Sunday, March 09, 2014

Forthright and Clear US Mideast Policy

A.  Obama:

As we speak, American diplomacy is supporting Israelis and Palestinians as they engage in difficult but necessary talks to end the conflict there; to achieve dignity and an independent state for Palestinians, and lasting peace and security for the State of Israel – a Jewish state that knows America will always be at their side.


Obama in 2011 sketched the ultimate diplomatic goal as "two states for two people: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people and the State of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people."Then, in his Jerusalem speech last week, Obama suddenly and unexpectedly adopted in full the Israeli demand: "Palestinians must recognize that Israel will be a Jewish state."

B.   Psaki:

The United States believes there is no need for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to recognize Israel as a Jewish state as part of a peace agreement, State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday.

Psaki, who spoke to the PA-based Arabic-language Al-Quds newspaper, said, “The American position is clear, Israel is a Jewish state. However, we do not see a need that both sides recognize this position as part of the final agreement.”

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Monday said a Palestinian publication recently “distorted” a statement she made last week about Israel’s demand to be recognized as a Jewish state...Psaki dismissed the claims via Twitter, writing, that the publication “distorted/fabricated my quote,” and that  she “did not do an interview with Al Quds.”  She added, “US position (as I stated) Israel is a Jewish state. But we are not in the business of negotiating from the podium…”

According to an official state department transcript of Psaki’s [March 7] briefing, what she really said was the following:

“If you look at the issue of a Jewish state and whether Israel will be called a Jewish state, that’s been our position, as you know, for a long time, but that doesn’t reflect what the parties will agree to, which I know you know, and of course there are many issues like that that are being discussed as part of the framework.”

C.  Arab ministers

Cairo, Mar 9 (Petra) – Arab foreign ministers’ meeting in Cairo on Sunday pledged not to recognise Israel as a Jewish state and reiterated full support to the Palestinian Authority's efforts to end the Israeli occupation.  A statement issued by the Arab League Council said there will be no peace without the establishment of an independent state of Palestine as per June 4, 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.  It called for Israel's withdrawal from all Palestinian and Arab territories occupied in 1967...

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