Kerry could not resist the mortal sin which has bedeviled the careers of all secretaries of state since Kissinger, with the exception of Clinton, of stepping beyond his terms of reference and making offers that had not been cleared with the boss, only to see that they could not be kept. This time it was the Pollard release. The whole last push to keep the negotiations going was very credible and would have met Palestinian demands except that it was predicated on Pollard’s release. It is now clear that Obama was not part to that promise and would not have approved it even without the storm it raised in Washington. Abbas realized at once that Kerry had made an untenable promise and with that the possibility that other promises he made earlier also lacked presidential approval. It is to his credit that he decided to stop wasting time. I am actually quite impressed by Abu Mazin’s grasp of American politics. Not that I ever underestimate the old fox (G-d forbid) but I was not aware that he had such a close feel of how things are done in Washington.
Iraq prepares troops for offensive to retake Mosul (Reuters)
from the article: The quietly ticking time bomb on Israel’s doorstep