Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Flame Flickers for Kerry's "Peace" Process

Arafat-Style, Abbas Playing with Fire - Avi Issacharoff

PA President Mahmoud Abbas signed on papers to join 15 international charters in a live broadcast on official television, surrounded by members of the Palestinian leadership.

(Times of Israel)

Palestinian UN Bid Throws Talks into Confusion
- William Booth and Anne Gearan

PA President Mahmoud Abbas defied American diplomats by unilaterally signing more than a dozen UN treaties, endangering the U.S.-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. 

It was clear that Abbas' move blindsided the U.S., which was trying to broker a new deal for prisoner releases sought by the Palestinians and an extension of the peace talks.
(Washington Post)

Bad Move on Jonathan Pollard - Editorial

The emergence of Jonathan Pollard as a bargaining chip in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations is a lamentable sign of America's desperation to keep both sides talking. The proposal would do nothing to advance progress on the core issues of a peace deal. After nine months of talks, there is no sign of progress on any of these issues. 

(New York Times)

An Unseemly U.S. Prisoner Swap - Editorial

Leaving aside the unseemliness of using Pollard as a negotiating pawn, it's hard to see how the interests of peace are served by returning people with terrorist convictions to Palestinian streets. If Pollard is to be released, let it be on humanitarian grounds, not as part of some hostage-like diplomatic swap.

(Wall Street Journal)

The Jonathan Pollard Trial Balloon - Edward-Isaac Dovere

Experienced negotiators say the Pollard trial balloon itself might be the clearest sign yet that the peace process is essentially over once again.

For Pollard's release to ever be used in negotiations, time's running out: he's expected to be released in November 2015 anyway.

"It shows a certain weakness and desperation," said Aaron David Miller, a former State Department senior adviser on the region.

"If, after 30 years, we think that Pollard should be released for humanitarian reasons, then we should release him now. We should not make his release part of complicated negotiations with Palestinians and Israelis over some talks that may not last more than a few weeks anyway," said Elliott Abrams, a former deputy national security adviser. "We are asking Israel to release terrorists. We should not be doing that," Abrams said. "Terrorists that kill Americans don't get released. And we should not be asking Israel to." 


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