Clinton threatens Netanyahu over 'Palestinian' statehood bid
The US may not want 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during her talks in Israel this week not to take any extreme actions in response to the Palestinian move in the United Nations for recognition as a non-member state. Clinton said such steps against the Palestinian Authority could bring about its collapse. The Palestinians are planning to ask the United Nations General Assembly to vote on upgrading its status from non-member entity on the symbolic date of November 29.
On Wednesday morning Clinton visited Ramallah and met with Abbas. Clinton asked him to reconsider the UN bid, or at least postpone it until after the Israeli elections. But Abbas sounded determined not to put off the UN vote, both in his meeting with Clinton and in a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon a short time later. Abbas told Clinton "the train has already left the station." Abbas told Ban that if Israel punishes the Palestinians the day after the UN vote, "I will invite Netanyahu to the Muqata in Ramallah and I will give him the keys and go home," said a Western diplomat.
Clinton returned to Jerusalem from Ramallah and met again with Netanyahu, Barak and Lieberman. The Palestinian UN bid also came up at this meeting. Clinton told Netanyahu he should examine how to strengthen Abbas now, especially after the operation in Gaza, which brought about the strengthening of Hamas among the Palestinian public.
Two senior Israeli officials and an American official, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the subject, said the American message to Israel was not to take any irreversible actions and to act wisely the day after the UN vote.
The Obama administration thinks it is necessary to try and minimize the potential damage of the Palestinian move in the UN, said the U.S. official. Extreme acts by Israel the day after will not help, they will only make the situation worse, he added.
Clinton told Netanyahu that such punitive steps against the PA would only weaken it, which would not serve Israeli interests, said a senior Israeli official. Clinton emphasized that steps such as annulling the Oslo Accords or freezing Palestinian tax funds could bring about dangerous consequences, including the collapse of the PA, said the official.The Obama administration does not know what it wants. It strengthens Hamas by allowing Egypt to negotiate a 'cease fire' that favors Hamas, and then it insists that Israel strengthen the 'Palestinian Authority' to offset its own mistake. It seems that Obama is looking for a two-state solution - one Hamas and one Fatah. And no Israel.
What could go wrong?