U.S. President Barack Obama has told several European leaders that if Israeli-Palestinian talks remain stalemated into September or October, he will convene an international summit on achieving Mideast peace, senior Israeli officials told Haaretz on Thursday.Abbas has said before that he wants to go to the UN and have them declare a state. Now all he has to do is play the same game he has been playing till now, making excuses not to come to the table. Instead of paying for his intransigence, Abbas is rewarded.
The officials said the conference would be run by the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers - the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia - in a bid to forge a united global front for creating a Palestinian state. The summit, they said, would address such core issues as borders, security arrangements, Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem.
Obama is determined to exert his influence to establish a Palestinian state, the officials said, and several European leaders have vowed that the EU would support any peace plan proposed by Washington. Therefore, though so-called proximity talks are set to start in the coming weeks, Obama is already readying for the possibility that the indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks might reach a dead end.
By going from the US, which these days is nominally a friend of Israel, the creation of a second Palestinian state is in the hands of the UN, the EU and Russia as well.
Obama is fixated on the creation of that state, and has basically arranged for it to be handed to the Palestinian Authority on a silver platter
Even assuming that this report is accurate, there is a fly in the ointment for Obama:
Israeli officials said they believe Obama could postpone the international summit, or the unveiling of his own peace plan, until after the midterm Congressional elections in November, in which his Democratic Party is widely expected to suffer heavy losses.If the prospects for a trouncing of the Democrats at the mid-term elections continue, there might be pressure on Obama to postpone such a summit. Then a lot would depend on the makeup of Congress afterwards, if Republicans--who are friendlier towards Israel and more respectful of its security needs--retake majorities in the House and Senate.
For now, let's see if Obama continues to play possum.
Crossposted on Soccer Dad
Technorati Tag: Obama and Abbas.