Netanyahu rejects U.S. guarantees in exchange for renewing freeze

Quel suprise! Bibi’s reason doesn’t make sense. It seemed to me that he was being offered enough to get political support for accepting it. My other reaction is that Obama is offering a great deal for a 2 month extention. Why?

Arutz Sheva: White House: Nothing Offered in Exchange for Freeze.

Bottom line for me is that Abbas is not sincere. If he really wanted to reach an agreement he would negotiate without a freeze. His game plan is to avoid negotiations so as to necessitate the UN imposing a solution.
Ted Belman

By Barak Ravid, HAARETZ

The United States is reportedly incensed over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rejection of a draft letter that would have extended the freeze on West Bank settlement construction, formulated by advisers to the U.S. and Israeli leaders.

The letter, written by U.S. President Barack Obama’s advisers and by Netanyahu’s and Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s adviser Isaac Molho, would have had Israel freezing construction in the settlements for another 60 days in exchange for unprecedented U.S. political and security assistance.

Senior American officials said they were frustrated by Netanyahu’s conduct in the affair.

“We’re not buying the excuse of political difficulties anymore,” a senior U.S. official told his Israeli counterpart.

“The Americans said Netanyahu’s conduct is humiliating the president,” said a senior European diplomat who met with senior U.S. officials in New York last week.

The details of the letter were revealed by senior researcher David Makovsky on the website of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

According to the report, the letter included benefits crucial to Israel’s security that Netanyahu has been demanding for years. For example, the United States pledged to support Israel’s position on stationing Israeli troops in the Jordan valley after the establishment of a Palestinian state, in order to prevent weapons smuggling.

The United States also would not ask Israel to further extend the building moratorium and would pledge that the issue of settlements would be dealt with only as part of final-status talks with the Palestinians, the letter reportedly said.

The United States also reportedly would veto any UN Security Council resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this year, would upgrade Israel’s defense capabilities after the peace agreement, and would increase security assistance.

This reportedly would include providing Israel with advanced fighter jets and early warning systems, including satellites. The U.S. also would start talks with Arab countries toward a regional agreement vis-a-vis Iran.

Obama adviser Dennis Ross, who is the moving force behind the letter, is believed to have encouraged Obama to change his policy toward Netanyahu in order to come off as friendlier. Ross reportedly worked with Barak and Molho on the letter during the UN General Assembly in New York.

The White House yesterday denied that Obama sent a letter to Netanyahu, but did not deny that the United States and Israel worked on a letter.

The Prime Minister’s Office declined to answer any questions on the subject.

According to a source involved in discussions of the letter, Netanyahu agreed to the talks conducted by Barak and Molho in New York, but began to backpedal in two phone calls with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday night.

On Sunday, Netanyahu said he appreciated the letter but could not accept the American proposal because it included a two-month extension of the construction moratorium, which he said would damage his public credibility.

According to an Israeli source involved in the details of the affair, Ross was very insulted by Netanyahu’s conduct and considered it “treason.”

To head off a possible public confrontation following Netanyahu’s rejection of the letter, Ross and White House Middle East adviser Dan Shapiro met Tuesday in Washington with a large group of Jewish senators and congresspersons to report on talks with Israel and the draft letter.

According to a source informed about the meeting, Ross said the administration was surprised that Netanyahu had turned down the draft. To increase pressure on Netanyahu, Ross reportedly passed on the draft to Makovsky, who published it online Tuesday night.

According to a senior Israeli official, the “guarantee letter” may now be off the table and the Americans may be formulating a different solution to allow continued negotiations.

On Tuesday morning, Netanyahu met with U.S. envoy George Mitchell. Mitchell met yesterday with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and will meet with Netanyahu again today.

Meanwhile, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton landed yesterday in Israel and will meet with Netanyahu today.

According to news agencies, the Arab League, which was to meet Monday to decide whether direct Israeli-Palestinian talks should continue, has put off the meeting until Wednesday, giving another 48 hours for Israeli-Palestinian talks.

October 1, 2010 | 10 Comments »

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  1. Bibi should scream as loud as he can: RECOGNITION FIRST – THEN WE TALK. PERIOD!

    That issue is on the agenda for negotiations.

  2. Bibi should scream as loud as he can: RECOGNITION FIRST – THEN WE TALK. PERIOD!

    Without that – and by that I mean Abbas crying “uncle” on this issue by revising the PNC accordingly – everything else is meaningless. If Obama can’t pressure Abbas to do that, then he is on Abbas’ side, and he – along with the Moslem world – thus reveals his own intention to ultimately dismantle Israel.

    As Laura said, Obama has proven again and again that his assurances mean nothing. He is the most bald-faced liar I’ve ever seen on the national stage in this country, and that is saying something.

  3. Good for Bibi. Hardball it is. Israel shouldnt have to make ANY concessions. Enough IS Enough. The U.S. IS largely responsible for Israels predictament. The U.S. NEEDS to learn to STOP GIVING IN TO THE MOST VILE PEOPLE ON THE PLANET. And for the Americans who claim that Israel owes them because of the large amount of funds that the U.S. sends to Israel … think again … Why DOES Israel have to spend so much money defending itself? Instead the U.S. as well as the other so called allies should CUT OFF the oppressive countries who will only end up using their money to DESTROY YOU ANYWAY.

    Well said, without American proliferation of arms in the region we could have had a de-facto peace years ago. Israel can make what she needs and the Arabs can’t. That would have given us a definite military advantage on the cheap.

  4. Good for Bibi. Hardball it is. Israel shouldnt have to make ANY concessions. Enough IS Enough. The U.S. IS largely responsible for Israels predictament. The U.S. NEEDS to learn to STOP GIVING IN TO THE MOST VILE PEOPLE ON THE PLANET. And for the Americans who claim that Israel owes them because of the large amount of funds that the U.S. sends to Israel … think again … Why DOES Israel have to spend so much money defending itself? Instead the U.S. as well as the other so called allies should CUT OFF the oppressive countries who will only end up using their money to DESTROY YOU ANYWAY.

  5. The whole issue is totally immoral. When a so called “peacepartner” wants you to freeze your citizens than he certainly does not want peace, he just wants to be rid of you. The whole concept is unheard of and disgusting. Poor Netanyahu,. He has to be going through all those make-believe meetings, knowing he is facing a wolf in a sheepskin.

  6. “The Americans said Netanyahu’s conduct is humiliating the president,” said a senior European diplomat who met with senior U.S. officials in New York last week.

    Good. No guarantees coming from obama can be trusted.

    It also bothers me that there is mention of Obama mobilizing his Jews in Congress (all Democrats except Eric Cantor) to presumably join in on the pressure.

    Why would Cantor be involved in this?

  7. Perhaps Bibi recalls the many previous U.S “guarantees” that evaporated later on just when they were needed. It also looks odd that Obama could offer so much for such a short extension of the building freeze. Something just doesn’t smell right especially coming from an administration that has been so hostile. It also bothers me that there is mention of Obama mobilizing his Jews in Congress (all Democrats except Eric Cantor) to presumably join in on the pressure. What Obama is now offering should have been offered before and without strings attached. It is also revealing to see the anger from U.S officials when Israel acts like a sovereign nation rather than an obedient colony of the U.S.

  8. Randy you got that right. Obama and the liberal democrats are looking for all the capital they can gather before November election.

    If Bibi is smart he will avoid him and his (Hillary, Mitchell & Co.) cronies like the Bubonic Plague.

  9. And this happens right before elections in the US—the White House is incensed over Bibi’s rejection. We’ve seen Bibi is willing to play ball to a point, but maybe he too would like to help change the ‘change’ Obama brought to Washington.