Israel & Palestinians Were Holding Secret Talks…Until Bibi Stepped In & Stopped Them

Yeah, he’s a real peacemaker, that Bibi Netanyahu:

Coming up to September and the UN bid by the Palestinian Authority, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu claims that the Palestinians refuse to negotiate with his government, and therefore urges the world to oppose their diplomatic moves, “in the interest of peace.”

Many echo this talking point: It’s being voiced no not only by advocates for the Israeli right in America (here, here, here, and here) but also by critics of the current Israeli government, sources in the Obama administration and even an editorial in the New York Times.

I intend to write a separate post on the way Israel is manipulating the world’s public opinion by using the term “peace” when it actually means maintaining the status quo; I also have my doubts on the UN bid and the false notion of “Palestinian statehood” when in reality the occupation only deepens—a better idea might be to dismantle the PA altogether—but it is important to note that even on this very issue of negotiations, the Israeli prime minister and the people speaking in his name are far from telling the whole truth.

As various media outlets in Israel have revealed that in recent weeks, Israeli president Shimon Peres has had a secret negotiating channel with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. According to a report in the daily Maariv, Peres—who has often acted as an unofficial envoy for the government, given the rivalry between Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the latter’s poor image in the world—has met with Abbas four times, discussing various details regarding the resumption of formal negotiations between the two parties. In-between these meetings, Peres also had a one-on-one with president Obama, which could be indicative of the importance attributed to these talks.

Netanyahu was aware of Peres’s moves, and according to the Israeli president’s closer circles, approved them. Yet a couple of weeks ago, Netanyahu surprisingly called off a meeting between Peres and Abu-Mazen, effectively closing the secret channel.

According to Maariv, the Palestinian president was already on his way to Amman, where the meeting was supposed to take place, when an aide to Peres notified him over the phone that the meeting was cancelled at the order of the Israeli PM. According to Netanyahu’s associates, this wasn’t a good time for an understanding with the Palestinians, given the political circumstances in Israel, Ben Caspit reported.
[emphasis added]

As far as Netanyahu is concerned, it’s never “a good time for an understanding with the Palestinians.” The last excuse was that it wasn’t a good time because of the Arab Spring. Prior to that it was because of Iran’s purported nuclear weapons program, etc. etc.

You would think that the BibiBots and peace rejectionists in the U.S. would start to, well, admit that Bibi has no interest in a negotiated solution to the crisis. His hope is that he can maintain the status quo of creating facts on the ground (the illegal settlement expansion) while simultaneously claiming he’d really love to sit down and negotiate with the Palestinians but gee, he just has no partner for peace! And why not, given members of Congress seem to be more loyal to the Prime Minister of Israel than they are to their own President.

All of this just reinforces how patently absurd it is for the State Department and White House to continue to waste their time (and taxpayer money) trying to bully the world into opposing the Palestinians’ bid for statehood at the United Nations in September. It’s like batting at the fly on the wall while totally ignoring the 800lb. gorilla in the middle of the room.

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About Stacy

Attorney, Publisher, Foreign Policy wonk

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13 Comments on “Israel & Palestinians Were Holding Secret Talks…Until Bibi Stepped In & Stopped Them”

  1. Steve Says:

    Bibi was probably worried they were making progress. It’s funny because the one thing that could prevent Abbas from going to the UN in September is REAL progress in negotiations and yet Bibi sabotages it. If I were the Secretary of State I would call Bibi and say “you can’t have it both ways, keep this up and we’ll abstain in Sept.” but of course she won’t do that because this administration is on bended knee when it comes to Israel. Today’s State Dept. press briefing describes Hillary’s conversation with Bibi yesterday as “warm.” Warm? They just approved over 1500 new illegal settlements in the past two weeks, stopped their secret meetings with the Palestinians and told the US they won’t apologize to Turkey for murdering the people on the Mavi Marmara. She should have told Bibi to go fuck himself.

