Will Clinton Issue Challenge to Israel on Settlements?

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Friday, March 19, 2010 at 6:00 am
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit to Moscow on Thursday (EPA/ZUMApress.com)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit to Moscow on Thursday (EPA/ZUMApress.com)

When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses the America Israel Public Affairs Committee conference on Monday morning, she’ll be addressing a global audience eager for clues about the future of the Mideast peace process and the U.S.-Israel relationship after last week’s diplomatic tumult over Jerusalem settlements. Those in the peace camp wonder if the natural impulse to defuse the tension will lead Clinton to paper over the Israeli government’s plans for continuing settlement construction in Jerusalem — or whether she will continue her challenge to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also scheduled to speak at the conference, to demonstrate his commitment to peace.

[Security1] The initial announcement last week — during Vice President Biden’s goodwill visit to Israel — of an expansion of 1,600 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of Jerusalem has obscured even greater settlement construction in the planning stages. Peace Now, the leading Israeli progressive non-government organization, released a report last week documenting “18 plans to build 7,094 new housing units for Jewish population in East Jerusalem, and another 1,450 hotel rooms,” as well as a still-unpublished plan to build another 2,337 units on top of that. The construction occurs in areas of Jerusalem seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in 1980, a move that the United Nations rejected as illegal.

Clinton said the announcement of the Ramat Shlomo settlement expansion occurring during Biden’s visit was “an insult to the United States.” So far, however, Netanyahu has not backed away from the Ramat Shlomo plan, despite more than a week’s worth of diplomatic acrimony. And no Obama official has yet publicly challenged Netanyahu on the additional settlement expansions Peace Now documented.

“Clinton’s speech should clearly explain, to Israel and to its friends in America, why settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem are so destructive,” Peace Now spokesman Ori Nir said. “She should say that they both prejudge the outcome of the negotiations and that they send a message to the Palestinians, which reverberates worldwide, that Israel’s government is not serious about peace.”

A map of settlements in East Jersusalem. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy of Peace Now)

A map of settlements in East Jersusalem. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy of Peace Now)

The Obama administration took office in the wake of Israel’s operations against Hamas in Gaza, a move that heightened Palestinian reluctance to return to negotiations for an independent state. Obama’s team vowed to breathe diplomatic life into the process, and pressed the new Netanyahu to agree to a freeze on settlement construction as a gesture of good faith. Instead, Netanyahu resisted for months, stalling momentum for the process and creating bitterness between Jerusalem and Washington for which each blamed the other. In November, Netanyahu agreed to a partial freeze on settlement construction for ten months that excluded East Jerusalem — further angering the Palestinians. On the eve of Biden’s visit, both sides agreed to “indirect” talks heavily mediated by administration envoy George Mitchell, who scrapped a trip to the region after the Ramat Shlomo announcement.

Speaking in Russia on Thursday, Clinton indicated that the Obama administration would move forward with a rescheduled Mitchell visit in the near future even if Netanyahu did not back down on Ramat Shlomo. “Our goals remain the same,” Clinton told reporters. “It is to re-launch negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians on a path that will lead to a two-state solution. Nothing has happened that in any way affects our commitment to pursuing that.”

Amjad Atallah, director of the New America Foundation’s Middle East Task Force and a former legal adviser to Palestinian peace negotiators, pointed out that the Palestinians and the Arab world at large have felt let down by Obama’s inability to break the diplomatic stalemate. “Having an administration that so obviously wants peace but seems so obviously unable to deliver it is more disheartening than thinking the United States was a bad guy to begin with,” Atallah said in an email. “Having said that, the love in the love affair (even if temporarily sour) is still there.”

Similarly sour are the feelings between the Obama administration and the more conservative wings of the pro-Israel community. That sourness took an unexpected turn at an unexpected target this week.  On Tuesday, Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. troops in the Middle East and South Asia, testified to a Senate panel that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel,” destabilizes moderate regimes and gives a pretext to extremists. In response, the Anti-Defamation League’s longtime national director, Abraham Foxman, called Petraeus’ comments “dangerous and counterproductive.” It is the first time Petraeus has been criticized by a lobby group since the progressive activist organization MoveOn questioned his integrity during his 2007 Iraq testimony.

Most observers expect Clinton to sound decidedly reconciliatory notes in her AIPAC address. Daniel Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator who works with Atallah at the New America Foundation, encouraged Clinton to pivot to productive moves on peace negotiations — especially the presentation of the administration’s own peace plan. “Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has often drawn the analogy between ending the conflict and cutting off the tail of a dog – in other words, you do both in one chop, not incremental snips,” Levy said. “When it is ready to lead rather than be led, the administration should place a clear choice of an implementation plan for two states in front of Israel and stick to that plan.” Levy added that Netanyahu’s embrace of settlement expansion “may strengthen American resolve to put forward such a plan.”

