Israel is doomed to be an outsider in the region and its only hope for some modicum of acceptance is to get the region, via the Palestinians, to recognize its narrative regarding its inherent right to the Holy Land. Netanyahu may have been hoping that his demand for Jewish recognition would derail the talks, but that would have been as a bonus. His real concern was to ensure that Israel receives this measure of acceptance. Kerry understood Israel’s fundamental need for recognition and went along with it. It is stupid to say that he was unaware that “this supposedly marginal issue was a ticking time bomb threatening to derail his entire diplomatic initiative.” He is an intelligent man though without the moral stature to match. But he counted on the Gulf States to twist Abbas’s arm. They did not, and he is now backing out not because of “belated awareness” but because the Arabs have pulled the rug. My concern now is the payoff which the US will impose on the Palestinians. I would much rather have seen the Palestinians give in on Jewish recognition and right of return in favor of more concessions from Israel on the territorial issues and the withdrawal from the Jordan Valley. My fear is that the Palestinians will now be made to pay on these two essential and concrete issues for the “moral” victory they achieved on the Jewish issue.
U.S. says it killed 10 AQAP Islamist militants in four air strikes in Yemen since April 23 (Reuters)