Imagining a Middle East that doesn’t exist

Laura Rozen writes in Foreign Policy on the likely moves by the Obama administration towards Middle East “peace”:

Aaron David Miller, a veteran Middle East peace negotiator for six secretaries of state, said Sunday that the Obama administration is planning to produce, “in late September or October,” either a conference or an announcement of a plan for a peace process — Madrid Plus, as he called it — involving at least three components:

  1. A relaunch of Israel-Syrian and Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, as well as a track for resuming formal multilateral relations between Israel and other Arab states
  2. An agreement with the Netanyahu government on a settlement freeze that goes further than any other Israeli government has ever gone, and one that would “grandfather in a large number of discreet units and quiet understandings on Jerusalem”
  3. The resumption by Arab states — with or without the Saudis, but including the Bahrainis, other Gulf states, Tunisians, and Moroccans — of liaison offices or interest sections with Israel.

“And they are going to wrap the whole thing in an event — a conference or an announcement,” Miller, now with the Woodrow Wilson Center, said…

(Netanyahu’s proposed formula to Mitchell on settlements is that Israel won’t build new Jewish settlements, won’t expropriate land, and won’t expand existing settlements, but will continue with existing projects already underway, the Israeli prime minister told a small gathering in London Monday. Jerusalem is not a settlement, he further said.)