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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why Obama and Bibi discussed Iran on Monday night

Anyone need more proof that Monday night's White House meeting was about Iran? Consider this by Steve Rosen from the hours leading up to the meeting.
Some on the U.S. side may want to use the opportunity to take Netanyahu to the woodshed, to say to the Palestinians, "See, we are being tough with Israel." That would be a profound mistake, one that would convince Israelis that their original fear that Obama is allied with the Arabs and not with Israel was correct. And it would reinforce the belief among many on the Arab side that what is needed is American diktats to Israel, not direct negotiations.

If the president wants to avoid the appearance that a positive meeting with Netanyahu means he is deaf to Palestinian concerns, a solution is close at hand. The meeting, or at least the public diplomacy about the meeting, should be primarily about Iran, not the Israeli-Palestinian morass. Nothing is going to happen on the Palestinian front until their crisis of legitimacy reaches some kind of new equilibrium in January with presidential elections anyway. The Iranian issue, by contrast, is at an urgent moment and cannot long be ignored.

If Obama were to emerge from a meeting with Netanyahu with their partnership on Iran restored, all the friendly governments in the Mideast would be gratified -- from Riyadh to Cairo to the Mukata in Ramallah, not to mention the people of Israel. Renewing real U.S.-Israeli strategic cooperation on the Iranian crisis is a necessity and an opportunity for Obama to undo some of the harm of past mistakes and get back on a track that may actually produce progress in the Middle East.
And the 'Palestinians' now find themselves in the position of begging the US not to take a pause in the 'negotiations' with the 'Palestinians.'
There are rumors that the White House is considering a pause in its shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East, a recognition that the administration goal to convince the Israeli government to impose a freeze on settlements might not be possible in the near term and the tumultuous situation inside the Palestinian Authority might prevent that side from sitting down at the table.

The Palestinian Authority, for one, is calling on the administration not to take a break in their initiative, while still acknowledging that there is wide space between the current atmosphere and one that could precede a resumption of talks.

"I don't think the administration can impose a pause on their activities. We heard that, it is not official or confirmed," said Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat, PLO representative to the United States and head of the PLO mission in Washington, "The middle east conflict is too important an issue for the administration to abandon or to take a back seat, I think."
Actually, I would venture a guess that a potential Iranian nuclear weapon is of a lot more concern to just about everyone in the world than a 'Palestinian state.' With the possible exception of the 'Palestinians.'

Talk about a sense of self-importance....


Here's more proof that I'm right about what was discussed.
Although the details of Monday night's talks between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama continued to be shrouded in secrecy, speaking to reporters before boarding the plane to Paris from Washington on Tuesday night, the prime minister dismissed suggestions of a tense meeting and said the "importance of the visit will become clear in the future."


"The discussions dealt with the complex of issues vital for Israel's security</span> and our joint efforts to advance the peace process. We discussed these issues in detail, in a practical way and out of friendship. I really appreciated the professional and positive approach I discovered," he said.


At 3:53 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

In view of Iran's belligerence and extremism, Israel is finally getting a hearing in Washington. The Administration now understands that no movement is possible on the Palestinian issue until the Iranian nuclear threat is dealt with. Thus, the fateful decision on how to address that threat can no longer be postponed and is at hand.

At 4:21 AM, Blogger Kae Gregory said...

Perhaps Obama will tire of being humiliated by America's enemies. But, like he did with health care, I believe that he will push up to the line and then push just as far as he can over it to squeeze every possible concession he possibly can from Israel because he knows, as history has borne witness, the any giving in the process for peace will come from those who truly desire it - Israel.


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