Obama Lining Up Backing for The Kerry Plan

Netanyahu will hold talks with Obama in Washington on March 3 and address AIPAC’s March 2-4 annual policy conference in the U.S. capital on March 4.

Netanyahu is scheduled to leave Israel on March 1 and head for Washington, where he will take part in the 2014 AIPAC Policy Conference and address the pro-Israel lobby’s members on March 4 – a day after his meeting with Obama to discuss the Kerry plan and regional Mideast security..

On March 5 Netanyahu will head on to Los Angeles for the premiere of a film promoting tourism to Israel, and to California’s Silicon Valley to meet high-tech executives before returning to Israel for the final Knesset vote on several bills to be added to the national Basic Law [constitution] on March 10th.

The various bills being presented for Knesset approval are highly controversial and may bring on a coalition crisis in Israel.  Among these bills is a Referendum bill designed to make it almost impossible for Israel to agrees to the Kerry Plan.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on March 3, according to a senior Israeli official involved in preparations for the meeting.

The meeting between the two leaders is expected to focus on efforts to formulate a framework agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, and on Iran and Syria.

We don’t know yet the specifics of the plan that Obama and Kerry are considering, although it’s increasingly clear that it will require extraordinarily vast sums of cash to make it work. Perhaps that is why congress last Friday removed the US government debt ceiling completely, for the next two years.

Billions of dollars for the overthrow of Hamas [and the Gaza militants]  and reintegration of Gaza with the Palestinian Authority,

billions for economic development in the West Bank and Gaza,

billions more to resettle Israeli settlers who are evacuated from West Bank settlements,

more billions to compensate Palestinian refugees who demand their “right of return” but who certainly won’t be going back to Israel in more than token numbers,

more billions for Israel to compensate Jews who’ve fled Arab countries over the past decades,

billions for Jordan, which is increasingly nervous about the idea of any settlement that endorses the ongoing presence of millions of Palestinians in Jordan, including those in refugee camps,

and finally many more billions for peace keepers and long term security.

That, by any account, is a lot of money.  Perhaps enough money to buy approval from both sides.

Obama is in the last round of a major diplomatic push to get this deal done.

Next month, Obama will host Netanyahu at the White House. 

Obama met Jordan’s King Abdullah last Friday. And he will be heading off to Riyadh in late March to sit down with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, 2, to discuss Iran, Syria and, of course, Israel-Palestine. Reports The Wall Street Journal:

The late March trip to Saudi Arabia, Obama’s second, is shaping up as a crucial mission that Arab officials say will draw in leaders from other Persian Gulf countries for a regional summit in the Saudi capital. U.S. officials said arrangements for such a summit weren’t completed.

While the Saudi visit, and the meetings with other Persian Gulf Arab leaders, will deal with the coming war on Syria/Iran a d regional security; it will also seek Arab League approval for the Kerry plan.

Ever since 2002, when Saudi King Abdullah put forward an Arab Peace Initiative for a deal with Israel, the Arab Plan has been rebuffed. Now, the Obama-Kerry plan will be based in part on the ideas in Abdullah’s 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

The final Kerry Plan is to be publicly released  during the Knesset Passover recess: March 19 to May 12.

The next few months will be very interesting. 

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