Today’s Haaretz presented us an account of what was really happening behind those closed doors at the ‘Direct Talks’…

Diplomats: Mitchell misrepresented initial success of peace talks

Netanyahu refused to hold a serious discussion on any of the core issues apart from security, Abbas reportedly told diplomats.

The three meetings held so far between Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the current round of peace talks have addressed nothing of substance, diplomatic sources say. [...]

"I heard nothing from Netanyahu but niceties," Abbas reportedly told foreign diplomats. [...]

The first meeting dealt with setting a date for the next meeting and with formulating a "conduct code" for the talks, mainly to prevent leaks. They also discussed the construction freeze and what to discuss first – security or borders.

After the second meeting, Mitchell said the parties had discussed seriously and in detail core issues of the final status arrangement. But officials briefed about that meeting said it dealt with an attempt to define the "core issues" rather than presenting positions on them. [...]

Mitchell described the third meeting, held on September 15 in Jerusalem, as very positive and said it made considerable progress. Here too officials familiar with the talks said the opposite is true.

What the eff…?

No wonder Foggy Bottom was pushing so hard for secrecy throughout…!

As I had reported early on…

President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu continued to agree that these negotiations, whose goal is to resolve all core issues, can be completed within one year. As I said recently in Washington, the parties have agreed to begin first on working to achieve a framework agreement for permanent status. That work is now well underway. The parties agree that for these negotiations to succeed, they must be kept strictly confidential and treated with the utmost of sensitivity. So as in the past, today and as we proceed in the future, what I and they are able to disclose to you about the details of the meetings is and will be very limited.

Now, the fact that Bibi would only talk about security issues first, and, then talk about the ‘core issues’ is also no surprise as I’ve noted early on in this farce…

…Speaking behind closed doors, Netanyahu said the success of the talks will hinge on understandings between the leaders. "I will want to reach agreed principles with the Palestinian leadership and there will be no need for many teams [of negotiators] and hundreds of meetings …. If I get the security that will ensure that no missiles will fall on Tel Aviv, it will be possible to move quickly toward a comprehensive arrangement," he was quoted as saying.

Netanyahu said during his meetings he wants to discuss security issues with the Palestinians first; only then would the two sides focus on borders of a future Palestinian state.

However, we were constantly being spun like tops by Foggy Bottom…

As I reported after the first meeting…

Mitchell said Netanyahu and Abbas tackled the most sensitive issues.

"I will say that the two leaders are not leaving the tough issues to the end of their discussions… …We take this as a strong indicator of their belief that peace is possible," he said. [...]

Mitchell stressed a number of times that the U.S. administration thought the talks were progressing much faster than expected.

Progressing rapidly right off the rails that is…! *gah*

Now, Al Jazeera’s MJ Rosenberg, discusses Bibi’s recent smackdown of ObamaRahma’s latest felation, err… offer…

Netanyahu humiliates Obama again

The Obama administration must understand that the Israeli prime minister is essentially a right-wing Republican.

The Obama administration’s attempts at seducing Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, are getting embarrassing. Netanyahu has made it very clear he is not interested.

According to Ha’aretz, the latest (and most cringe-worthy) moment in the saga came this week when Dennis Ross, the president’s top adviser on Israel-Palestinian issues, convinced Obama that Israel would only agree to an extension of the settlements freeze if Obama would "come off as friendlier" to Bibi.

So Ross and his aides (working with the Israelis) drafted a letter to Netanyahu in which the US would give Israel everything it could possibly want in exchange for a two-month freeze. [...]

It is hard to imagine anything Ross left out. For Bibi, the Ross offer was a dream come true. All that for a 60-day freeze.

But Bibi said "no".

And why? "Netanyahu said he appreciated the letter but could not accept the American proposal because it included a two-month extension of the construction moratorium, which he said would damage his public credibility."

But the "moratorium" was the whole point of the offer. Bibi seems not to believe that his dealings with the US have to be two-way streets. He will only consider deals where the US gives and he gets. (But then, that is the way it always is.)

Ross and the other administration figures are now "incensed," having been played yet again.

Played like fiddles again…!

Do you suppose Obama and Foggy Bottom might snap out of their collective lover’s daze, finally…?

Didn’t think so…

*gah*

Btw, the latest bit on the Danse Macabre…

Palestinian shot dead entering East Jerusalem

A Palestinian worker from Hebron was shot and killed by Israeli border guards on Sunday while he attempted to enter East Jerusalem near the village of Al-Isawiya.

The deceased was identified as 38-year-old Izz Ad-Din Al-Kawazba from the town of Sa’ir in Hebron. Al-Kawzaba’s cousin Salah told Ma’an that border guards shot the victim at close range, refuting police accounts that the shooting was accidental. [...]

Spokesman for Israel’s National Police Mickey Rosenfeld said Al-Kawazba was injured when a "shot was fired apparently accidentally" by a border guard officer after he "attempted to grab one of the border police’s gun."

What a travesty…!