President Obama is “seriously considering” proposing an American peace plan to resolve the Palestinian conflict, according to two top administration officials.
“Everyone knows the basic outlines of a peace deal,” said one of the senior officials, citing the agreement that was nearly reached at Camp David in 2000 and in subsequent negotiations. He said that an American plan, if launched, would build upon past progress on such issues as borders, the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem. The second senior official said that “90 percent of the map would look the same” as what has been agreed in previous bargaining.
The American peace plan would be linked with the issue of confronting Iran.
Obama’s attention was focused by a March 24 meeting at the White House with six former national security advisers. The group has been meeting privately every few months at the request of Gen. Jim Jones, who currently holds the job.
A political battle royal is likely to begin soon, with Israeli officials and their supporters in the United States protesting what they fear would be an American attempt to impose a settlement and arguing to focus instead on Iran. The White House rejoinder is expressed this way by one of the senior officials: “It’s not either Iran or the Middle East peace process. You have to do both.”