Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Why Israel Need Be Wary of American 'Even-Handedness'

From the pen/computer of Jonathan Tobin:

...[the arrangement for the opening of the new round of negotiations Secy of State Kerry achieved] does make clear not only what the Palestinians have gained by going along with Secretary of State John Kerry’s initiative...but also how the U.S. and the EU have given them little incentive to make concessions of their own in the months of talks that lie ahead. With such assurances securely in their pocket, the Palestinians believe they have no reason to budge from their current positions...

...this past March, President Obama explicitly endorsed Prime Minister Netanyahu’s position in which he offered to negotiate with the Palestinians anywhere, anytime without preconditions of any sort. But...Obama allowed Kerry to throw his promise in the same trash can in which the administration stored President Bush’s [2004] pledges to respect Israel’s position on the major settlement blocs...The American position backing up Palestinian demands doesn’t obligate Israel to give in to them on all of the points about settlements, Jerusalem, and borders. But putting the U.S. in the position of endorsing Palestinian demands prior to the talks gives the Palestinians another incentive to refuse to budge an inch on any important issue and to then claim that it was the Israelis who are intransigent...[and]since Abbas and Erekat have shown no sign that they will ever be able to do either, all the U.S. has done is to give them a free pass for not negotiating seriously on any other issue.

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