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Thursday, May 28, 2009

US to proimpose terms

Back in 1969, Secretary of State William P. Rogers (pictured) developed a 'Middle East peace plan' that became known as the Rogers Plan. For the remaining years of Rogers' tenure as Secretary of State, Israel and the pro-Israel community in the US lived in constant fear of the Rogers Plan being imposed on us. The Rogers Plan was designed to circumvent the premise that the Arab states (no one thought of a 'Palestinian state' back then) would not talk to Israel directly. So the 'four powers' (US, USSR, Britain and France) would impose a 'settlement' instead to get around that Arab unwillingness to speak to Israel.

Deja vu all over again, isn't it? Now, we're trying to get around Arab unwillingness to dismantle terror groups so the American government is talking about proimposing a 'settlement.' Read between the lines here:
"We are going to be putting forward very specific proposals to the Israelis and the Palestinians. That's what Senator Mitchell has been doing over the last couple of days," Clinton said at a press conference following her lunch meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

Mitchell has been in London this week meeting with top Israeli officials Dan Meridor, minister of intelligence services, and National Security Council head Uzi Arad over issues including settlement activity and Iran, in discussions the State Department characterized as a follow-up to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington last week.

Though the Obama administration has pledged intensified Middle East diplomacy since the beginning of its term, Clinton's comments went the furthest to date in suggesting that the US would make its own proposals for resolving the conflict that multiple American administration plans have failed to resolve.

Such US initiative has been urged by Arab countries, beginning with Jordan's King Abdullah during his own White House visit in April. At that time he also said the Arab countries would themselves have to contribute to the process, a theme Gheit echoed during Wednesday afternoon's press conference.

"We have been discussing the need for an American major action to expedite the process," he said. "We - all of us, the Quartet, the international community, the Arab countries - [need] to show support and understanding and to push them together, allow them to negotiate in direct negotiations."
Read that carefully. No one needs to 'allow' Israel and the 'Palestinians' to negotiate in direct negotiations. That's been going on for years. But if the Americans as the supposed impartial arbitrator make a specific proposal, does anyone really think it's going to be so easy for Israel to just say no? I assume you all realize the pressure Israel would be under to say yes if the Americans 'propose' something. De facto, there will be an effort to impose a settlement on Israel. The only reason that didn't happen nine years ago under Clinton was that the 'Palestinians' said no. Israel was unable to do so.

And Obama is much less sympathetic to Israel and its plight than Bill Clinton was. When Bill Clinton came to Israel, he spoke in the Knesset about how his pastor warned him never to abandon Israel. Think about who Barack Obama's pastor was for more than 20 years....

And here's the surest sign that the Obama administration is about to put the screws to Israel and has winked and hinted to the 'Palestinians' and their Arab supporters that it intends to do so: The 'Palestinians' are thrilled with Obama's approach.
Nabil Abu Znaid, the head of the Palestinian Authority's mission to the US, praised Obama's efforts and his "global" approach.

"I think that's why he wants to visit Saudi Arabia. He's visiting Egypt and he wants to have lots of contacts with countries that can influence the region," Abu Znaid said. "Peace would start between the Palestinians and the Israelis... but we need help towards peace, not the other way. So think the international community will help."


Abu Znaid said that, in addition to pressing for a negotiating process that has a defined timeframe leading to the creation of a Palestinian state, Abbas would also tell Obama that "we'd like to see something on the ground, especially with settlements."
Some 'negotiating process': A defined time frame (regardless of whether commitments are fulfilled) and a pre-determined outcome. Why bother to negotiate at all? And in case you missed it, 'something on the ground, especially with settlements' is right in line with the Obama administration's plans.
During Wednesday's press conference, Clinton stressed the US position that settlement construction must stop, even though Netanyahu has indicated "natural growth" in major blocs was set continue.

"The president was very clear when Prime Minister Netanyahu was here. He wants to see a stop to settlements - not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions," she said. "That is our position, that is what we have communicated very clearly, not only to the Israelis, but to the Palestinians and others. And we intend to press that point."
In other words, she is preparing the groundwork for Israel to keep nothing over the 1949 armistice lines. My little suburb in Jerusalem (in an area that was no-man's land before 1967) experiences 'natural growth' almost every day. The size of my family is average to slightly-below-average for this neighborhood. The same is true for many Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. No 'natural growth'? In Jerusalem (the annexation of the eastern portions of which has never been recognized by the US)? Good luck with that.
She did not elaborate on what the administration had in mind when she referenced "very specific proposals," saying only, "We are making a very concerted effort. We have a well thought-out approach that we are pursuing. We have a lot of support from countries such as Egypt, but ultimately this is up to the two parties."
Well, it's sort of up to the two parties. If the 'Palestinians' say no (as they did to Bill Clinton in August 2000 and January 2001), the Arab states will back them and blame Israel and the US for not offering enough. But if the US makes 'proposals,' it will be very difficult for Israel to say no.

What could go wrong?


At 9:39 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel will get blamed either way: for not committing national suicide and for doing so at the behest of the US if she says "yes." There is no real difference in the two outcomes and there is no penalty if Israel does say "no." The Obama Administration IS looking for a fight with Israel - it couldn't have telegraphed the message more clearly than in Hillary Clinton's blunt remarks.

Israel can say "no" to a hostile American Administration. What could go wrong indeed

At 10:01 PM, Blogger Christian Holm said...


I couldn't help it, I had to plug this article on my own blog... :D

At 2:13 AM, Blogger Kae Gregory said...

North Korea's mooning of Obama has made a strong declaration that he and his administration have zero sway in the world. Until they can prove that this perception is wrong, Israel (imo) would do well to let them solve some other world problems before letting them anywhere near their dealings with the pals.

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Aharon Konforti said...

I have a sincere question to Carl and Friends here: would you please enlighten this oleh hadash (new immigrant to Israel) why is it that makes the United States to presume that it can treat Israel, a sovereign state, as if we were the 52nd star on their banner? I humbly ask to be educated on this matter.

At 8:54 AM, Blogger Mother Effingby said...

What insanity. If anyone in the 19th century told us to curb our natural growth, and that we weren't entitled to the land, we'd have put 'em in a reservation.

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hey Carl,

I think you missed the most important part of the wiki article...

The Israelis responded with a policy which their Prime Minister, Golda Meir, dubbed “ asymmetrical response,” wherein Israeli retaliation was disproportionately large in comparison to any Egyptian attacks.Sometimes the most important lessons we can gain is looking back while still walking forward...

At 11:21 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl missed the most important piece of news over the Shavuot holiday - namely that Holocaust Denier Abu Mazen expects the Americans to force Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office. The Palestinians don't even have to negotiate - America will deliver Israel to them on a silver platter. This is the stand of the "moderate" PA leader - we will not only refuse to recognize Israel, we will not negotiate with its elected leader because we don't have to. We don't have to make peace with Israel or make real compromises because America will bring Israel around to being forced to make peace on Arab terms.

Hopenchange, anyone?

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Brent D said...

I don't know if there will be any big change in American foreign policy despite the optimism around Obama. He has big claims, but you can see in this video http://www.newsy.com/videos/obama_s_balancing_act he is facing some big obstacles. Plus there's enough talk, what's the real plan?


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