Albright's Pointless Appointment

  • Share
  • Read Later
PARIS: Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t give Madeleine Albright the answers she asked for when they meet in Paris, Thursday. In fact, he didn’t give her any answers at all on the key questions. But according to TIME Jerusalem correspondent Eric Silver, the meeting went according to script, with the U.S. already having okayed further stalling by Israel on the issue of withdrawals from the West Bank.

Despite Albright’s earlier call for a “credible” withdrawal plan, Netanyahu took so little to the Paris meeting that even his own Foreign Minister, David Levy, refused to accompany him “for lack of purpose.”

“Netanyahu has convinced the Americans that with a budget vote coming up, this is not the time to pass ‘unpopular measures’ through his divided cabinet,” says Silver. “He’s playing for time and the Americans are acquiescing.” Silver believes that, during meetings last week, Assistant Secretary of State Martin Indyk gave Netanyahu at least another month to come up with a plan. It was probably diplomatic tact that prevented Albright from taking the Levy option. Her only comment on the meeting: it was “very pleasant.”