By Schmoel Yitzhak
Following the Mahmoud Abbas-Benjamin Netanyahu peace negotiations is roughly equivalent to watching a World Series baseball game that stretches to infinity.
Meanwhile media savants such as myself must be careful not to get too immersed in the day-to-day accounts. Otherwise one might get afflicted with the disease that the late, great comedian W.C. Fields labelled "
Which brings us to the much-focused upon "settlement freeze" deadline which comes up on Saturday.
In his most recent, threatening peroration, the Palestinian leader warns that peace talks won't continue for "a single day" if the "settlement freeze" ends.
Thus, Abbas has lobbed the ball into Bibi's court and, from what the Israeli leader has made clear to his cabinet and the rest of the civilized world, the ten-month construction moratorium will end as it was meant to conclude two months short of a year ago.
During that span the Palestinian leaders had ample time to convene talks with Israel and, instead, opted for the usual Arab preference -- do nothing and hope that Barack Obama, the European Union and the rest of the world's Islamic appeasers will push Bibi into a corner until he says "Alright, already, I'll do your bidding."
There are those in Israel who firmly believe that, when push comes to shove next weekend, that the Middle East's only Democratic leader will capitulate and extend the freeze.
My hope is that he sticks with his original plan.
Why? Because the ten-month freeze was long enough to enable the Palestinians to get their procrastinating act together.
Also, because Abbas has been threatening to cancel negotiations all along; even using the settlement freeze as a pre-condition; until he was unequivocally warned that he could not get his way on everything.
Then again, one might logically ask why an Abbas walkout would be such a pitiful exercise in futility?
So, what if the Palestinians take a hike?
Everybody and his Uncle Moishe knows that Abbas represents only a portion of the Palestinian population.
The reality is that dear Mahmoud controls nothing in Gaza and not even the complete support in his own West Bank.
That's not fantasy; that's what it's all about.
Therefore, what effect would a treaty with Abbas have on Hamas in the Gaza Strip?
For sure, it would have the substance of tissue paper.
And let's not forget that Gilad Shalit -- whatever your thoughts happen to be about the Israeli soldier -- still is being held kidnapped by Hamas; still does not have the benefit of Red Cross visitation and still gets no tangible assistance from the Palestinian Authority because the PA's influence on Gaza is what one of my dear friends would define as the square root of chai-cock.
Meanwhile, the plot thickens. The sands of time on the freeze dwindle down to a precious few and soon we'll see who flinches.
And no matter who does; will it really matter as long as Hamas rules Gaza and Shalit is hidden in captivity?
I think not because we're dealing with reality not Grimm's -- or Abbas' -- Fairy Tales!