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Europe plays its hand in Israeli-Palestinian talks

With European threats of sanctioning both sides in the background, US Secretary of State John Kerry will try again to convince Palestinians and Israelis to make concessions before it's too late.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry waves upon arrival for a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah December 5, 2013. Kerry said on Thursday that some progress had been made in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and that he had presented Israel with ideas for improving its security under any future accord. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX164OT

It is going to be a very interesting meeting. I wouldn’t mind being a fly on the wall when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry sit face to face and finally start to talk, after all the barbs and criticism that they’ve flung at one another and all the blows below the belt that they’ve exchanged over the agreement with Iran.

Though the Iranian episode is finished for now and the agreement signed is an irrefutable fact, there can be no doubt that it will be at the center of the talks. But Kerry didn’t come to Israel last night, Dec. 4, to listen to Netanyahu’s gripes. The US secretary of state came to save the failed negotiations with the Palestinians before they blow up in everybody’s faces. This is the last call before the participants get up and go their own ways. If Kerry fails to glue the negotiators to their seats, whether through threats, promises, or some combination of the two, there is no way anyone will be seeing white smoke coming out of the negotiating chambers.

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