Thursday, July 16, 2009

Horse Trading, Israeli style...

If truth-inverting was a sellable product, Israel and Zionism would have acquired the lion share of the world market by now. Here's the JTA effortlessly blaming the Arabs for the lack of progress in kick-starting the new, new, new 'peace process' again:

The Americans have made clear that they see a freeze on settlement construction as a key instrument of policy designed to jump-start Israeli-Palestinian and regional peacemaking. In their White House meeting in mid-May, President Obama reportedly told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he also needed Israel’s commitment to a freeze to secure international support for tougher policies against Iran if Washington’s diplomatic overtures to Tehran fail.

And here was me thinking Obama was keen to keep the I-P question and the Iran issue separated, contrary to the Israel Lobby's goal...

The Israeli side agrees with both these goals and apparently is prepared to make concessions on the settlement issue to achieve them.

But only after it managed to turn two non-issues into stumbling blocs: the ridiculous demand for recognition of the State of Israel as the 'Jewish State' and the 'settlement freeze'. There's no need for a settlement freeze: all that needs to be negotiated is a deadline for the start of withdrawal from the settlements. There was no 'settlement freeze' prior to the Gaza 'disengagement' either. It's a deliberate attempt at further stalling.

What the Israelis fear, however, is a scenario in which they impose the settlement freeze but the Americans fail to deliver on promised regional peace moves.

The Israelis want to use the freeze as leverage for Arab moves toward normalizing ties with the Jewish state. Imposing a full settlement freeze is a strong card the Israeli administration is reluctant to play until it sees something tangible from the Arab side, such as Arab countries allowing Israeli civilian flights over their territories or opening up economic interest sections in Israel.

Despite strong personal efforts by Obama, the Americans thus far have been unable to obtain clear-cut Arab commitments.

So in essence the Israelis have still not delivered diddly squat and the Arabs are now to blame....

Well, as long as they don't expect there's going to be another 40 years of stalling...

Problem is that Obama feels his hands are tied left, right and centre but that he could do the right thing and act like a man, not a pussy: that would be change we could believe in.


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