Haaretz reports on a meeting that took place last night on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly between Mahmoud Abbas and leaders of the American Jewish community. According to their report several Jewish leaders, including Malcolm Hoenlein, refused to attend the meeting following
orders a request from Netanyahu’s office. Luckily, Alan Derhowitz came to the rescue:
Harvard jurist and well-known Israel advocate Professor Alan Dershowitz has secured Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ agreement to a settlement freeze formula that he hopes will break the diplomatic stalemate and lead to a resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
According to Dershowitz and other participants in a Monday night meeting with Abbas in New York, the Palestinian president also promised to make “a positive statement” about the connection between Israel and the Jewish people during his Thursday address to the United Nations General Assembly.
Sources at the meeting also revealed that Abbas has assured U.S. President Obama’s Administration that he would not press for a General Assembly vote on the Palestinian request for non-state recognition before the upcoming November 6 presidential elections.
They also said that Abbas had asked Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to stop referring to “wiping Israel off the map” and to replace that incendiary formulation with a call to “put Palestine on the map” instead.
Emerging from the meeting, Dershowitz told Haaretz last night that he came away from his discussion with Abbas convinced that “if Abbas and Bibi Netanyahu sit down and have serious talks, they will find their positions much closer than is widely believed.” Former U.S. Congressman Robert Wexler, who is president of the S. Daniel Center for Middle East Peace and who also took part in the New York meeting, agreed with Dershowitz and said that participants in the meeting came away with the impression that “the actual differences on core issues are not that great, they are not insurmountable.”
In the meeting, Dershowitz secured Abbas’ confirmation in writing to a sequential resumption of talks that may come to be known as the “Dershowitz Formula”, first published by the famed Harvard jurist in a June 3, 2012 article in the Wall Street Journal. The formula states that “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should now offer a conditional freeze: Israel will stop all settlement building in the West Bank as soon as the Palestinian Authority sits down at the bargaining table, and the freeze will continue as long as the talks continue in good faith.”
Ilene Cohen writes “the article would more at home in The Onion.” The best part comes after the excerpt above:
Dershowitz, who said that he views himself as someone who can serve as “an honest broker” between Israel and the Palestinians . . .
We’ll let The Onion, or Haaretz, take it from there.