Israel’s National Security Adviser Presents Evidence PA Torpedoed Negotiations

Yossi Cohen, Israel’s national security adviser, recently sent a letter to “to the White House, the EU and numerous ambassadors” offering evidence that last month’s failure of peace negotiations was deliberately planned by the Palestinian Authority.

The Times of Israel reports:

In the April 22 letter, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national security adviser, Yossi Cohen, revealed that chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat wrote a policy paper in March in preparation for a Palestinian rejection of American mediation efforts and Israeli overtures — nearly a month before Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made a unilateral move to sign 15 international conventions, ostensibly in response to Israel’s refusal to honor its commitment to release the final round of prisoners, Haaretz reported Wednesday.

In fact, Cohen said, according to a copy of the latter published alongside the report, Erekat had planned the maneuver weeks before Israel announced its refusal to release the prisoners — timing that, according to Cohen, demonstrates that the Palestinian leadership never intended to follow the peace talks through.

Cohen asserted that Erekat’s paper “serves as proof that Palestinian policymakers had recommended a strategy of unilateral moves ‘outside of the agreed negotiation framework’ to Abbas as early as March, nearly two months before the April 29 deadline for the completion of the talks.”

Last month also, Jonathan D. Halevi, a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, also cited Erekat’s paper as proof of “a premeditated effort to participate in talks without the intention of compromising on any issue of significance to the U.S.” Abbas refused to compromise on issues where the United States supported Israel’s positions, including a continued Israeli security presence in the Jordan Valley, Jerusalem, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and the Palestinian “right of return.”

The Palestinian refusal to compromise could be related to the Palestinian adoption of a group identity as Deborah Danan argued in If Peace Never Comes, This Will Be the Reason in the June 2013 issue of The Tower Magazine.

[Photo: U.S. Department of State / WikiCommons ]