The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi has published what it claims are key details of the new Middle East peace plan to be presented by President Obama in his speech in Cairo on June 4. Details of the plan made the front page of two leading Israeli newspapers.
By Jonathan Spyer
From the Jerusalem Post
If the revelations prove accurate, they reveal a US administration as yet unacquainted with several basic facts of life concerning politics and strategy in the Middle East.
There were those in Israel who suspected Obama of being a kind of wolf in sheep’s clothing, preparing with a friendly smile to offer up Israel as a sacrifice to its regional enemies.
The picture emerging from the alleged details of his plan suggest a different, though not necessarily more comforting characterization: When it comes to the Middle East, Obama is an innocent abroad.
Observe: We are told that the new plan represents a revised version of the 2002 Arab peace plan and is to offer the following: a demilitarized Palestinian state approximating the armistice lines of June 5, 1967. Territorial exchanges may take place on the West Bank. This state will be established within four years of the commencement of negotiations.
On Palestinian refugees: The refugees and their descendants will be naturalized in their countries of current residence, or will have the right to move to the new Palestinian state. In parallel to the negotiations with the Palestinians, separate negotiating tracks with the Syrians and Lebanese will be established.
If the Obama plan does indeed include these elements, its failure is a certainty, because it has been formulated without reference to regional realities.