Latest update: June 13th, 2012
Part of the reason for the barely-veiled hostility the Prime Minister expressed with regard to the United States is evidently a less than understanding response of the Bush Administration to his request to include Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizbullah to the “A-list” of terror groups, especially after each of the groups launched attacks on Israel in recent days, with little or no action by the Palestinian Authority.
Another explanation is believed to be the new Middle East ‘initiative’ reportedly being introduced by the Bush Administration to gain support from reluctant Arab would-be coalition partners [for the invasion of Iraq].
The U.S. initiative reportedly calls for an independent Palestinian state, division of Jerusalem (Jewish areas to Israel and Arab areas to Palestine, including the Temple Mount), and the halt of all Israeli construction in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”
Sharon never once reiterated these sentiments and a year and a half later grudgingly was forced to accept this American initiative, then called the Roadmap. He did so with 14 reservations which were never heard from again even though the US agreed to “seriously consider them.”
This Roadmap, by including the Saudi Plan, drastically changed the terms of the Oslo Accords and put Israel into a strait-jacket. Oslo had made no mention of UN Resolution 194 which is the basis for the “right of return,” nor did it put a limitation on Israeli settlement construction. Thus the US was back in the game. The US forced Israel to agree because that was the price Saudi Arabia was demanding in exchange for agreeing to the invasion of Iraq by the US.
Once again, as with Rabin, the pressure that Sharon was subject to resulted in him proposing to unilaterally disengage from Gaza on his terms. Such a proposal contradicted everything Sharon had stood for. To make the disengagement more palatable to Israelis, he negotiated with the Bush administration for a letter which ostensibly allowed Israel the right to keep the settlement blocs and to reject the so-called right of return (President Obama made short shrift of that letter, declaring the US not bound by it). Sharon originally intended to remain in control of the border between Gaza and Egypt in order to prevent smuggling. Condi Rice forced Sharon to accept the Rafah Agreement which provided for the monitoring to be done by the EU with Israel video access, albeit a day later. In time, the EU abandoned its post leaving no monitors in place. We all know with what results.
Similarly Rice spearheaded the formulation of UN Resolution 1701 to end the second Lebanon war in 2006 at the request of FM Livni. That too proved worthless. Thank you Condi.
In fact, every time Israel went to war she was on a very tight leash. The UNSC always passes a Chapter VII cease fire resolution sooner or later depending on the US position and Israel never violated such resolutions save for a few hours here or there. This was so even when it was in Israel’s best interest to finish the job.
In 2009 Netanyahu once again became Prime Minister. Within a few months of taking office, he gave a speech at BESA in which he accepted the two-state solution, contrary to the Likud platform and his own previous pronouncements. In the fall of that year he announced a ten month settlement freeze in Judea and Samaria, seemingly as a gesture. No reason was given. No reciprocity demanded. Netanyahu proudly made the point that it didn’t apply to Jerusalem. Nevertheless for all intents and purposes he imposed a de-facto freeze when the freeze expired, which applied to both the territories and Jerusalem. He merely allows the odd building project to go ahead in order to pacify his right wing. How can anyone have any confidence in his declarations that Jerusalem will remain the undivided capital of Israel.
Don’t ever underestimate the ruthless pressure Israel is subjected to. Last September, MK Aryeh Eldad said he had reliable information that Obama put a “gun” to Bibi’s head to prevent Israel from annexing Area C in response to the unilateral move by the PA for recognition at the UN. The “gun” was Obama’s threat not to veto the UNSC resolution recognizing Palestine.
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