Reports: Obama pressuring Netanyahu on negotiations based on '67 borders
Israel National Radio and left-leaning newspaper Haaretz are both reporting that President Obama is pressuring Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to commence negotiations with the Palestinians, using the 1967 borders as the basis. Barak Ravid of Haaretz writes:
Washington is pressuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accede to its proposal to resume Israeli-Palestinian peace talks on the basis of U.S. President Barack Obama's May 19 speech.
An Israeli source who spoke recently with senior officials in Washington said the Americans were very frustrated with Netanyahu's behavior, feeling that he was impeding America's efforts to keep the Palestinians from unilaterally seeking UN recognition of a state in September.
Netanyahu's personal envoy, Isaac Molho, spent last week in Washington, where the Americans presented their proposal for resuming talks on the basis of Obama's speech. Specifically, Obama's plan calls for negotiating over borders and security first, while deferring issues such as Jerusalem and the refugees until later. It also calls for the borders to be based on the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed land swaps.
The Americans told Molho that to block European initiatives such as France's proposal for an international peace conference in Paris, they must have something concrete to offer, like Netanyahu's agreement to negotiate on the basis of Obama's speech.
This amounts to forcing Israel to negotiate after giving up its principal bargaining chips. The job of Obama's apologists among the Jewish commiunity just got harder. He is outing himself.