The US says that it is “disappointed” that Israel has not extended the ban on settlement building that expired on Sunday night.
This is repugnant language. More settlements are the line in the sand for the Palestinians, and Washington ought to know it by now. It has been told often enough. There can be no meaningful negotiations, let alone peace, if while they are going on, the Israelis are stealing more Palestinian land and building new facts on the ground.The author of soon-to-drop tome The Jew Is Not My Enemy claims there's been "a sea change" in Saudi Arabia. But reading the above, it sounds like same old Jewish conspira-sea to me.
How about being “appalled” or “shocked” or “outraged”? That is what Palestinians and Arabs feel about the moratorium ending but not the talks. That is what the Americans should have said. But no. For the Obama administration it is just “disappointed.” Such a lukewarm response shows exactly where Washington’s sentiments lie. For President Barack Obama, the settlements are only a problem because the Palestinians say they are, not because Obama sees them as inherently wrong.
That is why he is not prepared to make a stand on the issue, why he thinks it is one where compromises can be made. But how can there be compromises on an issue that is at the heart of the dispute? At it’s most fundamental, the Palestinian-Israel problem is about land that has been seized and turned into a Jewish state. The settlements issue is the problem in microcosm. The Palestinians are desperate for peace, but not peace at any price. How can they talk peace while their land is still being stolen?
The fact that Obama is prepared to participate in this chicanery destroys confidence in his good intentions. He is revealed as partisan. He is not prepared to put the pressure on the Israelis on this critical issue. That is because he knows that the Israeli government will probably fall if Netanyahu agrees. He fears it could cause a backlash among Israel’s supporters and the Jewish community in the US. With midterm elections just weeks away and his own popularity severely dented, the last thing he wants to do is antagonize the Zionist lobby. For him and his administration, domestic political considerations come first. Getting Democrats re-elected is more important than peace in the Middle East...