It appears the United States efforts to resume direct negotiations between the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and the Israeli Government has started to bear fruit. This comes amid widespread reports that the Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has succeeded in reaching an agreement with the administration of President Barack Obama on this matter.
Immediately after his return from a visit to Washington, which lasted one week, Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting of his Security Cabinet ministers to discuss the content of this understanding and to convince them to accept its proposals, especially because it contains attractive security, military and political guarantees.
Leaks published in sections of the Hebrew press speak of unprecedented political and security incentives, such as the US supplying Israel with ten more F-35 fighter jets, the latest in the American arsenal, without any charge. Also included in the package, is an American promise to deploy a network anti-aircraft missiles, a pledge to block any international attempts to monitor Israel's nuclear reactors, and a commitment to resist any attempt to delegitimize Israel in international fora, including debate of the Goldstone report and the Israeli aggression on the Mavi Marmara.
In return for all of these inducements, the Netanyahu Government would agree to freeze the construction of settlements in the West Bank for three months; but with their continuation in Occupied Jerusalem and the settlements that surround it.
The American incentives to Netanyahu's Government are far worse than a partial freeze of the settlement activity, which means, quite simply, that the Obama administration has totally capitulated to the extortionist conditions of the Israeli Government.
The danger of the settlement is not confined to the West Bank only, but also to Occupied Jerusalem, and to exempt the latter from the American-Israeli understanding means that any future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have absolutely no value at all.
Perhaps the point that is important to consider here is the absence of any guarantees that the negotiations would succeed, after three months of a partial settlement freeze. What happens if there is no satisfactory agreement during the freeze? Will the Netanyahu Government resume its blackmail of the American administration and demand more security, political and military guarantees for another extension for a few more months?
We do not know what the PA's response to these incentives and Israeli-US understandings is. All that has been leaked so far from its officials suggest that the Authority have not received, to date, any proposals. So, for the time being, it would remain silent, until it formally receives these proposals.
The US proposals would, inevitably, arrive, if not today, tomorrow at the latest; and the Authority would not be able to evade the American diktats as is always the case. It may resort to its old tricks and pretense by calling for a meeting of the Follow-up Committee for Arab Peace Initiative meeting in Cairo to provide cover for the return of the Authority and its senior negotiators to direct negotiations once again.
It is clear that a decision has been taken within the leadership of the Authority; that is, never to say 'no' to the Americans and to carry out all that is requested of them, without question. Any other option would bring about the collapse of the Authority and loss of its officials; with most, if not all of their financial benefits and big jobs, this is absolutely impossible scenario for all of them to contemplate.
Source: Opinion Al Quds Al Arabi