LOL!!! US officials say ‘Even if Israel doesn’t like it, Palestinians will get state’


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In anonymous briefing to top columnist, members of Kerry’s team slam Netanyahu, empathize with Abbas, warn Palestine will rise ‘whether through violence or via int’l organizations’

Times of Israel

merican officials directly involved in the failed Israeli-Palestinian peace process over the last nine months gave a leading Israeli columnist a withering assessment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the negotiations, indicated that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has completely given up on the prospect of a negotiated solution, and warned Israel that the Palestinians will achieve statehood in any case — either via international organizations or through violence.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to Nahum Barnea, a prominent columnist from Israel’s best-selling daily Yedioth Aharonoth, the officials highlighted Netanyahu’s ongoing settlement construction as the issue “largely to blame” for the failure of Secretary of State John Kerry’s July 2013-April 2014 effort to broker a permanent peace accord.

They made plain that US President Barack Obama had been prepared to release spy-for-Israel Jonathan Pollard to salvage the talks. And they warned that “the world will not keep tolerating the Israeli occupation.”

Barnea, who described his conversations with the American officials as “the closest thing to an official American version of what happened” in the talks, said the secretary is now deciding whether to wait a few months and try to renew the negotiating effort or to publicize the US’s suggested principles of an agreement.

Detailing how the US sought to solve disputes over the core issues of a two-state solution, Barnea wrote on Friday that, “Using advanced software, the Americans drew a border outline in the West Bank that gives Israel sovereignty over some 80 percent of the settlers that live there today. The remaining 20 percent were meant to evacuate. In Jerusalem, the proposed border is based on Bill Clinton’s plan — Jewish neighborhoods to Israel, Arab neighborhoods to the Palestinians.”

He quoted the Americans saying that while the Israeli government made no response to the American plan, and also failed to draw its own border outline, Abbas agreed to the border outline so 80 percent of settlers would continue living in Israeli territory.

He quoted the Americans saying they had intended to begin the nine-month negotiating period with an Israeli announcement of a settlement freeze. But this proved impossible, an American official was quoted saying, “because of the current makeup of the Israeli government, so we gave up… We didn’t realize [that] continuing construction allowed ministers in [Netanyahu’s] government to very effectively sabotage the success of the talks. There are a lot of reasons for the peace effort’s failure, but people in Israel shouldn’t ignore the bitter truth: the primary sabotage came from the settlements. The Palestinians don’t believe that Israel really intends to let them found a state when, at the same time, it is building settlements on the territory meant for that state. We’re talking about the announcement of 14,000 housing units, no less. Only now, after talks blew up, did we learn that this is also about expropriating land on a large scale. That does not reconcile with the agreement.

At this point, it’s very hard to see how the negotiations could be renewed, let alone lead to an agreement,” the Americans said. “Towards the end, Abbas demanded a three-month freeze on settlement construction. His working assumption was that if an accord is reached, Israel could build along the new border as it pleases. But the Israelis said no.”

The Americans told Barnea that, in contrast to the hitherto unclear reports of whether the US was prepared to release American-Israeli spy Pollard to salvage the talks from collapse in recent weeks, Obama was willing “to prepare for Jonathan Pollard’s release. Such a move wouldn’t have helped his popularity in the American security system…. There was a massive effort on our part to pull the wagon out of the deep quicksand it was stuck in. But the reality here hit us hard. Neither side had a sense of urgency. Kerry was the only one who felt a sense of urgency, and that was not enough.”

One bitter American official told Barnea, “I guess we need another intifada to create the circumstances that would allow progress.”

The Americans said Kerry believed and still believes “that if the two sides can’t reach an accord, Israel is going to be in a lot worse shape than it is today.”

A third intifada, the Americans make clear, “would be a tragedy. The Jewish people are supposed to be smart; it is true that they’re also considered a stubborn nation. You’re supposed to know how to read the map: In the 21st century, the world will not keep tolerating the Israeli occupation. The occupation threatens Israel’s status in the world and threatens Israel as a Jewish state.”

Pressed by Barnea on perceived international hypocrisy over Israel’s presence in the West Bank, when the world “closes its eyes to China’s takeover of Tibet, it stutters at what Russia’s doing to Ukraine,” the Americans were quoted as responding: “Israel is not China. It was founded by a UN resolution. Its prosperity depends on the way it is viewed by the international community.”

