The newly-declassified emails of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton have unexpectedly revealed a key part of the Obama administration’s strategy in dealing with Israel. Among the Clinton emails released this week was a 2010 memo from the Obama administration’s chief Middle East negotiator, Martin Indyk. Friends of Israel have long harbored deep concerns about indications that Indyk was unfriendly to Israel. But this is one of the rare instances in which we can see, in Indyk’s own words, how he crafted the strategy for U.S. pressure on Israel.
In the memo, Indyk accuses Prime Minister Netanyahu of “humiliating” Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, which “raises doubts about his seriousness.” Abbas’s refusal to disarm and outlaw terrorist groups, or extradite terrorists to Israel, apparently raised no doubts in Indyk’s mind. Nor did the constant flow of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda from Abbas’s PA appeared to have troubled Indyk very much. No, in the mind of President Obama’s emissary, it is Netanyahu who is the problem, first, foremost, and always.
Indyk then explains, in the memo, what he sees as the most effective way of countering Netanyahu’s “inflated demands” (you know, such as expecting the Palestinian Authority to oppose terrorism). If the Israeli leader falls to succumb to U.S. pressure, “avoid recriminations” and instead portray the situation as “a ‘clarifying moment’,” Indyk advised. “The world will of course blame [Netanyahu]. But you should avoid any kind of finger-pointing in favor of a repeated commitment to a negotiated solution and a willingness to engage with both sides in trying to make that happen, when they’re ready.” FULL REPORT