WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama should make a dramatic trip to the Middle East, introduce a new peace plan, and refer it to the United Nations should Israel or the Palestinians refuse to endorse it, a former senior US official says.
In a Washington Post piece he co-wrote, Former National security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski argues that "Only a bold and dramatic gesture in a historically significant setting can generate the political and psychological momentum needed for a major breakthrough."
Dramatic speech in cards? (AP)
Notably, Brzezinski recently participated in a meeting held by President Obama with several senior figures and specialists to discuss his new Mideast peace plan.
The US president should appear both at the Knesset and before the Palestinian parliament and announce his new plan for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Brzezinski wrote.
"He should do so in the company of Arab leaders and members of the Quartet," he wrote. "A subsequent speech by Obama in Jerusalem's Old City, addressed to all the people in the region and evocative of his Cairo speech to the Muslim world in June 2009, could be the culminating event in this journey for peace."
The peace initiative proposed in the article includes the following principles: Resolution of the refugee problem by granting them compensation and resettling them in the new Palestinian state, rather than in Israel; Jerusalem's division and shifting the Old City to international control; Israeli withdrawal based on the Green Line, with minor adjustments; and the deployment of international forces between the Palestinian state and Jordan.
However, Brzezinski warns that "If the Israelis or the Palestinians refuse to accept this basic formula as the point of departure for negotiations, the Obama administration must be prepared to pursue its initiative by different means."
"The administration must convey to the parties that if the offer is rejected by either or both, the United States will seek the UN Security Council's endorsement of this framework for peace," he wrote, "thus generating worldwide pressure on the recalcitrant party."
The proposal echoes recent reports whereby Washington will consider an abstention in a Security Council vote on Israel's east Jerusalem construction, as opposed to the traditional US veto in such cases.