Thursday, June 11, 2009

Saudis Take Obama Seriously--Get Involved

Obama's demands of Israel are well known, his demands of the Palestinian Arabs--not so much. So Obama wanted to be clear.
"I've discussed the importance of a cessation of settlement construction,"
he said in France Saturday, "but I also want to reemphasize, because that's
gotten more attention than what I've also said, which is the Palestinians
have to renounce violence, end incitement, improve their governance capacity
so that Israelis can be confident that the Palestinians can follow through
on any commitments they make across the table."
I can't wait to read about how Obama is putting as much pressure on the Palestinians to stop killing civilians as it is on Israel to freeze the settlements. Maybe Obama is just more concerned about the possibility of bringing down Abbas than he is about bringing down Bibi.

Meanwhile, Obama wants the other Arab states to take action as well:
The day before, in Germany, he also emphasized his call for the Arab states
to take decisive action.

"The Arab states have to be a part of this process. It's not sufficient just
to point at the Palestinian problem and then say we are not going to engage,
we're not going to take responsibility," he said.

"They are going to have to step up as well because the Arab states not only
are important politically, they're also important economically. And to the
extent that they put their shoulder behind the wheel, that can move the
process forward in a significant way."

He referred to them making economic and diplomatic moves towards Israel as
the process gains momentum.
Sure enough--no sooner said than done--Saudi Arabia makes an economic move towards Israel:
The United States should cut off all to Israel if the Jewish state does not accept the terms of the 2002 Saudi Peace Plan, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told Newsweek magazine.

In answer to a question if U.S. President Barack Obama should use financial help as a tool to force Israel to implement the plan, the Foreign Minister stated, "Why not? If you give aid to someone and they indiscriminately occupy other people's lands, you bear some responsibility."
Lest you think that the Saudis have nothing to offer Israel, they do offer 'recognition':
He also made it clear that the only concession the Arab world can make to Israel is diplomatic recognition, meaning that all other terms of the Saudi peace initiative are non-negotiable. “We don't have anything to offer Israel except normalization, and if we put that before the return of Arab land we are giving away the only chip in the hands of Arab countries,” he told the news weekly.
Diplomatic recognition is not recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Other than that, Saudi Arabia claims that the terms of the Saudi Plan are cast in stone. And why shouldn't they be. Like Abbas, the rest of the Arab world has taken their cue from Obama and figure they will get everything they want from Israel, thanks to the new President.

Looks like everything is going according to plan:
One TV reported that Netanyahu was told Tuesday by an "American official" in Jerusalem that, "We are going to change the world. Please, don't interfere."

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