MIDEAST MIRROR 20.04.15, SECTION A (ISRAEL)
14 more days
Two days before Israel marks the official Memorial Day for some 23,000 people killed in 67 years of wars and attacks, Israel Hayom is already dedicating most of its front page to the event, with large photographs of the IDF chief of staff and bereaved families laying wreaths on the graves of fallen soldiers. The paper's lead headline is taken from a preview of an interview with the IDF officer who commanded the operation in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiyah, where dozens of Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers were killed last summer during Operation Protective Edge. The officer is quoted as saying that the heavy death toll on both sides is 'the price of war.'
Yedioth Ahronoth leads with the growing wave of protest, following publication of a report which found a high incidence of cancer among children who live close to a cluster of factories in the Haifa area. According to the report, local residents gathered at the entrance to the Carmel Chemicals plant and demanded its closure. Meanwhile, one of the refineries in the area ordered a crane to remove a garbage truck placed there by Haifa Municipality to block the entrance to the site. Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav ordered the measure on Sunday, in the wake of a damning report on air pollution in the city.
Haaretz leads with the latest twist in the negotiations that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is frantically engaged in to form a new coalition. The first deadline for forming a government was due to expire on Wednesday, although the prime minister-elect formally asked the president for a two-week extension – which was granted on Monday morning. 'I am giving you another 14 days to put together a government,' Rivlin told Netanyahu in remarks broadcast live on Israel's main radio stations.
According to Haaretz's headline, Netanyahu's Likud party will require any future coalition partners to vote in favor of bills that would weaken the Supreme Court. Likud and Habayit Hayehudi lawmakers are planning a series of controversial laws that would change the face of the Supreme Court, Haaretz reports, including changing the seniority policy in the appointment of the Supreme Court president, and reducing the number of Supreme Court justices on the Judicial Appointments Committee, all of which would give the government more control over the court. Likud on Sunday presented to Kulanu the list of bills involving the judicial system that it intends to promote in the next Knesset; Kulanu is expected to give its response over the next few days. Likud and Habayit Hayehudi are concerned that freeing Kulanu from coalition discipline on these bills would dissolve the automatic majority needed for the bills’ passage.
In other news, Netanyahu opened the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday by reiterating his opposition to Russia's decision to supply Iran with advanced S-300 missiles – especially at a time when Iran is stepping up its aggression in the region and around the borders of the State of Israel. Netanyahu said Israel also views with grave concern the fact that there is no reference to this aggression in the nuclear agreement emerging between major powers and Iran. He said there is no stipulation that the aggression be halted, whether at the start of the agreement or as a condition for the lifting of sanctions. Netanyahu stressed that Israel will do whatever is necessary to defend the security of the state and its citizens.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin also had a warning for Israel over the weekend. In an interview with the state-run Rossiya channel on Saturday, Putin warned Israel not to supply weapons to the Ukrainian government, saying that the move would be counterproductive to efforts to reach peace in east Ukraine. 'It's their right to do what they think is appropriate,' he said. He warned that if it is a lethal weapon, he thinks it will be counterproductive. It will only lead to another round of conflicts, to a rise in the number of victims, and the outcome will be the same, he added.
The main story of the weekend was the deal reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority over the fate of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax monies owed to the Palestinian Authority, after Jerusalem had delayed the transfer of funds since early January as a punitive measure following the Palestinians joining the International Criminal Court. The agreement was reached following a meeting between the PA's Minister of Civil Affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, and IDF's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai.
Last month, Israel indicated it would release the frozen funds, but the payment remained held up over a dispute regarding the size of the PA's unpaid bill to the Israel Electricity Corporation. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused to have Israel deduct electricity costs and said that if the issue remains unresolved, he would turn to The Hague.
According to al-Sheikh, Israel will transfer the tax monies owed for the months of March and April without deducting the Authority's debt for electricity, water and medical services. Al-Sheikh added that the rest of the money owed by Israel for the months of December to February would be transferred with a deduction of the said costs. The transfer of about $471,113,000 from Israel to the PA will take place Sunday or Monday, al-Sheikh said. A special committee comprised of Israeli and Palestinian officials is set to convene in the near future in order to resolve all remaining debt claims between the two sides, he added.
