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Friday, January 17, 2014

Netanyahu slams EU hypocrisy

Prime Minister Netanyahu has slammed the European Union after Israeli ambassadors in London, Paris and Rome were summoned over Israel's construction plans in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
"This is hypocrisy. The EU calls our ambassadors in because of the construction of a few houses? When did the EU call in the Palestinian ambassadors about incitement that calls for Israel's destruction?" Netanyahu asked foreign correspondents at his annual new year reception.
"It's time to stop this hypocrisy," he said. "This imbalance... doesn't advance peace, I think it pushes peace further away."
The European move was apparently coordinated.
Foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP that Israeli ambassadors in London, Rome and Paris were summoned "in protest" over the settlement plans, which were unveiled last Friday.
Palmor said that the move was coordinated between the three governments and that it was possible other European governments might have matched the move.
A spokesman for the British Foreign Office told AFP the Israeli ambassador was summoned "over the Israeli government's recent decision to announce new settlement tenders".
Foreign Office permanent under-secretary Simon Fraser "made clear that settlement announcements had a detrimental impact on an atmosphere conducive to productive talks. The UK urged Israel to refrain from further such announcements," the spokesman said.
I keep saying we should stop announcing it and just do it....

JPost adds:
Calling the claim that settlements are an obstacle to a peace agreement “bogus,” Netanyahu – speaking at an annual reception in Jerusalem for foreign journalists – blasted the EU move, and asked when was the last time the EU countries called in the PLO ambassadors to “complain about incitement to Israel’s destruction,” or to protest that security officers from the Palestinian Authority were participating in terrorist attacks against innocent Israelis.
...
The prime minister, who took only three questions on topics he was informed about in advance, stressed that the settlement announcements did not breach any commitment that Israel took upon itself when it entered the talks with the Palestinians last July.
It was clear to both the Americans and the Palestinians that Israel undertook no restraints on construction, the prime minister said. This was an unspoken, unwritten part of the deal that was very clear to everyone, he said.
“Adding a few houses will not change the map an iota,” Netanyahu said.
He asked if the Palestinians were looking to create an “ethnically cleansed state.”
The article goes on to describe Prime Minister Netanyahu's Wednesday meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah, and says that Jordan is not opposed to Israel remaining present in the Jordan Valley.
Diplomatic officials said that Jordan was very concerned about the future security arrangements in the Jordan Valley, and according to some reports was not opposed – as the Palestinians are – to an Israeli security presence there following a peace accord and establishment of a Palestinian state.
I'll bet. 

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