Not even 24 hours after all the warm fuzzy of the tripartide meeting between President Barak Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinain Chairmen Mouhmod Abbas – we are back to the same old statements…
Mr. Netanyahu has declared that Israel will not agree to withdrawing to the 1967 borders prior to their annexation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank before the Six Day War – and that he will not stop with building settlements.
For his part Mr. Abbas has said that the Palestinians can not negotiate with Mr. Netanyahu – calling his government a 'real problem', and saying that their will be no meaningful discussion or outcome until Israel agrees to their demand for a full stop of settlement construction.
Abbas looks weak – Netanyahu strong.
…and Bibi is happy. He says that Mr. Obama's speech was an important speech for Israel and that there is progress in the relationship between Israel and the US.
In fact, what didn't Mr. Netanyahu achieve?
He is saying that President Obama has committed to derailing Iran's nuclear ambitions, endorsed Israel as a Jewish State, and because of him, has called on the world to stop picking on Israel. Additionally, Mr. Netanyahu is touting that Mr. Obama accepted his position, and that the US President agreed with him on the dropping of preconditions being set for negotiations with the Palestinians.
All this – as a smokescreen for cover for Mr. Netanyahu's statement; “I am ready for negotiations with Mr. Abbas.”
Middle East Correspondent