Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Doctrine or Peace proposal? Netanyahu wants to surprise International community in Congress speech

(Jpost).Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to surprise the international community in his speech before the US Congress in late May – and is unlikely to unveil more than the rough outlines of what he will discuss before then, government sources said Wednesday.
Netanyahu's speech before a joint meeting of the US Congress July 10 1996

The NYtimes reports:
As the administration has been pondering, Mr. Netanyahu, fearful that his country would lose ground with any Obama administration plan, has been considering whether to pre-empt the White House with a proposal of his own, before a friendly United States Congress, according to American officials and diplomats from the region.
“People seem to think that whoever goes first gets the upper hand,” said Daniel Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator and a director at the New America Foundation. Using Mr. Netanyahu’s nickname, he said: “If Bibi went first and didn’t lay out a bold peace plan, it would be harder for Obama to say, actually, despite what you said to Congress and their applause, this is what I think you should do.”
The sources were replying to reports that Netanyahu was considering delivering part of this speech to the opening session of the Knesset, which convenes on May 16 – six days before he is scheduled to go to the US.

According to reports, the idea of withholding the speech was raised in light of criticism Netanyahu has taken for delivering what is expected to be a major diplomatic address, of great import to Israelis.