Kerry canceled trip to Israel after he realized no one was interestedpeace process' right now.
One of the ministers at Thursday’s meeting told Haaretz that the confrontation represents a deep rift between segments of the coalition on the Palestinian issue. Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid are pushing for talks, but are in the minority. “As opposed to what is commonly thought, policy on the peace process is what could threaten the stability of the coalition, not the 2015 budget,” the minister said.
Although Netanyahu has been speaking recently about a “new diplomatic horizon” as a result of the war in Gaza, during Thursday’s cabinet meeting and other interviews he gave on television Friday, the prime minister seems to identify completely with Ya’alon’s position. He does not seem to be planning any significant diplomatic initiative vis–à–vis the Palestinians.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who sent feelers out to Netanyahu over the past two weeks as to the possibility of taking advantage of the end of the war to renew talks with the Palestinians, has also realized this. A senior Israeli official said that Kerry had even been considering coming to Israel this week to hold talks with Netanyahu and Abbas, but that he abandoned the idea after he realized that neither Netanyahu nor Abbas had any interest in talks at this time.
Gen. John Allen, who was over the past year his representative on security arrangements in the West Bank following the establishment of a Palestinian state, was sent by Kerry to Israel last week. Allen is considering stepping down from his position due to the diplomatic standstill, but Kerry asked to go to Israel once more before he made his final decision to see if there was any chance of renewing talks.
A senior Israeli official said that Allen met with Netanyahu and Ya’alon, hearing messages even more hawkish than in the past. They message they conveyed to the general is that their lesson from the war in Gaza is that the IDF has to have freedom of action in the West Bank and not only along the Jordan River.
The pair made clear to Allen that the main focus of dialogue with the PA had to be mainly the Gaza Strip and not a diplomatic arrangement in the West Bank that included the presenting of maps and the drawing of borders.
Netanyahu and Ya’alon told Allen they wanted him to continue his work on security arrangements taking into consideration the increasing threat from the Islamic State. The prime minister and the defense minister want to see the return of the PA Presidential Guard to the Rafah and the border crossing with Egypt, as well as PA involvement in the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip, and payment of salaries to Gaza officials. “Let’s see how Abu Mazen [Abbas] does first of all in Gaza and then we’ll talk about other things,” they told Allen.If Kerry really wanted to get the 'peace process' going again, he could do something very simple. Instead of sending Jen Psaki out to say that he sent Dan Shapiro to shake his fingers at Israel, and to announce that Kerry will be speaking to Netanyahu on Tuesday, Kerry could instead pick up the phone and call 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President
What could go wrong?