Report: Kerry Sees Abbas as Impeding U.S. Peace Efforts


kerry-abbas-peresAn Israeli source familiar with Secretary of State Kerry’s efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations said that in recent weeks American pressure on PA President Abbas has increased substantially. Kerry has explained to Abbas that he does not intend to cooperate with his preconditions. Furthermore, Kerry asserted that as of now it is Abbas who is considered by the Obama administration to be the recalcitrant party that is impeding American efforts. Kerry made it clear that if his efforts fail, he won’t hesitate to hold Abbas responsible.

Last week Abbas told U.S. visitors that he is willing to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu without preconditions in order to discuss ways to renew negotiations. Yet it would be a mistake to think that Abbas has given up his preconditions and is ready to resume negotiations tomorrow. Ultimately, this is a tactical maneuver that is designed to improve his position ahead of Kerry’s arrival on Wednesday. All Abbas has done is to humor Kerry and shift some of the pressure onto Netanyahu.

Netanyahu believes that Abbas is interested in meeting with him or resuming negotiations only in order to foment a crisis that will enable him to shift responsibility to Israel and to resume his statehood bid at the UN. That is why Netanyahu is emphasizing that his goal is not simply to restart peace negotiations, but to truly attempt to resolve the issues at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Netanyahu has mapped out 21 issues to be discussed and wants negotiations led by professional teams, with weekly meetings.

{ Israel News Bureau}