Almost two weeks ago a rumor surfaced claiming that there were reports that President Obama would be demanding that Prime Minister Netanyahu provide a timetable for the withdrawal of every Jewish resident from the area beyond the Green Line in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem including all of the Old City which contains numerous Jewish restored neighborhoods and near countless Jewish Holy Sites and historic synagogues. The release of this information which was attributed to the World Tribune Newspaper was immediately downplayed, squelched and denied by Administration spokespeople. We had let this information drop at the time possibly in the hopes that there really was no validity behind this rumor. Now things are not looking so bright and the credibility of this rumor has gained ground with a news report from the United Nations. Reacting to a team appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council which just presented its conclusions Monday in a report to diplomats in the agency’s Geneva headquarters, there has been a demand in the name of the United Nations demanding that Israel begin to withdraw its citizens from Judea and Samaria. The timing of the release of this report which includes the demand of this cleansing lands of its Jewish residents presumably in preparation to presenting it for the formation of a Palestinian State a mere two days before President Obama makes his historic trip to Israel definitely pumps new life into the previously refuted rumor that demands will be placed on Israeli leaders to provide a detailed schedule for the removal of the Jewish citizens beyond the Green Line. This is an ominous and frightening convergence of semi-aligned circumstances with the United Nations Human Rights Council releasing a report and in the name of the United Nations demanding Israel establish a schedule for the withdrawal of all Israelis, or at least the Jewish Israelis, from Judea and Samaria (West Bank) as well as East Jerusalem including the entirety of the Old City immediately before United States President Obama is scheduled to make his first trip to Israel as President while his newly appointed Secretary of State, John Kerry, has been quoted after being sworn into his new position that he has a plan that could jumpstart the Israel/Palestinian peace process and lead to a rapid and permanent solution. When adding in the reported insider claim that President Obama was to demand the exact same schedule of removal of all Jewish residents beyond the Green Line in Samaria, Judea and most of Jerusalem you have a convergence which is difficult to ignore and frightening in its scope and content.
There is little doubt as to how Prime Minister Netanyahu should respond to such a request, or do we call it what it will become, a demand. He must simply refuse to consider any such plan and refuse to give the withdrawal even the dignity of discussion. This may be exactly what is expected since there has been a change in the schedule for President Obama on his trip visiting Israeli leaders, Palestinians leaders and then the King of Jordan. Originally President Obama was to meet upon his arrival with Prime Minister Netanyahu then later meet with Palestinian President Abbas and towards the end of his trip meet with the Jordanian King. Within the last forty-eight hours President Obama has scheduled two additional meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to take place after his meeting with Palestinian President Abbas. If I were pressed to venture a guess why these additional two meetings were added to the President’s itinerary, I have an inkling that President Obama will make a promise to President Abbas that providing Abbas sign an agreement to end incitement, recognize Israel’s right to exist and agree to be open to the idea of forgoing the ‘Right of Return’ to inside Israel and to accept the refugees to resettle in the Palestinian state then President Obama will promise to force Prime Minister Netanyahu to remove all of the Jewish residents on any lands beyond the pre 1967 War lines and surrender every inch of these lands to the establishment of the Palestinian state. The two extra meetings are scheduled so that at the first meeting President Obama can take a charm offensive to persuade Netanyahu into accepting the peace being offered and the second meeting to make Netanyahu an offer he would be wise in not refusing or else no stopping Iran from reaching nuclear weapons capability and even a threat of shooting down any Israeli attempt to strike the Iranian nuclear sites, an end to all United States aid both military and all other aid, even possibly the threat of a complete arms embargo including spare parts for aircraft and all munitions and who knows what else. The two additional meetings and the demands by the United Nations Human Rights Council there are not all that many implications such a combinations of events could foreshadow other than the final power-play forcing a peace upon both the Palestinian and the Israelis even if it kills both parties.
There will be some who will put forth the claim that President Obama will be unable to convince President Abbas to make peace, and I would have been one of them except for the introduction of the United Nations calling for the schedule just in time for the American President’s trip. It is possible that President Abbas might fold and accept making the promises as he has done similarly in the past only to renege when everything came to the crucial point where the only thing necessary was the signing of an agreement at which point Abbas, just as Arafat had done, walked away refusing to sign and spitting out new and more extreme demands. If, as I fear may be the case, President Obama has organized across the board support for this one last gasp push where everything and anything will be used to force an agreement, then here is what President Obama might be about to do in order to force a peace on both parties. He can face President Abbas with the threat that not only will the United States aid to the PLO, Fatah and Palestinian Authority be cut off but so will all aid from the European Union and its member states as well as the end of numerous NGOs support. Then it may be possible to get Abbas to sign intents or even an actual preliminary peace agreement using the threat of a complete financial collapse of the Palestinians against a promise that President Obama can guarantee that Israel will be made to return every square millimeter of the so-called Occupied Lands for the formation of the Palestinian State. President Obama can then return to meet Prime Minister Netanyahu to apply honey first and the fire and brimstone should honey fail in attaining the desired results. The only part of this that will matter is whether or not Obama can force a concession from Netanyahu that Israel will present a schedule for the removal of all Jews from beyond the Green Line that the World will implement all measures necessary to hold Israel to their obligation even should the Palestinians renege on their promises. We have seen this consequence almost countless times previously where Israel is held to commit to her promises while the Palestinians are never held accountable to their promises. This time Israel will be forced into an untenable position which will leave her with virtually undefendable borders totally lacking any strategic depth which is in complete violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. Things may be about to go from bad to worse, possibly worst, making for a very uncertain near future.
Beyond the Cusp