Saturday, September 18, 2010

An explicit promise

With the opening of what is billed as direct negotiations with the Palestinians, Binyamin Netanyahu's aides expressed themselves through Ben Kaspit, senior political correspondent of Maariv. They certainly had some interesting things to say, whatever credibility one would give it.

"The root of the problem, under the Israeli perception, is an unprecedented explicit promise which Obama made to Abu–Mazen: A Palestinian state – a viable one, with territorial contiguity etc. – would come into being within a one year deadline. The Israelis have learned about this promise only indirectly, via intelligence reports, and were appalled. Since then, tremendous energy has been expended in an attempt to show the Americans how wrong they were. Equally tremendous energy was directed to trying to prove to the Americans how the stupid construction freeze damaged the prospects of the negotiations. Every time when it seems that the Americans understand the message and adopt the Israeli approach (last week was the latest such occasion), Obama suddenly comes up and upsets everything (suddenly stating again that the freeze should continue). It is difficult to stomach this pattern of behavior, but there is no choice, since it is the Americans' behavior." (Ma'ariv, September 16, 2010)

Quite explicit things, indeed: a viable Palestinian state, with territorial contiguity etc is to come into being within a deadline of one year. In September 2011 it will be possible to read this article again. It would be then possible to find out, in a clear and authoritative way, what worth and what value should be placed on an explicit and unprecedented promise by the President of the United States of America.