The Obama administration is pressuring Israeli generals to stop publicly voicing their concerns about the administration’s security proposals in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and instead endorse the administration’s plans, according to Israeli media reports.
The administration is seeking a complete or partial IDF withdrawal from the Jordan Valley, where the border between Israel and Jordan lies at the eastern edge of Judea and Samaria, also called the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority has long sought control of the valley. However, Israel and Jordan are opposed to an IDF withdrawal, which they fear would enable the transit of terrorists and arms through Jordan into the West Bank.
After a prominent retired Israeli general spoke out against IDF withdrawal from the Jordan Valley, Israeli media reported that the Obama administration’s head envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Martin Indyk, convened a meeting of Israeli security officials. He pressured them to drop their objections to the plan and make media appearances in support of it to help sell a skeptical Israeli public on the benefits of a reduction in security.
“The Americans are attempting to convince the government of Israel to accept the security arrangements for the Jordan Valley, but in order to do that … they are trying to hitch up Israeli opinion leaders. … Mainly opinion leaders from the defense sector. Martin Indyk, the American delegate to the negotiations and his team met in recent days with IDF generals. … Those who were present at the meetings understand that the idea is if you support the plan, then go to the media and be interviewed and respond, because they have the impression that the Israeli public has doubts about the subject.”