Obama will not meet Israel's Netanyahu on U.S. visit | Reuters
President Barack Obama pointedly did not meet with Netanyahu during his before Congress without first informing the White House, and Netanyahu Their differing priorities did not bode well for U.S.-Israeli relations for the. The Obama-Netanyahu Relationship: Two Palestinian Views. Twitter · Facebook . On Netanyahu's March speech on Iran to Congress. Democrats in U.S. Congress deny inviting Netanyahu The decision by Obama, whose relationship with Netanyahu has often been tense.President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to warm rocky relations,
He made statements against Israeli settlement activity. He made statements and Secretary [of State Hillary] Clinton at the time made statements against Israeli home demolitions.
And so at the beginning, he started off by sending the right signals to Palestinians, saying that under his presidency, this was finally going to come to an end.
And then it unraveled. American presidents I dealt with before Obama would come to Tel Aviv and see what the prime minister of Israel can do and what he cannot do.
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See, President Obama understood that peace is based on one word, one single word — fair. You have to be fair in any relationship, whether peace between Palestinians and Israelis, with relations with your wife, or your employers, or anybody else.
Studying him very carefully, talking to him very carefully made me believe that this man is really the son of Benzion Netanyahu. He wants one state, two systems. He wants to have the overriding responsibility for Palestinians.
He wants us to have good education, good streets, good schools, but never any symbol of sovereignty. On negotiating with Netanyahu: You just have to look at the settlement activity. This is the brilliance of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which is that he knows how to dupe international leaders. He signs the things that he needs to sign.
And the facts on the ground dictate a completely different reality as well. So he ends up being one of the prime ministers where you see the largest jump of settlement activity under his wing.
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You end up seeing during his period of being prime minister that settlements are increasing. Palestinians are less secure. And this is exactly the model that he likes. On the tensions between Obama and Netanyahu: The clash between Obama and Netanyahu was entirely predictable. Mostly because this is a president who has gone out of his way to be pro-Israel. This is a president who I think originally came in with the idea that he was going to do something.
Obama will not meet Israel's Netanyahu on U.S. visit
He was going to push for the peace process to conclude. He was going to push for Palestinian freedom. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace.
It is time for these settlements to stop. The speech was a triumph for Obama and remains, arguably, one of the best of his first term in office. It was well received in its target market, the Muslim world, and in particular among the many Palestinians who saw it as evidence that Obama would bring a more critical approach toward Israel. Now, in his pragmatic way, Netanyahu started carefully to prepare his rebuttal. Only then did he turn to the subject most people were waiting to hear about: From their first meeting, Netanyahu was perceptive enough to understand that that Obama saw maintaining the status quo on the Palestinian peace process as unacceptable.
His speech was crafted with that reality in mind.
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He was accepting the two-state solution. Palestinians ripped the speech as a carefully constructed ruse. Instead, he announced a series of conditions and qualifications that render a viable, independent and sovereign Palestinian state impossible.
In Israel, the speech was viewed as careful and balanced, even while for Netanyahu personally, it represented a major shift and a pragmatic acceptance of political realities in Israel and in the Obama-led United States. He had been careful not to be seen to have given the Americans everything that Obama had demanded in his speech in Cairo; there were important domestic reasons for holding back on some issues. In selling the two-state solution to his right-wing constituency, it would be essential for Netanyahu to be seen as not having surrendered entirely to the Americans.
Once Netanyahu had given the Americans what they wanted in terms of accepting the possibility of a Palestinian state, the U.
On this issue, Netanyahu proved a tougher nut to crack, making it clear in meetings that he would not agree to a permanent freeze on settlement construction. Eventually, a compromise agreement was reached. It was a win for Obama.
But in the short term, at least, it pushed the region backward.
His plan for effectively trying to sit out the Arab Spring before making any potential concessions toward the Arabs also resonated well among many Israelis, who were focused on security rather than peace. Early inNetanyahu and Obama had experienced a clash of visions over the Israeli—Palestinian conflict and the impact of the Arab Spring. One day earlier, at the State Department in Washington, Obama made a keynote speech on the Middle East, an apparent update to his Cairo address that would take into account the dramatic events sweeping the Arab world.
During his speech, which was timed to coincide with the arrival of Netanyahu in Washington the next day, Obama announced a significant shift in U.
The pre-Six-Day War borders—with minor land swaps to reflect the large Israeli settlement blocks in the West Bank—would be the foundation for a negotiated agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. This went well beyond what Netanyahu had in mind for the borders of any state for the Palestinians.
For those eager to witness drama, the meeting and news conference did not disappoint. Everything about this Obama-Netanyahu encounter telegraphed that things had changed. Even the time of the meeting was different: The first part of the news conference that followed went more or less by the book, with the president taking just over seven minutes to summarize the meeting in the most positive light possible.