Think elections 2012, with Obama gauging his words to appear he’s demanding the unacceptable from Israel, while demanding from the Palestinians: “Accept Camp David proposals from 2000, or shut up.”
In other words Jewish voters for 2012 are on his mind, while appearing to be tough on Israel, knowing full well that Abbas will never sign on. So he’s setting himself up for what he thinks is a “win win” situation (continuance of the status quo), while looking like he’s being ….’decisive’.
Obama’s draft speech to urge ’67 borders, negate PA’s state bid
US president’s coming speech about Washington’s Mideast policy to demand PA recognize Israel, drop unilateral UN bid for statehood, while urging Israel to return to ’67 lines, cease settlement expansion
WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama is set to give his next political speech at 6pm Thursday, just hours before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves for Washington and according to a draft of the speech, obtained by Yedioth Ahronoth, the American president’s Middle East policy, though unwavering, may not be as discordant as some have feared.
NOTE: The following came by way of a little bird. KGS
Yes to a withdrawal to 1967 borders, no to a unilateral declaration
Shimon Shiffer, Yediot, May 17 2011On Thursday US President Barack Obama will call upon Israel to withdraw to the 1967 lines, with border alterations that will be agreed upon with the Palestinian Authority — but in his speech he will rule out thenotion of a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.
This is what is arising from talks in recent days between National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror and his predecessor Uzi Arad with senior officials in the US administration, ahead of the prime minister’s visit to Washington.
Obama will be delivering his speech at 6 PM Israel time, a few hours before Netanyahu leaves for Washington. From the main points of the draft of the speech, obtained by Yedioth Ahronoth — which couldstill change by Thursday — it is evident that Obama will call on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to returnto the negotiating table, because only in this way can a sustainable agreement be reached. The president will rule out the Palestinian plan to declare a state unilaterally in September, but at the same time will stress thatIsrael must cease construction in the settlements and abstain from any step that can be defined unilateral andthat are liable to change the situation on the ground.
The issue of Jerusalem is also expected to be addressed in the speech, where Obama will declare that the US considers the city to be the capital of both states — Israel and Palestine — which live side by side in peace. Itappears that Obama will endorse in his speech President Clinton’s statement that the division of Jerusalem will be according to the following criterion: the neighborhoods that are populated by Palestinians will beincluded in the Palestinian state, and those with a majority of Jews will be under Israeli sovereignty.
According to one source exposed to talks among Netanyahu’s advisors ahead of the premier’s Friday meeting with the US president, Obama will define as illegal the settlements built in the territories after 1967. It is as yetunknown what will be Obama’s policy on the settlement blocs; in his speech on Monday Netanyahu noted he would demand that they remain under Israeli sovereignty.
Amidror and Arad tried to convince their interlocutors, headed by National Security Advisor Tom Donilon,to change some of the planned formulations in the speech. The Israeli side claimed that Obama’s outline willnot enable true negotiations, and is in essence an endorsement of the Arab approach. A senior US administration official told the Israelis that they have no reason to act like a “surprised virgin.”
“You know the US administration’s position; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton already elaborated on thedetails of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement last October,” the senior official said. In addition, Obama’sadvisors believe that no dramatic change will befall the special relations between Israel and the US, following the speech.
A senior Israeli source said off the record that “texts emanating from Obama’s surroundings are extremely unpleasant to Israeli ears, and will be primarily disturbing to Netanyahu.” The prime minister might beconsoled by the fact that Obama is expected to say explicitly in his speech that the Palestinian side, which willnegotiate with Israel, must accept the terms laid down by the Quartet: recognition of Israel’s right to exist, abstaining from unilateral steps, and ceasing terror and incitement against Israel.
Washington correspondent Orly Azulai adds: On Sunday Obama will address the AIPAC conference in Washington, hours before leaving for an official visit to Europe. Ahead of his speech Obama will meet withKing Abdullah of Jordan, who will be visiting Washington.