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Sunday, June 28, 2009

What a 'temporary freeze' might look like

The Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot reports today that Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who heads to Washington this week, will be bringing along a proposal for a three-month 'temporary freeze' on 'settlement' construction.
The freeze, that would apply to all new construction - including in the settlement blocs (though not clear if also applies to Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem) - would be in order to facilitate the renewal of talks with the PA.

According to Schiffer, the proposed freeze would not apply to projects already well underway that include some 2,000 buildings - principally public buildings - in the settlement blocs.

Schiffer notes that a study of construction carried out three weeks ago by Yediot Ahronot found that at the end of 2008 no less than 3,200 new housing units were under construction in Judea and Samaria.
I'm opposed to any kind of 'temporary freeze,' because I think it's a slippery slope, and even if the administration agreed to it now, we'd be under a lot of pressure to extend it because of 'progress' in the 'negotiations' when it runs out. My own view is that we should gut it out and tell the Obumbler we're going no further than we've gone already.

Over the weekend, Caroline Glick made the point that more Democrats are willing to go to war to enforce 'international law' (71%) than are willing to go to war to help spread democracy to the world (7%). While that may be true, I don't believe that 95% of the Americans to the right of Samantha Power have taken leave of their senses enough to back Obama going to war with us for the 'Palestinians.' For example, among Republicans, 53% are willing to go to war to spread democracy while only 36% are willing to go to war to enforce 'international law.' I believe Israel can say no, and it won't bring American troops to our doorstep.

Having said all that, if the Netanyahu government - and Barak in particular - believe that the reaction from the Obama administration to that proposal is going to be anything other than laughing in Barak's face, they have completely misread Obama. Nothing less than six months (which is what Obama wanted just to 'talk' to Iran) stands a chance, and maybe nothing less than a year. And sadly, there are far too many exceptions built in for Obama and Clinton and friends to agree to this 'temporary freeze.' It would be better not to propose it at all.


At 5:36 PM, Blogger Mr. Gerson said...

... but they don't want to coexist and they don't want to negotiate with Israel.

At 5:54 PM, Blogger Ashan said...

Temporary freeze? Make me laugh! Prevaricator-in-Chief Hussein and his henchmen actually mean a permanent freeze. They constantly go back on their word. Their business is to rid the world of pesky little Jew-land.

So rather that take a stand on the LEGAL and HISTORICAL principles of the disputed territories, Netanyahu sends his weak link, Ehud, to in-articulate Israel's position. Dumb move. Should've sent Bogie or Ayalon or Steinitz or Lieberman.

Once you start hemming and hawing with the rowdy, uppity teenage thugs in Washington, you'll wind up with much worse than egg on your face. Even the little Iranian tyrant puts his foot down and said "No" loud and clear. Maybe we should take up razzing Hussein in public. Making kissy faces obviously doesn't work.

What could go wrong?

Netanyahu's screwing up.

At 10:54 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Americans are not going to buy "temporary" and the Palestinians are going to reject any freeze compromise offered by Israel. Ehud Barak will be told his proposal is inadequate. At that point, Israel will face the unpleasant choice of either a complete capitulation to Obama or a rupture of its ties with the US. When it comes to cracking down on Israel, that is the one issue to which Obama is committed.

What could go wrong indeed


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