Peace? We just tweet


The Palestinian and Israeli leaders have invited each other to resume talks, although it does not appear that either of them actually plan to do so any time soon.

The first to extend an invitation was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who said in an interview with Israel's Channel Two that he was willing to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "I still extend a hand to Mr Netanyahu because I believe in peace," he said. "I believe that the people of Israel want peace and that the Palestinian people want peace."

Mr Netanyahu responded: "I heard President Abbas say that if I invite him to meet, he'll come... so I'm inviting him."

However, despite ongoing discussions regarding a possible return of security responsibility for Palestinian cities to the Palestinian Authority, no talks are under way.

Mr Netanyahu's invitation, extended during a press conference in Jerusalem with visiting Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek, led to a bizarre Twitter exchange after it was posted on his official account and retweeted by the Foreign Ministry. The PLO's negotiations unit responded: "Negotiate what exactly?" and followed that with demands from the PA's lead negotiator, Saeb Erekat, that Israel should first end settlement activity, release prisoners and commit to negotiating on the basis of the two-state solution on the pre-1967 borders. The Foreign Ministry responded: "Is that a yes or just another excuse not to open a dialogue for peace?"

Senior Israeli officials said: "The invitations by the two leaders are mainly an attempt to gain points in the international arena, not a prelude to actual talks."

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive