The revelation of a secret peace summit held in early 2016 and ending in failure, has become a big political liability for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing criticism from the left for letting the talks pass by without making a deal, and from the right for participating in peace talks in the first place.
Hoping to shift the narrative away from a proposal being made and Netanyahu refusing, Israeli officials are now insisting that the whole summit failed because of then-President Barack Obama, and his attempts to “impose” a settlement on Israel with a US-backed two-state solution plan.
The reports are that the proposal was for a two-state solution largely along the 1967 borders and formal recognition for Israel as a “Jewish state” among a number of Arab states. Israel offered a counter-plan, the details of which are unclear, and which didn’t get much interest.
Israeli officials faulted the US plan for being too similar to Arab-backed plans, and similarly complained they shouldn’t have sent John Kerry to negotiate, saying he doesn’t have “a deep understanding of Israeli interests,” which ultimately led Israel to ditch the summit.