07 December 09
President Obama has surrounded himself with a host of vehemently anti-Israel advisers including Lee Hamilton, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Samantha Power, Susan Rice, and Gen. Jones, many of whom advocate imposing a solution on Israel.
So it was no surprise that Obama started his term of office by attacking Israel, America's best and most steadfast ally, and demanding a complete settlement-freeze east of the green line, including Jerusalem. He went so far as to repudiate the U.S. commitment set out in the Bush 2004 letter to then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Elliot Abrams and others involved in the negotiations that led to Bush's letter testified otherwise.
In January 2009, before Obama had gotten his act together, Haaretz reported:
Mitchell told Israeli officials that the new administration was committed to Israel's security, to the road map, and to the 2004 letter by President George W. Bush stating Palestinian refugees would not return to Israel and the border between Israel and the Palestinian Authority would take into consideration facts on the ground, meaning large settlement blocs would remain in Israeli hands.
Within a few months, that commitment was history.
Prime Minister Netanyahu, who had campaigned on the rejection of the two-state solution and on continued settlement growth, attempted to deflect or resist the pressure. One can only imagine theTools of Persuasion that Netanyahu was subjected to. Finally, on June 12, 2009, Netanyahu made a major speech at the Begin Centre in which he shocked Israelis by agreeing to a two-state solution.
We do not want to rule over them, we do not want to govern their lives, we do not want to impose either our flag or our culture on them. In my vision of peace, in this small land of ours, two peoples live freely, side-by-side, in amity and mutual respect. Each will have its own flag, its own national anthem, its own government. Neither will threaten the security or survival of the other.
Never mind that Netanyahu had only limited sovereignty in mind.
He went on to demand as a precondition that "Palestinians must clearly and unambiguously recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people" and that a Palestinian state be demilitarized, "with ironclad security provisions for Israel."