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Monday, June 08, 2009

Flashback: U.S. Amb. Kurtzer: "US policy is the support that the President has given for the retention by Israel of major Israeli population centers"

In March 2005, five months before Israel expelled all of the Jewish residents of Gaza, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer was interviewed by Israel Television's Cable Channel 10 and by Israel Radio regarding President Bush's commitments to Israel on the question of 'settlement blocs.'
#1 Interview with Israel Television Channel Ten
American Embassy Tel Aviv - Press Section
U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer Interview with Israel Television Channel Ten
March 25, 2005

AMBASSADOR KURTZER: ...the President said to the Prime Minister at the time and then committed in writing that the reality is that there are Israeli population centers in the territories that are going to have to be taken into account in any final status negotiations and the outcome that the United States would support means that we are not going back to the 1967 lines. It is very clearly written in a letter that has been made public. That hasn't changed whatsoever.

QUESTION: You say they are going to be taken count and we are not going to go back to the 1967, but in this letter there is no - they don't say about Maale Adumim and Ariel. They just say it in general?

AMBASSADOR KURTZER: The letter is not specific on which place. But the President and the Prime Minister clearly understood that major Israeli population centers - which is the phrase that is used in the letter - includes major Israeli population centers. We know what they are; the people of Israel know what they are and that is going to remain American policy.

QUESTION: This is the American current view about the settlement blocs?


QUESTION: So President Bush is willing to leave settlement blocs in Israeli sovereignty in the future agreement just as Clinton was?

AMBASSADOR KURTZER: He said it clearly in the letter of last April - I can say it again to the people of Israel. The President remains committed to what he said in that letter: That in a negotiation on final status, the outcome is going to mean that Israeli major population areas in our view should remain within the State of Israel....

I believe there is full understanding between the Prime Minister and the President and between the Prime Minister's office and his advisors and the President's office and the President's advisors. Our discussions with the Prime Minister, with Dov Weissglas, Shalom Turgeman, with all of the officials who are associated with the Prime Minister's office have been very clear and quite specific and that is what allowed us last April to reach a very specific understanding that was then incorporated in a letter that the President signed and was able to make public. So, I do not believe there are any misunderstandings between us.

QUESTION: So, when Dov Weissglas says it is about Maale Adumim, about Ariel, about all the big settlement blocs, it is okay, you stand behind this thing he said.

AMBASSADOR KURTZER: The Government of Israel is going to make its statements, the American government will make its statements. When we reach understandings as we do have understandings, these are incorporated in documents such as this letter. That letter remains the President's policy, unquestionably.

... I think it is critically important, particularly now, the Prime Minister is about to go to Washington again, to understand that the United States and Israel do not have misunderstandings with respect to U.S. commitments. Those commitments are very, very firm with respect to these Israeli major population centers, our expectation that Israel is not going to be going back to the 1967 lines. This is the President's policy. This President has been very determined in having consistent and sure policy throughout his time in office. That is the reality, that is the truth.

Thank you very much.

#2 Interview with Israel Radio American Embassy Tel Aviv - Press Section
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer Interview with Israel Radio
March 25, 2005

AMBASSADOR KURTZER: ... U.S. policy is the support that the President has given for the retention by Israel of major Israeli population centers as an outcome of negotiations. It is very, very clear to both the United States and Israel what this means.

... The letter the President sent is clear in saying that when the final status negotiations reach a conclusion they must reflect the realities on the ground, especially the major Israeli population centers and the President is equally clear that it is not realistic to expect that those negotiations would result in a full and complete return to the 1967 lines. Very, very clear.

...we are in a phase now that is not formally a part of the road map -- when we get back to the road map we remain committed to the performance of all the obligations that are in that road map. That is American policy.

... Dov Weissglas is a first-class, first-rate negotiator and first-rate interlocutor for American officials. The understandings we reach with him in our discussions here in Israel and in our discussions in Washington are clear; they are without any doubts and there have been no misunderstandings between us as a result of the discussions with him or with anyone else in the Prime Minister's office.
Your witness Mrs. Clinton.


At 4:27 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

In other words, the State Department's own representative. And Secretary Clinton claims Israel is lying. Go look in the mirror.


At 8:28 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Send an email.

At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are not here for the grace of the Kurtzers or the Clintons or the Mitchells or the Obamas or the Bushes or even (le'Havdil) the Balfours for that matter.

Yes, Carl, I understand we're arguing "Afilu L'sheetatam".

But it's time we started telling the world "Lehfi Sheetateinu".

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Shy Guy,

You're right, but we also have no guarantees that He will allow us to stay here (and we have done more than enough to deserve the punishments at the end of Aharei Mot, God forbid).

So it's not just a question of l'shitatam. It's also a question of doing out hishtadlut (sorry to anyone who doesn't get all the Hebrew) to minimize the need for miracles.

If I can convince people by logic that our position is correct, that's one less miracle I'm asking for.

At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree, Carl.

Our whole hishtadlut has been to convince others by the empty promises of long gone politicians.

It's time to convince ourselves of precisely what it says in Acharei Mot and Bechukotai, among other places.

That is the Hishtadlut WE are missing. That is the lesson to Torah tells us to repeat again and again.

We are putting out fires when we should have been building with solid rock.

We are jumping every time they say jump.

We are answering them, not ourselves.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Shy Guy,

I'm all in favor of convincing ourselves. But until we do (and 'ourselves' includes all those seculars who are far from anything Jewish), we are also going to have to convince some other people.

We aren't in a position to emulate Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in the cave yet.

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


We are not in the cave yet and IY"H won't be ever again. What Romans are chasing you into hiding here?

Look at you blog posting history and ask what percentage of your articles are Le'Sheetatam versus those that are Le'Sheetateinu.

Look at the big picture. We can’t see the forest for the trees.

At 2:08 PM, Blogger YMedad said...

IMRA has another source for helping Hillary solve the "now where did we leave those records" problem they have over at State on the issue of Jewish communities staying put in places.


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