Under an economic agreement signed in 1994, Israel collects and transfers to the PA tens of millions of dollars each month in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports. Israel has imposed a freeze on the transfer many times, though the sanction has rarely lasted more than one or two months. Blocking the money prevents the PA from paying its roughly 180,000 employees, which cost almost $200 million a month.
RUSSIA AND IRAN: Writing in Yedioth Ahronoth, Ephraim Halevy comments on the role that Russia is playing in the Middle East in general and in the negotiations with Iran in particular.
"The focus of attention over the past week, in terms of the Iranian issue, was on the United States and Russia. To start with, we followed the political drama unfolding in Washington, where, in the end, Israeli government representatives celebrated a compromise that was reached on Capitol Hill, whereby the president's ability to push through an agreement with Iran – if the world powers manage to negotiate one – has been curtailed. Jerusalem did not change its tone even after Russia announced that it was lifting its ban on the sale of the S-300 anti-missile defense system to Iran – a decision that our elected officials said was the direct result of the 'bad deal' that the United States reached with the Islamic Republic. The campaign against U.S. President Barack Obama is still going ahead at full steam, while, at the same time, it was reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Russian President Vladimir Putin to express Israel's disappointment with the Kremlin's decision.
A day later, there were also public comments. Netanyahu, who delivered the keynote speech at the Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem, used his address to speak at length about the Iranian threat and said that the West's handling of the crisis was akin to its behavior on the eve of World War II. He warned the Israeli public that Israel may be forced to act alone to safeguard its future and its security.
Putin, for his part, defended his decision; saying that the S-300 system was defensive in nature and that it does not pose a threat to Israel or any other country. He also said – quite correctly – that the decision is not a violation of the international sanctions imposed on Iran. He said that it was a response to the flexibility shown by Iran in the nuclear negotiations and promised that Russia would continue to cooperate with its partners in the P5+1, in negotiating with Tehran. In addition, he hinted that providing Iran with a defensive weapons system was in keeping with the goal of preventing the Middle East from descending into violence and that it gives the Iranian regime greater legitimacy.
U.S. President Barack Obama was quick to respond, saying that he was surprised that Putin had waited this long before reviving the deal with Iran. He said that the final agreement with Iran may have to include elements that would make it easier for the ayatollahs to convince the people of Iran that it is a good deal for them.
There are two issues here that need addressing. The first is the somewhat surprising effort by Washington and Moscow to cooperate openly on the Iranian nuclear issue. This is in sharp contrast to the other areas of international interest where the two countries are at loggerheads – primarily over Ukraine. For more than 70 years, the Middle East was the staging ground for tensions between the United States and Russia; these tensions reached a peak during the Yom Kippur War, when the two superpowers were on opposing sides and when they threatened each other with nuclear war. In terms of how the superpowers are now aligned, Israel must adapt itself to a new reality.
The second issue that needs to be addressed is the bilateral relationship between Jerusalem and Moscow. In recent years, Israel has treated Russia and its leaders with the utmost respect, while Russia delayed for years the supply of certain weapons systems to Iran and Syria – in part because of Israeli pressure, which was backed up by the support of the United States. This is changing in front of our very eyes. Russia's desire to stake a claim in Syria, as well as in Iran, coupled with its desire to once again be seen as a major regional power – both in the Arabian Peninsula and in Iraq – not only obligates us to be alert and to deal in a level-headed way with Moscow, but also to take the Russians into account when considering any operation that could be seen as a divergence from the policy pursued in Washington.
In the historical overview of the 1930s that Netanyahu delivered on Holocaust Remembrance Day, he forgot to mention that there was another player on the European scene – Russia – which also faced the threat of Nazi Germany. Netanyahu has consistently compared the Iranian nuclear threat to the threat posed by Hitler and his henchmen. But Russia, unlike Neville Chamberlain, did not try to appease the Germans. It entered into an alliance with them."
UNITY NOW: Writing on the NRG website, Yaakov Ahimeir says that a national unity government is the best way for Israel to deal with the various threats it is facing – first and foremost the Iranian nuclear threat.
"The post-election period is one which brings out the ugly side of the political process. It is a time when political commentators are preoccupied with coalition horse trading, while television shows and newspapers are full of unlearned comments about the off-the-cuff comments of some actress or another.
