May 22, 2011 by staff
AIPAC, The seventh meeting between the U.S. Barack Obama President and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday ended with a televised confrontation showed the world the full depth of disagreement between the two leaders in the Palestinian question. Senior officials in both the U.S. administration and the delegation of Prime Minister expressed a feeling of great tension and mutual insults deep after the meeting. Obama is scheduled to speak today at the AIPAC conference in Washington, where he is expected to try to prevent further deterioration in relations between the U.S. and Israel. A few hours after the tense meeting with Obama, Netanyahu and his colleagues held a Shabbat dinner at the official guesthouse of the State, the Blair House. Netanyahu told his advisers that provide hard times in the future and the possibility of further confrontations and disagreements with the United States, but the truth must be told. ”
A clash between the prime minister and Obama seemed imminent when Netanyahu came to the White House on Friday, a day after U.S. President said in a speech that the basis for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority should be the 1967 borders with land swaps.
Rumors about the content of Netanyahu’s speech came as soon as Wednesday, Haaretz has learned, and immediately instructed the embassy in Washington to find out if the 1967 borders are mentioned explicitly. Just hours before the speech, Netanyahu received a phone call from Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, confirming that this was the case. Netanyahu protested, but Clinton said it was the decision of the president and nothing can be changed.
Netanyahu was furious and felt he had fallen into an ambush, a source close to the prime minister told Haaretz. “He felt under attack,” the source said. “It was an insult, especially coming from a close ally.” The reason Netanyahu was so incensed that he felt should have been prior coordination on a topic of Israel sees as extremely sensitive. As for Netanyahu concerned, Americans have a position on the borders of Israel, without even consulting with him about what he thought.
The White House also felt insulted. On the morning of the meeting with Netanyahu, the New York Times reported that Obama had told aides that he does not believe that Netanyahu never endanger peace. Netanyahu’s harsh response to Obama’s speech left the administration feel that the prime minister was trying to create a negative spin on the speech even though it contained many elements that were favorable to Israel.
Sources from the prime minister’s entourage told Haaretz that the conversation of 90 minutes between the two leaders was even “more hard and honest” than public confrontation that followed. Netanyahu told his colleagues that he had expressed his opposition to the 1967 line to avoid becoming the official U.S. position, especially considering that all Obama’s predecessors had failed to express that support.
The Prime Minister left the meeting more satisfied than it was in one of the reasons was that Obama had pledged to further strengthen the Israeli army in the light of the recent turmoil in the Arab world and reiterated that all security agreements between the U.S. and Israel is still valid.
After the meeting, and a lengthy consultation with their respective aides, the two leaders went to the media and tried to downplay the crisis, describing it as a conflict between friends. Obama began by praising the warm relations between Israel and the United States, noting that “the frequency of these meetings is an indication of the special bond between our two countries,” and Netanyahu’s speech before Congress, an event management waiting anxiously, “an honor that is reserved for those who have always proved a great friend of the United States.”
Special emphasis was that true peace could only occur if the final agreement allows Israel to defend itself. In this context, questions are difficult for the Palestinians with regard to reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, in particular the refusal of Hamas to recognize Israel.
Netanyahu began in a conciliatory tone, but quickly launched into an impassioned speech against the policy of the U.S. administration on the Palestinian issue. “I think for peace, the Palestinians have to accept some basic realities,” he said. “The first is that while Israel is willing to make generous concessions for peace, can not return to the borders of 1967 -. Since these lines are indefensible”
Prime Minister Obama offered a brief history of 4,000 years of Jewish history. “And now it falls on my shoulders as the prime minister of Israel, at a time of extraordinary volatility and uncertainty in the Middle East, to work with you to fashion a peace that guarantees Israel’s security and not jeopardize their survival, “which, he said.
The president is scheduled to address 10,000 attendees at AIPAC’s annual conference today. Is expected to reiterate the importance it attaches to its relations with Israel and to try to reverse the negative impressions created after his meeting with Netanyahu on Friday. Several Republican and Democratic leaders have already condemned Obama for his statements on the 1967 borders.
The representative Ted Deutch, D-Florida, said, “Israel can not wait to make any territorial concessions that do not recognize the reality on the ground. Fronteras 1967 are indefensible.” Independent Senator Joe Lieberman said that Obama’s comment was “useless and surprising,” while Rep. Eric Cantor, the majority leader, said this weekend that Obama’s approach was detrimental to the special relationship with Israel and was undermining the ability to defend an ally.
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