Pressed repeatedly by Council of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations Chairman Alan Solow and others, Abbas didn’t directly answer the question of why he wouldn’t simply accede to Netanyahu’s demand for direct talks.
Abbas blamed the hold-up in talks on the White House, noting that they had raised the issue of settlements: “They are the ones who requested for the Israelis to stop settlements, what do you expect of me? Less than them?” he was quoted saying in paraphrase.
Come to think of it, they’re the ones that compared the Arizona law to Chinese human rights violations with the Chinese, too.
[Update a couple minutes later]
More smart diplomacy, with the UK:
[London] Mayor Boris Johnson demanded an end to “anti-British rhetoric, buck-passing and name-calling” after days of scathing criticism directed at BP by the President and other US politicians.
Former Conservative Party chairman Lord Tebbit branded Mr Obama’s conduct “despicable”. And with the dispute threatening to escalate into a diplomatic row, Mr Johnson also appeared to suggest that David Cameron should step in to defend BP.
He spoke as the US onslaught against the firm became a “matter of national concern” — especially given its importance to British pensions, which lost much of their value today as BP shares plunged to a 13-year low.
Will someone wake me when it’s 2012? Some time in the fall?