By Ted Belman –
The mask is off. The US officials sympathize with Abbas and blame Israel’s settlement construction as the cause of the failure of the talks. They warn that warn Palestine will rise ‘whether through violence or via int’l organizations’ which is another way of saying that the US won’t veto the recognition of Palestine in the SC and will recognize them as a state contrary to the requirements of the Montevideo Conventions.
We knew the game was rigged the moment Obama agreed with the Arab position that the borders were to be based on the ’67 lines plus swaps. Although Netanyahu made his position very clear on security, the Obama administration gave it only lip service and wanted Israel to have a time frame not exceeding 5 years on Israel’s remaining presence in “Palestine”. This wasn’t remotely what Israel wanted or needed and Yaalon made that amply clear.
Also Israel adamantly refused to enter negotiations based on ’67 lines plus swaps even though both Abbas and the US had agreed to do so. Their acceptance of Netanyahu’s rejection of this formula, meant that Netanyahu had no obligation to negotiate on that basis. But now they blame him for it. They must have thought they could force him to negotiate on this bases.
The US supported Israel’s demand for recognition the state of the Jewish nation. But when they found out that this was a deal breaker for Abbas, they said they made a mistake. They were blind-sided because they didn’t understand its significance and still don’t. But for that support, Israel wouldn’t have entered negotiations. Usually Israel demands they want an end of conflict agreement. This time it wasn’t even on the table. Israel made do with the demand for recognition which for Israel amounted to the same thing. Such a recognition would deny the “right of return”.
In this regard, Abbas agreed “He also agreed that the Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem would remain under Israeli sovereignty, and agreed that the return of Palestinians to Israel would depend on Israeli willingness, Israel won’t be flooded with refugees,’ he promised.”. One would have to be crazy or stupid to accept such a promise but for the US it was enough. By citing Abbas’ agreement they readily accept, that he will settle for a state rather than Israel’s destruction. On what basis?
As for the settlements, Israel is under no obligation to cease construction in Judea, Samaria or Jerusalem. Nor do they have any obligation to uproot 20% of the settlers which would amount to 150,000 or all Israelis east of the greenline, including in Jerusalem or 80,000 settlers if this refers only to the Israelis in J&S. These settlements were legally build according to our rights in the Mandate itself. But Abbas and Obama didn’t want to accept that right.