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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Obama 'personally' pressuring Netanyahu to accept Kerry proposal

The New York Times reports that US President Hussein Obama is 'personally' pressuring Prime Minister Netanyahu to accept US Secretary of State John FN Kerry's 'framework' proposal.
“Now is a very timely opportunity for him to get involved,” a senior official said of Mr. Obama, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the issue. If the two sides agree to the framework, which would set out general terms on issues like Israel’s security and the borders of a future Palestinian state, the negotiations could be extended, with a new target of completing a treaty by the end of 2014.
That's because those are areas where only Israel can make concessions. Left unresolved would be keeping 'Palestinian refugees' out of Israel and 'Palestinian' recognition of Israel as the Jewish state. If the 'framework' only resolves these points, what incentive do the 'Palestinians' have to make any concessions?
The challenge for the White House has been to redeploy the president only when it is believed he can make a critical difference. With Mr. Kerry’s self-imposed deadline nearing, and with little indication that Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas have resolved key differences, that moment is now, the officials said. “The president wouldn’t want to run any risk that it was the lack of his involvement that would make the difference between success and failure,” a senior official said.
They don't really think anyone in Israel trusts Obama, do they?
It is far from clear, however, that Mr. Obama can pull off what has so far eluded his secretary of state — not to mention several of his Oval Office predecessors. While Mr. Kerry and his special envoy, Martin S. Indyk, have held intensive meetings with Israelis and Palestinians in recent days, the two sides have not met face to face for weeks. That suggests, analysts say, that there has been scant progress in closing some of the core differences, like the status of Jerusalem or the contours of a new Palestinian state. It is difficult to know the exact status of the talks because the participants have largely kept a promise not to air the details publicly.
Skeptics say Mr. Kerry’s decision to opt for a framework is itself a sort of concession — or at best, a way to buy time. Some worry that if Mr. Obama puts his prestige on the line to coax approval for an interim step, he will have less leverage to push through a final deal.

Administration officials said the framework will cover all the major final-status issues, though Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas will be able to express reservations about individual provisions, so long, an official said, “as they don’t vitiate the framework.”
Israel Radio reported this morning that the US is pressuring Netanyahu not to state his reservations, and that Netanyahu might just say he has reservations about the entire framework. That would accomplish nothing for either the framework or for Israel. Even Hanan Ashrawi agrees.
A framework that allowed each side to voice reservations, she said, would be “self-negating,” adding, “It will be a nondocument.” Any document not based firmly on international law, she said, “will become a box of chocolates: You can pick and choose what you want.”
Ms. Ashrawi did not say the Palestinian Authority would actually reject the framework, if it came to that. But she asked: “Why have it? Is it just to maintain a semblance of progress? Is it meant to buy more time? Or is it not to admit we have failed?”
All of the above. The fear here is that once Kerry's useless effort officially fails, Israel will pay the price in violence and murder from the 'Palestinians.'

What could go wrong?

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