The American officials described to Barnea what they called Abbas’s loss of trust in the talks and in Netanyahu, and how his skepticism hardened as settlement-building continued, and as Israel demanded complete security control over the territories. From Abbas’s point of view, the Americans told Barnea, the sense was “that nothing was going to change on the security front. Israel was not willing to agree to time frames; its control of the West Bank would continue forever. Abbas reached the conclusion that there was nothing for him in such an agreement. He’s 79 years old. He has reached the last chapter of his life. He’s tired. He was willing to give the process one final chance, but found, according to him, that he has no partner on the Israeli side. His legacy won’t include a peace agreement with Israel.

In February, Abbas arrived at a Paris hotel for a meeting with Kerry. He had a lingering serious cold. ‘I’m under a lot of pressure,’ he complained. ‘I’m sick of this.’ He rejected all of Kerry’s ideas. A month later, in March, he was invited to the White House. Obama presented the American-formulated principles verbally — not in writing. Abbas refused.”

Abbas, the officials told Barnea, had made concessions — in accepting that “Palestine” would be demilitarized; in agreeing to the US border outline that would see 80% of settlers coming under Israeli sovereignty, and in agreeing for Israel to retain control of sensitive security areas such as the Jordan Valley for five years.

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,” the Americans said. “‘Israel won’t be flooded with refugees,’ he promised.”

In a rare attribution of some blame to Abbas, the Americans said they “couldn’t understand why it bothered him so much” to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. But here too, ultimately, the Americans were empathetic to Abbas: “The Palestinians came to the conclusion that Israel was pulling a nasty trick on them. They suspected there was an effort to get from them approval of the Zionist narrative.”

The final straw for Abbas was the late March announcement by Uri Ariel’s Housing and Construction Ministry of building tenders for more than 700 housing units in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood. At that point, the Americans told Barnea, Abbas “lost interest. He turned to the reconciliation talks with Hamas and to the question of who would inherit his mantle.”

The Americans warned that, with the talks over, “Israel might be facing quite a problem. As of now, nothing is stopping the Palestinians from turning to the international community. The Palestinians are tired of the status quo. They will get their state in the end — whether through violence or by turning to international organizations.”

They also warned that if, as announced, Israel seeks “to impose economic sanctions on the Palestinians, it could boomerang. The West Bank economy will collapse, and then Abbas will say ‘I don’t want this anymore. Take this from me.’ There’s great potential for deterioration here, which could end with the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority. Israeli soldiers will have to administer the lives of 2.5 million Palestinians, to their mothers’ chagrin. The donating countries will stop paying up, and the bill of $3 billion a year will have to be paid by your Finance Ministry.”

Some of the warnings delivered by the Americans reflected a similar tone to that expressed by Obama in an interview he gave shortly before his last meeting with Netanyahu at the White House in March.

Israel can expect to face international isolation and possible sanctions from countries and companies across the world if Netanyahu fails to endorse a framework agreement with the Palestinians, Obama cautioned in an interview with Bloomberg at the time. If Netanyahu “does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel, then he needs to articulate an alternative approach,” Obama said then. “There comes a point where you can’t manage this anymore, and then you start having to make very difficult choices,” he said.

The president went on to condemn Israel’s settlement activities in the West Bank, and said that though his allegiance to the Jewish state was permanent, building settlements across the Green Line was counterproductive and would make it extremely difficult for the US to defend Israel from painful repercussions in the international community. “If you see no peace deal and continued aggressive settlement construction — and we have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time — if Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited,” Obama warned.

  1. #1 by Paige Stevens on 05/03/2014 - 9:34

    I have a far better idea then the “two nation state” so-called solution; a ONE Nation State, the State of Palestine is the answer to Israel’s theft of the Palestinian homeland and Israel’s continued genocide and lawlessness! Israel needs to become a distant memory of a bad idea going terribly wrong!

  2. #2 by Isaac on 05/03/2014 - 9:34

    What kind of a State they offer the vfictimized Palestinian people with only 10% of their original land?. Is Israhell going to give the Palesatinians at least 50% of the total land?, of course not. Those agreements conduct to nothing just like always.

  3. #3 by annebeck58 on 05/04/2014 - 9:34

    Wow. Say it ain’t so. Someone in the White-house (or closeby) has some balls? Really?

    “American official was quoted saying, “because of the current makeup of the Israeli government, so we gave up… We didn’t realize [that] continuing construction allowed ministers in [Netanyahu’s] government to very effectively sabotage the success of the talks. There are a lot of reasons for the peace effort’s failure, but people in Israel shouldn’t ignore the bitter truth: the primary sabotage came from the settlements.”

