Le Figaro, France
America's Shift on Israeli Settlements Due to Iran
letting up on pressure it was exerting over settlements, perhaps Washington is
hoping for more understanding from Israel. But it does so at the cost of a
lasting deadlock in the Middle East."
By Pierre Rousselin
Translated By Pascaline Jay
November 3, 2009
France - Le Figaro - Original Article
Yesterday, before an assembly
of Arab diplomats, Hillary Clinton called on Israel to show “positive gestures”
toward the Palestinians. In Jerusalem the day before, the secretary of state, flanked
by a beaming Benyamin Netanyahu, confirmed what Barack Obama had suggested in
September: the White House will no longer require Israel to stop all settlement
activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
In this two-step, there is a
notable readjustment of the new administration’s diplomacy, which had ventured
a bit of a frontal assault with its ally Israel.
George W. Bush learned at his
expense that the Middle East doesn’t lend itself to simplistic approaches. His
successor is in the process of learning precisely the opposite. At the end of the
road, the United States and its partners will perhaps realize that American
policy in the region is subject to forces that transcend the ideology now in
vogue at the White House.
In Morocco, Hillary Clinton
had to confront the disappointment of the Arab states. Demanding that Palestinian
Authority President Mahmud Abbas resume peace talks with Israel “unconditionally”
- after having dangled a complete freeze in settlements, was indeed hard to
swallow. Constrained to reverse itself on commitments it was impossible to keep,
American diplomacy revealed itself to be particularly maladroit.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
Even if the secretary of state
keeps repeating that the partial freeze which the Israeli Prime Minister has
agreed to is “without precedent,” the Arab countries see the glass as half
empty - even if the same glass could at first have been presented as half full.
This U.S. shift in regard to the
Arab-Israeli conflict is due, first, to the lack of prospects for progress; but
also to the confusion that has seized the Iran nuclear issue.
The time will come when a
decision will have to be made: either to do nothing and accept, de facto, the
accession of Iran to nuclear status; or to engage in an escalation. Iran's
delaying tactics can only exacerbate the Israeli impatience.
While letting up on pressure it
was exerting over settlements, perhaps Washington is hoping for more
understanding from Israel. But it does so at the cost of a lasting deadlock in
the Middle East.
CLICK HERE FOR FRENCH VERSION
[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US November 11, 4:39pm]