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Sunday, March 21, 2010

What did Bibi give?

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu heads for Washington on Sunday night, where he will speak at the AIPAC conference and meet with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, with President Obama, and possibly with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The unanswerd question is what those meetings will cost Israel.

On Friday, long after the Sabbath started here in Israel, Politico's Laura Rozen reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu had sent a 'written document' to Clinton, which was meant as a summary of a 40-minute phone call (yes, another one) that they had on Thursday.
The written statement was a follow-up to the call and reflected Netanyahu's understanding of what the U.S. wanted to see from him, the diplomat said. It had some language on confidence-building measures Netanyahu was proposing, although details on its contents were not explained.

The administration didn't immediately respond to queries about the alleged Netanyahu document and exactly what steps Netanyahu has agreed to.
Also on Friday, the JPost reported that Netanyahu would agree to make 'gestures' to the good terrorists from Fatah, but 'not in Jerusalem.' The gestures reportedly include the release of 'Fatah prisoners.' (Please don't tell me we're giving up Marwan Barghouti for this nonsense).

On Sunday morning, Haaretz claims that Netanyahu has bowed to US demands ahead of his trip to Washington.
For the first time since Operation Cast Lead, Israel has agreed to ease the blockade on the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu has also agreed to discuss all core issues during the proximity talks, with the condition of reaching final conclusions only in direct talks with the PA.

Netanyahu responded to Washington's demands during his telephone call with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday night. Clinton said on Friday that Netanyahu's response "was useful and productive, and we're continuing our discussions with him and his government".

The prime minister refused to revoke a decision to build 1,600 Jewish homes in Ramat Shlomo in east Jerusalem - the cause of a diplomatic row errupted during a visit to Israel by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden two weeks ago - or freeze construction beyond the Green Line in the city. He did, promise a better oversight system to prevent such embarrassing incidents ion the future, however.

Senior officials in Jerusalem said that the prime minister's gestures enabling the UN to transport construction materials to Gaza to rebuild sewerage systems, a flour mill and 150 apartments in Khan Yunis.

Netanyahu also agreed to release hundreds of Fatah-affiliated prisoners as a gesture to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, a move which the defense establishment believes could prompt the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
I'm suspicious of reports based on 'senior officials' and the like, but this sounds plausible. I'm sorry to see Bibi caving at all. The opening of the Gaza blockade is limited, but these things tend to be a slippery slope. The release of 'hundreds' of 'Fatah prisoners' is bad news especially since we now hold very few of them who do not have blood on their hands. And given that Hamas holds Gilad Shalit, I fail to see why the 'defense establishment' (not the IDF - more likely refers to Ehud Barak) believes that the release of 'Fatah prisoners' will bring about Shalit's release.

But at least the anti-Semites in Washington are agreeing to receive Netanyahu.

What could go wrong?


At 11:43 AM, Blogger Ashan said...

Dreadful news. Why is Bibi the only leader refusing to say "No" to the thuggish US regime? We're going to get screwed anyway. Why doesn't Bibi say that we're finished with concessions? The Palithugs have never made one concession, not do they intend to.

Israel's leader, with the people in nearly full support, finally has the opportunity to make a clear, definitive statement about Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the way it sees the relationship with the Palithug terror entities, and it resorts to the ruinous standby of waffling and dodging. I suspect that Ehud Barak is the source of the trouble. He usually is. But Bibi's his boss. Enough is enough!

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

May G-d bless and keep Netanyahu far away from us.

If that means that the ground should open up and swallow Netanyahu's Limo along with Barak's, so be it.

I won't shed a tear.

At 4:30 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Ashan, there is no reason for Israel to give the Palestinians anything. As I noted last night, the news reports say one thing and Lieberman says another thing. I suspect we'll soon find out now how much in fact Netanyahu did give up soon enough.

At 5:13 PM, Blogger NormanF said...


Things always look better at dawn. The reports may have been premature. We'll know this week if Netanyahu has any core principles he believes in. That is, if his comments on Jerusalem today are to be believed.


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