Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Some Decent Advice from Thomas Friedman

To President Obama:
Today, I believe President Obama should put his own peace plan on the table, bridging the Israeli and Palestinian positions, and demand that the two sides negotiate on it without any preconditions. It is vital for Israel’s future — at a time when there is already a global campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state — that it disentangle itself from the Arabs’ story as much as possible. There is a huge storm coming, Israel. Get out of the way.
Or perhaps better,1 he should instruct Netanyahu to make a public proposal including a map and final borders by a specified date, or the U.S. will release its proposal. Perhaps indicating the reported Taba or Olmert maps as a possible starting point for his own plan. With the neocons embracing self-determination, a concept that most of them have never seemed to believe applies to Palestinians, let's put them to the test. And let's score one for the U.S. in the "Honest broker, concerned about freedoms around the world" column.

Update: Subtract Netanyahu's intransigence and the two sides may be a lot closer to a resolution than some would have us believe.
1. One issue with the Obama Administration's creating a map would be that they would be staking out the maximum borders for a Palestinian state. The Palestinians lack any real bargaining power and, having been told by the "honest broker" that "this is fair," any shift they could negotiate would likely be de minimis and, more likely, they would end up having to cede ground.

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