Israeli source says Americans frustrated with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for hampering U.S. efforts to stop Palestinians trying UN route to statehood in September.
By Barak Ravid
Washington is pressuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accede to its proposal to resume Israeli-Palestinian peace talks on the basis of U.S. President Barack Obama's May 19 speech.
An Israeli source who spoke recently with senior officials in Washington said the Americans were very frustrated with Netanyahu's behavior, feeling that he was impeding America's efforts to keep the Palestinians from unilaterally seeking UN recognition of a state in September.
Netanyahu's personal envoy, Isaac Molho, spent last week in Washington, where the Americans presented their proposal for resuming talks on the basis of Obama's speech. Specifically, Obama's plan calls for negotiating over borders and security first, while deferring issues such as Jerusalem and the refugees until later. It also calls for the borders to be based on the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed land swaps.
The Americans told Molho that to block European initiatives such as France's proposal for an international peace conference in Paris, they must have something concrete to offer, like Netanyahu's agreement to negotiate on the basis of Obama's speech.
The U.S. proposal was also given to chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who said the Palestinians would resume talks on this basis.
Meanwhile, a European diplomat who was briefed on Molho's talks in Washington said they were fruitless. "The Americans didn't get anything new from Molho," the diplomat said.
This week, American diplomat David Hale will arrive in Israel to hold further meetings with both Molho and Erekat. Hale is temporarily replacing George Mitchell, the U.S. special envoy who resigned earlier this year.
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It seems to me that Obama is enacting revenge for the dressing-down he recently received from Netanyahu in DC. However, Obama is treading on very thin ice when he gives a ultimatum to Israel about her borders.
Why is Obama so insistant on his proposal being the done-deal agreement before the Palestinians seek UN recognition for similar bountries? Could it be all about who would get the credit for the accomplishment?
Praying for Israel, for Netanyahu and for each of its leaders and citizens. Praying that God will grant them the wisdom and peace to trust in Him. Praying that God will protect, sustain and save Israel during this time of pressure, threats and turmoil...in Jesus' Name...Amen!