Nahum Barnea: Haim Ramon advised Dan Shapiro to wait with negotiations for Livni
Excerpt from column, Nahum Barnea, Yediot Friday Political Supplement, May 21 2010 [page 2; Hebrew original here and at bottom of post]
This week, my Washington sources insist, special envoy George Mitchell is going to start talking about the core issues. Netanyahu is going to have to discuss Jerusalem and borders. If not to talk, to listen. His space for maneuver is diminishing. The right wing in his party is breathing down his neck.
Will he do what Sharon did, split his party and replace his coalition with a different one? For Sharon, the decision to splinter the party was born of a scheme, a plan. He was absolutely not willing to give the diplomatic initiative to the Americans. Netanyahu has no plan for the moment, and is less troubled than Sharon by losing the initiative. He is happy with his present coalition.
Does Tzipi Livni hold the keys? Recently, Dan Shapiro, the head of the Israel desk at the National Security Council, met Haim Ramon, head of the Kadima council. The meeting was at the “206” restaurant in north Tel Aviv, opposite Kiryat Shaul. Ramon told Shapiro: wait for Tzipi. She will be much more amenable to you.
Shapiro understood that was the advice Ramon was also giving the Palestinians. Don’t make progress in the negotiations. Wait for Tzipi. As far as I know, Ramon did not receive Tzipi’s blessing for the advice he gave — neither to the Palestinians nor to the Americans.
As far as the American negotiating team is concerned, that conversation was not a coordination attempt between friends, but an intelligence gathering mission. Now they know who is undermining their negotiations.