Palestinian officials have recently met with White House staff to discuss the prospect of launching a new American effort to resume Israeli-Palestinian negotiations after November’s presidential election, a Palestinian diplomatic source told Breitbart Jerusalem.
Between the November election and his departure from office in January, President Barack Obama will be free to engage in diplomatic initiatives without the risk of hampering the campaign of the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.
The source added that American officials were very skeptical of the feasibility of the initiative, but said “it is worth looking into.”
“Clearly the Democratic Party has no intention of launching policy proposals that may alienate the Jewish vote, but we raised the option that they would do it immediately after the elections,” he said. “In the president’s remaining two months in the White House, we will be happy to see him launch a plan that would take the French and Arab initiatives into account and pave the way for the next administration to engage truthfully in trying to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
He said that European Union officials welcomed the idea, saying that the prospect of Obama leaving office after having laid the foundation for future negotiations is a good idea.
“They have yet to endorse the idea,” he said. “We’re waiting for Obama’s and [Secretary of State John] Kerry’s people to get back to us. If Obama actually goes for it, it will be terrific.”
Another Palestinian official was less enthusiastic. “The option was raised following discussions with Arab and European officials,” he said.
The Americans didn’t fall off their chairs and weren’t overly enthusiastic. I don’t think President Obama, who at the height of his presidency failed miserably in trying to resume Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, would want to get into it in the last days of his presidency, when America has already elected another leader. Even the possibility that he might see it as an opportunity to settle the score with Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu doesn’t make it exceptionally attractive.
On Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with the American Consul General to Jerusalem Donald Blome and discussed the negotiation process and his ongoing dialogue with Kerry.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas has refused repeated Israeli offers to begin negotiations and he has not responded to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s unprecedented gestures to jumpstart talks, including a temporary freeze on settlements – Jewish construction projects in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank – and the release of Palestinian prisoners.
Abbas also walked away from the offer of a state from then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2007. And Yasser Arafat rejected U.S.-mediated talks at Camp David in 2000, instead returning to the West Bank to launch an intifada, or terror war, targeting Israelis. The Camp David talks offered Arafat a generous state in Gaza, the West Bank, and eastern Jerusalem, including authority over the Temple Mount, according to reports.