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July 22, 2011

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Strategic Implications of Israel's Natural Gas Finds - Alex Joffe (Jewish Ideas Daily)
    Trillions of cubic feet of natural gas have been discovered in several fields off Israel's coastline.
    Gas-receiving terminals include the infrastructure to process raw natural gas and remove contaminants, as well as storage tanks and links to distribution systems.
    They may also include facilities to create liquefied gas for transportation and storage by radically reducing its volume. Such facilities have the explosive potential of small nuclear weapons.
    In Israel's case, any such facility will automatically become a major target for adversaries ranging from Hamas to Iran.
    Already the single pipeline carrying natural gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan has been repeatedly attacked, and Israel's electrical power stations at Hadera and Ashkelon have been targeted by, respectively, Hizbullah and Hamas rockets.

Israel Helps U.S. Catch Trade Secrets Thief - Hiawatha Bray (Boston Globe)
    Elliot Doxer, 42, of Brookline, was arrested last October after he handed trade secrets he stole from his employer, Akamai Technologies Inc. of Cambridge, to an undercover agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer.
    In June 2006, Doxer sent an e-mail to the Israeli consulate in Boston offering to spy on his employer. The Israelis informed U.S. law enforcement officials, who set up a sting operation.
    The U.S. attorney's office in Boston praised the cooperation it received from Akamai and the government of Israel.

Syria: Past the Point of No Return - Paul Salem (National Interest)
    After four months of repression, the protests in Syria are getting larger. The government is using about 50,000 Special Forces to combat the unrest, but every Friday many times that number are out on the streets.
    Although Damascus and Aleppo, the two largest cities, are still relatively calm, Hama, Homs and several other towns and areas are in near-open rebellion.
    The unrest has economic consequences that are pushing the Syrian state closer to collapse.
    Business and trade are down 50%, unemployment has doubled, food and electricity shortages are escalating, $20 billion has already left the country, and the government is printing money at a furious pace, which risks a rapid devaluation of the national currency.

U.S. May Be Compelled to Transfer Hizbullah Fighter to Iraqis (AP-Fox News)
    A Hizbullah commander held in Baghdad by the U.S. military and considered a threat to American troops could be transferred soon to Iraqi authorities, and U.S. security officials worry he could escape or even be freed.
    Ali Mussa Daqduq worked with Iranian agents to train Shiite militias who targeted American soldiers in Iraq, according to the U.S. military. He was captured in 2007 and U.S. officials have linked him to a 2007 raid in which four American soldiers were abducted and killed in Karbala.
    Iraq's shoddy record on detainee security and its recent efforts to improve diplomatic ties with Iran have made U.S. authorities skittish about turning over Daqduq.
    "He's the worst of the worst," said Bob Baer, a former CIA officer who has spent years tracking Hizbullah. "He has American blood on his hands. If released, he'll go back to shedding more of it."

Egypt's Military Rulers Ban Foreign Election Observers - Kristen Chick (Christian Science Monitor)
    Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said Wednesday that elections will be delayed to November, two months later than originally expected.
    International monitors will not be permitted, said Maj.-Gen. Mamdouh Shahin, the military council's legislative adviser.

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Online: Israel vs. Hamas (Strategy Page)
    In Gaza, Hamas recently issued a warning to those playing online games. Israel has recruiters in these games who pass themselves off as Arabs and troll for likely candidates to be informants for Israel. Israel offers cash, goods or favors for information. There are always takers.
    In addition, the Israelis gain a lot of information via electronic intelligence work and UAVs that are constantly in the air over Gaza.
    In the West Bank, Israel has operatives who can pass as Arabs and speak fluent Arabic (with a Palestinian accent). In Gaza, the Israelis use pro-Fatah Palestinians.
    Israel recruits people in Arab telecom companies, a lot of people. Some get caught. But Israel has been able to hack into cell phone systems and monitor the Internet in Arab countries. Information, for Israel, is a matter of survival.

In New Egypt, Old Conspiracies Live On - David E. Miller (Media Line-Jerusalem Post)
    When a European laboratory announced two weeks ago that an infected shipment of Egyptian fenugreek seeds was the source of an E. coli epidemic that killed 48 Germans and a Swede, Egyptian Agriculture Minister Ayman Abu-Hadid explained to the Egyptian press, "Israel is waging a commercial war against Egyptian exports."
    In June, Deputy Prime Minister Yehia El-Gamal told the Lebanese news site Al-Nashra that Israel was inciting sectarian strife between Muslims and Christians in the country.
    "Conspiracy theories are part of the texture of our culture," said Hani Henry, a psychology professor at the American University in Cairo. "Even if we have a democratic government, the problem will not go away."
    "Old habits die hard," said Marina Ottaway, an expert on Arab politics at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "However, neither Israel nor the U.S. figures prominently in what is happening in Egypt. They are not motivating the actions of the participants."

