U.S. Suggests There Will Be a 'Framework Agreement' in Peace Talks

Middle Phase Deal May Not Address Every Issue

Getty Images

By Ron Kampeas

Published December 10, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Amid simmering tensions over Iran policy, the Obama and Netanyahu governments appear to have quietly forged common ground in recent weeks on Israeli-Palestinian talks, with the United States accepting that a possible “framework” agreement might not address every outstanding issue in the negotiations.

Such an agreement, the United States and Israel seem to agree, would maintain a role for Israel in providing for its security, presumably by maintaining some form of military presence in the West Bank.

What’s not clear is if the Palestinians will go along.

As recently as October, Martin Indyk, the lead American peace negotiator, told J Street that an interim agreement was not in the cards. The objective, he told the liberal Israel policy group, was a final-status agreement.

Yet over the weekend, addressing the annual Saban Forum in Washington, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry each suggested there would be a middle phase aimed at addressing Israel’s lingering security concerns.

“I think it is possible over the next several months to arrive at a framework that does not address every single detail but gets us to a point where everybody recognizes better to move forward than move backwards,” Obama told the annual forum on Saturday.

“We have spent a lot of time working with Prime Minister Netanyahu and his entire team to understand from an Israeli perspective what is required for the security of Israel in such a scenario,” he said.

Netanyahu’s comments to the forum, delivered the next day via satellite, reiterated Israel’s longstanding position that under any agreement, it must retain the ability to provide for its own security.

“I think that any kind of peace we’ll have is likely, initially at least, to be a cold peace,” Netanyahu said. “So there must be ironclad security arrangements to protect the peace, arrangements that allow Israel to defend itself by itself against any possible threat. And those arrangements must be based on Israel’s own forces.”

For years, the question of Israel’s long-term security presence in the West Bank has dogged attempts by Israel and the Palestinians to return to peace talks. Israel has long maintained that it must retain a security corridor in the Jordan Valley. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said that keeping Israeli forces in place would fatally undermine a deal.

The Obama administration appears to have sided with Israel on this point by accepting that at least initially, Israel will have a role in securing borders and fighting terrorism in Palestinian areas, among other security responsibilities.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.