For days the mainstream media has been filled with headlines condemning Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for his intransigence in thwarting U.S. efforts towards a Middle East peace accord and for trying to torpedo the West’s appeasement deal with Iran.
You could wall paper an entire house with the articles criticizing Netanyahu for “damaging the relationship” with the U.S. Why, even former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert joined the croaking chorus with this gem: “We’ve [Israel] declared war on the U.S. government. You can’t deny this.”
But on Thursday, Dec. 5, it was the Palestinian Arabs who slammed the door in U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s face.
The Palestinian Authority rejected Kerry’s ideas for security arrangements under a possible future peace accord with Israel, a PA official said, according to Reuters.
“The Palestinian side rejected them because they would only lead to prolonging and maintaining the occupation,” according to the official, who refused to allow his name to be used.
Those security arrangements were the ace in the hole the U.S. was counting on to lure the Israelis into accepting a peace plan.
General John Allen, the U.S. envoy to the peace process, discussed with Netanyahu the issue of possible security arrangements to assuage Israel’s fears for any final status agreement that would leave the Jewish state vulnerable.
Of primary concern is the ability of Israel to maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley and to have some control over airspace that could leave Israel vulnerable. A video of an American air security expert addressing the need for Israel to maintain such airspace control is at the end of this article.
The time may come when the United States and other countries will realize that any arrangement which provides adequate security to Israel will be rejected by the negotiators representing the Palestinian Arab leadership.
The so-called “Middle East peace talks” was one of two issues Kerry is expected to discuss with the leaders of the Israeli and the Palestinian Arab people. The other issue is the recent agreement which the U.S., along with its P5+1 partners, allegedly reached with the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
That agreement has been widely criticized as a huge boon for Iran and a destabilizing force in the Middle East by most Israeli security experts as well as even some of President Obama’s most stalwart defenders, such as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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