Sunday, March 6, 2011

Obama wants 'dramatic statements', will demand clear reference to 1967 borders

(Ynet).The Obama Administration will not make do with statements that are "not dramatic" alongside a new peace initiative reportedly planned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, officials in Jerusalem say.

The political sources said they fear that the US Administration will demand clear reference to the 1967 borders as part of the plan and a subsequent Netanyahu speech.

The officials said the PM would not be able to address sensitive issues such as Jerusalem's division or Palestinian refugees. Hence, the sources estimated that the issue of borders "must be on the table," with America expecting Netanyahu to refer to the 1967 borders as the basis for a final-status agreement and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

At this time, Washington is boosting the pressure on Netanyahu to produce diplomatic momentum. For the time being President Barack Obama is refraining from presenting a diplomatic plan and forcing it upon Israel and the Palestinians. Instead, the Americans are expecting Israel to undertake significant steps that would revive the diplomatic process, especially in the face of current Mideast turmoil.

Political sources said that while ties with America have not been harmed, the relationship between President Obama and PM Netanyahu is "not as intimate as it should have been. An Israeli source said that the White House holds "great mistrust" towards Netanyahu and "has not granted him one minute of mercy."