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The first major foreign policy challenge of the Baird era


 

The Harper government apparently won’t second Barack Obama’s parameters for Middle East negotiations.

The Harper government is refusing to join the United States in calling for a return to 1967 borders as a starting point for Mideast peace, a position that has drawn sharp criticism from Canada’s staunch ally Israel … Pressed by reporters, federal officials said both the Israelis and the Palestinians have to decide on their bottom lines, which the Israelis have said will not include a return to the 1967 border. “If the two parties are of the view that this is a starting point, that is fine for them,” said the federal official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg appears to have this particular dispute extensively covered.


 

The first major foreign policy challenge of the Baird era

  1. Harper has nothing to say about it. 

    The UN chief and the Quartet back Obama, and that’s all that’s needed.

    •  Who is the Quartet?

      • The four of them are the EU, Russia, the US and the UN….they just get called the Quartet for short.

         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartet_on_the_Middle_East

        • Thanks Emily 

  2. I would hope that Netenyahu would be willing to go to ’67 borders (or equivalent) but to give that away before negotiations isn’t a good plan. The only sense I can make of Obama making it a precondition is if he thinks Netenyahu won’t and that there’s no traction without that.

    • It’s the same thing Bush, and every president since 67 has told Israel.  What makes it different this time is that Palestine is about to become a state whether Israel likes it or not. 

      • The ’67 border was in the deal rejected by the Palestinian leaders during Clinton’s negotiations I believe? I’m not confident enough that enough Palestinians want a state more than they don’t want Israel to be one. I read some first hand accounts too of what it was like for the soldiers who had to go and force the settlers out of Gaza who wouldn’t go… it was one of the most wrenching things I’ve ever read, it makes me wonder how much appetite there is in Israel to do it again. If I were Netanyahu I’d say if suicide bombings drop by two thirds over the next 3 years we will proceed with a ’67 border deal. That way the sense would be set that the settlements were legitimately dealt for a tangible move towards peace even before the negotiations were restarted.

        • i believe the ‘right of return’ was the sticking point then.

          Israel is on Palestinian land….of course they want it back. Israel wants all Palestinians gone, and that isn’t going to happen. So they need a political solution, not a military one. Negotiations have gone on for years. Time to force the issue  

  3.  “If the two parties are of the view that this is a starting point, that is fine for them,” said the federal official…

    That Canadian federal official has risen to the “foreign policy challenge” a whole lot better than Obama has.

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