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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Time to make a commitment

The Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria (Yesha council) is urging Prime Minister Netanyahu to notify the US now that there will be no extension of the 'settlement freeze,' even if that means that no 'direct talks' with the 'Palestinians' will take place.
The Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip sent a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, calling on him to have Defense Minister Ehud Barak immediately sign on September 26 orders allowing for the building of West Bank projects that have already passed through all the relevant planning committees.

The letter called on Netanyahu to make his intentions known to approve the construction even before he goes to Washington, and that if Barak refuses to sign, for the prime minister to do so himself.

“Avoiding authorizing the tenders already on September 26 is like continuing the freeze, with all that implies diplomatically, publicly and politically,” the letter read. “That is judgment day.”

Also speaking ahead of the imminent onset of long-sought direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, a senior American official said on Tuesday that the US administration expects that neither side will take any measure to poison the atmosphere or derail the talks.

The official, in a briefing in Jerusalem with Israeli journalists, was asked repeatedly, and in various variations, how the administration would react to an end to the settlement housing-start moratorium on September 26. The official would not answer directly, but only repeated the mantra about Washington expecting that both sides not do anything to harm the atmosphere or derail the talks.

The official then went to Ramallah for a similar briefing with Palestinian reporters.
I don't believe Netanyahu will give Washington any notice like that before he goes there next week for the 'talks.' But a complete renewal of the freeze is unpalatable to most of the country. On Tuesday, Dan Meridor, the most left-leaning of the seven-member inner cabinet, urged that building be limited to the 'settlement blocs.' I would bet that is what Netanyahu will try to do, but he will try to do it in a way that will pin the blame for the talks' failure on the 'Palestinians.' After all, the only game in town right now is the Blame Game.

What could go wrong?


At 3:05 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Its not like Israel is planning to establish new revanants any time soon. And building in areas Israel is going to keep anyway should be a non-issue with the Palestinians and the international community.

I expect Israel to announce the freeze will end but it will throw Washington and the Palestinians a bone by announcing there will be no new revanant construction outside Jerusalem and the existing settlement blocs.

Of course, that won't be good enough for Abu Bluff but I bet there's nothing Israel could offer him these days he would find more than sufficient.


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