In the meantime, a storm of blood, fire and pillars of smoke is brewing on the borders of our tiny country. Heads are rolling, thanks to the bloodthirsty barbarism of ISIS; according to the IDF, tens of thousands of missiles are being aimed southward at Israel on our northern border; Russia is about to provide Tehran with the most advanced surface-to-air missiles in the world; the Iranian leadership is still celebrating what appears to be the draft of an agreement that will do nothing to address the nuclear threat to Israel and the other countries in this region; the Palestinian Authority is about to file its war crimes complaints against Israel at the International Criminal Court in The Hague; the European Union is on the verge of calling for a general boycott of Israel or, at the very least, of marking products manufactured in Judea and Samaria.
Because of all this, what is needed now more than ever is an alternative to the government that it appears we are going to get. The fourth Netanyahu government needs to be different; it needs to be infused with the spirit of Winston Churchill.
Netanyahu is known as a huge admirer of Churchill. They have a lot in common. They are both great orators, for example. Churchill has rightly been credited with spearheading the victory over Nazi Germany, while Netanyahu will go down in history as having waged a determined war against Iran's nuclear program. That particular struggle is far from over and that is perhaps the main reason that Netanyahu needs to stop pussyfooting around. He needs to change path – a path that is leading all-too-predictably to a narrow government with his natural partners. After all, a narrow, right-wing government will not be able to overcome the obstacles in the way of rebuilding our relations with the United States and will not be able to handle the Iranian threat properly.
The head of the outgoing government and the incoming government must halt his problematic sprint toward a narrow government, even if he gets to appoint the ministers that he wants. There is an alternative, but to implement it Netanyahu will have to be more Churchillian than ever before. He will have to appear before the people of Israel and tell them that he doesn't want a narrow government. He has to tell his people that what Israel needs right now is a unity government. He must call on the leaders of Zionist Union to enter fast-track negotiations toward a coalition that better suits our circumstances.
For their part, the leaders of Zionist Union would face something of a moral dilemma. After all, they campaigned on a platform of 'Anyone but Bibi' and they would be criticized from all sides if they now agreed to join his coalition. They would be targeted – rightly so – by every satirical show on television. There could even be a rebellion against them from within their own party. But they must put all that to one side and do what's best for the country.
A national unity government has a much better chance of dealing with the international political siege of Israel that appears to be on the horizon. As far as we can tell, Netanyahu himself wants a unity government and it's very much up to him to create one. After all, who knows better than Bibi that a unity government is in the national interest?"
NETANYAHU'S DREAM GOVERNMENT: Writing in Maariv, Ben Caspit explains why Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wants an 18-minister government in the short term and how he plans to expand it in the future by bringing Isaac Herzog and his Zionist Union party into the coalition.
"What Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu really wants is a government with 18 ministers – as the law dictates. He's always been a law-abiding leader. It's not clear whether he will manage to realize this rather odd vision. There are many people who oppose him; almost every politician who has aspirations of being a minister in the next government, for example. But Bibi would prefer a smaller cabinet. Not for the right reason, of course. Not because it's cheaper, more effective and less wasteful. No, he has very different reasons.
In a government with just 18 ministers and deputy ministers, the formula by which jobs are divvied out would change: at the moment, assuming that the government will expand to 22 or 23 ministers, parties will get one minister each for every three votes they bring to the coalition. But if Netanyahu decides not to alter the law and stick with an 18-member government, that will change and parties will have to make do with one minister for every four seats. That would mean that Netanyahu's pals in Habayit Hayehudi, for example, would only get two ministerial positions instead of three. And that, in turn, means that Ayelet Shaked would not be a minister in the fourth Netanyahu government. It would be a mistake to downplay this strategic issue. There is a clear order from above not to make Shaked a minister. That order came from none other than Sara Netanyahu herself.
There are other reasons, too. An 18-minister government would be lean and effective, Netanyahu would enjoy greater representation for Likud lawmakers in key Knesset committees and he would be able to impose party discipline over the deputy ministers. Most importantly, however, a government of this kind would falter, since the international community would impose a boycott against a rightist-ultra-Orthodox-conservative Israeli government. Then Netanyahu would be able to come to the rescue by bringing Isaac Herzog (with or without Tzipi Livni) into his government.
