Politico has a good article here discussing the manouvering regading the direct talks, to see who is left holding the “dead cat”, and the blame for the failure of the peace talks.
As Ben Smith writes in the Politico piece “Even those who are committed to the prospect of peace and publicly optimistic about it are cautious enough to keep an eye on the possibility of failure, ready with a pointed finger if talks collapse so that the other side is left with what former Secretary of State James Baker once referred to as the “dead cat” of prospective blame. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “managed to leave the dead cat at the doorstep of both the Obama Administration and [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas,” said Aaron David Miller, a former U.S. peace negotiator who is a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Last summer, Israel owned the dead cat. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made plain their view that Netanyahu’s failure to stop all settlement construction on the West Bank was the obstacle to resumed talks, and after an ill-timed construction announcement, Clinton’s office released details of the unusual 43-minute tongue-lashing she delivered to the Israeli. Obama then brought Netanyahu and Abbas to the White House early this month with the exhortation to begin direct talks. Looming over the celebratory announcement that they would was the impending expiration of Israel’s moratorium on new settlement construction. Now that the moratorium has expired, the Obama administration has completed a subtle tilt toward Israel’s point of view. The problem is no longer Israel’s actions: It’s the Palestinian insistence that one issue – settlements – be resolved before talks can begin.”