I have a shovel at the ready…….
Burying Obama’s legacy
It may very well be that this week was the week that Israel and the US put to rest former president Barack Obama’s policies and positions on Israel and the Palestinians.
If so, the move was made despite the best efforts of Obama’s team to convince the Trump administration to maintain them.
The details of Obama’s policies and positions have been revealed in recent weeks in a series of articles published in Haaretz regarding Obama’s secretary of state John Kerry’s failed peacemaking efforts, which ended in 2014.
The articles reported segments of two drafts of a US framework for a final peace treaty between the PLO and Israel. The drafts were created in February and March 2014.
he article series is predicated on the assumption that Kerry and his team were on the precipice of a historic breakthrough between PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. But a close reading of the documents shows that the opposite was the case.
There are two reasons that Kerry had no prospects for reaching a deal.
First, he, Obama and their advisers were too hostile to Israel and its citizens to ever convince Netanyahu that Israel’s interests would be secured.
A February 2014 draft framework agreement, which was based on conversations Kerry and his team held with Netanyahu and his advisers, makes this clear. The draft includes Netanyahu’s demand that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria not annexed to Israel would remain “in place” after the implementation of a peace deal, and presumably, become towns in the future Palestinian state.
In other words, Netanyahu demanded that the Israelis in Judea and Samaria whose towns would be located in the territory of “Palestine” would enjoy the same rights and protections as Israel’s Arab citizens enjoy.
Kerry and his team would have none of it. The February draft agreement notes, “[US] negotiators need to check with PM [Netanyahu] on whether he wants to [maintain this position]… They believe that if so, he will push strongly for ‘in place.’ ‘In place’ is inconsistent with US policy and therefore unacceptable to us as well as the Palestinians.”
In other words, the position of the Obama administration was that all Israelis living in areas that would become part of the Palestinian state must be forcibly removed from their homes and communities.