    The kicker is the State Dept. is always banging on about how important the US-Turkey and Turkey-Israel relationship is and Israel knows that they can continue to ensure Israeli-Turkish ties are in the crapper because the State Dept. will work overtime to help Israel. The State Dept. has been working to fix the impasse between Turkey and Israel. Why? Why can’t Israel fix it’s own damn mess. Stacy is right, Israel doesn’t act like a sovereign state they act like a spoiled toddler. They are incapable of doing anything without having the US there to hold their hand.

    Everything Israel does creates more work for the State Dept. Bibi purposely sabotages all these things and screams “jump” and the Obama administration yells back “how high?” It’s truly pathetic to watch.


  2. Carolyn-Rodham Says:

    Stacy, I wondered what you make of reports that Israel “retaliated” today for a “terrorist attack” on a bus yesterday (which I never heard about, did you?) by bombing Gaza. Puzzling thing is Israel claims attacks were carried out by “Al Qaeda-affiliated” terrorists who snuck across the Egyptian border — but this was CLEARLY at the behest of the Palestinians, so Gaza should be bombed. Egypt denied the attackers came across their border and drily suggested it may have been the Israelis themselves who organized the attack. Why does that seem totally plausible to me? One reason is that a photo of the scene of yesterday’s supposed terrorist attack showed an entirely INTACT bus with no signs of carnage and nayhem. I don’t believe a word that comes out of Bibi’s mouth anymore and regard him as fully capable of such deliberate, truly evil, deception.


    • stacyx Says:

      Nice to see you!

      Hmmm…that’s a loaded question. I guess I’d start by saying the attack was horrible and wrong- no justification for killing like this.

      Hamas has denied responsibility for the attacks and if they had perpetrated them, they would not deny it. Hamas has actually been trying to reign in other more extreme Salafist groups that have been sending rockets into Israel of late.

      Ehud Barak said something interesting yesterday- he said that the attack on Israel would have a “price tag” and Israel would retaliate- the term “price tag” has a very specific meaning- it means retaliating against a group of people irrespective of whether those people were responsible for the attack. Settlers engage in price tag attacks against Palestinians whenever settlements are halted. They just go out and randomly attack whatever Palestinians they come across.

      You are basically asking if this is a false flag attack. I honestly don’t know. I think most of us would like to believe that not even Bibi would do something like that. But Israel has engaged in false flag attacks before, but it has been a long time.—newly-declassified-files-106968098.html

      Last week I posted an article from Israeli independent media that said Bibi might try to change the focus away from the #J14 social protests onto terrorism because that is one thing that unites the nation behind the prime minister.

      Some on the Israeli left have noted that the Israeli govt has retaliated against Gaza w/o offering one bit of evidence in support of their claim that these terrorists had crossed through the Sinai and were somehow affiliated with Gaza/Hamas or Al Qaeda.

      We may never know because there are special rules for Israel- when a crime or act of terrorism is committed they never need to show proof of who committed it- they just retaliate against all of Gaza and the US rubber stamps it.

      I’ll search the internet and try to find some of the commentary raising issues about how this is all a bit too convenient for Bibi.

      BTW, the US has engaged in false flag attacks although not against US citizens. The CIA did it to oust Iran’s democratically elected leader, Mohammed Mosaddeq, in 1953.


    • thainjacobs Says:

      oh my god- is it really carolyn rodham? I thought you went missing and that we’d see your name on a milk carton! Welcome back stranger.

      I honestly think almost any country isn’t above a false flag attack but it’s a whole different thing to carry out the attack against your own people. I think it’s clear Bibi is thrilled with this- he’s happiest when the world sees him and the Israeli people as eternal victims. What happened was tragic and there is no justification for it just like there is no justification for shooting and killing dozens of unarmed Palestinian civilians in the Golan region.

