Sunday, March 2, 2014

U.S. To Israel: Agree To Framework Or Else

This one is completely predictable. Unfortunately. The article says it all, but a couple of items are worth mentioning:

1. Note the call for a "contiguous Palestinian State". That is in reference to a proposed land mass which would literally connect the West Bank to the Gaza Strip. This would, in effect divide Israel. Additionally, Jerusalem would be divided. 

2. According to Obama, Abbas is committed to "non-violence and diplomatic efforts". Wow. Does he read any of the news coming from the Middle East? Or is this some kind of pathological denial of the obvious? 

Israel can expect to face international isolation and possible sanctions from countries and companies across the world if Benjamin Netanyahu fails to endorse a framework agreement with the Palestinians, US President Barack Obama cautioned on Sunday ahead of a meeting with the Israeli prime minister.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Obama stressed that time was running out for Israel to achieve a peace deal, and added that he believed Netanyahu had the capacity to rally Israel’s citizens behind an agreement.

But if Netanyahu “does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel, then he needs to articulate an alternative approach,” Obama said.

“There comes a point where you can’t manage this anymore, and then you start having to make very difficult choices,” he said.
The president went on to stress that he would convey to Netanyahu, in the spirit of the Jewish sage Hillel the Elder, that the prime minister could lead Israel toward peace if he chose to do so.
“If not now, when? And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who?” Obama said.

The president went on to condemn in no uncertain terms Israel’s settlement activities in the West Bank, and said that though his allegiance to the Jewish state was permanent, building settlements across the Green Line was counterproductive and would make it extremely difficult for the US to defend Israel from painful repercussions in the international community.

“If you see no peace deal and continued aggressive settlement construction — and we have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time — if Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited,” Obama said.

"Do you resign yourself to what amounts to a permanent occupation of the West Bank?” he inquired of the Israeli public.

“Is that the character of Israel as a state for a long period of time? Do you perpetuate, over the course of a decade or two decades, more and more restrictive policies in terms of Palestinian movement? Do you place restrictions on Arab Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions?” he asked.
Obama further stated that in his opinion, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “has proven himself to be somebody who has been committed to nonviolence and diplomatic efforts to resolve” the conflict.
“We do not know what a successor to Abbas will look like,” he added.
Asked whether he felt Abbas was sincere about his willingness to recognize Israel and its right to exist, the president replied that he was sure that was the case.
Netanyahu left for Washington Sunday for talks about the US-led peace process and nuclear negotiations between world powers and Iran.
But although Netanyahu would like the conversation with Obama to focus primarily on Iran, the White House appears to have a different agenda.
“Obama will press him to agree to a framework for a conclusive round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations that is being drafted by Secretary of State John Kerry,” The New York Times quoted senior US officials as saying last week.

Direct peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, which began last July with the goal of reaching a deal within nine months, have made no visible progress.
Kerry is now focused on getting the two sides to agree on a framework proposal which would extend the deadline until the year’s end.
Although the document has not yet been made public, it is understood to be a non-binding proposal laying out guidelines for negotiating the central issues of the conflict, such as borders, security, Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
The proposal, or its outline, is likely to be presented to Netanyahu this week and to Abbas on March 17 when he meets Obama at the White House.


David said...

"US won't be able to defend Israel if peace talks fail"......really? When has this administration ever defended Israel? What democracy we have going on are free to make a choice as long as it favors what we want....

Isn't it also odd how the Palestinian's declare Israel a "cancer" and should be wiped off the face of the earth, and in almost the same breath advocate their hopefulness that the peace talks work.

Meanwhile Iran should have enough material for a nuke or two...haven't heard much about that situation in a while.

David P

Scott said...

Exactly. The double-standard is definitely on display here, as usual

Caver said...

What I find interesting is that Kerry is the one who got the EU to threaten sanctions and embargo if the peace talks fail in the first place.

Then they threaten Israel that we can't protect them from a boycott should the peace talks fail.

AND....they think Bibi is blinded to this blatant hypocrisy.

I think not.

Truly, this whole mess is so elementary as to figuring out where our Embarrassment-in-Chief and his administration stands.

Yet, ain't it interesting that all these plans, schemes, and set-ups over the years have failed to produce roots and grow. It always is confounded and the best laid plans and threats fall to the dry, withered and dead.

Amnazing, ain't it.