We've seen a threat that unless Netanyahu and Abbas negotiate and come to an agreement, the US, along with Europe and Russia are preparing, as a contingency, to impose a plan that they will pressure both sides to accept.
US PRESIDENT Barack Obama has warned Israel that he will pave the way for an independent Palestinian state if the peace process is still deadlocked in September.
Mr Obama is proposing that, unless there is a breakthrough, the international community take over the Middle East peace process, Israeli officials have said.
Mr Obama has formulated a secret plan with European allies to convene an international peace conference by the end of the year, Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper reports.
Nobody yet has produced a detailed plan that would be acceptable to both Israel and the Palestinians, especially if refugees are included in the ranks of the Palestinians. In short, Israelis want a two state solution, as long as the Palestinian state is demilitarized, has no outside borders and refugees are forced to resettle outside of Israel. Palestinians want a two state solution as long as it is fully sovereign, including the right to field armed forces, controls its borders and the refugees are given the option, which they may or may not take, of returning to Israel.
There is nearly no support among the Palestinians for the type of two state solution Israel would accept, and there is nearly no support among Jewish Israelis of the type of two state solution Palestinians would accept. The illusion of support for a two state solution is created by allowing Israelis and Palestinians to imagine different solutions, and then answer poll questions about these exclusive visions.
Any single detailed plan will demolish the illusion. Americans are not good at understanding the anti-Zionist point of view and a consequence of this is that it is quite possible that the White House does not realize that producing its own plan and exposing it to criticism would lead both to its rejection and to a crystallization of the Palestinian and Israeli rejection of a two state solution. Americans have, up to now, been putting off the day that an explicit plan will be exposed to the preferences of the parties but possibly, unfortunately for the Americans, it may be that they have been doing so naively rather than cynically.
As when the US encouraged the 2006 elections that brought Hamas to power, the US may be heading toward producing a plan that kills the idea of a two state solution. The alternative is to maintain the status quo and pretend, in some way that progress is being made.
Until the trigger is pulled, it is impossible to tell the two scenarios apart. Does the United States understand that it cannot produce a plan and is therefore stalling, for example with the current negotiations about negotiations that are planned to begin in a few weeks, or does the US really intend for the current steps to produce a plan that can be rejected?
It is similar to the delays in getting a UN Security Council sanctions resolution passed. Is the US really trying, or does it understand that a new resolution would only increase hostility to the detriment of US interests and is therefore stalling to seem active when it actually is not? When the stalling stops and a resolution passes the vote, the question will have been answered, but until that time it is possible and seems like the US is making a production for its own audiences.
If we get to the end of this year, and the US actually produces a plan, and every Palestinian faction points out dozens of reasons the plan is not acceptable. The Saudis and Egyptians will be forced to maintain silence as a favor to their US handlers, while the Syrians, Iranians and everybody in the region outside of US or Israeli direction will loudly be decrying the plan as an insult. If it actually comes to a vote it easily will fail.
At that point the US will be faced with the scenario the peace process seems to me to have been designed to avoid. Once it is clear that a two state solution cannot succeed, the US will either have to endorse Jewish ethnic supremacy in one state or advocate the end of Israel's status as a necessarily Jewish state.
US interests dictate that the "peace process" never comes to a conclusion. Once the US openly advocates Jewish apartheid to prevent non-Jewish Palestinians from assuming political power throughout the territory of Palestine, the US colonial structure will remain in place. Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia will not revolt from their subordinate status, but maintaining them will become more difficult and expensive exactly as Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey's opposition to that structure becomes more intense.
Netanyahu understands that any American threat to bring the peace process to a conclusion is an empty one. The United States really does want to be unburdened of the increasing costs of supporting Israel against the wishes of its region, but it just is not possible to make Israel popular or even acceptable to most non-Jewish people in the surrounding countries. The mistake of pushing the peace process to a conclusion would reflect the fact that American planners do not understand the depths of the regional belief that Israel's perpetuation is an ongoing injustice.