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Did Kerry Blame Israel for Breakdown in Peace Talks? (4 articles)

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Israeli Settlement Plan Derailed Peace Talks, Kerry Says – Mark Landler
(dailylalert.org, Apr. 9. 2014)

(Click on the title to see the whole article…Ed.)

Explaining to senators why his latest efforts to bring together Israelis and Palestinians had almost broken down, Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that the precipitating event was Israel’s announcement of 700 new housing units in Jerusalem.

    Aaron David Miller, a longtime Middle East peace negotiator, said Kerry’s emphasis on housing could complicate his efforts to get the process back on track. “He’ll get no points with it from the Palestinians, rattle Netanyahu’s cage, and make the Israeli political situation more complex by focusing on Israeli building not in the West Bank but in Jerusalem,” said Miller, now at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. (New York Times)


Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

By Jonathan Tobin, jewishworldreview.com, Apr. 9, 2014

Click here for article

Quiet Steps Short of Peace Ease Jewish-Arab Relations – Ira Sharkansky
(dailyalert.org, Apr. 9, 2014)
(Click on the title to see the whole article….Ed.)
Thanks to Oslo, Israel leaves Palestinians to run their own affairs. Exceptions occur when it is necessary to send in the troops for the sake of Israelis’ security. By all the signs, the world will have to accept the anomaly of a Palestine short of statehood, with substantial but incomplete autonomy – a state recognized by others but not by Israel, that will continue to surround all of Palestine-West Bank and most of Palestine-Gaza. Egypt sits on the short part of Gaza’s borders, and is currently no more friendly to the Gazans than is Israel.

    Things have improved in recent years, despite the dim prospects for Kerry’s process. The Palestinian leadership seems to have learned from their periods of violence not to provoke the Israelis with anything more than words. Continued conversations between various groups of Palestinian and Israeli technocrats have reduced violence to a manageable level, allowed more easy movement for Palestinians throughout the West Bank and into Israel, and the entry of more to Israel on a daily basis for work. These steps have served to increase investments and living standards for West Bank Palestinians. The writer is professor emeritus of political science at Hebrew University.(San Diego Jewish World)


And this, from theisraelproject.org, Apr. 8, 2014

The State Department went on offense late Tuesday to correct what spokeswoman Jen Psaki underlined was wrongheaded media coverage of Congressional testimony given earlier in the day by Secretary of State John Kerry, in which statements by Kerry were widely described as having blamed Israel for the breakdown in peace talks between Jerusalem and the Palestinians. Psaki quickly took to Twitter to emphasize that Kerry had been “crystal clear” in not blaming one side over the other, and that he had “even singled out by name Prime Minister Netanyahu for having made courageous decisions throughout [the] process.” A more formal statement provided to reporters by the State Department repeated those tweets almost verbatim. Initial media coverage had largely echoed the descriptions provided by a quickly published article in Israel’s left-leaning Haaretz, which stated that Kerry had placed the blame for failed peace talks on Israel (Haaretz subsequently changed the subhead of that article to gesture toward criticism of its coverage, shifting from “Secretary of state says Israel did not release prisoners on time, approved construction in Jerusalem and ‘poof’ we found ourselves where we are” to “U.S. officials later try to play down Kerry’s comments, saying he did not engage in a blame game and that both sides took ‘unhelpful steps'”). Any timeline that holds Israel responsible for the breakdown in talks would be taken in many quarters as strained. Conveying Kerry’s Congressional statements, for instance, the Los Angeles Times tersely noted that “the announcement on the housing units came as the Palestinians were refusing to agree to continue the peace talks.” The permits themselves were not new tenders, but were part of a reissued call for the construction of homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. Construction in that part of Jerusalem has often vexed analysts, journalists, and diplomats trying to grasp the dynamics of the peace process. Columnist Jeffrey Goldberg, who at the time was advocating that the Obama administration “talk to Israel” about settlements in the West Bank, attempted to shed light on the issue back in 2009, explaining that “[t]he building of apartments in Gilo is irrelevant to eventual disposition of Jerusalem because everyone – the Americans, the Palestinians and the Israelis – knows that Gilo… will undoubtedly end up in Israel as part of a negotiated solution… [i]t doesn’t matter, then, if the Israelis build 900 housing units in Gilo or 900 skyscrapers: Gilo will be kept by Israel in exchange for a one-to-one land swap with Palestine.” 
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  • Published: 8 years ago on April 9, 2014
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  • Last Modified: April 9, 2014 @ 7:50 pm
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