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Obama Expects Full Settlement Freeze and Two-State Position by July

On the eve of his departure for the Middle East, Pres. Obama has laid down a further demand of the Netanyahu government.  He expects a new Israeli “plan” (read, settlement freeze and two-state position) by July:

United States President Barack Obama intends to give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu four to six weeks to provide an “updated position” regarding construction in West Bank settlements and the two-state principle.

While in Saudi Arabia, Obama will ask King Abdullah to give a green light to moderate Gulf states to resume diplomatic contacts with Israel.  The new Israeli position would be the quid pro quo.

Rhetorical question: why is it that no previous U.S. administration was able to come anywhere near this clear and forthright an approach to U.S.-Israel relations?  I know, I know.  There are lots of reasons for this.  But as I watch this unfold I marvel that it took so long to break this logjam and that no previous president was able to do it.  I realize that Obama has not “done it” yet.  But he’s a damn sight closer than anyone has been in the past three or four decades and I give him a lot of credit for that.

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{ 4 comments… add one }

  • DICKERSON3870 June 5, 2009, 5:21 PM

    RE: “OBAMA EXPECTS FULL SETTLEMENT FREEZE AND TWO-STATE POSITION BY JULY”

    SEE: “Hawks Push ‘Three-State Solution’ for Palestine”, by Daniel Luban, 06/05/09

    (EXCERPT) As U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to deliver a major foreign policy speech in Cairo and his administration pushes aggressively for a two-state solution in Israel-Palestine,neoconservatives and other foreign policy hawks back home are calling on him to scrap the two-state solution altogether and consider alternatives to Palestinian statehood.

    The most prominent alternative they are pushing is the so-called “three-state solution” or “Jordanian option,” in which the West Bank would be returned to Jordanian control and the Gaza Strip to Egyptian control…

    …The newfound appeal of the three-state approach was evident on Wednesday, when the Heritage Foundation – arguably Washington’s most prominent conservative think tank – hosted a conference devoted to alternatives to the two-state solution.

    The Heritage event, which was sponsored by right-wing U.S. casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, came only two weeks after right-of-center Israeli parties hosted a similar conference in Jerusalem…

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://original.antiwar.com/luban/2009/06/04/hawks-push-three-state-solution-for-palestine/

    • DICKERSON3870 June 5, 2009, 5:24 PM

      SEE ALSO: “Neocons for Ahmadinejad”, By Daniel Luban

      At Wednesday’s Heritage Foundation conference on the Middle East peace process (which, as I wrote yesterday, was primarily devoted to pushing the almost-universally-scorned “three-state solution” for Israel-Palestine), Middle East Forum director Daniel Pipes made an unusually revealing comment while discussing Iran’s upcoming presidential elections.

      “I’m sometimes asked who I would vote for if I were enfranchised in this election, and I think that, with due hesitance, I would vote for Ahmadinejad,” Pipes said…

      ENTIRE POST – http://www.ips.org/blog/jimlobe/

  • marc gopin June 7, 2009, 7:39 AM

    However liberal or centrist we may think Obama is, we must take the wider view to what has happened. This is the first non-extremist in the White House since 9/11. It is also after the outrage of the Lebanon war, and after the deepest outrage of Gaza as a gift to him right before he enters office. This man is cool on the outside but he knows when he is being played with. He knows that the IDF did this right before his inaugural. Now we see payback, and once a President decides to take on the IDF and the settlers, then we have many of the political elite in Washington who are tired of their own silence. I know Kerry, Biden, all sick of this. Mearsheimer, Walt, J Street, Brit Tzedek, all of a piece to say, Dai, enough. But this could not have been done by Clinton. the outrages of Iraq were still to come, the full discrediting of the militarism that the U.S. had stooped to. Many things are in place. But can they do this right? Can they move along the people in this process, unlike Oslo? Can they move along Syria and everyone else simultaneously? Can they move Iran to a less threatening posture? This is still an open question.

  • marc gopin June 7, 2009, 7:41 AM

    However liberal or centrist we may think Obama is, we must take the wider view to what has happened. This is the first non-extremist in the White House since 9/11. It is also after the outrage of the Lebanon war, and after the deepest outrage of Gaza as a gift to him right before he enters office. This man is cool on the outside but he knows when he is being played with. He knows that the IDF did this right before his inaugural. Now we see payback, and once a President decides to take on the IDF and the settlers, then we have many of the political elite in Washington who are tired of their own silence. I know Kerry, Biden, all sick of this. Mearsheimer, Walt, J Street, Brit Tzedek, all of a piece to say, Dai, enough. But this could not have been done by Clinton. the outrages of Iraq were still to come, the full discrediting of the militarism that the U.S. had stooped to. Many things are in place. But can they do this right? Can they move along the people in this process, unlike Oslo? Can they move along Syria and everyone else simultaneously? Can they move Iran to a less threatening posture? This is still an open question. http://www.marcgopin.com

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