US set to blame Israel for failure of peace talks

Sunday, March 07, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

A message sent from the Obama Administration to the Palestinian Authority last week promised that if indirect peace talks set to be launched between Israel and the Palestinians in the coming weeks do not bear fruit, Washington will call out the party it feels is at fault and take appropriate action.

The Palestinians and the Arab League agreed last week to a US proposal to oversee indirect peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians for a period of four months. Israel believes US President Barack Obama has decided to lower the priority of Middle East peacemaking due to his frustration over not getting the two sides to resume full-scale negotiations and his need to focus on upcoming congressional elections.

The indirect talks will be facilitated by US Middle East envoy George Mitchell. The Palestinians reportedly asked Obama how serious the US involvement would be, and if adequate pressure would be brought to bear on Israel.

Ha'aretz reports that it obtained a copy of Obama's response, which read, "We expect both parties to act seriously and in good faith. If one side, in our judgment, is not living up to our expectations, we will make our concerns clear and we will act accordingly to overcome that obstacle."

Washington has traditionally blamed the existence and continued growth of Israeli communities in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem for the lack of peace, while almost completely ignoring Palestinian violence, incitement and corruption.

Palestinian and Arab leaders were reportedly very pleased with the US response.

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