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Tuesday, November 16, 2010


US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley refused on Monday to confirm that the United States has offered Israel a squadron of 20 F-35 fighter jets in return for a three-month extension of the 'settlement freeze' in Judea and Samaria.
But when quizzed about the weapons offer, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, “We are committed to maintaining Israel’s qualitative edge in the region – but beyond that, I’m not going to comment."

"I would just always caution that any time you have reports about specific things, some details may be right, some details may be wrong,” Crowley said.

Earlier in the day, Defense Minister Ehud Barak [pictured. CiJ] told Army Radio that the US had made such an offer.

These jets, Barak said, have more long-term significance than the temporary friction, which exists between Netanyahu and the politicians in his party who oppose the deal.

In past talks with the US, Barak said, Israel had wanted to purchase 40 of them planes, but due to budget cuts could only afford 20.
This has made some people who are disposed to supporting the extension demand that the United States put its commitment in writing.
The security cabinet will not vote on a US proposal for a three-month settlement freeze until the Obama administration's promises are officially delivered to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in writing, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said in an interview with Army Radio on Tuesday.

The comments came after reticence by Likud ministers about the US keeping its promises, and Shas saying it would not make a decision on the freeze until such a written proposal was received.

Meridor stated that there were four major promises that he expected the US to fulfill in exchange for the freeze extension. Firstly, that the three month freeze would not be followed by any additional US requests for further moratoriums in the future. Secondly, that the US would use its position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to block Palestinian attempts to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state in the international body. Third, a military package provided to Israel by the US that would allow Israel to maintain a military advantage over its neighbors. And lastly, an assurance that the issue of borders would not be discussed independently of other core issues such as security and the right of return.


On Tuesday, Construction and Housing Minister Ariel Attias said that Shas will either vote against a proposed 90-day extension of the moratorium on settlement construction or they will abstain from such a vote, depending on the opinion of the faction's spiritual leader. Attias's comments came in an interview with Israel Radio.

"We will not support the proposal. We will either oppose it or abstain from voting, depending upon the decision of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef," said Attias.

Attias said that Shas is interested in building in Jerusalem and ensuring that any freeze would not include a moratorium on construction of homes in the capital.

Attias told Army Radio on Tuesday that Rabbi Yosef had not made his final decision because the US had not given Israel its final proposal, laying out benefits the US would give Israel in return for an extension of the freeze.
You all know what Yogi (Berra) says: It ain't over 'til it's over.

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At 6:55 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

I bet they are balking because wasn't the previous agreement that in the first "buy" (the 20 already signed), you couldn't hack in Israel's technology, but that in subsequent "buys" you could use your technology in it? I imagine this add-on 20 would constitute a "subsequent buy", so it won't surprise me if there is a waffle going on. I think Ehud Barak and Mofaz were involved with the F-16I arrangements, which have turned out well. So let it play out... hmmmm, indeed.

At 11:35 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

If Ehud Barak gets the Cabinet to buy this proposal, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to him.

Is it really worth putting the lives of Yesha's inhabitants through hell for a plane package deal that may or may not materialize in the future?

If its not guaranteed in writing, its not worth accepting. Oral promises are not binding.


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