It seems as if the Obama administration is considering producing and publishing its own peace plan to create a Palestinian state.
"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.On each side, the American, the Israeli and the Palestinian, the presentation of a full plan has always been imminent, but it never happens. If the US was to present a plan, it would be rejected firmly by Hamas and Iran, rejected meekly by the US indirect colonial leaders in the region and also rejected by Israel.
The American peace plan would be linked with the issue of confronting Iran, which is Israel's top priority, explained the second senior official. He described the issues as two halves of a single strategic problem: "We want to get the debate away from settlements and East Jerusalem and take it to a 30,000-feet level that can involve Jordan, Syria and other countries in the region," as well as the Israelis and Palestinians.
I'd like to see it happen because there is a deliberate fog in which US observers of the Middle East do not allow themselves to see the inherent impossibility of creating a sovereign state for Palestinians and continuing the situation in which Palestinians do not and cannot pose a strategic threat to Israel. There is an idea that there is an agreement in the world of theory that if found will ensure that Israel is able to continue while not imposing costs on the US as Israel's source of support. This idea cannot be accepted as false until an actual public attempt to produce a plan is made and rejected. The sooner that happens the better.
Somehow the administration ties the production of a plan with Iran. The United States may or may not actually press for further sanctions against Iran. If it does, the US will pay a modest price in Iraq and Afghanistan and Iran will most likely accelerate its enrichment program or add another phase to its nuclear program such as tangibly moving forward on the plutonium plant in Arak.
The Obama goal of a peace plan in the next two years is far more ambitious than any plausible timetable for slowing Iran's nuclear program except by accepting Iran's terms. Iran's terms are likely steeper now than they were last year at this time. They will be steeper still two years from now, especially if sanctions have been imposed.