Netanyahu and Herzog would both then be able to say that they kept their promise to their respective voters: they promised not to set up a unity government straight after the election – and they didn't. They only set up a unity government a few months after the election, when Israel's back was to the wall, in order to save the country (and themselves, of course). If Habayit Hayehudi threatens to bolt the coalition over Herzog joining, Netanyahu will let it. He would prefer that it remained in his coalition; after all, Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked and Uri Ariel would be far more dangerous to him from the opposition benches, but he won't force them to stay. And then, at least, he would be able to expand the government to the size that he really wants (22-24 ministers), in order to save some key positions for Herzog and his followers. Why? Because of 'the situation.' How will he then persuade the settlers and Bennett supporters to vote for him in the next election? By doing exactly what he did in this election. If it worked once, he reckons, it will work again.
This is Netanyahu's two-stage plan for setting up a broad coalition with Herzog without breaking his campaign promises. It's not clear whether it will actually happen. The chances that Netanyahu will be able to withstand the pressure from would-be ministers to set up a small government are not great. In the end, the closer we get to the deadline, the more Netanyahu's fear will grow and the more he will want to seal the deal and get his fourth government sworn in."
A LOYAL SERVANT: Writing in financial daily Globes, Mati Golan recommends Yuval Steinitz as Israel's next foreign minister.
"Assuming that, once the mission of forming a new government has been completed, Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud Party keeps the Foreign Ministry for itself, the prime minister would be well advised to consider appointing Yuval Steinitz as his foreign minister. I know that a recommendation of this kind needs explaining – not because people think he is unqualified for the job, but because he has gained something of a reputation as Bibi's lapdog. And that's a reputation which is richly deserved. Steinitz has taken great care over the years never to utter a word of criticism against his boss – or his boss' wife, for that matter. Not everyone is willing or able to make himself the target of mockery and lack of respect. So it's got something to do with character – but it's a lot more than that.
Politics is full of people who take bets on this horse or another. Steinitz is one of many who bet on Netanyahu. That bet did not always pay off, but Steinitz – unlike his boss – never wavered. He opted to go with Netanyahu and he stuck with him through thick and thin. You can call that being a lapdog if you want, but I would prefer to see it as something that is sorely lacking in Israeli politics: loyalty. In return, it should be pointed out, Netanyahu remained totally loyal to Steinitz as well.
In my opinion, Steinitz remained loyal to Netanyahu because he genuinely believes in him and perhaps even likes him; but there's no question that it was also motivated by self-interest. After all, Steinitz has held a ministerial position for years. In political terms, Steinitz has lost nothing from the path he chose to advance his political career. But he has lost out because of how he is perceived by the general public.
Steinitz is far more worthy than his public image. He is hugely intelligent; he's got a PhD and he is a lecturer in philosophy; he is a cultured and affable man. Even his right-wing views are far from extreme, because nothing about him is extreme. These characteristics make him the ideal candidate for foreign minister, especially with the current circumstances.
We are about to enter a period where the main mission of the Foreign Ministry will be to rectify relations with the United States and to rebuff the diplomatic offensive from the European Union. To do this, the Foreign Ministry needs someone conciliatory, not vengeful. Avigdor Lieberman and his ilk is the last thing we need. Another advantage that Steinitz enjoys is that there is total trust between him and Netanyahu. It is not good for the country when the prime minister and the foreign minister don't get on and don't share the same views. It's much more effective when they are singing off the same hymn sheet and when they spend their time getting things done, rather than squabbling."
FORGET PARIS: Writing in Yedioth Ahronoth, Ben-Dror Yemini explains why Israel is well within its rights to withhold Palestinian tax revenue – even if this is a violation of the Paris Protocol.
"Agreements should be honored. Agreements between people, between countries and even between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. According to the Paris Protocol, which is the economic part of the Oslo Accords, Israel collects tax revenues and Value Added tax on behalf of the Palestinians for all goods and produce entering the Palestinian territories via Israel's sea and airports. This is Palestinian money in every respect, which Israel has no right to confiscate or delay.
