January 8, 2010

Hillary the Magician?

It’s not every day that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tells the public, "We know what a final resolution will have to include: borders, security, Jerusalem, refugees, water. We know what the elements of this two-state solution must include."

But apparently she has done so during a press conference to promote America’s latest effort to jump-start a two-state solution. Some of Dennis Ross's residue can be found here. He’s a Bill guy, not a Hillary guy, and they seem to disagree on linkage because Clinton says she believes in it.

“This is a year of renewed commitment and increased effort toward what we see as an imperative goal for the region of the world,” Clinton said.

Her charm offensive might work too if she wasn’t known to back-stab the Palestinians at every turn: "We need to lift our sights and instead of... looking down at the trees, we need to look at the forest."

She has a point, the forest is on fire.
But naturally Clinton wants something: “We are working with the Israelis, the Palestinian Authority, and the Arab states to take the steps needed to relaunch the negotiations as soon as possible and without preconditions.”

Clinton is enforcing the Israeli line that borders should come first in order to determine other final status issues. Reordering is an idea to consider, but there’s no reason why settlements wouldn’t be frozen either. Why would you, while negotiating the border, continue planning to change it in the meantime?

Because she's avoiding a Jerusalem settlement freeze.

Back to Clinton’s elements: “borders, security, Jerusalem, refugees, water.” Settlements seem to be a done deal. Security means Israeli security, and likely a demilitarized Palestine. She leaves out recognition and reparations, respectively, which is likely more accidental, but the same cannot be said for Jerusalem.

Clinton thinks that Israel and Palestine can reach a solution that, "reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders.”

Hillary must be taking magician lessons during all that air time. No more Jerusalem. And can anyone really believe she would divide it? Never. So she really doesn't have anything.

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