“Israel’s practices will prompt the Palestinian leadership to demand the intervention of international courts and institutions against these war crimes, racist acts and violations of all international laws and conventions."
Let us not forget that this was a major goal of Kerry's in getting the two sides to the table before September -- to keep the PA from going to the UN in a unilateral move.
Whether the PA (Abbas) will really go to the UN on this remains to be seen. This might just as easily be a threat -- part of the classic PA MO -- in the hopes of getting Kerry to pressure Israel to stop building.
But what we know with total certainty -- and all those analysts who have their heads screwed on properly warned of this -- is that the PA is not ready for compromise and will not proceed in good faith with talks. At some point, PA leaders will look for the excuse that will allow them to bow out.
If Abbas decides to play it by going to the UN or international courts, Israel would be incredibly foolish and self-defeating to continue to sit at the table. And so, either way...
It is a reasonable prediction that in the end, Kerry -- who pushed parties, who are impossibly far apart on the issues, to come to the table -- will have shown himself to be too smart by half.
On the issue of Palestinian Authority participation in peace talks, see what Khaled Abu Toameh says (emphasis added):
"At the request of the Palestinian Authority leadership, the first round of peace talks with Israel, which was launched in Jerusalem on August 14, was held away from the media spotlight.
"The Palestinian Authority leadership requested that no journalist or photographer be permitted to cover the meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
"Even the location of the peace talks was kept a secret, again at the request of the Palestinian Authority leadership.
"The Palestinian Authority's request for secrecy in the peace talks does not stem from its desire to secure the success of the negotiations.
"The main reason the Palestinian Authority does not want the media to cover the peace talks is related to its fear of the reactions of Palestinians and the Arab world.
"Mahmoud Abbas is already facing widespread opposition among Palestinians to his controversial decision -- which was taken under heavy pressure from US Secretary of State John Kerry -- to return to the negotiating table with Israel.
"It is not as if the Palestinian Authority is saying: We care so much about the peace talks that we prefer to avoid media coverage in order to make sure that the peace process succeeds
"A photo of Erekat and Livni standing together in Washington has since been exploited by Facebook and Twitter activists to hurl insults and profanity at the chief Palestinian negotiator.
"Palestinian sources in Ramallah said that Erekat felt so offended by the insults and obscene language directed against him that he decided that there was no need for 'photo op' with Livni or any other Israeli.
"Both Abbas and Erekat are fully aware of the growing opposition among Palestinians and Arabs to the resumption of the peace talks with Israel under the terms of the US Administration.
"That is why the two men do not want to be seen sitting in a room with any Israeli representative. They know that any photo of Erekat and Livni shaking hands or sitting together would provide their enemies with additional ammunition.
"Those who think that the opposition to the peace talks is coming only from Hamas and other radical groups are either ignorant or turning a blind eye to the reality...
"To further complicate matters for Abbas and Erekat, several Palestinian factions are now in the process of forming a 'national alliance' the main goal of which is to thwart any deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This rejectionist front will consist of various PLO and other factions and organizations and could create many problems for the Palestinian Authority.
"But there is another reason why the Palestinian Authority leadership does not want media coverage of the peace talks. For many years, the Palestinian Authority has been supporting boycott campaigns against Israel, as well as organizations combating 'normalization' with Israelis.
"If Palestinian children are condemned for playing football with Israelis, why should it be acceptable for Erekat to be talking with Livni?"
An unexpected irony is with regard to Egypt.
Two days ago, the NYTimes -- the anti-Israel mouthpiece for the Obama administration -- accused Israel of "undercutting" an American message to Gen. al-Sisi that was designed to "defuse" the situation in Egypt and prevent violence.
But any notion by Obama that the US might have forged a compromise, in the spirit of cooperative democracy, that would have forestalled the current situation was a pipedream. It wasn't going to happen.
The Times charged Israel with assuring al-Sisi that he didn't have to compromise because the US wouldn't really follow through on threats to cut off financial support.
Israel denies having done this.
In point of fact, cutting of funds would likely bring Egypt to a far greater disaster than we are currently seeing, leading to an indecisive civil war that might cause the implosion of Egypt as a functioning state.
This is well understood here in Israel. And what Israeli leaders have done is to lobby Western governments not to levy punitive actions against the military regime.
As the JPost today cited on Israeli official:
"The name of the game right now is not democracy. The name of the game is that there needs to be a functioning state. After you put Egypt back on track, then talk about restarting the democratic process there."
Said this official, the present reality is that the only actor that can assert authority in Egypt and keep it from descending into chaos is the military. "Like it or not, no one else can run the country right now...You can scold Sisi all you wish, but at the end of the day, you want a functional government to rule the country."
As is not infrequently the case, Israeli leaders "get" the situation far better than Western leaders do. Will the Western governments paid heed? I'm not sure. But there is an exquisite irony for me in the current situation.
Israeli leaders are addressing the realities as they see them. But who would have imagined a few months ago that it would be Israel defending the Egyptian regime. Quite a turn-around. And, it is to be hoped, we will see a whole new dynamic between Jerusalem and Cairo. Hints of this already exist.
Yesterday's posting was so heavy, I wanted to end today with a link to a video that shines a very positive and uplifting light on Israelis.