Obama wants signed agreement, not peace

Wednesday, September 01, 2010 |  Ryan Jones

Diplomatic sources revealed to Israel's Yediot Ahronot that when direct Israeli-Palestinians peace talks resume in Washington on Thursday, US President Barack Obama intends to strongly press both sides to sign a peace deal, even if it can't be fully implemented.

According to the leaked transcript of a conference call between Obama Administration officials and US Jewish leaders, Obama will pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to sign a framework deal now that will lead to the signing of a final status peace deal within one year. However, the implementation of that final status deal is expected to take at least 10 years.

During the first year, Obama wants to see Netanyahu, Abbas and their respective teams holding meetings at a hectic pace in order to iron out differences in the run up to signing the peace deal. When the two sides hit roadblocks, US officials will intervene.

The signing of such an agreement will give Obama the diplomatic achievement he needs to bolster his increasingly unpopular presidency. But that will do little to change the situation on the ground in Israel, as evidenced by the fact that even Obama acknowledges it can't be implemented in the short term.

In fact, it is likely to exacerbate the conflict by further restraining the Israelis from combatting violence against their own, a development that has traditionally encouraged the Palestinians to escalate their campaign of terror.

In other words, as some observers put it, Israelis are likely to pay with their lives so that Obama and his party can remain in power.

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