By Simon Fischler
With the utter failure of Obama’s Near-East diplomacy vis-a-vis the Israeli-Palestinian conflict one must truly wonder where their administration intends to go now.
From the beginning of his presidency Barack Obama shot himself in the foot by making Israeli settlements more of an issue than they really are. He, of course, did this to appease the Palestinians, something that never works.
Now President Obama and Company have tossed the settlement issue out the window. They have also achieved some small gains by getting the Egyptians, Jordanians and now the Syrians to all admit that settlement building should not hold up direct negotiations.
The question is: how can the international community help Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas climb down from the tree he climbed when he demanded a halt to settlement building?
Of course it does not help when the European community comes out and points the finger at Israel for the breakdown in negotiations.
The EU forgets that Israel gave a ten month freeze in settlement building that was intentionally wasted by the Palestinian Leadership.
The Europeans claim Israel is flaunting International Law, disregarding the fact that Israel made it very clear she will pull up all settlements that will not be in the agreed upon borders of Israel.
The Europeans also turn a blind eye towards the Palestinians’ constant incitement against Israel, ongoing acts of terror and rocket launching. In the ROAD MAP FOR PEACE, all three of these Palestinian obligations needed to be met before Israel stopped settlement building.
Making the situation even more ludicrous is the fact that it is impossible for the Palestinian Authority to stop rocket launching, which originates from Gaza and which they do not govern! This fact immediately calls into question whether Israel can even sign an agreement with PA president Mahmoud Abbas.
If the Obama Administration and the European Union really want to move things forward, they must start making the same demands of the Palestinians that they have made of Israel.
It would be wise for the Americans to rein in their EU friends; stop them from condemning Israel every second of the day and use their Arab allies to create an atmosphere where President Abbas and his minions can return to negotiations.
Hmmmmm, and that intelligent a move ought to happen just about the time ancient Queen Elizabeth abdicates and lets her almost-ancient son Charles take over!