Wednesday, June 15, 2011

US Gives Netanyahu Ultimatum





The website Haaretz, posted that Israel Radio reported Sunday that the US gave Netanyahu an ultimatum on renewing negotiations with the Palestinians. The ulimation is that Netanyahu has to decide within a month whether he agrees to accept Obama’s proposal and resume talks based on 1967 lines. Obama's proposal calls for negotiating over borders and security first, while deferring issues such as Jerusalem and the refugees until later.

From Haaretz:

'An Israeli source 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 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.

An Israeli source who maintains close ties with both senior U.S. officials and people close to Netanyahu said that Washington‘s frustration began with Netanyahu’s trip to Washington last month, when he publicly fought with Obama and then refused in an address to Congress to endorse the president’s outline for talks. The Americans
were now speaking very harshly of Netanyahu, said the source.

“He’s asking us to protect him in September, but he isn’t giving us any tools with
which to help him,” the source quoted one American official as saying. “Instead
of helping us, he’s making it harder for us.” As a result, American officials
complained, Obama was unable to get Britain and France to commit to opposing a
unilateral Palestinian move when he visited Europe last month.

European diplomats said Netanyahu’s speech to Congress was viewed in Europe as one long “no” and had thus increased European distrust of him. “We want to hear Netanyahu say he‘s willing to negotiate on the basis of Obama’s speech and that he’ll discuss borders based on the 1967 lines with land swaps,” said one diplomat.

Since the barren talks with Molho last week, the White House has been
upping the pressure on Netanyahu. On Friday, Steve Simon, who heads the U.S.
National Security Council’s Middle East desk, told American Jewish leaders that
Netanyahu needs to reply within a month to the U.S. proposal for restarting
talks. The White House knew this remark would both be conveyed to Netanyahu and leaked to the American and Israeli press, thus making its displeasure public.' Source: Haaretz.com

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