The scheduled February 4, 1999 summit between US President Clinton and Palestinian Authority chairman Arafat occurs after the US has implored the PA to delay its declaration of independence and statehood until after the May, 1999 Israeli elections.
What the US government offers the PA is an aid package of $400 million, while encuraging the nations of the world to contribute another $3 billion dollars.
These contributions are tied to PA compliance with the Wye Accords.
In December, 1998, US Senator Arlen Spector (R-PA), who had accompanied President Clitnon in his middle east visit, explained to me and to other members of the media in Jerusalem that if the Israeli government were to claim that the PA is indeed in violation of the accords, then the $1.2 billion in additional aid promised by the US to Israel would be placed in jeopardy. Spector explained that this is because the US is ready to award such an aid package to Israel within the context of the implementation of the Wye accords.
The logic goes that if the government of Israel claims that the PA is not implementing these accords, then there will be no allocations of US funds – not to the Palestine Authority, and not to the state of Israel. Writing in HaAretz of January 8, 1999, leading security analyst Z’ev Schiff posited that the linkage of funds with the Wye accords implementation was the reason why the Israeli government would not make a clear declaration that the PA was in violation of the accords.
What the Israeli government has done in Washington has been to act in two directions at once. On the one hand, criticizing the Palestinian Authority for slow implementation of the Wye accords, while sending a high level delegation of the Israel Ministry of Finance to press the White House and the US congress to press for post-Wye allocations to Israel and to the Palestinian Authority, acting as if the PA is indeed implementing the Wye accords.
For that reason, the government of Israel has raised no official objection to the expected proclamation of US president Clinton which will be made in the presence of Arafat that, indeed, the PA is acting in compliance with the Wye accords.
The Israeli government acts in two voices – allowing its departments of information to attack the warlike actions of the Palestinian Authority, while authorizing its fiscal representatives to behave as if the PA acts in accordance with peace accords agreed on with the state of Israel, and witnessed by the US government.