The big news over the weekend was that the Netanyahu government in Israel and the Palestinian Authority have agreed to “direct talks” to be held in Washington, D.C. for the first time since late 2008. Both Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu are invited to appear at the White House in September to “re-launch direct negotiations to resolve all final-status issues which we believe we can complete in one year,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.
These latest round of “peace talks” are going to fail, and are going to fail miserably. After that, what’s next? This New York Times report hints that the Obama administration would step in:
By setting a one-year deadline for the negotiations, Mr. Obama, who met with Mr. Abbas at the White House in June, is implicitly giving the Palestinian leader the assurance that if the two sides cannot make progress soon, the United States will step in with its own proposal outlining what a peace deal should look like.
The idea of an Obama-imposed “peace plan” was first floated last April. I’m not going to repeat what I said back then; I’ll just link to two pieces of mine that appeared in Mondoweiss on why an Obama-imposed solution would be disastrous:
And one last bit of analysis on the potential of an Obama administration-imposed “plan,” from my interview last month with Australian blogger and journalist Antony Loewenstein:
Antony Loewenstein: One of the things that I fear during the Obama administration, whether it’s three more years or seven more years, is an imposition of a two-state solution. I worried about this, in fact, during the Bush years, believe it or not. I thought it was conceivable that George W. Bush would simply say, “here’s a Palestinian state.” I mean, the truth is, with the power of the U.S. and the international community, nothing stops them from declaring a Palestinian state tomorrow. It wouldn’t be viable; I’m not suggesting it would be a good thing, but nothing stops them from actually doing it. You have a complicit Palestinian Authority who are more than willing to accept the largesse and the support of the U.S. and Israel. They are being built up as wonderfully effective colonial masters. I just read a few days ago in Ha’aretz that Israel’s top security officer increasingly spends time with West Bank security forces, the way in which the PA and Israel works together, i.e. silencing dissent from Hamas and others. So the fear that I have, potentially, is a two-state solution is declared, and it would not be viable, and it would not be a pleasant thing for Palestinians, it would not be with East Jerusalem as its capital. It would not be anything that honest Palestinians would want, in the diaspora or in Palestine itself. So that’s something I think which is possible, and I worry about it, and I think that it needs to be more talked about, Ali Abunimah in particular has talked about that and I praise him for that, the fear that this may be happening.