After the Arab League announced a willingness for limited land exchanges in a final status peace deal with Israel, signaling it no longer insists on a return to the pre-June ’67 borders, US Secretary of State John Kerry wants more. Kerry envisions an Arab League statement recognizing the State of Israel as a Jewish nation. Maariv reports the senior US official is probing such a reality, and he is seeking a formula that would be acceptable to the Arab League while being sufficient to bring Israel and the PA (Palestinian Authority) back to the negotiating table.
Kerry was encouraged when Prime Minister of Qatar Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani announced last week that the Arab League is willing to show flexibility regarding its peace plan with Israel, citing the limited land exchanges with Israel.
Maariv quoting a “senior Israeli source” anonymously adds it is believed the change in the Arab League’s position may have opened a window of opportunity towards the Arab League’s recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Kerry reportedly believes that if he can get such a declaration that will be sufficient to get Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu back to the negotiating table.
What has received less media coverage if the position paper of the Foreign Ministry’s Research & Intelligence Division, which maintains the statement by the Arab League in no way represents an official shift in the Arab body’s position vis-à-vis its willingness to achieve peace with Israel. It feels the Arab League’s statement simply shows a willingness to appear flexible in Kerry’s eyes. The ministry’s unit explains the statement is intended to give additional support to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and to strengthen his resolve in remaining defiant to Israeli demands.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)