U.S. Asking for Concessions in Peace Talks To Appease Israel on Iran, Palestinian Official Says

'Silencing the Israelis over Deal With Iran At Our Expense'

Getty Images

By Reuters

Published December 09, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A senior Palestinian official said the United States was asking Palestinians to make security concessions in peace talks with Israel in order to silence the Jewish state’s criticism of world power diplomacy over Iran’s nuclear program.

The accusations by Yasser Abed Rabbo, who joined Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week, further clouded hopes of achieving a negotiated accord by an April target date.

Kerry, who will return to Israel and the Palestinian territories this week, presented both sides with suggestions on Thursday about how Israel might fend off future threats from a Palestinian state envisaged in West Bank land it now occupies.

Israel has long demanded that under any eventual accord it retain swathes of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, as well as military control of the territory’s eastern Jordan Valley - effectively, the prospective Palestine’s border with Jordan.

But Abed Rabbo told Voice of Palestine radio that Kerry had plunged the process into crisis by seeking to “appease Israel through agreeing to its expansion demands in the (Jordan) Valley under the pretext of security.”

U.S. acquiescence to Israel’s security demands was aimed at “silencing the Israelis over the deal with Iran and achieving a fake progress in the Palestinian-Israeli track at our expense”, he said.

Abed Rabbo was referring to the Nov. 24 interim accord reached in Geneva between world powers and Iran, whereby it agreed to some curbs on its disputed nuclear programme in exchange for the easing of international sanctions.

Dan Shapiro, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, said on Monday there was no quid pro quo between the Iran and Palestine talks.

“These two issues concern both Israel’s security and our security and the interests of all the Middle East, that it be a more quiet and stable region. But we do not see any linkage in which we seek to give on one issue and receive on the other,” Shapiro told Israel’s Army Radio.

Kerry will leave Washington on Wednesday on a one-week trip that will take him back to Jerusalem and Ramallah and then on to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in Vietnam, and Manila and Tacloban in the Philippines, the State Department said.

STRAINED TIES

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu initially condemned Geneva as an “historic mistake” that risked helping Iran’s limping economy, while leaving it with the means to make a nuclear bomb. Iran says its nuclear drive is peaceful.

The Geneva deal further strained the Netanyahu government’s ties with the Obama administration, which is mindful of support for the Jewish state in the U.S. Congress, though Netanyahu struck a more conciliatory tone last week.

Israel has not commented on the U.S. proposals but cabinet minister Yaakov Peri said on Sunday the government had not yet agreed to them.

Amid deep Palestinian pessimism over prospects for a deal, many Israelis also question whether Abbas would be able to keep his armed Islamist Hamas rivals, who rule the Gaza Strip and spurn coexistence with the Jewish state, to an eventual accord.

Shapiro said Gaza’s government would have to change for Palestinian statehood to be fully realised.

“We are talking about two states for two peoples. The Palestinian state will also include Gaza. But there has to be a change to the regime there. That is clear.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.