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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Israel to renege on commitment to demolish 'outposts'

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. With the Obama administration disavowing a 2004 letter from George W. Bush that promised that Israel would be able to retain 'settlement blocs,' reports the Jerusalem Post, the Netanyahu government has decided that it is not bound by one of the commitments that Ariel Sharon undertook in return for that letter: A commitment to dismantle 23-26 'illegal outposts' that were built after March 2001. Instead, each 'outpost' will be evaluated individually, and if it was built on state land (as opposed to land privately owned by 'Palestinians') it will apparently be allowed to stay.
In part, this is because the promise to dismantle the outposts was made in the framework of wider understandings with the Bush administration that provided for continued home-building at settlements Israel is likely to retain under a permanent accord with the Palestinians. Since, under the Obama administration, those wider understandings gave way to a demand, accepted by Netanyahu in November, for a moratorium on all new home-building throughout the settlements, the Post was told by one senior official, Israel no longer regards itself as having to go through with the outpost demolitions on the basis of that pledge to the US.

The official’s comments confirm a remark made to the Post during an Independence Day interview with Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Ya’alon recalled that Netanyahu, soon after becoming prime minister, reiterated the promise previously made by prime ministers Sharon and Olmert to demolish the 23 hilltop communities, which are peppered all over the West Bank.

"He [Netanyahu] said we accept our commitment regarding dismantling 23 outposts that were defined by the Sharon government as illegal,” said Ya’alon.

But that changed, Ya’alon said, after a dispute broke out with the Obama administration regarding the significance and validity of Sharon’s understandings with the Bush administration about settlement growth.

“He [Netanyahu] accepted that [commitment to demolish the outposts], until it became clear that the US administration does not accept the commitments of the previous administrations.”


Likud Minister Yuli Edelstein added on Tuesday that the issue of which – if any – outposts would be razed would now be determined on the basis of the legal status of the land in each specific case, and the completion of all the necessary legal procedures, not on the basis of Israel’s pledge to the US.

Added Edelstein, the minister of information and Diaspora affairs: “There were all kinds of understandings that the other side [the US] no longer views as valuable. As a result we do not have to blindly fulfill everything. There are legal procedures in this country and we have to follow them.”

A third government official explained that Israel had three choices regarding the outposts: dismantle them right away, legalize them retroactively, or, when challenged by left-wing groups over the issue in petitions to the High Court of Justice, “buy time” by taking steps to assess their status. It is that third course that the state has been following when challenged in the courts, the official said.

The 23 outposts were all established during the Sharon prime ministership – hence his willingness, in discussions with the US, to offer the pledge to take them down. Only the status of the largest of the 23, Migron [pictured above. CiJ], home to 46 families in the Binyamin region, has been determined; because it is built on private Palestinian land, it is to be relocated to the nearby Adam settlement.

The status of some of the 80 other outposts, which were set up in the 1990s, is being challenged in the courts by left-wing groups as well.
I can't wait to hear what the State Department has to say about this. Well, you can't have your cake and eat it too. If you won't honor your commitments to us, we won't honor ours to you.

Now, if only the government takes the same tack regarding its commitments to the 'Palestinians.'


At 10:45 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel's government should move quickly to legalize them and to disband the Yassam police. No civilized country employs cops to demolish homes and evict people out on the streets for blatantly political reasons.

It is time to put a stop to the practice and yes since the US government has disavowed its Road Map undertakings to Israel, Israel is freed of the need to keep its commitments to the US. What goes around comes around and the State Department has no moral right to complain about it.

At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gosh, i really wish israel would work harder on changing the terms used

take a page from the book of those who are pro abortion

no one calls themselves pro abortion...they call themselves pro choice...no matter what the other side says

dont use the language of the enemy

there are no settlements...there are towns

there are no settlers, there are residents

people who live in east jerusalem, live in jerusalem

i live in west hollywood...if i walk across the street, it is still west hollywood

israel needs to hire a better pr dude

At 2:32 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Bacci40 is right. Stop using the language of the enemy.

They are not settlements, and those are not settlers. They are towns and villages, the people are towns people and villagers.

Establishing a new town on land owned by someone else isn't a good thing to do. But on land owned by the state, it should be fine.

The US administration will be apoplectic over this. As Carl said, sauce for the goose. The Obami should have considered their position prior to taking on the role of the 'palis' lawyer.

The US administration's actions and words to date have been unhelpful. No, thats not right. They have been downright dangerous to any prospect for peace.

Mr Obama's personal touch on US foreign policy will take decades to repair. Pray we can get this fool and his administration out of office in 2012, and defang them in 7 months by voting his party out of power. It doesn't matter if you cannot stand republicans, the Obami is so antithetical to all we jews hold dear, that there should be no consideration to providing aid and comfort to our enemies, who currently hold power in the white house and congress. If you can't bring yourself to vote republican, then throw your vote away for the greens, the libertarians, or the taxpayer party.


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