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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Senators circulating letter to Obama calling for pressure on Abu Mazen to stay at the table

Four US Senators - Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Richard Burr (R-NC) - have signed a letter (pdf link), which is being circulated to colleagues for signature, urging President Obama to pressure 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen to stay at the 'peace talks' table even if Israel does not extend the 'settlement freeze.' The letter is scheduled for release on Friday, two days before the freeze officially expires.
Lawmakers, who have also bristled at the administration's public pressure on Netanyahu, are now calling on Obama to make it clear to Abbas that even if the freeze isn't extended, he should stay at the table.

"Neither side should make threats to leave just as the talks are getting started," the group of senators wrote in the letter (PDF) dated for release Sept. 24, obtained by The Cable.


The senators praised Netanyahu for staying at the table even though the beginning of the process was marred by violence.

"Following the brutal murder of four innocent Israeli civilians by Hamas militants at the start of the negotiations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not abandon the talks," the senators wrote. "We also agree with you that it is critical that all sides stay at the table."


Experts said the letter was a gentle push for the Obama administration to sharpen his stance toward Abbas as the end of the freeze rapidly approaches.

"Obviously this is a direct message to President Abbas, and President Obama, that many in Congress...want the Palestinian leadership to stop making what they see as threats and to put public pressure on the Palestinian Authority to move their position," said one Capitol Hill insider who had seen the letter.

"Many Capitol Hill office see Abbas quitting the talks over the settlements as him using the same issue he was clinging to when trying to set preconditions for the talks in the first place."
Obama pressuring the 'Palestinians'? That would be change!

But seriously, this is good news. The name of the game in these 'negotiations' is to have the other side be blamed for their failure. Obama had been setting up Israel to be blamed for not extending the freeze if the 'Palestinians' walk out next week. This letter will act as a counterweight to that plan.


At 5:52 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Obama faces pressure from a Democratic majority that wants to stay in office past November to keep the heat off Israel. And he wants to look good so we're not going to see Israel blamed for now.


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