GOP senators voice doubts on Mideast plan
JERUSALEM — Leading Republican senators said Friday that they share Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's reservations about terms for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement proposed by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Netanyahu “has serious, serious concerns about the plan as it has been presented to him,” particularly about the future security of Israel and the viability of a future independent Palestinian state, Sen. John McCain of Arizona said after meetings with Netanyahu and other officials in Israel.
McCain and fellow Senate Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Barrasso of Wyoming said they share the general alarm about Israel's security should the country withdraw from the West Bank. Without providing details of the largely secret proposals, McCain and Graham suggested that they and other supporters of Israel in Congress will greet Kerry's program skeptically.
“We feel very strongly that the peace process is very important sooner or later, and we support the legitimate peace process,” McCain said. But he expressed concern about whether some aspects of the agreement are “truly enforceable and viable options” that would not put Israel in jeopardy.
McCain and Graham met with Kerry on Friday in Jerusalem, where the secretary of state is working to win Israeli and Palestinian backing for a rough outline of a peace deal. Kerry met with Netanyahu on Friday for the second time in two days, and he met later with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Late Thursday, Israeli security forces announced the arrest of four operatives and 10 accomplices they said belong to an alleged terrorist cell based in Bethlehem. The Israelis said that during interrogations the suspects had confessed to a remote-controlled bombing on an Israeli bus in a Tel Aviv suburb Dec. 22.
The bus bombing and subsequent arrests highlight a less obvious but potentially significant challenge for Kerry separate from winning agreement from Netanyahu and Abbas. Other players who are not at the negotiating table but want to influence the outcome, including Iranian-backed and other terrorist cells in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, oppose any peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and are prepared to wage a campaign of terror to stop it.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Scientists win Nobel chemistry award for work on DNA repair
- Eastern European gangs smuggle nuclear materials, seek terrorist clients
- U.S. allies in Syria struck by Russians
- 3 share Nobel medicine prize for tropical disease drugs
- Refugee surge to Europe raises concern about militants
- Top al-Qaida operatives released by Iran in prisoner swap for diplomat
- Saudi Arabia accused of neglect in hajj stampede deaths
- With end of sanctions in sight, Iran invites foreign investment in oil fields
- Cameron in throes of leave-the-EU movement in Britain
- Hurricane Joaquin slams Bahamas; ship missing in storm