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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Olmert's delusion on Jerusalem

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert continues to delude himself - and to try to delude us - that the United States and the rest of the world don't think he agreed to stop building in 'East Jerusalem':
Olmert, in an interview last week with the Post, said that while the road map called for a freeze to settlement activity, including natural growth, "if everything began and ended with that, then that's what we have to do according to our commitment. But as you know well, America, which sponsored the road map, President Bush, on the 14th of April, 2004, sent a letter that said one can't ignore the demographic reality unfolding in the territories and that this will certainly need to be given expression in the agreements between us and the Palestinians. And this, I would say, renders flexible to a degree the significance of what is written in the road map."

Olmert is expected to try to define this "flexibility" more clearly during his talks with Bush.
This morning, Condi set her claws into Olmert's ugly face:
In comments that threaten Israel's hold on east Jerusalem, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that the US does not consider it legitimate for Israel to build homes in some neighborhoods of the capital which are located beyond the Green Line.

In a conversation held in the ornate antechamber of her office, she went further than US officials have previously gone toward clarifying her government's position on the matter.

Her remarks set the stage for a confrontation over the issue when Rice and US President George W. Bush visit Israel this week and try to move the peace process forward.


But Rice on Monday clarified that the US believes that portions of east Jerusalem are considered to be "settlements" and that Israel must stop building there as part of its commitment to implement the first phase of the road map.

Rice said "the United States doesn't make a distinction" between settlement activity in east Jerusalem and the West Bank and that the road map obligations are on "settlement activity generally." She was speaking during an interview conducted by the Post and Ynet ahead of her departure for the region.

Rice referred specifically to Jerusalem's Har Homa enclave as one such proscribed neighborhood.

"Har Homa is a settlement the United States has opposed from the very beginning," she said in response to a question from the Post.

She didn't, however, clarify whether other Jerusalem neighborhoods over the Green Line, such as Gilo and Ramot, were also settlements in the eyes of the United States when asked. "The important point here is that we need to have an agreement so that we can stop having this discussion about what belongs to Israel and what doesn't," she said in response.

Her answer points to the longtime ambiguity in the US position towards construction in these neighborhoods, which is opposed by the Palestinians and many European countries. Traditionally the United States refrains from describing Jerusalem neighborhoods as "settlements," but the Bush administration has been particularly critical of recently announced building tenders in Har Homa.
What goes for Har Homa certainly goes for Maaleh Adumim, which Olmert claims to be a part of Jerusalem. I don't know why he ever thought otherwise (if he ever did).

When he was Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon said something very smart on which he unfortunately did not follow through. Sharon said that Netzarim, the former Jewish town in the center of the Gaza Strip, was the same as Tel Aviv. It was. Once we give up on Netzarim, it's only a question of time before we are asked to give up on everything else. Can we put a stop to it? Sure. But only with a real leader who is acting in the country's best interests rather than the best interests of the branja and his own criminal file. As long as this clown remains in power, the country's situation will only deteriorate.


At 3:50 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

So now we know Condi Rice's position - anti-semitic and racist to the core, which will ban Jews from living in east Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria because they are Jews. This is a repeat of the British Land Regulations and its White Paper parent that closed of Eretz Israel to settlement in the 1940s. We know she does not love Jews. Unfortunately, the Israeli government we probably submit than say NO.

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

Rice is so scary. And her arrogance is unbounded. Who the _hell_ does she think she is to tell a sovereign nation that it cannot build in its own capital? Who? (And I don't usually swear, even mildly, in blog comments, so you know I'm frosted.) She thinks she can just say, "Well, I consider Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem to be settlements, so you guys better stop building there right now!"

What is the matter with Israel's government that it doesn't tell her to go jump in the lake? And let me say, too: If this is how she thinks, then she _certainly_ thinks those "settlements" (quote very much unquote) should ultimately be evacuated and the whole area turned over to somebody else--be it the "Palestinians" or a "security force" made up of Egyptians and Jordanians. There may be a difference technically between stopping building and driving out the residents, but when the building freeze is based on Rice's logic, driving out the residents is just the next step in the demanded process.

I honestly wish I knew what you guys can expect from the next presidency. I don't. I know Carl thinks a Giuliani presidency would benefit Israel. I have my own reasons for opposing Giuliani, but I'm not even sure the expectation is correct. Israel's own leaders must get a backbone.

At 1:01 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Israel needs new leaders. Unfortunately, the old ones are working to entrench themselves in power. If I have time later tonight, there's another story on that subject. Not involving Olmert.


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