Obama’s Delusion: Palestine in 90 Days?

In-depth Report:

“Appeasers believe that if you keep on throwing steaks to a tiger, the tiger will become a vegetarian.” – Heywood Broun


Never in the history of United States-Israeli relations has an American president forsaken his country’s dignity and disavowed the principles of international law to the degree of President Obama.


The appalling set of proposals being offered to the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as incentives to jumpstart peace talks with the Palestinians—aborted as a result of renewed (illegal) Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem—smack of appeasement and capitulation to Tel Aviv.


Under the proposed terms, if Israel agrees to a 90-day settlement freeze in the West Bank, the U.S. would agree to:


·         No longer pressure Israel to ease, curtail or halt settlement construction or expansion after the 90-day moratorium


“What is important—and the prime minister insists on this—that it be clear beyond any shadow of a doubt that this is the last freeze, there won’t be an additional request, there won’t be any American demands for freezes or other restrictions,” said National Security Advisor Uzi Arad to Israel’s Channel 2 TV.


·         Allow Israel to continue building housing units in East Jerusalem (and by definition, expel Palestinian residents from their homes to do so) during the three-month period


·         Provide Israel with a fleet of 20 advanced F-35 stealth fighters


Note: This is in addition to F-35s already pledged as part of a $30 billion military assistance package to Israel (meant to temper AIPAC objection to the planned $60 billion in U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia ).


·         Veto any attempt made by Palestinians to seek United Nations’ recognition of an independent state


To add to U.S. ignominy, Netanyahu demanded from its stalwart ally that all the above be put in writing before the cabinet would even consider it. Arad confirmed this was done.


President Obama is under the impression—or more aptly, delusion—that a comprehensive peace agreement can be reached during these 90 days, including delineating the borders of a Palestinian state.


Palestine in 90 days?


More absurd than the supposition that the parties will be able to achieve in months what they have been unable to for decades, is that Israel will be sufficiently motivated by the American bribe to enter serious negotiations. In reality, it only incentivizes intransigence. The U.S. has already stipulated that after three months, Israel can resume colonization of the West Bank without objection (a shocking White House endorsement of the annexation of occupied land, in direct contravention of international law, U.N. resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention).


In a Nov. 21 Washington Post op-ed titled “With settlement deal, U.S. will be rewarding Israel’s bad behavior,” former U.S. ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer wrote:


“For the first time in memory, the United States is poised to reward Israel for its bad behavior … If [the deal] goes forward, it will be the first direct benefit that the United States has provided Israel for settlement activities that we have opposed for more than 40 years.”


Any hesitation on the part of Netanyahu’s cabinet or the Knesset about signing off on the understanding will be mere theatrics, meant to make a too-good-to-be-true offer appear balanced and worthy of measured, cautious evaluation. When approved, Obama’s 90-day moratorium will be nothing more than a short countdown to the full realization of Israeli dreams—and an end to those of Palestinians.


Rannie Amiri is an independent Middle East commentator.

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Articles by: Rannie Amiri

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