Netanyahu tried offering the Obama administration a number of compromise proposals, such as the suspension of construction in East Jerusalem and the city's outlying Jewish suburbs until September, but they were rejected, as was an offer to prohibit further Jewish purchases of land and buildings in Jerusalem's Arab districts during peace negotiations.This feels like the 1956 Suez crisis to me, somehow....while Daniel Pipes goes further. He argues America is creating a Palestinian Army --similar to US policy that split the former Yugoslavia by US support for a Kosovo Liberation Army and Croatian army:
Obama and Clinton made it clear they would brook no departures from their three demands, which Israel is required to treat as an ultimatum.
Neither party to the difference has mentioned the US administration's fourth condition for resuming normal relations: an Israeli commitment to refrain from attacking Iran's nuclear program without prior US consent. Because that commitment has not been offered, administration officials are continuing to hammer Israel in every possible arena. Indeed, the gloves are now off in earnest for insinuations that Israel's settlement policy is the root-cause of Iran's drive for a nuclear bomb and of the conflicts endangering American lives in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Vice President Joe Biden launched this drive, when he reportedly attacked Netanyahu for the announcement of 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem by saying: "What you are doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan."
A much-admired American military figure, CENTCOM chief, Gen. David Petraeus, was the next US official to put this linkage into words. In his briefing to a Senate panel, he said Wednesday, March 16: Clearly the tensions on these issues [with Israel] have enormous effect on the strategic context in which we operate in the Central Command's area of responsibility."
The general denied he had as yet formally asked for the Palestinian territories to be transferred to his command, but added: "In fact, staff members at various times have discussed asking for the Palestinian territories to be added to CENTCOM's turf."
DEBKAfile's military sources explain that, if approved, this step would be tantamount to providing the Palestinians with an American military umbrella against Israel.
Shortly after Yasir Arafat died in late 2004, the U.S. government established the Office of the U.S. Security Coordinator to reform, recruit, train, and equip the PA militia (called the National Security Forces or Quwwat al-Amn al-Watani) and make them politically accountable. For nearly all of its existence, the office has been headed by Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton. Since 2007, American taxpayers have funded it to the tune of US$100 million a year. Many agencies of the U.S. government have been involved in the program, including the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the Secret Service, and branches of the military.Just hope that, as a result of this incredibly stupid policy, President Obama doesn't end up ordering the US Air Force to bomb Tel Aviv...although that might indeed be popular with the very Taliban leaders General Petraeus hopes to "flip."
The PA militia has in total about 30,000 troops, of which four battalions comprising 2,100 troops have passed scrutiny for lack of criminal or terrorist ties and undergone 1,400 hours of training at an American facility in Jordan. There they study subjects ranging from small-unit tactics and crime-scene investigations to first aid and human rights law.
With Israeli permission, these troops have deployed in areas of Hebron, Jenin, and Nablus. So far, this experiment has gone well, prompting widespread praise. Senator John Kerry (Democrat of Massachusetts) calls the program "extremely encouraging" and Thomas Friedman of the New York Times discerns in the U.S.-trained troops a possible "Palestinian peace partner for Israel" taking shape.
Looking ahead, however, I predict that those troops will more likely be a war partner than a peace partner for Israel. Consider the troops' likely role in several scenarios:
No Palestinian state: Dayton proudly calls the U.S.-trained forces "founders of a Palestinian state," a polity he expects to come into existence by 2011. What if – as has happened often before – the Palestinian state does not emerge on schedule? Dayton himself warns of "big risks," presumably meaning that his freshly-minted troops would start directing their firepower against Israel.
Palestinian state: The PA has never wavered in its goal of eliminating Israel, as the briefest glance at documentation collected by Palestinian Media Watch makes evident. Should the PA achieve statehood, it will certainly pursue its historic goal – only now equipped with a shiny new American-trained soldiery and arsenal.
The PA defeats Hamas: For the same reason, in the unlikely event that the PA prevails over Hamas, its Gaza-based Islamist rival, it will incorporate Hamas troops into its own militia and then order the combined troops to attack Israel. The rival organizations may differ in outlook, methods, and personnel, but they share the overarching goal of eliminating Israel.
Hamas defeats the PA: Should the PA succumb to Hamas, it will absorb at least some of "Dayton's men" into its own militia and deploy them in the effort to eliminate the Jewish state.
Hamas and PA cooperate: Even as Dayton imagines he is preparing a militia to fight Hamas, the PA leadership participates in Egyptian-sponsored talks with Hamas about power sharing – raising the specter that the U.S. trained forces and Hamas will coordinate attacks on Israel.
The law of unintended consequences provides one temporary consolation: As Washington sponsors the PA forces and Tehran sponsors those of Hamas, Palestinian forces are more ideologically riven, perhaps weakening their overall ability to damage Israel.
Admittedly, Dayton's men are behaving themselves at present. But whatever the future brings – state, no state, Hamas defeats the PA, the PA defeats Hamas, or the two cooperate – these militiamen will eventually turn their guns against Israel. When that happens, Dayton and the geniuses idealistically building the forces of Israel's enemy will likely shrug and say, "No one could have foreseen this outcome."
Not so: Some of us foresee it and are warning against it. More deeply, some of us understand that the 1993 Oslo process did not end the Palestinian leadership's drive to eliminate Israel.
The Dayton mission needs to be stopped before it does more harm. Congress should immediately cut all funding for the Office of the U.S. Security Coordinator.