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Sunday, December 12, 2010

No dramatic announcements

Secretary of State Clinton spoke at the Saban Center of the Brookings Institution on Friday night. Her topic was the Middle East 'peace process.'

The speech was rather lengthy; it stretches over three videos. Here's Part 1.

Let's go to the videotape.

Here's Part 2. Let's go to the videotape.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I was deeply disturbed by her insistence on making each insistence have a parallel for the other side (with the exception, of course, of her condemnation of Israeli 'settlements'). Who went after innocent civilians with suicide bombers and would still be doing it if it were not for the IDF presence in Judea and Samaria?

Here's Part 3. Let's go to the videotape.

Laura Rozen adds:
Analysts said that while the administration's credibility had taken a hit with little progress to show after two years of efforts, the new approach may prove more productive.

"They are doing what might have been wise much earlier -- that is making indirect talks 'substantive two-way conversations' ... about real things," said Daniel Levy, a former Israeli peace team advisor. "I would argue that back-to-back talks, if the U.S. throws its weight around a bit, are more likely to advance the ball than direct bilateral negotiations."

"In essence, the Obama administration has just doubled down on pursuing a peace agreement in short order," former Middle East Quartet deputy envoy Robert Danin said. "Second, Clinton just launched final status negotiations by proxy. Succeeding at this approach will be difficult, and require even greater American involvement than we have seen so far.

"The Administration's tenacity is admirable, but I fear efforts that it raise expectations," Danin continued. "I surely hope they are also preparing a safety net in case this intensive effort does not reap the ambitious goals they are setting out for themselves."

On balance, Clinton "managed to reassert the U.S. commitment to leading the process forward despite the setbacks," said the American Task Force for Palestine's Ziad Asali. "Not a bad feat considering a week of 'the end of the peace process' doom and gloom."
At least one 'negotiator' didn't seem very interested in what Clinton had to say.
Emerging from the State Department after his talks with Clinton on Friday, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat blamed the Israeli government for the breakdown in talks and said the Palestinians would continue to consult with the US, the UN, the European Union and Arab League on how to proceed.

"They are alone responsible for the derailment of the peace process," Erekat told reporters. "The Israeli government had a choice between settlements and peace and they chose settlements." He said the Palestinian position was unchanged and offered no predictions as to what might be next.

US officials say their hope is to make progress on security issues and setting a final border between Israel and a future Palestinian state in separate talks with the two sides, enabling a resumption of direct negotiations and an ultimate peace deal.

US envoy George Mitchell is to leave Sunday evening for the Middle East for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He will also visit neighboring Arab states.
No, they're not going to reach an agreement with the US shuttling between the parties and they know it. I think this is all a show - because the US has to maintain the appearance of 'negotiations' to keep 'our friends the Saudis' happy, and because Prime Minister Netanyahu needs the appearance of 'negotiations' to keep Labor in the coalition and Ehud Barak in the cabinet. But Abu Bluff has already announced to anyone who will listen that he won't continue to negotiate unless there's a full 'settlement freeze' and it's clear right now that won't happen.

Hopefully, the US will finally turn its attention to Iran now that the need for a 'settlement' between the Israelis and 'Palestinians' as a precondition to that has been exposed as a fraud by Wikileaks.

What could go wrong?

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At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary's Tilt against Israel

At 2:26 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

As I said nothing is going to happen. The two sides will pretend they want to make peace but will do nothing to make Obama and Hillary's life easier.

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Y.K. said...

Pinchas Inbari has a very different take:


He thinks the US intends to try to impose a very bad solution. The terms are supposedly based on Kadima-PLO negotiations, but are actually so draconian, I can't see any way Nehthanyahu could accept even if he wanted to. IMHO, this can't lead to anything but a bigger explosion, and I wonder if they are that stupid.


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