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President Obama can make a “headache” for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if the Israeli leader does not conduct negotiations leading to the formation of a Palestinian state within two years, a top Palestinian Authority official told this column.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration has largely adopted the PA’s position that a Palestinian state be created within two years based on the 1967 borders, meaning Israel would retreat from most of the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem.
The official said Obama has also accepted the PA’s position that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations begin where they left off under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who went further than previous Israeli leaders in his concessions to the Palestinians.
Olmert reportedly offered the PA not only 95 percent of the West Bank and peripheral eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods but also other territories never before offered by any Israeli leader, including parts of the Israeli Negev desert bordering Gaza as well as sections of the Jordan Valley.
The official claimed that regardless of the outcome of this past week’s three-way meeting between Netanyahu, Obama and PA President Mahmoud Abbas, the Obama administration will support the announcement of a Palestinian state within two years.
“We understand from the U.S. that the Netanyahu government is not in a position to go against creating a state within two years,” the official said.
The official claimed the Obama administration was ready to ultimately consider “sanctions” against Israel if the Netanyahu government rejected negotiations leading to a Palestinian state. The official refused to clarify what sanctions he was referring to or where his information came from.
Yet Another Radical In Obama’s Circle
President Obama’s newly confirmed regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein, drew up a “First Amendment New Deal,” a new “Fairness Doctrine” that would include the establishment of a panel of “nonpartisan experts” to ensure “diversity of view” on the airwaves, this column has learned.
Sunstein compared the need for the government to regulate broadcasting to the moral obligation of the U.S. to enact laws that outlawed segregation.
Until now, Sunstein’s radical proposal, set forth in his 1993 book The Partial Constitution, received no news media attention and scant scrutiny.
In the book, Sunstein promotes the “fairness doctrine,” the abolished FCC policy that required holders of broadcast licenses to present controversial issues of public importance in a manner the government deemed was “equitable and balanced.”
Sunstein introduces what he terms his “First Amendment New Deal” to regulate broadcasting in the U.S.
His proposal includes a government requirement that “purely commercial stations provide financial subsidies to public television or to commercial stations that agree to provide less profitable but high-quality programming.”
Sunstein writes that it is “worthwhile to consider more dramatic approaches as well.”
He proposes “compulsory public-affairs programming, right of reply, content review by nonpartisan experts or guidelines to encourage attention to public issues and diversity of view.”
In a more recent publication, Sunstein advances another controversial position. In a 2006 Yale Law School paper, “Beyond Marbury: The Executive’s Power to Say What the Law Is,” Sunstein argues that the interpretation of federal law should be made not by judges but by the beliefs and commitments of the U.S. president and those around him.
“There is no reason to believe that in the face of statutory ambiguity, the meaning of federal law should be settled by the inclinations and predispositions of federal judges. The outcome should instead depend on the commitments and beliefs of the President and those who operate under him,” he writes.
Netanyahu Quietly Releases Terrorists
The Netanyahu government has quietly continued a controversial practice of granting amnesty to terrorists in order to help bolster Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Last week for instance, Israel pardoned 13 members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the declared military wing of Abbas’s Fatah organization.
According to information obtained by WorldNetDaily, seven of the pardoned gunmen were directly responsible for killing Israelis, while 11 of the 13 are accused of collaborating in attacks in which Israelis were murdered.
Among those pardoned was Rabi Hamed, who was the deputy commander of the Al Aqsa Brigades in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Hamed served under the Brigades chief in Ramallah, Kame Ranem. Hamed directly carried out scores of shooting attacks against Israelis, according to both sources in Israel and in the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
Last week’s amnesty was the second round granted to Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorists since Netanyahu came to office. The Israeli leader is continuing the policy of pardoning Fatah gunmen, a policy first initiated by his predecessor, Ehud Olmert, in hopes of appeasing Fatah and boosting Abbas against his Hamas rivals. Many of the Brigades members pardoned by Olmert continued their involvement in anti-Israel terrorism after receiving amnesty.
Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the book “The Late Great State of Israel.” Follow Klein on Twitter under the name “AaronKleinWND.”