Today Israeli President Shimon Perez and President Barak Obama will sit down and talk about Israel and peace in the Middle East. This meeting is being seen as being under the shadow of an Iran-Palestinians “linkage.” What's that you may ask?
Well, President Obama, will also be meeting with Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu. Right now, Israel sees that America is placing pressure upon it – in fact intensifying it prior to the two leaders meeting. The analysis is that the US administration is sharpening it's message to the State. That message is that Americas' taking care of Iran is dependent upon Israel's taking care of the solution of the Palestinian conflict.
President Shimon Peres' trip to Washington is seen as a manuver to 'soften up' President Obama before he sees Mr. Netanyahu.
Mr. Netanyahu is not expected to tell Mr. Obama that his current Israeli Government will adopt the formula of 'two states for two peoples'. He has flat out rejected that concept… But Bibi will have to present himself as 'cooperating' with the Obama Administration. This means some type or form of a 'two state' solution will be presented by him when they meet.
Mr. Netanyahu, while addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said that any permanent settlement talks with the Palestinians will come only after they recognize Israel as Jewish state. There's that pre-condition again… This is very problematic for the Palestinians to agree to. And for his part, at this point it appears that Bibi prefers to work on the Syrian track before working on the Palestinian one.
President Peres also spoke to the AIPAC conference saying that Netanyahu wants to make history (in relation to the peace process) and that peace is his top interest.
But here's the point, the White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel also addressed the Jewish gathering. Emanuel, himself Jewish, said that this is Israel's moment of truth. He appears to have advocated that two states for two people is the only solution for peace in the Middle East.
But what makes the new Netanyahu government nervous over here are Mr. Emanuel's words that the steps America will take against Iran depend upon the proof of progress by Israel in diplomatic process with the Palestinians.
Join me tomorrow on the Harvest Show for my live broadcast with the latest details on what's happening.
See you then!
Middle East Correspondent