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22.11.2014
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Netanyahu: PA's position unchanged since 1993
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Ruthie Blum

Time to get ready for a third intifada

On Monday night, Channel 10 Arab affairs commentator Zvi Yehezkeli reported that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made a rare reference to the U.S.-brokered peace talks under way between the PA and Israel.

Until now, Abbas has been tight-lipped about the hush-hush two-state solution discussions in which his negotiating team is ostensibly invested. And though he has made an effort to come off as more moderate than his terrorist predecessor, Yasser Arafat, he occasionally lets his true ill intentions slip. On Monday, as always, he did this in Arabic. After all, he could not risk being too upfront with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry scheduled to arrive in Israel on Tuesday.

What Abu Mazen told his cronies in the Fatah Revolutionary Committee was that the negotiations are significantly deadlocked. No surprise there. But the words to follow are noteworthy. "The situation," he said, "is liable to be explosive."

According to Yehezkeli, the phrase Abbas used in Arabic can also be interpreted as "the situation is explosive."

Translations aside, Abbas was not merely being careless, linguistically or otherwise. He was effectually giving a green light for an eruption of violence against Israelis. This is something he has been doing indirectly, through the PA-controlled media. But saying it outright is unusual for him, since he always tries to remain above the fanatical fray by hiding behind his tailored suit and silk tie.

It is a wardrobe choice that has worked well where fooling the West is concerned. But it is not the only reason that Washington is putting Jerusalem on a par with Ramallah. More importantly, U.S. President Barack Obama wants his State Department to do something -- anything -- to smooth over its miserable foreign policy failures across the globe. Though the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is and will remain unresolved until the entire region reforms and accepts the Jewish state in its midst, it is nevertheless an easy target for American pressure. This is because Israel is always anxious to cooperate with Uncle Sam; and the Palestinians are always anxious to fill their till with dollars.

Israel cooperates by agreeing to and carrying out goodwill gestures. The Palestinians' method for getting more money is blackmail: "If Israel doesn't give in to all of our demands, we will not be held responsible for an escalation in violence."

It is thus possible that Abbas purposely made his statement as a kind of warning welcome mat in anticipation of Kerry's visit.

But it doesn't really matter anyway, because Kerry isn't listening, lest he hear something to contradict his fantasy that the Palestinians are actually aiming at a two-state solution, rather than the destruction of the State of Israel.

You can't really blame Kerry for harboring such a hope, however, when chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni is just as delusional with less of an excuse.

Indeed, instead of placing the onus on the Palestinians -- who have received nothing but major concessions from Israel both at the negotiating table and unilaterally -- Livni has been going around accusing Economy Minister Naftali Bennett of constituting the real danger to a potential deal.

Yes, in Livni's skewed view, the fact that Bennett voiced strong opposition to the release of bloodthirsty Palestinian murderers from Israeli jails makes him more of a threat to peace than Abbas, who is proud of their accomplishments.

The good news here is also the bad news.

No matter what Kerry does or Livni says or Israel agrees to, a third intifada is on its way. Abbas says we can count on it.

Ruthie Blum is the author of "To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the 'Arab Spring.'"

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