Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Netanyahu : 'Jerusalem Is Not A Settlement"


Bibi ain't backing down, at least on Jerusalem.

Bibi delivered what amounted to a defiant reply to the White House in a speech to the pro-Israel group AIPAC last night,insisting on Israel's right to construct housing in Jerusalem. He reminded his listeners that the new housing did not actually violate any commitment he'd made, as the temporary settlement freeze always excluded Jerusalem.

"The connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel cannot be denied.The connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem cannot be denied," Netanyahu says. "The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 year ago and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today.Jerusalem is not a settlement.It is our capital."

"Everyone knows that these neighborhoods will be part of Israel in any peace settlement.Therefore, building them in no way precludes the possibility of a two-state solution," Netanyahu said.

"Peace requires reciprocity .It cannot be a one-way street in which only Israel makes concessions. Israel stands ready to make the compromises necessary for peace. But we expect the Palestinian leaders to compromise as well," he said.

The rhetoric went over extraordinarily well with the AIPAC crowd, and Bibi's visit to Congress today also went well. But tonight Bibi has a one on one with Barack Obama, and that's not likely to go as smoothly.

Netanyahu will be getting the same sort of treatment meted out to only one other world leader - the Dalai Lama.He'll come in through the back way and meet with Obama is a small side room off of the Oval Office, no press, photo ops or even photographers allowed.

So, what will they talk about? Bibi will want to talk about Iran, but Obama's sole focus is likely to get answers to the previous demands he made of Israel.

According to my sources, the Obama Administration had previously presented what amounted to an ultimatum to Netanyahu, the one secretary of State Clinton insisted that they were 'awaiting a reply' on.

The demands contained in that ultimatum were pretty much as follows. Obama wanted a firm commitment from Netanyahu to curtail the Ramat Schlomo development in Jerusalem. He insisted that the Netanyahu government extend the ten month temporary freeze on construction Netanyahu agreed on to include East Jerusalem,and for that freeze to be made permanent in both areas after the ten month moratorium period runs out in September for as long as peace negotiations with the Palestinians go on.

And finally, Obama demanded further 'good will' concessions to Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, most notably the freeing of a large number of murderous terrorists convicted in Israeli civilian courts.

The Israelis were reportedly threatened that unless they knuckled under, there would be a de facto boycott of its ministers being received by any high level Obama Administration officials, which would adversely affect diplomatic and security cooperation between Israel and the US.

Abbas was obviously put in the loop on this by some friends of his in DC, because he immediately demanded not only a total freeze in Judea, Samaria and ALL of Jerusalem but the freeing of over 2,000 terrorists by the Israelis as a price just for returning to talks.

Abbas' list includes a number of the worst prisoners sentenced to long terms for multiple murders of Israeli civilians, the group most distinguished with what the Israelis describe as having 'blood on their hands.' The Israelis have consistently refused to free these people - the outcry from the victim's families would be a political disaster if nothing else - and Abbas is perfectly aware of this.

It says a lot about the Palestinian Authority's level of civilization that they would even want some of these people walking around free.

As for Netanyahu, there's no way he could publicly agree to any of the Obama Administration's demands without his government falling. SO he will likely at least attempt to mollify Obama by proposing other 'good will' concessions that fall short of Obama's demands, but he will likely not agree to much else and simply try to wait Obama out, which will likely mean at least until the midterms and probably until there's another president in office.

Part of Obama's problem is that he simply doesn't have that much leverage on Netanyahu left at this point. He's already almost about as far along the road to a break with Israel as he can go given the generally pro-Israel slant of Congress. Obama has already trashed previous agreements with Israel, threatened an aid cutoff and instituted what amounts to a de facto arms embargo.

Also, at this point, Netanyahu understands that not only is Obama unlikely to keep any commitments he makes to Israel, but that Obama is not going to do a damned thing about the one issue Netanyahu is most concerned about - stopping Iran from going nuclear.

That's the most important message Obama is sending out, and one that resonates with both our friends and our enemies.

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B.Poster said...

Jersusalem is no more a settlement for Israel than Phoenix, AZ or Los Angeles, CA is for America. These lands were taken from Mexico in the Mexican/American war and, to this day, Mexico wants them back. All construction in these areas should be banned until we can reach an agreement with Mexico.

Some how I don't expect the US to start banning construction in these areas. To expect Israel to halt construction is at best inconsistent on our part, at least it is hypocritical on our part and at worst down right evil. I'm still thinking about glass houses. Those who live in them should not throw stones.

louielouie said...

He'll come in through the back way and meet with Obama is a small side room off of the Oval Office, no press, photo ops or even photographers allowed.

i believe i understand the point ff is making here.
allow me to offer the opposition viewpoint.
if i were bibi, that is the only way i would consider meeting this st*^& %$*king son of # *()^&.
and i would only extend my middle finger, not my hand.
and while i'm at it, i would have some of my bodyguards give that rahm ^&$#head a ......... how do you say wedgy for life in hebrew?
as i previously stated, i understand the point ff is making. i hope ff understands the point i am making.

Right Truth said...

It there ever was a perfect quote for the day, it is Netanyahu saying "Jerusalem is not a settlement.It is our capital."

Obama should be ashamed of himself, vile, wicked,... it is easy to see whose side he is on and it is NOT Israel.

Right Truth