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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Mitchell to put 'final borders' immediately on the table?

Haaretz reports that due to the dispute between Israel and the Obama administration over the 'settlement freeze,' the President and his special envoy George Mitchell (pictured) may attempt to put a resolution of Israel's 'final borders' on the table immediately. If that were to happen, it would be clear where Israel is 'permitted' to build and where it is not 'permitted' to build.
The American proposal was raised in recent weeks following Israeli suggestions that there is no reason to cease construction in the large settlement blocs. Such construction would accommodate natural growth. The Israelis say that since those blocs will remain in Israel under a final-status agreement, there is no point in preventing construction.

The Israeli position was mainly directed at the blocs of Gush Etzion, Alfei Menashe, Ariel, Ma'aleh Adumim and certain areas adjoining Jerusalem.

The American officials countered by suggesting that they initiate immediate negotiations on the border between Israel and a future Palestinian state. This, the Americans insisted, would make it easier for everyone to decide where settlement construction could take place.

Israeli sources told Haaretz that they are not entirely sure what the American proposals mean. "We do not know what precisely they intend," said a senior official who took part in some of the meetings.

Another official said that "this is essentially a threat and a verbal form of leverage" that is meant to clarify to Israel the American insistence to find a resolution to the issue of settlement construction as soon as possible.
I'm not sure this would be such a bad thing so long as it is explicitly written that nothing is accepted until everything is accepted.

What would happen if the negotiators couldn't reach an agreed solution?


At 7:59 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

There is no chance the Palestinians will accept any borders short of the 1949 lines. And there is no point in even talking about borders while the other side rejects Israel's existence as a Jewish state. George Mitchell should be told he is not welcome in Israel as long as his boss is committed to a policy of hostility to Israel and a lack of concern for her national interest. That is what Israel's government should do to Mitchell - but won't.

What could go wrong indeed


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