      I was on Twitter last night and all the Israel firsters in this country- Noah Pollak, John Podhoretz, Jen Rubin, Rachel Abrams etc. were absolutely gleeful that they could run around saying “I told you so, these Palestinians are nothing but animals” and the like. It’s really sick how they seem to need this stuff to happen so they can be the victims, despite the fact that they live in New York and not Israel and they are totally safe, sound and privileged in all aspects- they are hardly victims.

      What Israel and the US don’t get is this is the logical result of not ending the occupation b/c it just feeds terrorism.

      I’ve given up on the Obama admin. Hillary and Obama sent out statements about the attack on Israel but they never seem to really care when innocent Palestinians are killed. Ever since reading the State Dept awarded that money to that Islamophobic Israel Lobby group I’ve lost all respect. The State Dept. didn’t have to do that. The pandering makes me want to vomit.


      • Carolyn-Rodham Says:

        Yes, it’s really me — taking advantage of my first day of vacation to catch up on world news!

        What puzzles me about this bus shooting incident is that within hours after the attack, Israel responded with an airstrike that killed five members the Popular Resistance Committees, including the group’s leader (and a 8-year old boy who happened to be in the house with the PRC members). So, within hours of the bus incident, even as they are still chasing gunmen (and mistakenly killing 3 Egyptians in the process), Israel has determined exactly which faction of Palestinian “terrorists” is responsible, has located the faction’s leadership, and takes them out? That’s extraordinarily efficient investigation, even for the IDF…Could it be Israel had been planning to take out the PRC and used/created this incident to justify its actions? Also, if Bibi was so certain that the PRC was responsible, why did he go out of his way to implicate Hamas? I find the whole thing despicable.


        • Stacy Says:

          Happy vacation!

          I read in a couple of places, including haaretz, that Israel was warned of the attack ahead of time by multiple sources but they didn’t respond to the warning? Interesting. Israel’s intelligence (Mossad) is supposedly one of the best in the world but they had to be warned by Jordan? And then they don’t act on it? Could it be that they didn’t act because it would provide the casus belli to distract from the domestic protests, bolster Bibi’s claim about unsafe borders and legitimize a blanket attack on Gaza? It all seems just so convenient.

          And you’re right, they seemed to assign responsibility, and act on it, pretty quickly.

          I’ve read a bunch of different things but I can’t figure out how Bibi knows it’s Hamas when really nothing points in that direction. The PRC isn’t Hamas and as far as I know it’s a rival faction.

          The other thing is, apparently these PRC leaders that were killed were all hanging out together in Gaza- in the same building? How f*cking stupid is that? Why not go into Egypt where the IDF and Israel can’t reach you? The whole thing just stinks.

          It’s also interesting that Israel gets to kill like 10 people, including civilians, for every one Israeli killed. You can bet that there will be many more Palestinians killed in the coming days. So it’s ok for Israel to send a message by not only killing purported terrorists but really killing anyone who happens to be in Gaza, guilty or not? And Israel will never have to show even one ounce of proof that the people they are killing were responsible for the attack.


        • thainjacobs Says:

          @Carolyn- well I for one am glad to see you. For the record, I expect you to post at least one comment a day, and vacation is no excuse to not join in since I assume that pretty much everyone has a smart phone with web access 🙂

          In other news, Palestinians are dying. Don’t know if they were responsible for any of what happened but I guess that doesn’t matter. I ran across these statistics over at Mondoweiss- The IDF kills (on average) one palestinian every two days:

          The statistics at the link above don’t even include the 1,500 Palestinians killed in Cast Lead.

          Now, where’s the outrage? The death of 8 Jewish Israelis is a senseless tragedy. Nothing justifies it. However, the death of Palestinian civilians is equally senseless and tragic and yet it happens all the time. When a Jewish Israeli dies Israel responds with disproportionate force, punishing anybody and everybody who might be an Arab. Yet when a Palestinian is killed do they run around shooting Jewish people? Are there price tag attacks? No.

          I am guessing about 99.9% of Americans have no idea how many innocent Palestinians die at the hands of the IDF. The question is, why don’t they know? Because the media doesn’t tell them. Why doesn’t the media tell them? Would someone please answer that for me? Please?