Peace Now’s Nir agreed that Clinton should use the speech to assert the administration’s vision for a two-state solution to the 60-year crisis. Clinton’s speech should include a “clear call for both Israelis and Palestinians to return to the negotiating table immediately, without preconditions, and negotiate a workable solution to the conflict. She should make clear that such a solution is within reach, that it can and should be part of a comprehensive Middle East peace agreement between Israel and the entire Arab world, that the US has a good idea of what such a settlement would look like and that Washington will not hesitate to assert its vision,” Nir said. “Such a speech, delivered at this critical time and place, could be a transformative junction on the road to peace.”

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Ndungu
Comment posted March 19, 2010 @ 9:02 pm

Now is already beyond time for the US to assert itself. Notwithstanding AIPAC lobbying, Israel is of no strategic value whatsoever to America or to Europe.

But it is a troublemaker with a loud voice that impacts the news media daily.

Americans and Europeans are fed up with this strident nonsense. I say, cut them loose, we've had enough.

They're a non self-sustaining six million that have latched-on to the US tax payer for far too long. Cut them loose.


triathlon
Comment posted March 19, 2010 @ 10:17 pm

FREEZING BiBi IN PLACE

[The Big Picture]

Now, we have been reading the English-Israeli-Press, to get a picture of their position, but that like any other foreign language press unless read in their language may not really give the mind set of those writing the article and may be written to not give a true clear picture, but that being once again said, there is the method of looking at it all as its just about East Jerusalem, or you can look at it as part and parcel of the entire, puzzle, [THE BIG PICTURE], and how it all tie’s together, which to his credit and believe me it gives me no pleasure in giving him credit King David H. [The Butcher of Islam] Be-tray Us, who is faced with dealing with the fall-out of the East Jerusalem, announcement, has commented upon and rightly so, the guy can’t be wrong all the time, even if it is most of the time.

[The Natural Growth Thing]

Now, Deist are a real problem, and [BiBi], Benyamin/Binyamin [BiBi] Gift from God Netanyahu, the [PM] Prime Minister of Israel, is a Deist, and being a Non-Deist, we question this Gift from God idea, but to continue. Deist have this thing about being fruitful and multiplying, now the sex part of the equation we have always gone along with and enjoyed, flowers need a bee around, and we did our part to buzz around. But, this is the [21st] Century, and Non-Deist have long come to the conclusion that the natural number [2.718] Two-Point-Seven-One-Eight, can be if desired cut to [0] Zero or increased to its cheaper by the dozen, it’s simply a matter of what one can afford, and you’re the father, makes a paycheck a lot leaner. Now, Israel and especially the Ultra-Conservative Israeli, Haredi Jew’s, who have the Catholic Deist view that a God Will Provide, were as Non-Deist say YES, the human species was provided with a BRAIN, that looks at reality as it is on the ground, and Israel hasn’t got a lot of it [GROUND]. So this Natural Growth thing starts when one head of the two men are provided with starts to grow, but the other head is meant to be used to prevent population growth. Get your Natural Growth under control both ways, get along with your neighbors, and things might not end up in some war to end all wars. We doubt even at the present time if all the Jew’s who could or would even want to be in Holy Land, could be supported by Israel, now. So, get the Natural Growth under control.

[Bomb, Bomb, Iran]

Again, [BiBi] and the Media Messiah Imperial President of the Empire, seem to have a plan to [Bomb, Bomb, Iran], before it’s newly built Nuclear Plant can be brought on line in June, and this is the reason that the Messiah is always cancelling his over-seas trip into or near the area, this is a view that is being seen more and more across the InterNet and talked about by the [21st] Century [NetCizens]. The general view is BiBi see’s that things are in fact changing, the American-Israeli Empire is in fact falling, and time is running out for Israel to establish it’s control of the Islamic Crescent/Arabian Peninsula/Hindu Cush. BiBi see’s as everyone else does that the [EU] European Union is going to leave the Cush, washing it’s hands of the mess, the [EU] see’s the [BIG PICTURE], and is not looking for the [21st] Century to be the End, but a new beginning based upon the technology, human potential, drive and determination of the Dreamers, Thinkers, Workers, and [NetCitzens] of the [21st] Century. All of whome see the bombing of Iran, as INSANE, and [BiBi] is INSANE, to even think about it. But, the idea is to lock the [EU] in place by bombing Iran, before it has a chance to withdraw between [1st May 2010 – 2011]. Non-Deist want things Froze in Place, Israel needs to take a cold shower, if they can’t use both heads, and Freeze it’s Natural Growth, and Freeze the idea of [Bomb, Bomb, Iran] in a deep freeze, [FREEZING BiBi IN PLACE].

HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN


Boris, Jerusalem
Comment posted March 20, 2010 @ 6:06 am

Cut us loose. Please. See what happens.

Idiot.


trippin
Comment posted March 21, 2010 @ 1:36 pm

Clinton will do nothing at AIPAC except reassure them that despite the intransigence of our so-called ally, we will blindly support them like sheep for fear of being called anti-Semitic.

