To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.
The announcement last week that, at the initiative of the Palestinians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and some of their senior aides are scheduled to meet soon in Jerusalem underscores a striking fact about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. It comes after a several months-long virtual vacuum of attention pertaining to the matter, and no one seemed to care.
Israeli and Palestinian officials have not met since low-level talks in Jordan broke off in January after five sessions, and though there were several opportunities for President Obama and other world leaders to focus on the issue, nothing came to pass. After the earlier, relentless full court press on Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians, this relative non-attention heightens concerns that the prospect of the November presidential election is what’s responsible for this new tone and that a second Obama administration may be less than pleasant for Israel.
Mr. Obama’s seeming non-interest in pressing Israel on negotiations was evident when he met with Mr. Netanyahu in Washington early last month. Iran held center stage and the Palestinian conflict was only perfunctorily mentioned both in the face to face meeting between the two leaders and in the press conference afterward. Nor did President Obama spend much time on the issue in his speech to AIPAC in March. In sharp contrast, the Palestinian question was the center of attention in prior years.
And when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie met with Prime Minister Netanyahu last week in Jerusalem, they talked about a number of issues including the worldwide financial crisis, the Arab Spring, Syria, Iran – but not, according to news reports, about negotiations with the Palestinians. One government official was quoted as saying this was not unusual; the issue, he said, is no longer raised in every meeting with visiting statesmen as it once was.
For their part, the Palestinians have been unsuccessful in their attempts at securing an independent state, and just recently failed to get the International Criminal Court – which only accepts complaints against states filed by other states – to accept a complaint of theirs against Israel related to Operation Cast Lead. To be sure, at a meeting last Sunday with Israeli doves led by Yossie Beilin, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, according to The Jerusalem Post, said that if Israel did not accept his conditions for talks he might return to the UN to once again seek recognition for Palestinian statehood, but one gets the distinct impression that Mr. Abbas’s heart is not nearly as much into this approach as it was several months ago. And, as the Post noted, such a tactic “seems unlikely, if only because Obama – who worked hard to prevent the notion from gaining any traction in 2011 – is likely to work even harder to oppose it in September 2012 [when the UN reconvenes], just a few weeks before the November U.S. elections.”
Even the recent, much ballyhooed resolution by the UN Human Rights Council calling for a “fact-finding mission” to investigate the impact of the Jewish settlement movement on Palestinian human rights has fizzled, as did the so-called Global March on Jerusalem in which Palestinians and other Arabs were urged to march on the Israeli capital, and which drew few marchers and scant international attention.
Plainly, the Obama administration’s lack of interest in moving the Palestinian issue forward has had a ripple effect worldwide. Yet it is inconceivable that the president and all those who were so bent on negotiations would have suddenly lost interest as a matter of principle. Rather, it is likely that the upcoming U.S. election is driving events, with everyone following the lead of an anxious president – a president who is putting negotiations on the back burner until he no longer has to go before the voters. As we’ve noted in the past, President Obama, despite declaring his “rock solid” commitment to Israel’s security, says nothing about its retention of population centers in the West Bank. And even that stated commitment to Israel’s security is hardly written in stone.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Unrest in YESHA and J’m helps Abbas and Abdullah defuse anger, gain politically and appear moderates
A “Shliach” means to do acts with complete devotion and dedication in order to help bring Moshiach.
The pogroms in Chevron took place eighty five years ago, in 1929; the Holocaust began seventy-five years ago in 1939; the joint attack of Israel’s neighbors against the Jewish State of Israel happened sixty-six years ago… yet, world history of anti-Semitism did not stop there, but continues until today. Yes, the primitive reality of Jews […]
“We don’t just care for the children; we make sure they have the best quality of life.”
“Why do people get complacent with the things they’re told?”
Arab opposition to a Jewish State of any size was made known by word and deed in the form of terror
Operation Moses: First time in history that non-blacks came to Africa to free blacks from oppression
As Arabs murder and maim Jews, Jordan’s leaders bark the blood libel of “Israeli aggression.”
Perhaps attacking a terrorist’s legacy broadly and publicly would dissuade others from terrorism?
R’ Aryeh yelled “Run, I’ll fight!” Using a chair against terrorists to buy time so others could flee
Riot started when Muslim students wore the Pal. kaffiyeh and Druze students demanded them removed
The “Media” didn’t want us to know what a kind, giving, loving young woman Dalia was.
A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.
Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165
Last year the Obama administration sought to minimize civilian deaths from drone strikes by generally requiring that missile attacks be limited to instances where Americans were directly threatened and there was a “near certainty” that no civilians would be killed.
Toward the end of Operation Protective Edge this past summer, the president was unusually vocal about Israel’s so-called disproportionate use of force and alleged lack of compliance with international humanitarian law.
There was no accompanying caption, but the cartoon could not help but feed the anti-Semitic canard that Israel was responsible for 9/11.
An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor
The fact that the United States government after World War II sought to take advantage of the expertise of German scientists, even those known to have contributed to the Nazi war effort, is well known and largely accepted as having been necessary for America’s national defense. (Wernher von Braun is perhaps the most famous and […]
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/palestinians-off-the-radar/2012/04/12/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: