Tripartite meeting lauded, criticized

Tripartite meeting laude

Reactions to the tripartite meeting between US President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday appeared shortly after Obama's opening remarks to the session. MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima) said that "Obama tonight reset the Middle East hourglass, and we can't ignore that. Netanyahu must reach difficult decisions in the near future, and cannot let party or coalition considerations be excuses for not moving forward in the peace process." "In face of opposition from the Right, Netanyahu must know that Kadima will back him in any serious negotiations he will conduct," Tirosh said. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference (AIPAC) also applauded the trilateral. "We strongly support efforts designed to help achieve a lasting peace between Israel and all of her Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians," the pro-Israel advocacy group said in an statement. "Built around shared values and democratic ideals, America's commitment to Israel's vitality, security and right to defend its people from attack is unquestionable," it continued. "For over six decades, Israel has consistently offered its hand in peace, demonstrating again and again its willingness to make real and heartrending sacrifices - altering borders, relinquishing territory, uprooting families and entire communities - in the pursuit of peace. "Now it is time - well past time - for the Arab states and the Palestinians to match Israel's commitment to peace with actions of their own," AIPAC concluded. The Israeli Right was less enthusiastic about meeting and its participants. Interior Minister Eli Yishai slammed the "Palestinian conduct round the meeting," which exposes "another layer in their systematic behavior, the end of which is reinforcement in harmful stances in order to upgrade via confrontation [previous] agreements, which they blatantly trample," Yishai said. "The Palestinian leadership wasn't capable of presenting an all-Palestinian decision on a cease to incitement in schools. The prime minister's firm stance removed yet another layer from the Palestinian mask," he added. MK Danny Danon (Likud) aimed his criticism at the host of the meeting currently taking place in New York. "The meeting proves yet again that we are not living in a Hollywood movie," he said. "Obama should realize that charisma is not sufficient to bring peace. I hope that the meeting will bring a halt to the Hollywood movie Obama is living in." Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin (Likud) said that the meeting proves that Israel has not accepted PA preconditions to freeze all construction in West Bank settlements. "Saying that Jews have no right to build in Judea and Samaria effectively means settlements blocs will eventually cease to exist," Begin said.