Settlement Issue Could be Solved Soon; Islamic World Calls For Quick Establishment of PA Borders
"A historic settlement is within reach," Mubarak wrote in the Wall Street Journal. "Egypt stands ready to seize that moment, and I am confident that the Arab world will do the same."
The first priority, the Egyptian president says, is "to resolve the permanent borders of a sovereign and territorially contiguous Palestinian state, based on the 1967 lines, as this would unlock most of the other permanent status issues, including settlements, security, water and Jerusalem." Jpost.com
Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair believes that with the right partners Middle East peace could be a reality by years end. Of course, global politicians have been saying this for decades...why is this time different? The one main reason is that the Islamic world finally have a friend in the White House who is determined to make Israel bend to his wishes. In the past, US presidents were only willing to push Israel so far for fear of a domestic backlash. But President Obama has so far learned from the mistakes of his predecessors and planted his feet firmly in the camp of Israel's Islamic enemies while still maintaining that he is a friend of Israel's.
I'm not sure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is ready to bend to President Obama's wishes but he has little choice. In his latest speech, he finally accepted the fact that the two-state solution was inevitable, but attached a number of pre-conditions to its creation. Frankly, I doubt any of his pre-conditions will ever be met, and in time, will be swept under the rug by the US. Case in point, Mr. Netanyahu said that he will not cease construction of settlements within West Bank territories, but President Obama and Israel’s incoming Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren indicate otherwise. This is what Obama recently said regarding the settlement issue:
“I've also made very clear that both sides [Israel and the Palestinian Authority – ed.] are going to have to move in some politically difficult ways… On the Israeli side, that means a cessation of settlements. And there is a tendency to try to parse exactly what this means, but I think the parties on the ground understand that if you have a continuation of settlements that, in past agreements, have been categorized as illegal, that's going to be an impediment to progress.” Israelinationalnews.com
I look for President Obama to move forward with establishing Palestinian borders with or without Israel's blessing. Once borders are established, there will be no turning back and the Islamic world knows that. Once the settlement issue is ironed out only the question of Jerusalem will remain. In a recent interview with Israel's ambassador to the US Michael Oren, he stated, "I'm confident that we will be able to reach an agreement in the near future that will enable us to put the settlement issue aside and to move forward to what I regard as far more substantive issues in the peace process." Reuters
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