Following the Arab League announcement that it accepts the principle of land swap based on the 1967’s borders, media reports have revealed that the US administration is working to convince members of the League to declare recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
Israel’s Maariv newspaper stated that the Americans hope the umbrella of the Arab League will achieve strategic depth and reinforce the position of the Palestinians and Israelis alike. In this way, it is hoped that it will be possible to persuade the parties to resume negotiations on the basis of two conditions: the 1967 lines and land swap on the one hand, and the recognition of a Jewish state on the other.
According to a senior Israeli source, the position of the Arab League could become a window of opportunity for “a general Arab recognition of Israel as a Jewish state,” and could persuade the Israeli Prime Minister to resume negotiations with the Palestinians.
The newspaper quoted a report by the Department of Intelligence and Research at the Israeli Foreign Ministry as saying that the Qatari Prime Minister’s statement concerning land exchange does not reflect a formal change in the Arab peace initiative, because the issue can only be determined in an Arab League summit with all its members present.
However, his remarks in Washington reflect a desire to show flexibility toward Kerry and assist him in his efforts to resume negotiations; a move that aims at strengthening the position of the Palestinians while backing President Mahmoud Abbas.