Yawn. This is such a tiresome point to repeat time and again, but here it goes once more. The Arab’s conflict against the Jewish state of Israel has nothing to do with the settlements, period. Everyone knows that if a deal is ever made (unlikely but you never know with dimwit politicians) there’s going to be a land swap of sorts, with adjustments being made in the final borders.
So don’t let the US, the Arabs or even Israeli politicians give you cause to question what the conflict is all about, pointing to the settlements and the need for contiguous areas is just an easy way to obfuscate the issue as a whole. The Arabs need/want a continued stalemate in the negotiations in order to prolong the conflict indefinately.
The aim of the Arabs is to have it all, by eventually wearing down the other side through terrorism and crying foul when Israeli defensive measures begin to take hold. They need both the conflict, and the money it generates to keep the dream alive of ridding the Muslim Middle East of the Jews. KGS
Barry Rubin: “There’s been a lot of nonsense written about an Israeli government announcement that 1600 apartments will be built in east Jerusalem. The timing was stupid, of course, since Vice-President Joe Biden was in town and didn’t like the idea. Moreover, to have such an announcement just when indirect talks were about to start between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) doesn’t make Israel look helpful.
But that’s about it.
Anyone who knows Israel really well understands this to be what is called locally a “fashlan,” that is a stupid mess-up as often happens with the government there. Israel combines the candor of a First World country with the bureaucratic incompetence of a Third World one. The ministry simply didn’t think about what the impact would be nor did it consult with the prime minister’s office. It was sheer narrow-visioned incompetence.
Of course, though, Israel has announced since 1993, when the Oslo Agreement was signed, that it would continue building on existing settlements. And the government made clear all along that construction would continue in east Jerusalem. The action, if not the timing, was neither a provocation, the establishment of a “new settlement,” or proof that Israel didn’t want peace.
After all, everyone seems to have forgotten one simple fact: the U.S. government officially accepted Israel’s position that it would keep building in east Jerusalem. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton praised the resulting deal. So how all of a sudden can Joe Biden and the U.S. government say they are shocked, shocked to see that construction (in east Jerusalem) is going on when they agreed to that point months ago? (Doesn’t it seem rather important for the media to highlight that point rather than make it sound that–aside from the bad timing–Israel did something horrible and unexpected to the U.S. government?)”
Netanyahu’s position is “perilous”: U.S. official
(al-Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political standing is “perilous” because of divisions within his coalition over efforts to pursue peace with the Palestinians, a senior U.S. official said on Friday.
Israel’s announcement this week, during a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, of plans to build 1,600 settler homes in an area of the occupied West Bank it annexed to Jerusalem, cast a shadow over U.S. efforts to relaunch Middle East peacemaking.
The decision was a blow to Biden’s mission and sent him and other top American officials scrambling to shore up Palestinian and Arab support for launching U.S.-led “proximity” talks as early as next week, although officials acknowledged there could be a further delay.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned Netanyahu to tell him the settlements announcement was a “deeply negative signal about Israel’s approach to the bilateral relationship … and had undermined trust and confidence in the peace process,” a State Department spokesman said on Friday.
“The Israelis know the only way to stay on the positive side of the ledger — internationally and with us — is to not have them recurring,” the senior Obama administration official said of announcements about expanding settlements.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, predicted “a dicey period here in the next couple days to a couple of weeks” as Washington tries to get the indirect talks launched.
Entering negotiations with the Palestinians on so-called core issues including statehood borders and the fate of Jerusalem could spark a revolt from Netanyahu’s far-right coalition partners and destabilize his government.
The senior administration official termed Netanyahu’s political position as “perilous” because of the divisions. Right-wing parties oppose peace moves, including a full settlement freeze, sought by the Palestinians and the United States.