    A part of me (a big part of me) hopes Israhell continues to do exactly what they’ve been doing for so many decades, with this, “settlement building” (land thievery), because the world IS getting sick and tired of this mistreatment of Palestinians. I SO wish the US could have a decent president who’d go into the lunatic-state with the jets and bombs that we seem to enjoy employing everywhere else, but I worry we won’t see this in my lifetime. One thing, though; IF other nations decide to attack IsraHell, I do hope our MIC will not step in. It should not be our fight, like every other war instigated by these idiots, and I hope America will allow the chips to fall where they may.
    It is time, “israel”, wasn’t.
    BTW; State Dept individual? Loose lips sink ships, dude.

  4. #4 by annebeck58 on 05/04/2014 - 9:34

    Just to check & see if Bibi’s reading my tweets, today’s tweet of this article was, “It’s Palestine, bitch.”
    You can ALL tweet him, @netanyahu. Is good for the soul.

  5. #5 by lolathecur on 05/04/2014 - 9:34

    “Only now, after talks blew up, did we learn that this is also about expropriating land on a large scale.”. Expropriating land ? What chutzpah!!!!!! “But woe unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites! ” and another 20 following verses of woes which I do not feel like typing here found in Matthew 23: 13-33. This one I will though: ” Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

  6. #6 by michael mazur on 05/05/2014 - 9:34

    Obama is fed up with the puling petulance of the Jew. Always the gimmie, gimmie, gimmie, caring not that they suffocate everybody else in the process.

    He doesn’t want war with Iran, Jews do.

    He doesn’t want war with Russia. Jews do.

    He doesn’t want war with Syria. Jews do.

    And finally, he wants the Jews out of his hair about Palestine.

    Obama and Kerry are one on all these things, and so Kerry confided to an associate to let it out about the ‘Piss Process’ – as wags might have it, on the basis of an anonymous briefing.

  7. #7 by annebeck58 on 05/05/2014 - 9:34

    You’re right, Michael, regarding at least Iran and Russia. Obama seems to not wish to war with either. Syria, however; Obama and the Military Industrial Compllex, has sent troops in there and now in the Ukraine, and I mean officially (Ukraine and to a degree, Syria).
    Does Obama want Jews out of Palestine? I am not so sure about that. I don’t think he really cares. Sure. he said once that he wanted settlement building to stop. but that is a far cry from wanting Jews out of Palestine (or Obama even calling it Palestine.)
    Could be, in this latter part of his presidency, Obama will actually assert himself and will get tougher regarding Israhell. But, I don’t see him ever telling jews to get out of the stolen land. If anything, Obama will do like Carter did, and wait til he’s long past having any power (if he does) before he truly says something on the issue.

    I wish Obama would care. I simply think he does not.

  8. #8 by annebeck58 on 05/05/2014 - 9:34

    btw; and this is what I get for reading without wearing my glasses, Michael.
    Yes, he does want Jews outta his hair about Palestine.

    So the only place in which I disagree with you, and only to a point, is Syria. Obama wants to stay out of Syria as much as he wants to end the war(s) in Afghanistan and Iraq. The guy seems to not pay a whole lot of attention, to much of that, leaving it up to the MIC to handle it.
    And so many people saw such, “hope”,. in that guy. No, I didn’t, but many did.

    I only wish I could see into the future…
    And I do still see Obama writing a book, including his thoughts on Israhell and Palestine, once they cannot really do anything to him. If Dubya had a decent brain, he might have written a book, but went to bad paintings, instead. But, I do see Obama doing like Carter did.

  9. #9 by Isaac on 05/05/2014 - 9:34

    Thank you Michael.

  10. #10 by michael mazur on 05/06/2014 - 9:34

    Anne, in March last year, Obama, on his own initiative, went over to Israel, and told them in meetings that Iran was not doable, for he knew they were scheming (when aren’t they?) to trick America into war with Iran, but that as a sop he would provide material assistance to the insurgents in Syria, for to also enter militarily into Syria would be an invitation to Iran to directly counter that move.

    As it happened, by July, there were firm indications that al Assad would prevail, and had the US military intervened, Iran would have made the situation totally intractable for America, with there being no prospect of America either staying on, or withdrawing.

    Something like that happened 45yrs before in another place, giving LBJ much exasperation.

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