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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Obama gave the speech Saeb requested

So much for the 'biggest Yerushalayim in Jewish history.' When President Obama delivered that bombshell speech at the State Department ten days ago, he was delivering the speech that chief 'Palestinian' negotiator bottle washer Saeb Erekat asked him to deliver in October 2009 (Hat Tip: Eliana - scroll down to the bottom if you click the link). The following is from minutes of a meeting between Saeb Erekat and then-US Special Middle East Envoy George Mitchell that was held on November 1, 2009. SE is Saeb Erekat, GM is George Mitchell and PS is permanent status.
SE noted that it was time for the US to upgrade its position and explicitly endorse the 67 border, as Sec Rice had done during Annapolis – it was agreed then, it is consistent with US policy regarding the occupied territory. GM replied that this means taking a new position. SE said this is a new administration that should state what others have tacitly agreed in the past.

GM noted that difficulties with the Israelis on this and other issues, that they would not agree to any mention of 67 whatsoever and that strongly objected to Obama’s UNGA speech. He said he will continue to pursue the issue next week. SE suggested the following language: “two states along the 67 border with agreed swaps”. He stressed the importance of parallel negotiations of all PS issues.
Anyone still want to argue that Obama's speech did not represent a change? (That is not to say that I am happy with the idea that the only thing that Israel objected to until now was the mention of the '1967 lines.' I'm not).

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At 8:45 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

It was going to become the G8 stand in Deauville, France except Canada strenuously objected and got that wording removed from the final statement.

As Barry Rubin observed, the effect of international pressure is to constantly erode Israel's position.

What Israel must do is survive and ensure it does not get remembered after the fact in a good epitaph.

At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think that it is "only" the mention of the 1967 lines--the implied inference imo is that there is so much objection to the 1967 lines being an official baseline that even the mere mention of that is objectionable.

Note that Obama also bought into the new Fatah demand. That there not be parallel negotiations but that the borders be taken care of first and the refugees and Jerusalem (after Israel perhaps has already withdrawn) be taken up afterwards.


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