U.S. pressure on Israel to submit to American demands concerning the Palestinians and Iran has been escalating prior to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s current visit to the White House.

American President Barack Obama’s interview with Bloomberg View columnist Jeffrey Goldberg at the White House, published on Sunday, indicates increasing U.S. pressure on Israel. American demands facing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his current trip to Washington include concessions to the Palestinians and  submission to U.S. policy on Iran.

“I will stand steadfast on the State of Israel’s vital interests, especially the security of Israel’s citizens,” Netanyahu declared upon leaving for the U.S. “In recent years the State of Israel has been under various pressures. We have rejected them in the face of the unprecedented storm and unrest in the region and are maintaining stability and security. This is what has been and what will be.”

“Obama made it clear that he views [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas as the most politically moderate leader the Palestinians may ever have,” Goldberg writes. “It seemed obvious to me that the president believes that the next move is Netanyahu’s.”

This, despite Abbas’s repeated refusal to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish People, his denial of Jewish history in the Land of Israel and, under his leadership, the PA’s continued glorifying of terrorists and incitement to violence.

“I believe that President Abbas is sincere about his willingness to recognize Israel and its right to exist, to recognize Israel’s legitimate security needs, to shun violence, to resolve these issues in a diplomatic fashion that meets the concerns of the people of Israel,” Obama told the Bloomberg View journalist.

Prior to his departure, Netanyahu asserted that there will be no building freeze in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria; Obama, on the other hand – according to media reports – will press the Israeli leader to declare exactly such a freeze, threatening that otherwise it will be “difficult to defend Israel in international forums.”

Obama will tell Netanyahu “that his country could face a bleak future – one of international isolation and demographic disaster – if he refuses to endorse a U.S.-drafted framework agreement for peace with the Palestinians,” Goldberg says.

“The tango in the Middle East needs at least three,” Netanyahu said in an official statement following publication of the Bloomberg View interview and similar columns, including a New York Times article speculating that Obama will now take a more active personal role in the peace negotiations, pressing for Israeli concessions.


Responding to these reports, Netanyahu stated:

“In order for us to have an agreement, we must uphold our vital interests. I have proven that I do so, in the face of all pressures and all the turmoil, and I will continue to do so here as well.”

Another expected and major point of contention is Iran, as Netanyahu has been warning consistently against trusting the intentions of the Islamic Republic and easing economic sanctions.

“Obama was adamant that he was correct to fight a congressional effort to impose more time-delayed sanctions on Iran just as nuclear negotiations were commencing,” Goldberg writes in the same interview, quoting Obama as saying:

“There’s never been a negotiation in which at some point there isn’t some pause, some mechanism to indicate possible good faith.”

Author: Atara Beck, Staff Writer, United with Israel
Date: Mar. 3, 2014