Chutzpah: Bibi Netanyahu to Demand Quartet Change Mideast Peace Plan Statement

After the US and our allies have spent the past however many months running around arm-twisting and cajoling the world to deny the Palestinians any recognition at the United Nations, after the US has intervened on behalf of Israel with regard to deteriorating ties with Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, after the US President gave a shameful, pandering speech to the United Nations articulating the Likud position on all matters and after the US ensured that the plan/statement issued by the Quartet two weeks ago would largely reflect Israel’s wishes, this is how our ally responds:

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on Sunday that he welcomed “the Quartet’s call for direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions,” the premier intends to present a list of qualifications to the Quartet’s statement on a resumption of Mideast talks that in effect enfeeble that statement.

The plan, presented at UN Headquarters in New York by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, calls for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to renew direct talks within a month, to present proposals on borders and security within three months, and to reach a final agreement by the end of 2012.


The delay in Israel’s response was due to ongoing talks with U.S. officials, in which Israel asked for certain clarifications and assurances regarding the Quartet’s statement.

Speaking with Haaretz, one minister who participated in those meetings said that Israel’s answer to newly offered roadmap for peace amounted to a “yes, but” and that Israeli officials would present several qualifications concerning points included in the plan.

One such reservation is the three-month timetable presented in the Quartet document, with Israel expected to claim that such a schedule was unrealistic.

Israel will also object to separate negotiations concerning borders and security arrangements, and is expected to insist on a parallel discussion of the Palestinians’ recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, Palestinian refugees, and a Palestinian agreement to declare the conflict between the two peoples as resolved.

In addition, Netanyahu is expected to demand that the Palestinian Authority, led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, freeze its bid for full UN membership in the Security Council during peace talks.
[emphasis added]

What right does Netanyahu have to demand anything?

As I wrote yesterday in my post about Angela Merkel, the Quartet (basically the US) worked with Israel on the statement they ultimately issued in order to ensure nothing in it would unduly offend Israel. Granted, Israel may not have received everything it wanted, but given the Palestinians received no such special treatment in being able to have input into the Quartet statement, this strikes me as particularly arrogant.

I suspect the US’ chief negotiator, Dennis Ross, is to blame for a lot of this shameless pandering. Ross has a long history of promoting Israel’s interests at the expense of a negotiated settlement to the conflict. And he makes no secret of it either. Why on earth Obama keeps this loser around is beyond me. I guess it is yet another bone being tossed to the Israel Lobby, who loves Ross specifically because he helps ensure there will never be a viable two state solution, all the while providing Israel cover by engaging in endless negotiations.

Europe (and the rest of the world), are you watching/listening to all of this? Time is running out. Are politicians in Germany, the UK, France, Russia, Australia, Canada, etc. willing to stand behind an apartheid one-state solution? Because that’s where we are headed, thanks largely to the unwillingness of the European Union nations to join together and prevent this never-ending kabuki theater orchestrated by the U.S. and Israel.

One last thing- the great thing about everything Israel and the US have done and said over the past 2 weeks just serves to demonstrate why the Palestinians really have no choice but to go to the UN and get the international community involved.

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About Stacy

Attorney, Publisher, Foreign Policy wonk

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6 Comments on “Chutzpah: Bibi Netanyahu to Demand Quartet Change Mideast Peace Plan Statement”

  1. thainjacobs Says:

    Bibi is an asshat.

    Here’s what I think happened- Israel and the US managed to get a Quartet statement that didn’t call for a halt to settlements and didn’t specifically call for resolution of final status issues like borders, jerusalem etc. But because France and Russia are sick to death of the US and wasn’t going to approve of a statement that had every single thing Israel wanted, the US had to jettison it’s hope of getting wording in there about recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. Israel also doesn’t like timetables, which is mentioned in the statement. They don’t like timetables because that indicates that ONE DAY the occupation and land theft must end. So they want to get rid of anything that might prevent negotiations from going on for the next 20 years. So Israel got about 85% of what it wanted because as you noted, they were given the opportunity to provide input.

    After the Quartet statement was released, Abraham Foxman (also an asshat) of the ADL came out immediately and said the ADL didn’t like the reference to timetables. So Bibi and Foxman probably discussed this. Then Bibi probably called his adoring subjects in Congress and told them to put pressure on Obama to alter the Quartet statement.

    So this is why I think Bibi is doing this- he knows that he, Congress and the lobby have Obama by the balls.


  2. Micah Says:

    Just a heads up- the Washington Post is reporting Bibi accepted the Quartet proposal for immediate negotiations but then they neglected to mention that Israel in fact has preconditions as Stacy noted in this post. Also writing at the Post, Jen Rubin today attacks Obama for being pro-Palestinian and claims that Israel has no preconditions to negotiations but again, ignores the fact that Israel is demanding changes to the Quartet statement, ie. preconditions.

    See ‘ya later! 😉


    • thainjacobs Says:

      Yo Micah, what’s up?

      Thanks for the heads up about the WaPo- they get worse with each passing day. I was looking on their website for any coverage of the attack on the Palestinian Mosque by Israeli settlers as a price tag attack and they buried it in the “world” section (as opposed to their front page) and it’s a tiny little headline you probably wouldn’t even notice. Now, if Palestinians attacked an Israeli Synagogue I think we’d hear about it. The NYT finally put the story on their front page.

      Also, the MSM has ignored a violent attack on unarmed Palestinians by settlers over the weekend- nothing at all about that but I think Mondoweiss has something.

      I guess the MSM has to keep up it’s theme that only Palestinians are violent and hateful, never Israeli Jews, so stories about this stuff rarely sees the light of day.

      When is the State Dept. going to come out and condemn these attacks?


      • discourseincsharpminor Says:

        I would say when pigs fly, but when dealing with a majority-Muslim would-be country and the Jewish state, I think I need a different analogy.


  3. discourseincsharpminor Says:

    Anything that isn’t 100% in favor of Israel is unacceptable. How much clearer can he be that his government does not want a two-state solution, they want it all. Also, not to deminish the human rights and basic freedom aspect of the issue, but in these difficult economic times flying diplomats to meetings here, there, and everywhere to negotiate and pander and push for a consensus is not inexpensive. Bibi just dismisses it as not good enough? Fine, send him a bill for the expenses the Quartet members have racked up wasting their time. If he won’t come clean about having no desire to see a Palestinian state, he can at least compensate the other parties he’s stringing along to avoid the international blowback that would come if stood up and said he was against peace unless it’s a Palestinian-free peace.



  1. Every Media Outlet Proclaims Israel Accepts Quartet Statement to Return to Negotiations Without Preconditions But Leaves Out Israel’s Demand for Preconditions | US FoPo & the Middle East - October 4, 2011

    […] I did a search of major news sources- Washington post, MSNBC, NYT, Reuters and even read the State Department press briefing from yesterday and with the exception of the Israeli Daily Haaretz, all are reporting Israel will return to negotiations based on the Quartet statement and is urging the Palestinians to do so without preconditions (see google results for this here). Here’s the problem- since the Quartet released it’s statement about 2 weeks ago Israel has been in constant contact with the U.S. trying to get clarification and assurances about what the statement does and doesn’t mean. According to Israeli officials, Bibi Netanyahu is quietly adding on his own list of preconditions to the Quartet statement if negotiations resume- I wrote a post about this the other day, here. […]

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