After weeks of chilly relations between the U.S. and Israel
Israeli settlements, reports are emerging that President Obama may be
preparing to announce a peace plan for the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Long pursued by U.S. presidents as the holy grail of foreign policy
accomplishments, such a proposal from the Obama camp would be an ambitious step. Is he really going forward? And what would the plan
- What's In It, When It's Coming First reporting the
possible plan, the Washington Post's David Ignatius wrote, "an
American plan, if launched, would build upon past progress on such
issues as borders, the 'right of return' for Palestinian refugees and
the status of Jerusalem. ... The American peace plan would be linked
with the issue of confronting Iran, which is Israel's top priority." As
for when the plan would appear, "The White House is considering detailed
interagency talks to frame the strategy and form a political consensus
for it. ... the administration could formally launch the Middle East
initiative by this fall."
- Who's For It, Who's Against The
L.A. Times' Paul Richter reports, "the
idea has advocates within the Obama administration. The idea of a
forceful U.S. intervention has long been popular with some Arabs, and
some Mideast experts in the United States. But it has generally alarmed
Israelis and many of their American supporters, who fear that such
pressure could force Israelis to compromise their security. U.S.
officials said the administration remains focused on trying to coax
Israeli and Palestinian leaders to participate in indirect peace talks,
with American diplomats serving as intermediaries."
Obama's Getting Involved The New York Times' Helene Cooper analyzes,
"The fact that Mr. Obama was willing to have such an impromptu
discussion with former advisers illustrates his increasing frustration
with the foot-dragging over Middle East peace talks, and a growing sense
that he may have to present a specific plan, rather than wait for the
two sides to come to any sort of agreement. ... a consensus appears to
be growing, both within the administration and among outside advisers to
the White House, that Mr. Obama will have to consider suggesting a
solution to get the two sides moving."
- This Explains
U.S.-Israel Chill Foreign Policy's Daniel Levy sees the
nine-dimensional chess. "In a way, everything the Obama administration
has done on the issue to date could be retroactively explained as
preparation for this great moment of pivoting to a plan - 'we
sincerely tried to do everything to build confidence, especially on
settlements, but it is clear that the only answer is to know where
Israel ends and where Palestine begins, and therefore to delineate a
- Could Just Be a Head Fake Politico's Laura Rozen sighs, "I am
skeptical that this is anything more than messaging and outside-advocacy
at this point. Nothing I have heard from officials would indicate that
the U.S. is close to putting out its plan, if it has even formulated
one, and is still stuck trying to get proximity talks launched."
Only Weaken Ties With Israel The Weekly Standard's Elliott
Abrams seethes, "It is a threat against Israel by the Obama
administration and particularly by National Security Advisor James
Jones." He says the failure of Israel and Palestine to reach a peace
agreement is, somehow, Obama's fault. "The inability of Israelis and
Palestinians to get to the negotiating
table is, in this administration, an iatrogenic disease: Our diplomatic
doctors have caused it."
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