Farhang Jahanpour writes in a guest column for Informed Comment:
According to the U.S. media, after eight hours of pleading with Netanyahu to extend the freeze on illegal building work in the occupied territories for merely 90 days, the Secretary of State gave an undertaking
Not to request further extensions of the freeze (what happens if an agreement is not reached during that period?)
To shield Israel against hostile resolutions in the United Nations (nothing new there)
To prevent the discussion of the UN report on Israeli war crimes in Gaza as set out by a distinguished Jewish judge, or the attacks on the aid flotilla (that says a lot for the US respect for the United Nations and the rule of law)
And to top it all, give Israel $3 billion worth of advanced F-35 jets, in addition to billions already given on a regular basis. These would supplement the 20 F-35s Israel already plans to buy for $2.75 billion drawn from annual grants it gets from Washington (does it mean that President Obama has given Israel a free hand to attack Iran with its new toys?).
Meanwhile, the commitment to the Palestinians: To force Israel to implement UN resolutions and get out of the occupied territories; to allow the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes; to declare East Jerusalem the capital of a future Palestinian state; to free nearly 8,000 Palestinian prisoners; to lift the siege of Gaza; to call on Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and give up her arsenal of illegal nuclear weapons; and finally to stop the US subsidy to Israel and to support UN resolutions to force Israel and threaten to attack her if she does not do any of the above (not a chance in hell). If that is how the US Administration decides to get tough with Israel and act as an honest broker, then God help the Palestinians!
It is possible to force an unfair settlement on the Palestinians at the moment of their weakness, but such a deal would not last and the festering wound would continue to poison the entire Middle East. It is time for the US Administration to put US interests first, support a just solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and thus win the respect and admiration of the international community.
* Dr Farhang Jahanpour is a former professor and dean of the Faculty of Languages at the University of Isfahan, Iran, and a former Senior Fulbright Research Scholar at Harvard. He is Associate Fellow at the Faculty of Oriental Studies and tutor in Middle Eastern Studies at the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Oxford