September 18, 2013
Netanyahu to US: Iran for Palestine? (Ben Caspit, September 17, 2013, AI-Monitor)
The Israeli right is terrified. The rumor has been going around for weeks, perhaps even months. Ministers, Knesset members, settlers, lobbyists and right-wing journalists have all been murmuring -- sometimes loudly -- about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's move. The big plan. The historic abandonment of Judea and Samaria.. [...]So what is the grand plan? In broad strokes, its tenets are as follows. This is a plan hatched between the US administration and Netanyahu, with Palestinian knowledge as well as the tacit knowledge of other elements in the Middle East. Its general underlying principle is "Iran for Palestine." US President Barack Obama pledges, by also giving his own personal guarantee, to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear capability. In return, Netanyahu will reciprocate by awarding him a diplomatic achievement vis-a-vis the Palestinians. We have seen the first step in this direction in recent weeks in the arrangement Obama has worked out to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons. Netanyahu did not speak against this arrangement, partly because he has received US assurances that this will not be a precedent, that the Iranian issue is entirely different from the Syrian one and that the "credible threat" of a military strike on Syria still remains on the table.Netanyahu is unable to reach a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians. Everyone in Ramallah, Washington, Jerusalem and the settlements knows that. According to the plan, at some point in the negotiations all the parties will have reached this conclusion, and at that juncture the Americans will lay out their alternative proposal. It will consist of a permanent arrangement in phases, beginning with an interim arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians in the setting of which a Palestinian state will be established under temporary borders.Netanyahu hopes that he will not have to evict any settlements in the framework of this arrangement and that the Palestinian state will be established in areas A and B, which are under Palestinian security or civilian control. The United States will give the Palestinian Authority (PA) guarantees that this is not the final arrangement but rather an interim stage that is limited in time. The issues of Jerusalem, the refugees and final borders will be postponed to later stages. The Palestinian state will be recognized by the United Nations, with the support of Israel, which will withdraw to the separation fence line.
Peace and co-operation between Palestine and Israel on the one hand and Iran and America on the other is inevitable. But if it's secured on the UR's watch, he makes some tweaks to Obamacare to make it more HSA driven, he gets most of the work done on the two big trade treaties, a government shutdown crisis reduces spending further and he gets an immigration bill, a thus far inconsequential presidency is transformed into a rather good one.Posted by Orrin Judd at September 18, 2013 7:00 PM