I’ve ever heard.

  2. remaining course of action was to dissolve Gorras Rockstar baratas itself “and thus render the Palestinian territories a state under occupation” which, he argued, would contribute to international pressure on Israel.

    1. Makes as much sense as most other commentary on this petty border dispute that unaccountably has become The Most Important Issue Ever.

  3. The only explaination for the widespread support of the “Palestinians” that I have ever encountered that made any godsdeamned sense is that it is a socially acceptable way to be anti-semitic.

    1. “All those with whom I disagree are racist, period.”

  4. Since Hamas calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, it ought to be simple for Israel to commit to serious peace talks with Hamas provided Hamas formally accepts Israel’s right to exist and accepts the rights of all Jews everywhere to live without fear of targeting by Hamas.

    With those prior commitments, Israel would then have little or no reason to oppose talks and then the peace process with Hamas could move forward. But without them, why would anyone chose to negotiate with an organization which formally calls for your elimination?

  5. It’s kinda hard making peace with folks that send hundreds of missiles at you daily.

  6. In other news, John Kerry flails about the globe in an unsuccessful quest for his legacy…

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