Jerusalem Officials: Obama to Bring New Peace Plan

by | Feb 7, 2013 | Israel & Jewish Roots, Standing With Israel

Officials in Jerusalem believe that U.S. President Barack Obama, who has announced he will visit Israel in mid-March, will arrive with a new peace plan and the demand for a breakthrough in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Obama’s itinerary, which includes stops in Ramallah and Amman, suggests that his administration may be preparing a new peace bid. Word of the coming trip followed calls by incoming U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday stressing the U.S. commitment to peacemaking. President Obama’s associates have said in recent days that he plans to play a “central role” in shaping U.S. policy in the region.

“Obama is coming to talk about Iran and the peace process with the Palestinians,” a senior diplomatic source in Jerusalem told Israel Hayom on Tuesday.

The visit to Israel is expected to take place in March and will be just one stop in a trip to the region. White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday that no date for the visit had yet been set, but associates of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Obama would likely come before Passover, in mid-March, after a government is formed in Israel.

Israel’s Channel 10 reported that a visit had been scheduled for March 20.

The choice of Israel, a close U.S. ally, for Obama’s first foreign travel since his Jan. 21 inauguration will give the president and Prime Minister Netanyahu a chance to try to repair their notoriously fractious relationship.

Their dealings have been especially testy over the past year because of differences over how to best confront Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“Obama and Netanyahu agreed to the visit in a telephone conversation a week after elections were held. The two discussed the president visiting Israel after a new government is established, and the two agreed that such a visit would be an important opportunity to emphasize the friendship and strong partnership between Israel and the United States,” an official in the Prime Minister’s Office said Tuesday.

“Obama is coming to discuss Iran,” a senior diplomatic source told Israel Hayom on Tuesday, “along with Syria and the peace process.”

Despite the assessment in Jerusalem that Obama will come with a new peace plan, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, speaking on Army Radio on Wednesday morning, said that no preconditions were set ahead of the visit.

“There are no preconditions and no demands were made. The president is coming to consult with the prime minister, and also to consult with Mahmoud Abbas. He is also going to Jordan. Israel will be his first foreign trip in his second term.”

As for the timing of the visit, Shapiro said, “Obama very much respects the political process in Israel and will visit after the new Israeli government is formed and will give it time to form.”

Obama’s Israel agenda, according to Shapiro, will be Iran’s nuclear program, the Syria crisis and Assad’s chemical weapons, as well as reviving peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas hopes Obama’s forthcoming visit will mark the beginning of a new U.S. policy in the region, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

“President Mahmoud Abbas welcomes the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to Palestine,” Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for the Palestinian presidency told AFP on Wednesday.

“We hope that President Obama’s visit to the region is the beginning of a new U.S. policy that will lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian lands occupied since 1967, in accordance with the international resolutions,” Abu Rudeina said from Cairo.

On Wednesday, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) said that Obama should deliver an address before the Knesset plenum during his visit. “If President Obama wants to talk directly with the people in Israel, the only platform for that is the Knesset,” Rivlin said in a statement. “All the world leaders who have come to Israel, including past U.S. presidents and former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, visited the Knesset because they knew this is the people’s elected chamber and it is from there that Israel draws its strength as a state and as a democracy.”

“The Knesset, as a venue for debates and decision making is the only place where diplomatic initiatives and other consequential programs should be presented; even in the case of heads of states that are considered friends, plans should be presented in the Knesset,” Rivlin stated. He further said that should Obama accept the invitation, “the Knesset members would respect the occasion.”

The new secretary of state, John Kerry, is also expected to visit Israel in less than two weeks, before Obama’s expected visit. Professional teams, including a Secret Service detail, have reportedly already arrived in Israel to prepare for Obama’s visit.

Obama’s trip will be the first meeting between himself and the prime minister since both were re-elected. At the start of Obama’s first term he visited the region and delivered a historically important, but controversial, speech in Cairo. Obama did not come to Israel during that trip, inviting criticism from Republicans, Israelis and American supporters of Israel.

Obama’s upcoming trip was a long time in the making. In July, when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was hammering Obama on Israel, Obama’s campaign said that if he were re-elected, he would visit Israel during his second term.

Israeli political insiders forecast on Tuesday that the U.S. president’s visit to Israel could have an impact on the makeup of the coalition and could also lead to American pressure for a new peace plan.

Complicated Relations

The relationship between the Obama administration and the Israeli government under Netanyahu has experienced ups and downs in recent years. In particular, the personal relationship between Obama and Netanyahu has been a fraught one.

But according to Ambassador Shapiro, Netanyahu and Obama speak every few weeks on the phone and have a good working relationship. They met nine times during Obama’s first term, deciding that their governments would cooperate on an unprecedented level on security and intelligence.

Following his re-election, U.S. media reported that Obama planned to adopt a less interventionist strategy [dubbed benign neglect] into Israel’s affairs, due to the president’s frustration with Israeli policy, particularly the recent decision to build 3,000 housing units in E1 between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim.

It appears that recent developments, especially the results of Israel’s elections, have led the White House to reconsider its approach. Many in the Washington were pleased with Yair Lapid’s surprise success, viewing it as an opportunity for a new coalition that could advance the peace process. At the same time, Senator John Kerry’s appointment as secretary of state may blow new wind into the sails of negotiations, as Kerry appears determined to pursue the issue despite the administration’s frustrations.

In his Senate confirmation hearing last week, Kerry said he believes there is a “way forward” on peace talks.

“The window or door on a two-state solution could shut — and that would be disastrous for all concerned,” he said. “Perhaps this can be a moment where we can renew some kind of effort to get the parties into a discussion to have a different track than we have been on over the last couple of years.”

Over the weekend CNN reported that the new secretary of state could visit the Middle East as early as mid-February. Now, in light of reports of President Obama’s expected visit, it is likely that Kerry will lay the groundwork for the president’s visit.

Click here for the original article at


Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


Jonathan Cahn: How the Great Seduction Overwhelmed America

Jonathan Cahn: How the Great Seduction Overwhelmed America

Read Time: 7 Minutes, 16 Seconds Is it possible that ancient entities known as "the gods" have returned to our world? If so, who are these gods? And could they be the hidden agents transforming modern culture? Is it possible that in the mythologies of the ancient...

3 Reasons for Hope This Advent Season

3 Reasons for Hope This Advent Season

Read Time: 3 Minutes 6 Seconds I didn’t grow up celebrating Advent. When I was little, we put up a tree, got presents and had a Christmas Eve service. It seemed to me that most grown-ups were stressed over Christmas and thankful when it was all over. It wasn’t until...

How To Be Hilariously Happy in Your Giving

How To Be Hilariously Happy in Your Giving

Read Time: 4 Minutes 17 Seconds The day after Thanksgiving is culturally called Black Friday, in the U.S. It marks the beginning of retail sales that could ensure a successful and profitable Christmas-gift-buying season. Black Friday In decades past, book-keepers...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am About to Redeem the Times’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am About to Redeem the Times’

Read Time: 3 Minutes 39 Seconds In corporate prayer the other day, I was in place of deep prayer and intercession when I heard in my spirit, "Redeem the times." As I continued to pray, I just kept hearing "Redeem the times" echo in my spirit. Then the Lord said, "I am...

Kingdom Economics: How Godly Traditions Convey Kingdom Truths

Kingdom Economics: How Godly Traditions Convey Kingdom Truths

Read Time: 3 Minutes 53 Seconds WalletHub estimates 97% of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving and were expected to spend $835 million on Thanksgiving turkeys for last week’s holiday. More than 50 million people were expected to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on...

The Hidden Antisemitism of Misappropriation of Scripture

The Hidden Antisemitism of Misappropriation of Scripture

Read Time: 4 Minutes 49 Seconds I know that what I am writing in my blog today will cause some people discomfort. Others will become angry and still others will choose to stop reading my blogs and articles. Yet, knowing that there is a danger of the above happening,...

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven? Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are...


Jonathan Cahn Reveals Latest Mystery That Lies Behind Wokeism in America

Is it possible that ancient entities known as the "gods" have returned to our world? Could they be the hidden agents transforming modern culture? Could the growing movement to curtail free speech in...
10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

This month we are entering a season which, in the United States, has been devoted to gratitude and thanksgiving for 400 years! While the Thanksgiving holiday has had a long and varied history within the United States, the practice of devoting sacrificial offerings,...

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

My frequent trips to developing nations always help me adjust my attitude. Just when I start to feel spoiled and entitled, I meet people from places like Congo, India and Honduras—and I realize just how blessed I am. This happened to me again last week during a trip...

The Power of Being Thankful

The Power of Being Thankful

One of the best ways to show God we love Him is to be thankful. When we express our deep gratitude to Him, it actually invites His presence onto our lives. Being thankful also neutralizes the enemy and brings victory into our situations no matter what the outcome....

Get Off Your Pew!

Get Off Your Pew!

As God’s clock inches closer to the final hour before His return, many people find themselves filled with angst, anxiety and despair. People are not sleeping well, many have fallen into depression and are feeling hopeless. These are the very days that we have been...

Pin It on Pinterest