Powered by WebAds

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Obama should focus on the 'Palestinians' renouncing violence

Writing in Thursday's New York Times, Helene Cooper points out what she regards as a blunt warning to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
But there he was on Monday, directly rebutting Mr. Lieberman’s comments in his most high-profile address about America’s relationship with the Muslim world, before Turkish legislators. He would push for a two-state solution, Mr. Obama said, despite the view of many foreign policy experts that such a goal will be even more difficult to reach because of the makeup of the new Israeli government under Mr. Netanyahu, not to mention the fractured state of internal Palestinian politics.

“Let me be clear: the United States strongly supports the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security,” Mr. Obama said. “That is a goal that the parties agreed to in the road map and at Annapolis. That is a goal that I will actively pursue as president.” The road map refers to a 2003 outline of steps toward a peace agreement.
Cooper goes on to quote Ghaith Al-Omari, a former Palestinian negotiator who now works with the American Task Force on Palestine, who claims that Netanyahu will have to 'disown' Avigdor Lieberman's statements disavowing Annapolis, and come out explicitly in favor of a 'two-state solution' before a scheduled meeting between Netanyahu and Obama in May.
“If not,” Mr. Al-Omari said, “the issue will become the focus of the meeting.”
My guess is that the issue will be the focus of the meeting anyway, because the Obama administration has shown itself to be completely uninterested in anything that Israelis have to say about Iran. Most Israelis now understand that Iran is a problem with which we will have to contend ourselves.

But what the Obama administration doesn't seem to understand is that we Israelis voted for change. This country is a democracy, and while the Obama administration may not like the results, the Olmert-Livni days are over. Israelis voted decisively for parties on the right of the political spectrum. While Netanyahu might lose support from average Israelis if he were to decide tomorrow morning that he isn't going to negotiate with the 'Palestinians' at all, most Israelis did not support Annapolis and do not want to return to it. Annapolis is seen here as a hopeless 'process' that was entered into by a lame duck Prime Minister without support from the Israeli public, with an American President on his last legs and a 'Palestinian' Prime Minister who has no support for anything and cannot deliver the goods.

But perhaps the most important thing about Annapolis is that the 'Palestinians' don't want it either.
Concerning Palestinian statehood, both Israelis and Palestinians saw prospects as bleak. Both also said they opposed final status negotiations before 'Road-map' conditions are met: that Palestinians renounce violence and Israelis stop settlement building.
The whole idea behind Annapolis was to skip the 'road map' conditions because Olmert, Bush and Abu Mazen believed they were impossible to fulfill. Apparently, both sides are willing to wait until those conditions can be fulfilled to move ahead.

Perhaps Obama ought to focus on the 'Palestinians' renouncing violence if he really wants to bring about peace.


At 8:29 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

All of the demands for peace have been placed exclusively in the Western media (and by governments in the EU and the US) on Israel as though Israel is laggard in wanting peace and she has no partner. She does not have a partner and as for peace, the Jewish State proved over and over again by giving up territory three times the size of pre-1967 Israel combined. No one has asked what the Arabs are willing to do to prove their commitment to peace. Until that is forthcoming, no peace will happen in the region. In any event, the single-minded obsession of the West with Israel overlooks the fact that most of the threats facing the West from there have nothing to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict. Israel's new Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman referred in his maiden speech to the false centrality of the latter conflict. One only needs to look for example, at failed states like Somalia in which Israel does not figure to see what the West confronts today.


Post a Comment

<< Home