Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after spending much of 2009 pushing against the Obama administration’s call for a settlement freeze, has proposed a 10-month settlement freeze in the interest of what he called “meaningful negotiations to reach a historic peace agreement that would finally end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.” Here’s the official reaction from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton:
Today’s announcement by the Government of Israel helps move forward toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements. Let me say to all the people of the region and world: our commitment to achieving a solution with two states living side by side in peace and security is unwavering.
Clinton created a great deal of outrage in the Arab world after she called a previous offer from Netanyahu that came far short of a total freeze “unprecedented.” This reply is far more restrained.