However, honoring agreements is supposed to be a two-way street. Anyone who honors their side of the agreement will get the same treatment in return. But anyone who violates agreements has no right to complain when the same is done to them. The custom of giving the Palestinians an exemption from this rule smacks of racism. The Palestinians are human beings. The Palestinian Authority is a body that should not be seen as being above international law. We're not dealing with a backward child here. We're dealing with a legal and political entity. The Palestinian Authority owes huge sums of money to Israel. It owes, for example, close to 2 billion shekels to the Israel Electric Corp. Does the PA have the right to violate its own agreements?
People warn that, if Israel does not transfer these tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority, it will collapse and there will be a third intifada, or worse. These are certainly considerations that must be taken into account. However, there's something else that needs to be taken into account, too: the money that Israel transfers to the Palestinian Authority is not used to better the lot of the Palestinian people or to promote coexistence. It is used to fund the incitement in the Palestinian education system which the PA is responsible for. Even worse, the PA uses some of this money to give a monthly stipend to people who carry out terror attacks and their families. That includes, for example, the people who butchered the Fogel family in March 2011. And it will also include Khaled Qutina, the East Jerusalem man who, just a few days ago, drove his car into a crowded bus stop and killed Shalom Yohai Sharki.
It is not in Israel's interest to topple the Palestinian Authority. But Israel must not play any part in providing the PA with the funding it uses to encourage terrorism, murder and hatred. It must cut off this funding. All the threats of a third intifada become utterly irrelevant when the PA itself is funding the killers and supporting the families of killers. Even if there is no clause in the Paris Protocol giving Israel the right to withhold money for these reasons, common sense and natural justice grant us the right to do just that."
IRAN IS NOT THE ONLY DANGER: Writing in Haaretz, Moshe Arens says that, while Iran has been occupying the thoughts and minds of the Israeli military leadership in recent years, the greater threat lies on the northern border.
"Iran in possession of a nuclear weapon is an ever-present danger in our minds. Especially in light of the framework agreement signed by the United States and the other four permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany [the P5+1], which provides Iran with legitimacy for its vast nuclear infrastructure and reduces the break-out period for an Iranian nuclear weapon to a minimum.
But it is not the only great danger hovering over Israel. In addition, there are more than 100,000 rockets and missiles in the hands of Hizbollah in Lebanon all pointed at Israel, plus thousands of rockets in the hands of Hamas in Gaza. They put all of Israel’s civilian population at risk. Which is the greater danger?
We can get some indication of the severity of the danger facing us by attempting to calculate the expectation, or the expected value, of the physical damage that might be caused by the occurrence of either of the two events: an attack by an Iranian nuclear weapon; or an attack by Hizbollah missiles and rockets. There is no way of assigning objective probabilities to these events, but we can make some intuitive guesses.
A nuclear weapon in the hands of the Iranians would have a large-scale, negative geopolitical effect on the Middle East, but the probability that the weapon would actually be used is extremely small. However, the physical damage caused if it were to be used is essentially infinite. With the withdrawal from Sinai, Israel became a point target for a nuclear bomb. The product of the probability and damage incurred is, therefore, incalculable.
The probability of Hizbollah launching its reservoir of missiles and rockets against Israel is substantial. The theories discussed about our ability to deter them from taking such an action are not on very solid ground. Multiplying such a subjective probability by the damage that is likely to be incurred produces a result, which although indefinite, should be of grave concern to all.
Whereas the Iranian nuclear threat has been occupying our civilian and military leadership these past years – and constant efforts have been made to slow down the Iranian nuclear program – excepting civil defense programs conducted by the Israel Defense Forces Home Front, Israel’s answer to the Hizbollah rocket and missile threat has been limited to a reliance on a dubious theory of deterrence. The opportunity to destroy Hamas’ rocket capability in Gaza was missed during Operation Protective Edge last summer.
From year to year, Hizbollah’s rocket and missile threat has grown in numbers, range and accuracy. Despite the efforts that were made over the years to interfere with the supply of weapons to Hizbollah from Iran and Syria, the Shi’ite group’s capabilities to cause severe damage to Israel’s civilian population and infrastructure has continued to grow. It should be clear that the hope that Israel will be able to deter Hizbollah from utilizing this capability cannot be considered an adequate strategy for Israel.
This threat to Israel’s civilian population has grown over the years. At first, years ago, short-range rockets endangered civilians in towns and villages in the north. The response was Operation Peace for the Galilee [aka the first Lebanon war, in 1982], which established a security zone in southern Lebanon that put these rockets out of range of Israel’s northern border. After that came successive IDF withdrawals and increased ranges of Hizbollah rockets and missiles, until gradually – and almost imperceptibly – all of Israel came under threat.
