Israel/Palestine Peace Process About to Relaunch
Laura Rozen goes through the tea leaves:
“We solved the matter of the settlements with the Americans,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Israeli daily Haaretz cites Zapatero.
“I cannot say more than that. If you are interested in hearing more details, ask in Washington,” Netanyahu added.
Oh really? At the same time, the Arab side is already expressing concern that all this means the Obama administration team is moving too far in the Israeli direction. Marc Lynch tweets that an Arabic-language al-Jazeera report, citing Palestinian Authority sources, is putting out there that President Obama is “backing away” from a Palestinian state. I’m pretty skeptical of that, particularly since Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed last month that the administration will “never give up” seeking a “comprehensive peace agreement premised on the two-state solution.” But it’s hardly clear what the administration considers the details of that accord to be, or what comes first in its achievement — the agreements made at Annapolis in 2007; or Netanyahu’s Palestine-borders-and-economy-first preferences; or what? Perhaps this is a Palestinian attempt to use the media to kick the administration into gear; in any event, the newschannel reports an announcement to come on Friday.
Meanwhile, Jordanian King Abdullah II tells Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper that the two-state solution is “getting farther away,” and he’s surprised that Obama hadn’t made more progress by now:
“I’ve heard people in Washington talking about Iran, again Iran, always Iran,” Abdullah was quoted as saying. “But I insist on, and keep insisting on the Palestinian question: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most serious threat to the stability of the region and the Mediterranean.”