Meanwhile the right wing in charge of the Israeli government will continue to paint a target on our back, and relentlessly pursue the further implementation of the 21st century version of the Warsaw Ghetto in Gaza utilizing weapons we provide to them.


triathlon
Comment posted March 21, 2010 @ 9:03 pm

THE UNITY OF ONE VISION?

[I AM SO SORRY!]

What we learned this week was that a singularity of one, a unity of one does indeed exist, and that Unity of One is the Empire, the American-Israeli Empire, the Deep Running Bonds, and Unshakable Special Relationship is a reality, and Bill Clinton admits to being Dr. Frankenstein having creation the monster, Clinton saying , [I found Rahm. I created him. I made him what he is today. I AM SO SORRY!], the [WH/COS] White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel [The Frankenstein Monster] who in turn created the Chicago Halsted St., Dual-Citizen, Non-Israeli Jewish Mob, [David Axelrod, William Daley, Anita Dunn, Robert Gibbs, Valerie Jarrett, Ray LaHood, Christina Romer], and who are engaged in a fight to the death of political careers, with the Clinton Crew, and [SOS] Secretary of State Hillary Diane Rodham-Clinton. Now, Bubba can claim it was all a political joke at the expense of Rahm, but every good joke has the seed of reality at its core, and the truth here was the seed planted became the Monster, in control of the Executive Branch, and its Media Messiah Imperial President referred too by [PM] Prime Minister of Israel’s Benyamin/Binyamin [BiBi] Gift from God Netanyahu, brother-in-law as an anti-Semite, as the [AIPAC/AZC], The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee/American Zionist Council controlling its Imperial Court.

[HAVE IT BOTH WAY’S?]

This week the world came to recognize the threat that the Unity of One has become to the Community of Spheres of Nations, the week has shown that Israel has turned from being a burdensome ally, to the Master of its once American ally. This has had far reaching implications, the once shining light on the hill has been extinguished, the idea of All Men Are Created Equal, has been proven to be simply a dream. Israel, in its own admission via its Israeli News, Yedioth Ahronoth, (http://www.YNetNews.Com.), Current Knesset most racist of all time, increasing its anti-Muslim laws by [75%] Seventy-Five Percent over [2009] alone, with [21] Twenty-one bill’s signed into law deemed discriminatory and racist, by the Mossawa Center, with the effects being seen in the Israeli school system, they don’t want Arab friends, they are opposed to granting the right to vote to Arabs, seeing Arabs as a demographic threat, we have spoken too, All [MEN] are created equal but Women should sit in the back of the bus. It would seem that all MEN are created Equal but some More Equal Than Others, and Nancy may have to ride in the back of the bus with other Women. The question is can Ying and Yang exist in one Unity, the one side equality for all, the other discrimination? The effects of this Unity of One, is seen increasingly within the American part of the Empire as even the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi calls anyone who is a Tea-Bagger an Un-American, the question is will Nancy like the state of Israel, imprison, those Tea-Baggers for denial that the Empire is not a democratic state but a Socialist State, for up to a year? Will Nancy too revoke the Citizenship of Tea-Baggers, for disloyalty to her vision of that Socialist State? Will another Speaker of the House announce the end of Voting Rights for Women? Will Women and Black now have to sit in the back of the bus along with Arabs? How can a Unity of One have it both ways?

[Vision of the Unity of One?]

Israel is in the process of annexing the whole of Jerusalem its indivisible part of the Israeli State, there will be no concessions on this point, the [SOS] Hillary and the [PM] BiBi will meet in the halls of power of [AIPAC/AZC], and each will talk to the confidence-building that has taken place been the two, the Deep Running Bonds, and Unshakable Special Relationship, which will never be broken or end. But in the end and the its not simply [50K] fifty-thousand, [1/2M] One-Half Million Jew’s to move into the Eastern Palestinian Sector, decades of non-negotiable construction, the total and complete annexing of Jerusalem is on the drawing board, with [2] Two Hotels even planned within that area, the total and complete eviction of the Arab population of Jerusalem. Is this a separate issue from the Empires War of Economic Stimulus upon the [Islamic Crescent/ Arabian Peninsula/ Hindu Cush]? And, we like King David H. Betray, the Butcher of Islam, say it is not a separate issue, and not only part and parcel of that war, but [THE] main point of the War, the establishment of State of Israel over the entire of the [Islamic Crescent/ Arabian Peninsula/ Hindu Cush], and its wealth of resources, with Arabs as voter less, non-citizens, don’t even get on the bus, of the Master State, with the Worlds Community of Nations Spheres expected to implicitly accept this new arrangement. This is the Vision of the Unity of One?

HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN


louis vuitton
Comment posted August 4, 2010 @ 8:46 am

Meanwhile the right wing in charge of the Israeli government will continue to paint a target on our back, and relentlessly pursue the further implementation of the 21st century version of the Warsaw Ghetto in Gaza utilizing weapons we provide to them.


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