  3. Stacy Says:

    I was just on twitter and palestinians in Gaza are on Twitter live-tweeting and saying as we speak the whole area is being bombed. Israeli fighter jets are bombing and explosions are everywhere. I guess more collective punishment. I can’t even imagine what that is like. Anyone ever heard a bomb go off?


  4. Stacy Says:

    The Israel Firsters in Congress are using the tragedy to promote their own Israel First agenda. They are saying the attack proves the Palestinian statehood bid must be stopped and some are saying all funds to the PA must be stopped. Apples and oranges. What does the PA have to do with any of this. Oh, right, nothing.

    Honestly, I’ve come to the conclusion that must Americans are dumb as rocks when it comes to knowing what is going on over there. How many people do you think know which areas Israel occupies? How many even know where Gaza is or which countries border Israel. And yet they all KNOW that the PA are a bunch of murdering terrorists that won’t recognize Israel’s right to exist, except of course the PA has renounced violence and HAS recognized Israel’s right to exist.


  5. seamus6 Says:

    As tragic as any death is it’s hard to feel sorry for Israel when the deaths of Palestinians go unremarked on. How many Palestinians die every month? How much provocation do they endure? What happened yesterday was not justified- the civilian deaths. Targeting civilians is never justified. Yet that’s exactly what the IDF does ALL THE TIME. It’s only wrong when Arabs do it. The IDF can kidnap Palestinian kids and torture them, they can bulldoze homes, hit palestinian women at checkpoints, cut off the water supply, the electricity and detain members of the nonviolent resistance indefinitely and not a peep from the Superpower USA. But boy, a Jewish Israeli dies and stop the press! It’s revenge time and if Israel kills hundreds of Palestinians that’s just fine with the world, even if most of them were civilians that had nothing to do with the original terror attack.

    I have a feeling Bibi Netanyahu and his Likud followers in the US and UK are as happy as a pig in shit right now. There is nothing they love more than to play the victim and enact revenge.


  6. Stacy Says:

    BTW I am following Arab news and twitter right now and apparently tanks are at the Gaza border, fighter jets have been bombing all day and Hamas is now considering ending it’s ceasefire with Israel – yes, they had been observing a ceasefire which makes it even less likely Hamas had anything to do with this. The media, of course, never mentions that Hamas actually observes the ceasefire and rocket attacks from Gaza are the result of rival Salafist factions that Hamas can’t control.

    Israel’s very heavy handed response is tying Hamas’ hands- if Hamas doesn’t respond in the face of a full force aerial and ground bombardment by Israel then they will be seen as weak so they may start to fight back, at which point we will have Cast Lead II and it will be a blood bath.


  7. IsraelForever Says:

    You all are nothing but a bunch of raving antisemites.

    I hope Israel destroys Gaza and everyone in it. Israel has every right to defend itself against these murdering thugs that you all seem to care so much about. No other country would tolerate this.

    This is all the result of the so-called Arab Spring which no doubt you liberal losers cheered on. Egypt has become a swamp filled with the Muslim Brotherhood and other patrons of Hamas. If Egypt acts against Israel I hope Israel will respond in kind and crush the Egyptian Jew-haters.

    Maybe when Hussein Obama is out of office we’ll have a president that actually cares about our only ally in the Middle East and who will do something about Iran, Syria and Egypt.


    • Carolyn-Rodham Says:

      Let’s see…you want to maasacre the 1.4 million Palestinians living in Gaza. How about the 2.4 million living in the West Bank? And the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Israel? Should we kill them, too? What about the 300,000 Palestinians — terrorists, all — living in Egypt? While you’re at it, better hunt down the 250,000
      Palestinians (read: “sleeper cells”) living right here in the USA. Lemme see… That adds up to nearly six million Palestinian men, women, and children. Six million.
      Then Israel would be truly safe. As she has every right to be.


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