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  • February 11, 2013

    Pinkas: Obama understands the gaps are unbridgable

    Alon Pinkas, former Consul General in New York,weighs in on the peace process and Obama’s visit:

      Obama is not really naïve, nor is he surrounded by dreamers. American policy may lack sophistication or creativity at times, but the president is under no illusions when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He is well aware of the difficulties involved in implementing the “two-state” model at this stage and understands that the gap between Israel and the Palestinians is too wide at this point.

      The equation is quite simple: Netanyahu cannot and no longer wants to accept the “Clinton outline” from 2000-2001 or the Olmert-Abbas agreements from 2008. He cannot agree to a Palestinian state with “temporary borders” because this would require new maps that do not include certain settlements. The Palestinians cannot accept futile negotiations “without preconditions” and without taking past agreements into consideration. A mock process would cause them to lose the support of the international community.

      The idea that the process can be reignited with declarations and perhaps a three-way summit in Washington is ludicrous. Moreover, Obama is not coming with an original plan of his own to bridge the gaps. Rather, he is, at best, going to present a package of “trust-building measures.” Therefore, the visit is an important one, but not in relation to the “peace process,” which will remain frozen until a new, paradigm-breaking way of thinking emerges.

    I say Pinkas has that about right but I fail to understand what “trust building measures” he is expecting. Trust between whom?

    Strangely he makes no mention the alleged pressure Obama intends to apply to Netanyahu.

  • Posted by Ted Belman @ 8:42 am | 6 Comments »

    6 Comments to Pinkas: Obama understands the gaps are unbridgable

    1. Eric R. says:

      Obama believes he is the Messiah, capable of anything. Therefore, to him, this is not unbridgeable.

    2. Dan says:

      What is it about “the Arabs’ aim is to destroy Israel” that Pinkas doesn’t understand?

    3. Bernard Ross says:

      ..Obama is not coming with an original plan of his own to bridge the gaps. Rather, he is, at best, going to present a package of “trust-building measures.” Therefore, the visit is an important one, but not in relation to the “peace process,” which will remain frozen until a new, paradigm-breaking way of thinking emerges. I dont think there will be pressure, I think a “negotiation” announcement may occur but that the next phase has already been agreed. If jordan is involved in the next step this will signal Jordanian oversight or confed at a later date. The key is in what BB & crew are willing to accept as a final outcome. If they have truly resigned themselves to a pal state(or autonomy) then it becomes a negotiation over borders and security arrangements. Jordans involvement and/or some sort of pal recognition can be used as a “trust bldg measure”. The next question would be what would the players Abbas & Meshaal be satisfied with in return. In a confed with jordan(after faux negotiations) they can accept less on the west bank and be seen by the street to have made gains.

    4. Bernard Ross says:

      last post had error. the quotation block should end at the end of the statement in bold.
      To add: Abbas can be offered posterity as the father of Palestine, Meshaal can be offered head of PLO or president of Palestine; both can be offered oodles of $$$$ deals in the inflow of $$$$ to Jordan and Pal.

    5. Keefe says:

      “the president is under no illusions when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process”. Let’s parse this: The President is only under illusions regarding Israeli-Palestinian peace processing. The notion that bashing Netanyahu would prime the pump for negotiations, by forcing a building stoppage in Jerusalem, not intervening to stop Palestinian end-runs at the UN, divulging Israel’s nuclear capabilities, using European consuls as proxies for embarassing Israel regarding building tenders in E1, pressuring Israel to make nice with Turkey, setting the ’67 armistice lines as the beginning point of negotiations while Netanyahu was in in the air to visit the US… All of these and more portend a President who will repeat the same pattern by other means. To not do so would be to repudiate the past 4 years of failed diplomacy and inept foreign policy decisions. If there is one thing that truly characterizes our President, it is that between himself and all of his advisors there is no notion of learning from mistakes. A flare-up or loss of momentum has always meant that they did not try hard enough to push through their agenda. Soft-soaping the President’s trip is an invitation to be startled by more bad decisions. These are sure to come.

    6. NormanF says:

      Alon Pinkas is a leftist but he is correct – and Netanyahu is giving only lip service to an Arab state. No one in Israel wants a Hamastan and Israelis have other concerns. There is no great urgency in Israel to restart futile talks with the Arabs.

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