This paper reports:
...Israel has agreed to a long-standing Palestinian demand to release Palestinian prisoners in order to resume peace talks, but will not yield on other central issues, International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Saturday..."There will be some release of prisoners," Steinitz told Israel Radio. "I don''t want to give numbers but there will be heavyweight prisoners who have been in jail for dozens of years," he said. The release would be carried out in phases, he added.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is approaching the problematic phenomenon of "uber chochom" (becoming too smart for one''s own good).
As it was announced:
PM Netanyahu''s Remarks Following US Secy. of State John Kerry''s Announcement on the Resumption of the Diplomatic Process(Communicated by the Prime Minister''s Media Adviser)Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening (Saturday, 20 July 2013), released the following statement in the wake of US Secretary of State John Kerry''s announcement on the resumption of the diplomatic process [Here it is: On behalf of President Obama, I am pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis. This is a significant and welcome step forward. The agreement is still in the process of being formalized, so we are absolutely not going to talk about any of the elements now. Any speculation or reports you may read in the media or elsewhere or here in the press are conjecture. They are not based on fact because the people who know the facts are not talking about them. The parties have agreed that I will be the only one making further comments about this.]"I view the resumption of the diplomatic process at this time as a vital strategic interest of the State of Israel. It is important in and of itself in order to try and bring about the conclusion of the conflict between us and the Palestinians, and it is important in light of the strategic challenges that are before us, mainly from Iran and Syria.
As I have said to interlocutors - Bibi will say and do almost anything in order to obtain US backing for an attack on Iran.
But he then adds an element he did not have to include:
With the resumption of the diplomatic process, we are faced with two main goals: Preventing the creation of a bi-national state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River that would endanger the future of the Jewish state and preventing the establishment of an additional Iranian-sponsored terrorist state on Israel''s borders, which would endanger us no less.
A bi-national state does not necessarily need to be established and there are additional options, such as confederation, autonomy and condominium.
And he returns to his principled commitment which he continues to undermine by going too far in his verbal dandying:
...As Prime Minister of Israel, I am committed, first and foremost, to the security of the citizens of Israel and I will strongly uphold the security demands of the State of Israel, as well as its vital interests."
As Shmuel Katz wrote in “Missing Mandate” (The Jerusalem Post, July 19, 1985):
The U.S. government has a view of its own, firmly held and untiringly pursued for years. It accepts implicitly the essential Arab premises and their demands. The origins of its policy are in the traditional hostility to Zionism in the State Department. … It ignores the history of the Arab aggression against the State of Israel since its birth, and has cooperated in Arab efforts to ensure that they should not be deprived of the fruits of their aggression. The Rogers Plan of 1969, the Reagan Plan of 1982, and all the intervening plans and planlets often accompanied by words of sympathy for Israel and concern for her security, are all expressive of these dominant themes.
and in “Return to Square One” (The Jerusalem Post, April 16, 1982):
He [Menachem Begin] shut his mind to the knowledge — which he himself had so often disseminated —that surrender of territory, far from advancing peace, and weakening, as it must, the power of Israeli resistance, would only strengthen Arab belief and confidence that Israel could be overrun.
Yes, that status of uber-chochom is getting quite real. We now have this:
Israel''s pre-1967 borders will be the basis of renewed peace talks between Palestine and Israel, according to a letter U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gave to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas which guaranteed the stipulation.After Abbas received the Kerry letter, he agreed to resume peace talks with Israel, two senior Palestinian officials said Saturday...the U.S. letter also stipulated that both sides are to refrain from taking any steps that would jeopardize the outcome of the talks. Israel is not to issue new tenders for Jewish settlements in the West Bank, while the Palestinians are not to pursue diplomatic action against Israel at any international organizations, the officials said on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to brief the media.
Netanyhau is stretching things out and something and someone may snap.
Well, we now have this:
RAMALLAH, July 20, 2013 (WAFA) – ...presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said that “as a result of the meetings and long discussions with President Abbas in the last few days, progress was made...The leadership has insisted on Israel agreeing to hold talks based on the 1967 borders, which include the entire West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. and this: The Palestinian government in Gaza Strip has considered the PA''s decision to resume talks with the Israelis a “betrayal” that does not represent the Palestinian people’s will.
Dr. Yousef Rizqa, Political Adviser to the Palestinian Prime Minister [Ismail Haniyeh], strongly condemned the PA acceptance to resume talks under Israeli and US conditions, saying that it came in total contradiction to the Palestinian people and factions'' will. He confirmed that these illegitimate and illegal talks will provide a cover to the Israeli settlement schemes.
The PLO is not intent on peace as we and the world undersatnd it and for sure not Hamas. So, is this going anywhere?