Yesterday Jodi Rudoren, Isabel Kershner, and Michael R. Gordon reported that following Israel’s failure to release a fourth batch of long-serving Palestinian prisoners by March 29, and following the announcement of plans to build more than 700 new housing units in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, the Palestinian leadership submitted applications to join 15 international conventions and treaties, ignoring Israeli and American objections to such a move.
To put that more bluntly, the Israelis reneged on an agreement to release a group of prisoners, pressed ahead with new plans to expand the Judaification of East Jerusalem, and in response the Palestinians said, enough is enough, we’re going to see if we can make some progress at the UN instead of remaining mired in fruitless negotiations with the Israelis.
Today, as though they imagine no one could possibly remember what they wrote yesterday, Michael R. Gordon, Isabel Kershner and Jodi Rudoren, reported:
Israel has called off plans to release a fourth group of Palestinian prisoners, people involved in the threatened peace talks said Thursday, an indication of the severity of the impasse between the two sides despite the pressure from Secretary of State John Kerry to keep the negotiations alive.
The Israeli decision was a response to the announcement on Tuesday by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, that his administration was formally seeking to join 15 international bodies, which the Israelis regarded as an unacceptable move that would subvert the direct negotiations with Israel for Palestinian statehood. Mr. Abbas said he took the step because Israel had not kept what he called its pledge to release the prisoners as part of the negotiations process, which began last summer.
What the Israelis did is like failing to show up for an appointment and then calling back the next day to cancel the appointment you already missed. What the New York Times did is try and make the Israelis seem perfectly reasonable.