Let’s read this incredibly shocking passage together:
“Well, we condemn all rocket attacks from Gaza. We would also expect President Abbas to do so as he has in the past, and we expect the Palestinian Authority to do everything in its power to prevent attacks from Gaza into Israel. But we recognize that Hamas currently controls Gaza…”
Jen Psaki – U.S. Department of State Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
June 2, 2014
Now let me walk through what this means:
#1. The United States has absolutely no expectation that the formation of the unity PA government will have any significance with regard to the anything relating to security matters in the Gaza Strip.
#2. The United States accepts the continued control of Gaza by Hamas with Hamas in no way being expected to honor any of the written commitments that the PA is committed to – first and foremost that the Gaza Strip is a demilitarized zone.
#3. In the event of a rocket attack from Gaza, the only thing the United States expects PA President Mahmoud Abbas to do is issue a press release.
I am optimistic.
If the American double-cross was more diplomatic, more muted, the temptation would have been to kick the can down the road and wait to see what develops.
But the Obama Administration’s handling of this development was so loud, so fast and so devastating that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his team are now finding themselves having no choice but to start acting, rather than sitting back and hoping for the best.
Yes, Shimon Peres will still have his photo op with Mahmoud Abbas at the Vatican (an Haaretz editorial cartoon shows him walking down the aisle arm-in-arm like two lovers on their way to being married by the Pope). And the same Israeli politicians who still want to leave the Golan and remain confident that dividing Jerusalem into a patchwork quilt of Palestinian, Israeli and joint zones would work like a dream are counseling that we wait.
But this time, at least at this reading, it looks like the proverbial frog is going to act before the water in the pot boils him.