US Brings Ideas for Israel-Palestinian Peace Deal to Leaders

US Secretary of State John Kerry is in the Middle East again this week to present the Israeli and Palestinian leaders with his plan for a peace deal. Or not. Ok so it’s not exactly for a peace deal, it’s for “broad guidelines” for a final deal.

And ok, it’s not exactly a plan, more like proposals to bridge differences between the sides. And it’s not really his plan, it was created out of many discussions between the US and the sides. Oh, and the Palestinian side is claiming to want peace while praising killers. Confused yet?

An unnamed US State Department official said in comments released by the US that Kerry is bringing the US-supported ideas for a deal to the leaders. The official said Kerry will “start to test those ideas with the two leaders. He will be in intensive… conversations with both of them about those ideas. And we’ll see how effective they are in bridging the gaps and then assess where we go from there.”

The goal? To hammer out a general peace deal that covers all the major issues, including security, borders and Jerusalem. Then the details can be worked out for a final agreement peace deal.

Supposedly, this isn’t an American peace plan. “We are not coming in with an American plan that would be imposed on the parties, but rather we want to have a detailed consultation with them about these ideas that have been generated as a result of the negotiations between the parties themselves, and see whether they can serve as gap bridges which could lead to this agreement on the framework for permanent status negotiations,” said the official.

But with all the forward pushing, a key detail is being left behind: a Palestinian commitment to peace.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a press conference with Kerry, pointed out that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed recently released terrorists as heroes. What message does that send?

“It’s not surprising that in recent weeks Israel has been subjected to a growing wave of terrorist attacks. President Abbas didn’t see fit to condemn these attacks even after we learned that at least in one case, I stress at least in one case, those who served and are serving in the Palestinian security forces took part in them,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office.

“In the six months since the start of peace negotiations, the Palestinian Authority continues its unabated incitement against the State of Israel. This Palestinian government incitement is rampant. You see it in the state-controlled media, the Government-controlled media, in the schools, in text books, in kindergartens. You see it in every part of Palestinian society. So instead of preparing Palestinians for peace, Palestinian leaders are teaching them to hate Israel.”

Peace talks? Check. Peace proposals? Check. Peace? Uncheck.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, January 2, 2014)

What do you think?