President Obama was furious that Israeli PM Netanyahu and the GOP intervened in his negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. He directed the mainstream media branch of his administration to release its attack dogs on all fronts as this is a primary agenda item for himself and his wingman, Valerie Jarrett.
Yet it may seem somewhat puzzling for his failure to publicly acknowledge the role Switzerland has been playing in the Middle East. The Swiss have been players throughout the Middle East for decades. They served as the go-between for U.S.-Iran negotiations since the early 1980’s to keep a communication conduit open. Switzerland has a gas deal in place with Iran, have consistently negotiated with Hamas and Hezbollah and fully support a two-state settlement in the Israeli-Palestine dispute.
Now the Swiss are coming to the financial aid of Hamas.
Switzerland has put together a plan to reconstruct the Gaza Strip which includes paying the salaries of Hamas operatives, according to Palestinian officials interviewed by Israel’s NRG website. The plan would also reestablish the status of the Hamas terrorist organization as the only authority in the Gaza Strip.
For the Swiss, it’s always been about resources. They recognize states as opposed to governments and are interested in securing energy access back home. Negotiating with all players at the table is seen as necessary to accomplish these trade deals without much regard to the political climate. Not that there aren’t partisans in Switzerland. The Green Party has long been seen as anti-Semite and pro-Palestinian.
The U.S. has been sending aid to Palestine for years. Some of it ends up in the hands of Hamas. Funds sent to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt have been funneled to Hamas. In recent years, Qatar has been the main source of funding for Hamas. Do you know what Qatar has in common with Switzerland? They conduct foreign policy by talking to everybody. It’s a self-protection policy against attack as they are the richest country in the world (per capita) and have tremendous natural resources.
Qatar got itself removed from the U.S. terror list by allowing a U.S. base to be built there. They have evolved in recent years to stop direct state funding of terrorist organizations. Instead, they have switched to the Swiss model of utilizing charities to funnel money to terror groups. The PLO will take money from all channels, official or not.
The Palestinians themselves just got a public rebuke from the Obama Administration for unilaterally moving to establish a diplomatic presence at the United Nations.
U.S. Warns of ‘Implications’ as Palestinians Deliver International Court Documents – Read more: http://forward.com/articles/212002/us-warns-of-implications-as-palestinians-deliver-i/#ixzz3VMEsleH2
Obama has to keep the Palestinians in check because he wants his legacy to include a legitimate two state settlement. Despite his anti-Semitism views (history here), he knows you can’t take out Israel in one fell swoop. The Swiss, as well as Qatar, won’t face the public scrutiny that Congress or Israel will face in gumming up the works to getting another bucket list item off the Obama agenda. It makes no difference that they play both sides because they aren’t viewed as impediments to Middle East diplomacy.