When Clinton recently invited Kadima leader Tzipi Livni to a private meeting, this signified an unofficial announcement that Netanyahu’s account in Washington has been closed. Clinton’s speech, in which she demanded that Netanyahu once and for all declare where he proposes the border should run between the two states about which he spoke at Bar-Ilan, was a public declaration of the revolution in the relations between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations.
The American policy makers have come to the conclusion that the current government and a permanent status agreement are oxymorons. As such, they are no longer interested in hearing Netanyahu’s and Barak’s excuses about “coalition problems.” There go the installments, discounts and bargains.
In American eyes, the resignation of the right-wing partners, Kadima joining the government and even early elections, have become necessary steps toward achieving an agreement between Israel and the Arabs.
A senior EU source explained to me yesterday that we are now seeing a combination of a return to the Madrid process – which was initiated 19 years ago by the elder George Bush – and the Arab peace initiative of March 2002. Their common denominator is the pursuit of a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Arab nations on the basis of June 1967 borders
In all likelihood, these initiatives will have to wait for the next Israeli government. The Arabs, too, have lost their last shreds of trust in the current government’s intentions to achieve peace. And they, too, are pinning many hopes on Livni.
Contrary to the claim made by a New York Times commentator that Abbas rejected Ehud Olmert’s generous proposal, the woman who was the foreign minister in his government has said on a number of occasions that the Palestinians did not reject this proposal and that it is sitting on the shelf waiting for an Israeli partner.