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Palestine: Obama confronts embarrassing about face

By David Singer - posted Monday, 10 November 2014


The Republican Party's stunning victory in the American mid-term elections offers real hope that President Obama will now be held to honouring the written commitments made to Israel by President George W Bush in his exchange of letters with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on 12 April 2004 – as overwhelmingly endorsed by the House of Representatives 407-9 on 23 June 2004 and the Senate 95-3 the next day.

Those commitments were made in support of Israel's decision to unilaterally disengage from Gaza – which Israel duly honoured in 2005 – when the Israeli Army and 8000 Israeli civilians left Gaza – many after living there for almost forty years.

That withdrawal brought Hamas to power in Gaza's one and only election - which has since seen three wars, thousands of deaths and casualties, property destruction running into billions of dollars and 11000 rockets being indiscriminately fired into Israeli civilian population centres.

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Bush's Congress-endorsed commitments assured Israel that the United States:

1. Would do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan other than the Roadmap envisioned by President Bush on 24 June 2002.

2. Reiterated America's steadfast commitment to Israel's security, including secure, defensible borders,

3. Was strongly committed to Israel's security and well-being as a Jewish state.

4. Understood that an agreed, just, fair and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement would need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.

5. Accepted as part of a final peace settlement that Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.

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6. Acknowledged that in light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it would be unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations would be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, that all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution had reached the same conclusion

President Obama and his administration sought to circumvent these clearly stated American pledges – thereby encouraging continuing Arab rejectionism of Israeli peace overtures whilst souring the American–Israeli longstanding relationship.

Obama's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly took the first steps to repudiate these commitments on 6 June 2009:

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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