Successive Israeli governments 'learned' to live with the threat and deterrence became the prevailing strategy. This strategy failed during the 2006 Second Lebanon War and also against Hamas in Gaza.
The first and essential component of an effective strategy designed to protect Israel’s civilian population against the rocket and missile threat must be an IDF capability to neutralize the Hizbollah arsenal within 24, or at most 48, hours. That capability gives Israel a number of options to free itself of this threat."
APPLYING THE ‘OBAMA DOCTRINE’ TO THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT: Writing in The Jerusalem Post, Elie Podeh says that, if the Israeli government involves itself in domestic American politics, there is no reason why the United States cannot do the same.
"Thomas Friedman’s interview with President Barack Obama on the Iranian nuclear issue evoked many responses, both positive and negative. In this interview, Friedman attempted to describe Obama’s policy toward pariah states such as Burma, Cuba and Iran as a comprehensive strategy that Friedman coined the Obama Doctrine.
The essence of this 'doctrine' is that a combination of engagement and satisfaction of core strategic needs could serve American interests far better than sanctions and isolation. America, in Obama’s opinion, with its overwhelming power, should have the confidence to take some calculated risks to create important new opportunities.
He believes that the United States is sufficiently powerful to test new diplomatic propositions without putting itself at risk. Although Obama hopes to see a change in Iran’s position in the forthcoming years, leading it to discontinue or slow its nuclear journey, America will be in a position to use its deterrence capabilities and military force if no such change develops. According to this argument, a superpower with a defense budget of $600 billion should be able to ward off any threat emanating from a nation with $30b. budget.
Time will tell whether the Obama Doctrine with regard to Iran (and pariah states in general) was successful or merely wishful thinking, but no one can deny the logic of this reasoning, even if doubts regarding the sincerity of Iranian intentions persist. Interestingly, the logic underlying this doctrine appears to be even more relevant to the Israeli-Palestinian case.
A self-confident Israel, with a defense budget amounting to NIS 57billion, is a superpower in comparison to the approximately $1billion budget of the Palestinian Authority (the figures for Hamas are more problematic although there is obviously a wide gap there as well). According to the Obama Doctrine, such a gap allows Israel to take risks and offer some substantial concessions with regard to the occupied territories. Israel’s consistent argument that it does not have the luxury to test this proposition is disingenuous because its military might could easily undo whatever has been conceded. Moreover, an agreement with the Palestinians would be supported by security guarantees provided by the United States, the European Community and perhaps other parties in the region, which would help deter Israel’s potential enemies.
Unfortunately, the chances that the newly composed rightwing government will adopt this line of reasoning are slim at best. For Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his political allies, there is no partner on the Palestinian side. While he may be correct with regard to Hamas, placing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas firmly in the 'no partner' square is a mistake. The problem, however, goes far beyond the policy of the current government, as most Israeli governments were reluctant to take the initiative in the realm of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel was even reluctant to formally endorse, or even positively respond, to the Arab Peace Initiative, which might have served as an umbrella for advancing an agreement with the Palestinians.
The conclusion must be, therefore, that the chances for an independent Israeli-Palestinian breakthrough initiated by Israel are close to zero. This leaves the Obama administration as the only viable player that can ignite the process by offering a blueprint for a solution. If Obama applies his doctrine to the Israeli-Palestinian case, we can expect the Obama Doctrine to be followed by the Obama Peace Plan or the Obama Peace Parameters.
In contrast to Clinton, who offered his vision in his final days in office in December 2000, Obama has sufficient time in office to promote his plan if he acts now. While the chances of this eventuality seem remote in view of the failure of the Kerry mission in 2014, coupled by Obama’s reluctance to further antagonize the Israeli government following the controversy over the Iran deal, perhaps Obama might be ready to take the chance of offering his own vision for the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
After all, the deal with Iran was similarly driven by the conviction that it was 'the right thing to do.' Such a proposal would surely arouse heated political debate in Israel and may lead to internal changes. But if the Israeli government involves itself in domestic American politics, there is no reason why the United States cannot do the same."
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