U.S. President Barack Obama is prepared to offer Israel a promise for a tougher stand against Iran’s nuclear development program if the Netanyahu government agrees to stop building for Jews in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, the London Guardian reported Wednesday morning.
The reported proposed deal has been rumored for months, while being denied by American officials. The implications are that the Obama administration does not see Iran’s apparent goal of obtaining a nuclear weapon as a threat to American security. On the other hand, President Obama has said that his direct involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict is because he considers it vital to the security of the United States.
The Guardian quoted an Israeli official as saying that President Obama’s proposal in effect states, “Iran is an existential threat to Israel; settlements are not."
The Guardian based its report on unnamed officials of the U.S., Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Europe.
In return for the promise for a harder stance against Iran, the Netanyahu government would agree to a partial freeze on construction for Jews, the report states. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is demanding a total freeze.
A tougher line against Iran would be to push the United Nations to call for crippling economic sanctions on Iran. However, Imposing tougher sanctions is dependent on the agreement of other United Nations Security Council members, which in the past has softened moves against Iran because of opposition by Russia and China.
The U.S. Congress is preparing its own legislation for similar moves against Iran - without demands upon Israel - when it opens its session next month.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is to meet with U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell in London today, where the reported deal may be discussed.
President Obama’s strategy is to convince the Arab world to make gestures for normalization of relations with Israel. However, most Muslim countries, led by Saudi Arabia, have refused to do so without Israel’s first agreeing to surrender all of eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
The next step in the president’s master plan is to work on the status of Jerusalem and the Arab demand for the right of several million Arabs to immigrate to Israel based on their claim of ancestry in the Jewish State.