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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

White House 'seriously considering' imposing 'peace plan'

In the Washington Post, David Ignatius reports that the Obama administration is 'seriously considering' proposing imposing a 'peace plan' to 'resolve' Israel's conflict with the 'Palestinians' (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
"Everyone knows the basic outlines of a peace deal," said one of the senior officials, citing the agreement that was nearly reached at Camp David in 2000 and in subsequent negotiations. He said that an American plan, if launched, would build upon past progress on such issues as borders, the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem. The second senior official said that "90 percent of the map would look the same" as what has been agreed in previous bargaining.
'Everyone knows' but everyone doesn't know. The 'Palestinians' turned down the far-too-generous offer made by Ehud Barak at Camp David. They turned down even more generous offers made by Barak at Taba in January 2001 and by Ehud Olmert in late 2008. Does this mean that Obama is going to offer them even more than what was offered in the past? What is left to be offered other than a 'right of return' to all the 'refugees' that would vitiate the existence of a Jewish state? Does building upon 'past progress' mean that Israel will be pushed for further concessions?
The American peace plan would be linked with the issue of confronting Iran, which is Israel's top priority, explained the second senior official. He described the issues as two halves of a single strategic problem: "We want to get the debate away from settlements and East Jerusalem and take it to a 30,000-feet level that can involve Jordan, Syria and other countries in the region," as well as the Israelis and Palestinians.
That linkage is odious and just plain wrong. Iran doesn't talk about forcing Israel out of Judea and Samaria - it talks about wiping out the Jewish State (so does the PLO/Fatah but I wouldn't expect the Obama administration to notice that). It has said so repeatedly. I can't find the link right now, but at one point Ahmadinejad was asked specifically whether he would accept a 'small' Israel (i.e. one without Judea and Samaria). He said that he would not. 'Solving' the 'Palestinian problem' (which I don't believe can be done in any event) will not 'solve' Iran.
"Incrementalism hasn't worked," continued the second official, explaining that the United States cannot allow the Palestinian problem to keep festering -- providing fodder for Iran and other extremists. "As a global power with global responsibilities, we have to do something." He said the plan would "take on the absolute requirements of Israeli security and the requirements of Palestinian sovereignty in a way that makes sense."
But 'incrementalism' is the only thing that has a chance to work short of stationing US troops permanently between the parties, where they will be used as targets and human shields for 'Palestinian' terrorists who won't accept any solution short of wiping Israel off the map. Is that really an American interest?

And what are the 'absolute requirements' of Israeli security? Shortly after the 1967 War, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that retaining ALL of Judea and Samaria was an absolute requirement of Israeli security. Nothing has changed since then except the creation of a 'Palestinian people.' Look what happened in Lebanon and Gaza. Does Obama really believe we'll accept the same thing in Judea and Samaria - right in our heartland (and please don't tell me about multinational forces - the Europeans stationed at the Gaza border were afraid to sleep there so they slept in Israel every night and they fled as soon as Hamas took over Gaza).
The White House is considering detailed interagency talks to frame the strategy and form a political consensus for it. The second official likened the process to the review that produced Obama's strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said the administration could formally launch the Middle East initiative by this fall.


A political battle royal is likely to begin soon, with Israeli officials and their supporters in the United States protesting what they fear would be an American attempt to impose a settlement and arguing to focus instead on Iran. The White House rejoinder is expressed this way by one of the senior officials: "It's not either Iran or the Middle East peace process. You have to do both."
So does that mean that the administration will do nothing about Iran before the fall? I can't think of a better way of ensuring that Iran will obtain nuclear weapons.

What could go wrong?


At 10:41 PM, Blogger Broomer said...

I think the writing's on the wall. Dems are going to lose big time in November, so Obama is acting like it's his last chance for "mideast peace". Come November, he'll be a lame duck.

At 10:47 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Well, maybe.

But if so, he'll be a lame duck for 26 months. That's an awful lot of time in which to cause an awful lot of damage.

He doesn't need Congressional approval to try to impose 'peace.' And Congress can't decide to attack Iran and force Obama or the US Armed Forces to carry it out.

What could go wrong?

At 10:48 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Such a plan could only be imposed by force and it would fail. Neither side is prepared to compromise on its interests. The notion the US can force them to do so is sheer madness.

At 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just say no to dregs.

At 12:46 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Barry Rubin echoes what I said and observes if Obama decides to go ahead with an imposed solution, it would be "a major failure and a humiliation for that government."

As he points out, it leaves out Hamas which will never accept such a solution. And more importantly it would constitute the third major broken promise of the US to Israel in less than a year.

What incentive would Israel have to trust US promises? None. It is going to go nowhere. There's lots more. Read it all

At 1:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Solving' the 'Palestinian problem' (which I don't believe can be done in any event) will not 'solve' Iran.

What is the 'Palestinian problem'? That the Palestinians exist? Or that Israel won't/can't make a settlement because it wishes to absorb the west bank? You don't wish a solution, but of course it can be done. It can be done with political will on the Israeli side (remember, Israel is a real state, Palestine is not).

At 3:55 AM, Blogger Kae Gregory said...

There is a good side to Obama treating Israel this way: It is that those left leaning Jews in America will no longer be able to pretend to believe the lies that Obama supports Isreal, nor will those on the left in Israel be able to consider that the left of the world are their kindred. The truth will out, or better, the truth is out.

At 3:57 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Further reflections on the White House's mooted aim can be found here from Jennifer Rubin:

Imposed Arrogance

And from Jonathan Tobin

Obama's Diplomatic War On Israel Is Just Getting Started

Read them both - and read them all.

At 4:00 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Ivan - the "Palestinian" problem is an oxymoron as obvious as rainfall in the Sahara Desert. Attempts to reach a solution have eluded the brightest minds in the world for decades. Just where does Obama think he will succeeded where those before him failed. And it certainly isn't due to Israeli intransigence or a lack of commitment to peace.


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