Obama To Roll Out His Vision For Middle East
This article explains how Obama is waiting for Netanyahu (to be sworn in?) so he can roll out his vision for the Middle East. Ten people helped create this plan, it includes final status issues such as Jerusalem being the capital of Israel and Palestine.
Somehow I can't picture Netanyahu sharing Obama's vision.
While aides to Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak were busy formulating the coalition agreement and dividing up ministerial portfolios, Barack Obama's men were working on a bipartisan document and burrowed through files.
The document they produced is waiting for the new Israeli government to be sworn in. The American president is due to use it as the basis of a special speech in which he will present his vision for the Middle East.
Of prime importance among the files on the desks of those who composed the document is a report drawn up at the end of 2008 by 10 senior figures from the two principal political parties in the United States.
One of them, former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, has in the interim been appointed a senior economic adviser to the president.
The authors of that report recommended to the president that he replace "the conditions of the Quartet" with a readiness to recognize a Palestinian unity government, on condition that that government would agree to a cease-fire with Israel, authorize Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to conduct negotiations on a final-status solution, and bring the agreement to a referendum. Since Netanyahu refuses to accept the principle of a Palestinian state being established alongside Israel, he would have some difficulty complaining about the U.S. relieving Hamas of the same demand.
The report's authors proposed that the president adopt the following positions with regard to the components of a final-status agreement: an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders, with the exception of large settlement blocs; Jerusalem being the capital of both Israel and Palestine, and divided on a demographic basis; adoption of a special regime in the Old City; the rehabilitation of refugees within the Palestinian state, with Israel accepting a degree of responsibility for the problem; and the stationing of a multinational force in the territories during an interim period.
Full story at link.