Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama at the White House
JERUSALEM – The Obama administration asked the Palestinian Authority not to make any major demands until after the presidential election in November, a senior PA official told WND.
The PA official, speaking on condition his name be withheld, said that Obama promised to renew stalled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on the basis of the 1967 borders, meaning an Israeli withdrawal from eastern sections of Jerusalem as well as from Judea and Samaria, also referred to as the West Bank.
“We were asked by the (U.S.) administration not to make special demands or scandals during the elections,” said the official.
“After elections, the negotiations will be renewed on basis of the Clinton plan and Obama’s speech in Cairo of the 1967 borders,” the official said.
The Clinton plan is a reference to the formula used during the Camp David negotiations in the summer of 2000 that saw sections of Jerusalem in which Jews predominantly live go to Israel, while areas inhabited by Arabs would become a Palestinian state. The negotiations also called for a nearly complete Israeli evacuation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
WND previously reported that several major purported Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem are actually built illegally on Jewish-owned land, resulting in an Arab majority in those sections.
Obama to ‘take on’ Netanyahu?
This is not the first time the PA claimed the Obama administration asked it to hold off until after this year’s election.
Last September, WND quoted a top PA official saying the Obama administration told the Palestinian Authority it cannot significantly help advance a Palestinian state until after the election.
The official, however, said the U.S. will press for a Palestinian state quickly if President Obama is reelected.
“The main message we received from the U.S. is that nothing will happen in a serious way before the 2012 elections,” said the official.
Earlier this month, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius said he expected Obama to “take on” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a second presidential term.
Appearing as a panel member on the syndicated “Chris Matthews Show,” Ignatius stated: “What I hear from the White House is looking towards a second term on foreign policy, which I cover, as an opportunity to do the broad things that would establish an Obama agenda. He came into office passionate about the Middle East, about the Palestinian issue. I’d see him taking another really strong crack at that.”
“Yeah, and I think, this White House thinks … that he’s had success, that that’s an area. Who would have said that an anti-war President, candidate, four years ago, could run on a strong foreign policy record?”