Bibi And The U.S.: More Confusion, And A Correction
12/23/2010 - 23:36
Gary Rosenblatt

My last blog, posted on Tuesday, posed the question of what Prime Minister Netanyahu’s strategy is regarding peace talks with the Palestinians. That question remains, even more so today, but I stand corrected on one conclusion I drew.

I noted that Mideast experts are baffled by the Israeli leader’s seeming willingness to press ahead in negotiations, including the possibility of ceding West Bank land, while at the same time holding fast on the right to build in the settlements, and quickening the pace of construction.

That puzzlement only deepened after Ethan Bronner’s front page report in the New York Times Dec. 23 pointed out that much of the building in the settlements taking place now is in areas considered most likely to be ceded to the Palestinians in a peace deal. So what gives? It would be helpful if we understood Jerusalem’s strategy.

(Bronner’s lead, by the way, said that Israel’s resumption of construction in the West Bank caused the Palestinians to withdraw from the peace talks. But it didn’t take that move to give the Palestinian Authority cold feet.)

I wrote on Tuesday that “Jerusalem’s refusal to accept a U.S. deal, including military and diplomatic perks, in return for a 90-day extension of the freeze on building in the settlements has soured the administration on Netanyahu lately.”

But the next day a senior Israeli official contacted me to say that “contrary to widespread conventional wisdom Jerusalem did not refuse Washington’s offer.” The official said Netanyahu was “willing and ready to bring it to a vote” when “the U.S. informed us, much to our surprise, that they did not want to move forward on that path.”

Sources in Washington confirm that scenario, noting that the administration, after much bargaining, concluded that extending the freeze on building in the settlements for another 90 days was not likely to produce any diplomatic results. Some add that the U.S. was upset that details of the offer were leaked in Jerusalem, and not all accurately. Netanyahu is not a favorite these days in D.C.

Comments

Patrick, you hit the nail on the head, right on target with your analysis.
"Sources in Washington confirm that scenario, noting that the administration, after much bargaining, concluded that extending the freeze on building in the settlements for another 90 days was not likely to produce any diplomatic results." They did this for one reason and one reason only - to claim that Israel refused top negotiate a settlement freeze - which is a giant red herring, as is the entire myth of "occupied territories." The West Bank and East Jerusalem were ILLEGALLY occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967. Gaza was ILLEGALLY occupied by Egypt from 1948 to 1967. Israel recaptured what was intended to be their Homeland - as was the 80% of land stolen by Britain and given to the Hashmite King of Jordan as a consolation prize for not getting Iraq. At the end of the 1967 War, a defensive war during which Gaza, Sinai, Judea, and Samaria fell into Israel's hands. International Law clearfly states that territories captured during a defensive war do not have to be returned to the belligerent nation. Who, exactly, would Israel return the West Bank and Jerusalem, even if it wanted to do so? Not Jordan. They were not the legal authority of it. Same thing with Gaza. Egypt wanted the Sinai back but did not want Gaza - a pattern of giveaway that replayed itself four times in all Arab-Israeli conflicts. Cannot blame Egypt for NOT wanting Gaza back. Israel should have annexed both in 1967, and legally, I might add. Security Council Resolution 242 is a balanced whole. The right of self-determination of the Palestinians does not appear in the Resolution; an international conference is never mentioned; the parties referred to include only states, not insurgent/terror organizations; and the phrase "territories occupied" is neither preceded by "the," nor is it followed by "on all fronts." These have been the essential historic reasons why the territories are not "occupied." Israel's right to reject this improper description also stems from its incontrovertible legal right to security and self- defense. Because transformation of West Bank (Judea/Samaria) and Gaza into an Arab state of Palestine would threaten the very existence of Israel, the Jewish State is under no current obligation to relinquish control. Its rights, in this regard, are peremptory. These are "disputed territories" not "Palestinian territories." If they are disputed territories, then they cannot be called, "occupied territories." Israel should have reminded the world of that condition, but it still choses to ignore it. UN Resolution 242 grants to every state in the Middle East "the right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries." It points, therefore, to peace before territorial withdrawal to "recognized boundaries." Those "recognized boundaries" have never been established because the Arab states - except for Egypt and Jordan - are still at war with Israel. The 1967 boundaries are Armistice Lines, but the Arab world decided before UN 242 that it would never recognize Israel. In the infamous Khartoum Resolution issued in August 1967, three months before UNSC 242, the eight Arab States said unequivocally: "No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it." Meanwhile, the Media has never mentioned this resolution. This Khartoum Resolution is the reason why the Arab states launched the 1973 Yom Kippur War on Israel.
Unfortunately, who were once our friends are at best nuetral with Obama, who were our non friends or those countries we had nothing in common with, Obama is closer with. Sadly, Most in the US feel a closeness with Israel but this administration holds it's own beliefs which I believe is not in our interest.
So P.M. Netanyahu is not a favorite in D.C. these days. That's a compliment to Netanyahu. Obama is not a favorite in Israel these days either. Or in the US either for that matter. Or in many other countries. So what's your point here exactly? That an offer was extended to Israel that would affect the country and it was disclosed? Or that Obama made an offer to Netanyahu and then withdrew it? I'm sure that surprises no one on this earth.
I do not see the problem,Netanyahu is willing to negotiate. We will continue to hold on to all existing settlements and build in them. Everything else is negotiable out side of the Jordan valley and the New Arab state having an Army. There will also be mutual access to Israel as soon as the new state could be trusted and prove itself as a peacefull country that does not want to destroy Israel. I believe this will happen when pigs fly, because Abu Mazzen wants real peace as much as Haniye.
If Netti isn't popular in US Government circles, then he's doing something right. It appears the Obama administration is as bi-polar as ever. They can't make-up their minds about how to screw Israel. This President is rather nihilistic in that he believe's the world's there to serve him. He takes pre-conceived notions about the nature of Islam and make's them fact in his mind. He actually publically anyway, believes Islam is an honorable idea; that Islam is willing to live side-by-side with other's who do not share their beliefs; that Islam is a belief system that encourages peaceful co-existance. Well, history shows us something different. Everywhere Islam touches, that civilization disappears. That's one way of doing it. Enslavement instead of free choice is another. Death instead of the acceptance of differences in other cultures, yet another. And, equality of peoples under the law regardless of their religion or political choices is no where to be found. Yeah Mr. President, that's a culture we can trust. WAKE-UP!
This disclosure does not speak well of PM Netanyahu. He should have immediately and unequivocally said NO.

Comment Guidelines

The Jewish Week feels comments create a valuable conversation and wants to feature your thoughts on our website. To make everyone feel welcome, we won't publish comments that are profane, irrelevant, promotional or make personal attacks.

Add comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.