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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Obama won't present 'peace plan'?

After months of anticipation that President Obumbler would pro impose a 'peace plan,' Israeli officials now believe that the Obama administration has dropped the idea.
Ever since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Obama in Washington in May, there have been persistent reports that Obama would give a speech in which he would outline his vision of a peace agreement, much in the way that president Bill Clinton did in 2001, just before leaving office.

There has even been speculation that the purpose of Mitchell's roaming from capital to capital in the region was to listen to the different points of view, before the US would put it altogether and come up with a "ruling" of its own.

But, according to the officials, the sense in Jerusalem now is that Washington realizes that it is not constructive to just place a plan on the table, without putting all the different pieces together to enable it to be accepted.


Israeli sources said that in recent weeks there has been a sense that the US has toned down its pressure on Israel, as it came to the conclusion that the Arab world - or at least Saudi Arabia - was not going to make the types of gestures that Obama had hoped to see.

According to Israeli sources, the US - though initially disappointed by the Arab position - has redoubled its efforts.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who had made gestures from the Arab world a quid pro quo for any type of construction freeze in the settlements and - according to some reports - for removing settlement outposts, met Mitchell when he arrived on Sunday.

Israeli sources said that progress has been made regarding the settlement issue, and that there was now a willingness on both sides to reach some kind of understanding. There is much speculation that the understandings will revolve around an Israeli agreement not to start any new construction in the settlements for a set period of time, in return for being allowed to finish the some 2,500 units currently under construction.

Mitchell is scheduled to meet with Netanyahu on Tuesday. While Israeli officials said that it was unlikely the settlement issue would be settled on this visit, Washington - according to the sources - would like to resolve it before the August 4 Fatah convention, in order to give Abbas some "achievement" to point to at that parley.
This is actually the first indication I have seen that this administration is maturing regarding the 'peace process' and that's actually good news. But I doubt that Abu Bluff is going to consider it much of an 'achievement.' I believe he'll turn it down and continue to hold out for a full freeze.

Hope and change same!


At 12:53 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

A limited freeze won't placate the Palestinians nor satisfy the Arabs. Why offer it?

Hopenchange, any one?


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