Official: Israeli PM likely to back two-state plan; Barak- Regional deal possible in 3 years
This statement by a senior American official amounts to Washington's endorsement of Israel's presumed nuclear capability as long as Iran persists in continuing to enrich uranium in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, DEBKAfile's political sources report.
It removes a major obstacle clouding White House talks next Monday, May 18, between Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and president Barack Obama and paves the way for an Israeli request to extend the 40-year old "ambiguity" arrangement approved by Obama's predecessors.
This statement eased concerns in Jerusalem that as part of his drive for global nuclear disarmament, President Obama would insist on Israel leading the way to win a bargaining chip in his forthcoming diplomatic negotiatons with Tehran. This would have terminated the informal longstanding deal between Jerusalem and US presidents allowing Israel to refrain from admitting or denying possession of a nuclear arsenal while maintaining the status of a nuclear power in relation to its enemies. Debkafile
On the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's crucial visit to Washington, his defense minister suggested Saturday the Israeli leader might be ready to endorse a Palestinian state when he meets President Barack Obama.
That would be a significant shift for Netanyahu, who has made clear in the past that he does not think the Palestinians are ready to rule themselves. But that position has put him at odds with long-standing U.S. policy that supports Palestinian statehood as the cornerstone of Mideast peace efforts.
"I think and believe that Netanyahu will tell Obama this government is prepared to go for a political process that will result in two peoples living side by side in peace and mutual respect," Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Channel 2 TV on Saturday.
Barak said he thought an agreement with the Palestinians could be achieved within three years. However, he did not explicitly use the word state in his remark, leaving open other options for Netanyahu. AP
Although Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has stated that he believes Prime Minister Netanyahu will agree to go forward with the process of establishing a two-state solution, conflicting reports still abound. Personally, I don't think Mr. Netanyahu has any other choice but to agree to the solution. I have to believe it will eventually come with US and EU assurances for Israel's security. Barak also said that an agreement could be achieved within three years. Depending on what he means by three years, I'm not sure that's the timeframe the Obama administration had in mind. I would have to believe that an immediate framework would be drawn up that would create a Palestinian state and other concessions would be factored in over time...such as settlement withdrawal from the West Bank and the sharing of Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.
Another twist has also developed. The US "ambiguity" arrangement toward Israel's nuclear program will stay intact as long as Iran is pursuing their nuclear program...but that could all change in the very near future. The US is pressing Israel to join the NPT (nuclear non-proliferation treaty) and to take the first move in good faith to entice Iran to do the same. The US believes this will be a favorable bargaining chip when they pursue future talks with Tehran.
If Israel has any sense, they will stay far away from signing away their nuclear program. Even if Iran were to agree to join the NPT, and stick to it, a non-nuclear Israel would be completely over run in a conventional war by the Islamic world. It is imperative that Israel have a nuclear threat if they are to survive in the middle of their enemies.
I don't foresee Israel ever giving up their nuclear program but that certainly would explain how the Antichrist might overtake the land of Israel in the latter half of the tribulation period (Revelation 12:14) causing them to flee to Petra.
Be sure to check back over the next few days as this very important meeting between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu begins to unfold.
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