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Monday, May 30, 2011

The Obumbler gives something for nothing (again)

The Obama administration has been telling anyone who would listen that the reason President Barack Hussein Obama made that statement about the '1967 borders' was that it's the only way to get the Europeans to vote against a unilateral declaration of 'Palestinian statehood' at the United Nations in September. But even assuming that there ever is such a vote, Herb Keinon of the Jerusalem Post writes that Obama has received no assurances from the Europeans. In other words, once again, Obama has given something (and far too much) for nothing.
But, according to various assessments in Jerusalem, it would have been more effective had the US first received European agreement not to support the Palestinian Authority move in the UN, and then make the statement about the 1967 lines, rather than the other way around.

The way it stands now, the 1967 language is out there, and there is no certainty the Europeans will support the US position against a Palestinian state at the UN.
Keinon goes on to say that the Israeli government believes that better coordination with the United States is necessary. Good luck with that so long as this administration is in power.
Following the visit, there is a strong sense in Jerusalem that much better coordination is needed with the US at the highest levels. Jerusalem was only made aware that Obama was going to make his remark about the 1967 lines the night before he delivered his speech. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton then called Netanyahu the next day, and heard a furious reaction from the prime minister.

There still remained much speculation in Jerusalem as to why the US sprung the 1967 language on Israel, with one assessment being that Washington did not believe it would be possible to coordinate strategy with Israel on this matter.

According to this line of reasoning, since Washington believed Israel would simply not accept this, and did not believe there was any language that Netanyahu could accept, they concluded there was no other choice than to unilaterally make the declaration.

In this assessment, the US did not foresee Netanyahu’s strong and public opposition.

Following the visit, the focus of diplomatic activity is expected to be on coming up with a coordinated strategy with the US to avoid the possible repercussions of a Palestinian initiative at the UN in September. This is based on the widespread assumption that there is no way PA President Mahmoud Abbas will return to negotiations.

The idea is to examine whether it is possible to articulate a vision of a future agreement that has elements in it that are important both for Israel and for the Palestinians, and that would receive widespread European support and convince the Europeans not to back Palestinian statehood at the UN.
If Obama believed that Israel simply would not accept the '1967 borders' reference, why were they so surprised that Netanyahu would express strong and public opposition? Do they think he's a wimp like Obama?

Moreover, if no one believes that Abu Bluff is going to come back to the negotiating table (which I believe is correct), then why should Israel keep negotiating against itself to try to satisfy him, so that the next time he or his successor decides to come to the table, they will claim the starting point should be 'Netanyahu's concessions' and not 'where we left off at Annapolis.'

In the meantime, with a statement to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday, Prime Minister Netanyahu is preparing for the reality that the resolution declaring a 'Palestinian state' is going to pass the UN General Assembly if it gets there in September.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday said that there is no way to stop the United Nations General Assembly from recognizing Palestinian statehood in September. In the General Assembly, he remarked, "it would be possible to get a resolution [passed] saying the world is flat," speaking at a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting.

Netanyahu added, however, "It's impossible to receive recognition of Palestinian statehood that doesn't come from the Security Council, whose procedures will lead to failure. We don't have any way to stop the resolution in the GA, we're only expecting to be supported by a number of countries."
What could go wrong?

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At 6:12 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Palestinians tearing up their Oslo commitments formally frees Israel to take its own unilateral steps.

Israel should not be bound by commitments the other side has no intention of keeping and this includes the Road Map and Quartet obligations.

If the world was really interested in preserving the peace process, it would pressure the Palestinians to cease their unilateral initiative and conform to their agreed undertakings with Israel.

That isn't going to happen. And when Israel does take unilateral steps of its own in September, it will be condemned by the whole world but then Israelis will remember the world did nothing to save the peace process when it had the chance to take such action.

What could go wrong indeed


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