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Monday, January 03, 2011

Netanyahu: I could have pushed freeze through but Americans withdrew the offer

I'm pretty sure we've heard this before, but on Monday, Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that he had agreed to the 'settlement freeze' extension, but the Americans suddenly backed out of the deal (Hat Tip: Daily Alert).
Netanyahu said that contrary to what was reported, Israel did not refuse extending the freeze on West Bank settlements by three months, saying it was eventually the "United States who decided against that direction, rightfully, in my opinion."

In early December, the Obama administration announced that Washington was "ending the contacts to try to achieve another moratorium" after months of heavy negotiations to offer Israel a series of U.S. guarantees in exchange for the freeze.

"I told Obama that I am prepared to go with this to the cabinet and that I will be able to enforce the move, but then I received the surprising phone call from the Americans who said they no longer demand that Israel extends the freeze," Netanyahu explained.

"The Americans were right in saying that the settlement freeze will lead to a dead end, in which we would have entered an endless path of settlement freezes, but despite it all I agreed to go through with it," he emphasized.
Something here doesn't fit. If Netanyahu knew that the 'settlement freeze' was such a bad idea, why didn't he try convincing Obama of that?

On Sunday, Netanyahu said he wanted 'non-stop talks' with the 'Palestinians.' But that's not going to happen and Netanyahu knows it. So is he just trying to kiss up to Obama by saying things like that? Why? Obama is about to start a congressional session that will be very difficult for him. Why is Netanyahu trying to kiss up to him now?

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At 9:32 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Netanyahu's remarks are not meant for Obama. They meant at bolstering Barak, who has difficulty keeping his Labor Party in the government. He faces a leadership challenge from Amram Mitzna, so there is a reason he says he supported an extension of the freeze. Its all about Israeli domestic politics.

At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure is peculiar--presumably all these mugs, the Obamii, Barak, Bibi, were pretty much in the same rooms with each other hassling this freezaroonicicle over but it has been like trying to nail smoke down to jello from the beginning (tho' my wager is that the WH did pull the plug after furiously trying to box in Bibi with a Pali-friendly deal)--the back and forth spin continues now as to whether Obama officials were or were not pinning the donkey tail on Barak for the debacle:



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