Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Philadelphia Bulletin: Obama Reveals Middle East Plan

by David Bedein

The purported outline of the Middle East peace plan President Barack Obama plans to propose during a speech in Cairo, Egypt, on June 4 was published yesterday morning in a British Arabic-language newspaper.

The widely circulated London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper ran an in-depth report that lays out what it says will be found in Mr. Obama’s peace initiative.

According to this press report, the American president’s plan, which will be based on the Saudi-sponsored Arab League plan from March 2002 would create a demilitarized Palestinian state.

The details of the purported plan do not address how the president plans to disarm the 50,000 Palestinian troops now in uniform.

Mr. Obama reportedly plans to mandate the creation of a Palestinian state with “territorial contiguity” between the West Bank and Gaza, which would split Israel in two.

The president’s reported plan would envision having Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods serve as the capital of a Palestinian state, even though these neighborhoods intertwine with Jewish neighborhoods.

The report said Mr. Obama plans to propose ending Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem’s Old City and turning it into an international territory. A similar proposal was part of the U.N.’s 1947 partition plan for the British Palestine mandate, which the Arabs rejected.

The Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper wrote Mr. Obama conceived the plan together with King Abdullah II of Jordan during their recent White House meeting.

This is first time that an American president had created a Middle East peace plan without advance coordination with Israel, which has many Israeli officials worried, none of whom would went on the record with their concerns.

The plan likely will face stiff Israeli resistance.

See this story in the Philadelphia Bulletin
See this story at Israel Behind the News

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