Obama's Plan Based on Arab Peace Initiative with Security Package (Haaretz)

De VS willen het vredesproces in het Midden-Oosten baseren op het Arabisch vredesinitiatief van 2002, aangevuld met maatregelen ter bescherming van de veiligheid van Israel. Haaretz omarmt deze aanpak en roept de regering-Netanyahu op tot ‘bold moves’.

The Obama administration is preparing a Middle East peace process that will include simultaneous bilateral talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and between Israel and Syria. The plan is based on the Arab peace initiative that offers establishing normal relations between Israel and Arab League states in exchange for withdrawing from the occupied territories and establishing a Palestinian state.

The United States will put together a "security package," including demilitarization of the territories from which Israel will withdraw and the option of stationing a multinational force in them for years.

The Obama administration believes that a breakthrough in the peace process between Israel and the Arab states would restrain Tehran’s influence and contribute to the diplomatic effort to block Iran’s nuclearization…

Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman object to resuming negotiations with the Palestinians on a final-status arrangement. However, Defense Minister and Labor leader Ehud Barak has spoken in closed forums of his support for simultaneous talks with the Palestinian and the Syrians as part of a regional peace agreement and security arrangements.

In all his talks in Jerusalem Thursday, Mitchell strongly dismissed the arguments against establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Mitchell is presenting support of a two-state solution as a fundamental condition for the U.S.’s recognition of a Palestinian unity government. Abbas and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak support this position. …

Abdullah is a strong supporter of the Saudi plan. It offers Israel recognition by all Arab states in exchange for withdrawal from territory it occupied in the 1967 war, establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and a just solution for Palestinian refugees.

Obama wants Israel to hold parallel talks with Palestinians and Syria (By Akiva Eldar, Avi Issacharoff, Natasha Mozgovaya and Agencies in Haaretz)

History provides very few opportunities to utterly change political realities. It seems such an opportunity has presented itself. U.S. President Barack Obama’s peace plan is giving Israel and the entire region a rare chance for real change; it must not be missed.

In the plan, whose main points were reported by Akiva Eldar in Haaretz on Friday, Israel will hold bilateral talks with the Palestinians and Syrians at the same time. It is based on the Saudi peace plan, which offers Israel normalization with the Arab world in exchange for withdrawing from the territories and the establishment of a Palestinian state. The United States, for its part, will offer Israel a security package to include a demilitarization of the territories and the stationing of a multinational force there for a few years. It is a comprehensive move to bring peace to the region, which for decades has been unable to escape the cycle of violence and bloodshed.

Now is the time for bold moves. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government have been given the chance to surprise the whole world and shake off the meaningless past formulas; to respond to the initiative courageously and enthusiastically. Now that the dream of a Greater Israel has been set aside, even by some people on the right, we must hope Netanyahu will continue what another prime minister from his party started 30 years ago – Menachem Begin.

There is now a president in Washington who wants to leave his mark of change on the world. We must hope we have such a statesman in Jerusalem, too. Some Arab regimes want peace and normalization with Israel, and hope to rein in fundamentalism, as does Israel. There is no better weapon against fundamentalism than peace. ..

Peace now (Haaretz Editorial)

When he was prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin never missed an opportunity to explain how important it was to end the Arab-Israeli conflict before Iran obtained nuclear arms. He argued that peace would help bring the international community on board in the fight against the Iranian bomb. Rabin believed that ending the occupation and peace agreements with Syria and Lebanon would isolate Iran and help rein in Hamas and Hezbollah.

According to spokespeople for Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister believes that dealing determinedly with Iran’s nuclear program and its terror activities takes precedence over renewing talks with the Palestinians. From his point of view, the Saudi peace initiative, which has been waiting for seven years for an Israeli buyer, can continue to wait patiently until diplomatic pressure or military might overpowers the ayatollahs’ regime.

The Obama administration has already proposed direct dialogue with Tehran. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said over the weekend that if the Obama administration changes its approach to Iran and translates its words into deeds, his government might also change its position. It may be assumed he meant changes in the U.S. position on the Israeli occupation, among other things. Not that the Palestinians’ fate and the future of the Golan Heights causes the Iranians to lose any sleep, but why give up such available and effective ammunition?

The following is an imaginary conversation between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Iranian counterpart after Barack Obama sends her to Iran the day after meeting with Netanyahu:..

Akiva Eldar / What would Iran’s FM say in a meet with Clinton? (By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondent)

De arrogantie van de macht van de zionistische (Pro-Groot)’Israel lobby’ in Amerika lijkt te worden gebroken door president Obama. Het is hoog tijd dat de rechtse regering van Israel dat gaat beseffen.

The international community is preparing to step up diplomatic efforts to promote Middle East peace, with the creation of a Palestinian state existing peacefully alongside Israel as a key element, the UN political chief said Monday.

In a briefing to the UN Security Council, Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe said the Quartet of key international players trying to promote Mideast peace efforts – the UN, the U.S., the European Union and Russia – met last Friday in the West Bank city of Ramallah to discuss plans to advance the peace process.

The Quartet remains firmly committed to the goal of a two state solution … and agreed to hold regular meetings in the region to promote peace efforts, he said…

UN: Stepped up Mideast peace efforts planned (AP/Haaretz)

The Israeli Leadership is ‘Reading Obama Wrong’ (Israel Policy Forum)

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