Obama Administration Not Interested in Peace Negotiations


There’s an election coming up here in the U.S. and you know what that means- no serious push for peace negotiations for fear of appearing anti-Israel. Or something like that.

But lets be honest, between trying to prevent the Freedom Flotilla2 from setting sail and preventing the Palestinians from seeking statehood at the U.N. in September, they don’t have a lot of free time for that whole peace process thing.

The administration recently killed France’s attempt to restart talks, using the preposterous excuse that the parties “weren’t ready to negotiate”- let me translate that for you: Given the Palestinians immediately agreed to resume talks under the auspice of the French, what the U.S. means by “the parties aren’t ready…” is “the U.S. and Israel don’t want any other country playing in the peace process sandbox.” A National Security Council official had reassured the Jewish community that the French proposal didn’t have all the things they (the U.S. and Israel) wanted because apparently, everything gets run by the Jewish community for approval?:

Steven Simon, a new National Security Council head of the Middle East and North Africa department, replaced Dan Shapiro, who was approved as the new U.S. Ambassador to Israel. In a conference call Friday with U.S. Jewish leaders – something Shapiro used to hold quite frequently

Of course Shapiro did. Question: what are the chances of upper level Mideast positions in the U.S. government going to, say, someone of Arab descent? According to this Mondoweiss article and this J-Post article discussing the selection of first Shapiro and then Simon for the NSC Mideast job under Obama, slim to none. Apparently it’s no secret that being Jewish is part of the job description if you are going to work at the top level of government on Mideast issues at the NSC [and I assume State Dept.] etc. Isn’t that sort of, uh, a weird form of reverse discrimination? I guess it’s refreshing to have someone finally admit it, out loud.

More from the article:

Simon stressed that the U.S. Administration wants “to head it off,” and that President Obama tried to rally European support and wanted to show that there was some action, and that the U.S. will oppose the Palestinian action in the UN, no matter what.

Let’s say that again: “no matter what.”

But basically, here’s the end-game:

Simon said, “Peace proposals are a good thing. U.S. and Israel will need European support. The French meant well. They were missing couple of bits that are important to us: end of claims, recognition of Israel as a home for the Jewish people.”

The U.S., he stressed, is the essential player, and not the French. At the end of the day, it’s the U.S. who is going to frame the agreement.

Pretty much our entire policy regarding the peace process can be summed up in that last excerpt. And that’s why it always fails. And yet, we are going to do the exact same thing, with the exact same players, over and over again while expecting a different result. I believe Albert Einstein referred to that as the definition of “insanity.”

And along those same lines, apparently the U.S. and Israel have been trying to prevent a meeting of the Mideast Quartet (EU, US, U.N. and Russia) because that might mean we had to take a position on something. But after putting off the meeting for months and months, the U.S. has begrudgingly announced it’s going to take place in July.

But so much can happen between now and July, so don’t mark your calendars yet!

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Attorney, Publisher, Foreign Policy wonk

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One Comment on “Obama Administration Not Interested in Peace Negotiations”

  1. thainjacobs Says:

    As soon as it was announced Dennis Ross would be Bibi’s man at the WH in charge of negotiations (muscling out George Mitchell in the process) we should have known where things were headed. Ross should be heading up the Israeli team b/c his sole purpose seems to be to protect Israel and screw the Palestinians.

    I have a feeling that if Mitchell had been empowered by Obama and Clinton to be tough and fair like he was w/N. Ireland, something might have been accomplished. But instead he was window dressing while Bibi insisted on working with Ross.

    They need some people on the admin w/ new ideas, fresh blood but they fall back on the same Lobby insiders and Israel Firsters. A lot if smart, good people seem to get passed over b/c they won’t spend every waking minute kissing Israel’s ass. Remember what happened to Chas Freeman?

    The irony is that former Israeli negotiator Dan Levy couldn’t even get a job in this admin. b/c he calls out Israel for their BS. He also has constructive ideas about how to move forward. Can’t have that!

    BTW, since when does the highly secretive NSC do f*cking outreach with ANY political constituency? It’s a top secret agency!

    Reply

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