Where Families Are Prized, Help Is Free - Dina Kraft (New York Times)
    Israel is the world capital of in vitro fertilization and Assuta Hospital in Tel Aviv, which performs about 7,000 of the procedures each year, is one of the busiest fertilization clinics in the world.
    Unlike countries where couples can go broke trying to conceive with the assistance of costly medical technology, Israel provides free, unlimited IVF procedures for up to two "take-home babies" until a woman is 45.
    Israelis already have a high fertility rate: an average of 2.9 children per family.
    A survey published by the journal Human Reproduction Update in 2002 showed that 1,657 in vitro fertilization procedures per million people per year were performed in Israel, compared with 899 in Iceland, the country with the second highest rate, and 126 in the U.S.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israel Sees Libya as New Source of Arms for Gaza - Dan Williams and Alistair Lyon
    Libya has become a new source of smuggled weaponry for Palestinians in Gaza, Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon said on Thursday. With eastern Libya largely held by rebels, arms were being brought across the border, through Egypt, to the Islamist Hamas-ruled territory. "Weapons are available in Libya as a result of the unstable situation there, and Hamas has exploited it to buy weapons from Libyan smugglers," Ya'alon said. (Reuters)
  • Assad's Troops Besiege Damascus Suburb after Protests - Khaled Yacoub Oweis
    Troops commanded by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's brother Maher surrounded a suburb in the capital Damascus on Wednesday. "Hundreds of Fourth Division troops have sealed off all of Harasta's dozen entrances," said a resident. "Water, electricity and phones have been cut."  (Reuters)
  • Israeli Ambassador Seeks "Moral Minority" at UN - Colum Lynch
    As the Palestinians seek to gain UN recognition as an independent state in September, Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor says, "We are seeking a moral minority of countries who would oppose this move." Palestinian officials insist they have secured commitments from 122 countries - just shy of the 129 required for the 2/3 majority needed to pass a non-binding General Assembly resolution declaring a Palestinian state. Only the Security Council has the authority to approve new UN members.
        President Obama has said that Israel can count on the diplomatic backing of the U.S. (whose veto power in the Security Council will come in handy if a vote for Palestinian sovereignty is ever held there). Israeli officials are also confident they can split the European Union vote in the General Assembly. The Obama administration has urged the Palestinians to avoid a confrontation at the UN over statehood, saying it would do little to advance their aspirations for independence. Direct negotiations with the Israelis, they say, offers the only hope of a viable, independent Palestinian state. (Foreign Policy)
        See also Israel Prepares for Unrest as Palestinians Press for Recognition - Calev Ben-David
    Israel's army is reinforcing points on its frontiers and boosting stockpiles of rubber bullets and tear gas as it prepares for possible unrest as Palestinians press ahead with a drive for full UN recognition. Palestinians disappointed by results at the UN or at the failure of a statehood resolution to deliver immediate results may resort to protests or violence, a senior officer said.
        The military is boosting its stock of non-lethal crowd-control equipment, which includes at least two dozen trucks fitted with water cannons that spray a foul-smelling "skunk water" at protesters. The military will also assign a soldier to each platoon dealing with any disturbances to videotape the action as it unfolds and send it to the spokesman's office for distribution. (Bloomberg)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Lebanon Signs Energy Exploration Deal with Iran - Nafez Qawas
    The Lebanese Cabinet approved Wednesday a memorandum of understanding with Iran's Petroleum Ministry that allows Iran to assist Lebanon with gas and oil exploration. Hizbullah-affiliated Al-Manar television said the agreement was worth $50 million. (Daily Star-Lebanon)
        See also UN Ready to Intervene in Dispute over Israel-Lebanon Maritime Border - Patrick Galey
    A senior diplomatic source said Thursday that high-ranking UN officials were "open" to the idea of intervening in the demarcation of a sea border between Lebanon and Israel, in order to allow each country to legitimately commence fossil fuel exploration. (Daily Star-Lebanon)
  • Fall of Mubarak Allows Terror Groups to Smuggle Huge Quantities of Arms into Gaza - Ron Ben-Yishai
    The immediate beneficiaries of the "Arab Spring" are Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. After the removal of Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood is no longer an underground movement and has become an important, influential political element. The group's influence prompted Egypt's government to completely halt construction of the underground metal obstacle built with American assistance in a bid to block smuggling tunnels. The Egyptian regime has virtually suspended its battle against smuggling into Gaza.
        Simultaneously, Egyptian security forces preoccupied with domestic developments completely lost their hold on the Sinai Peninsula. Some 300,000 Bedouins belonging to four or five large tribes are now Sinai's true rulers. These tribes' main income is based on smuggling to Gaza. As result, arms shipments have been surging in recent months: Everything that has been sent by the Iranians in recent years and was hidden by the Bedouins has flowed freely into Gaza in the past five months. Meanwhile, new shipments arrived and were transferred to Hamas and Islamic Jihad without delay.
        Consequently, terror groups in Gaza doubled their rocket arsenals. Today, they possess some 10,000 rockets, a number similar to the Hizbullah arsenal in the Second Lebanon War. Gaza terror groups hold thousands of mid-range Grad rockets, and a few heavy Fajr rockets that have a range of some 40 miles and can reach just south of Tel Aviv. (Ynet News)
  • Ya'alon: Ankara Making Israel-Turkey Reconciliation Impossible - Barak Ravid
    Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Thursday that he does not see a possibility for reconciliation between Israel and Turkey in light of Ankara's insistence that Israel apologize over last year's Gaza flotilla incident. "The stubbornness of the Turks cannot lead to reconciliation and I do not see any possibility to bridge the gap between the two sides," Ya'alon told foreign journalists. Ya'alon recently conducted three rounds of talks with Turkish representatives in Geneva and New York.
        "We were ready from the beginning to reach a deal with the Turks and I told them that we are prepared to compensate those killed in the IDF raid...but we do not intend on apologizing, because that would mean taking responsibility for what has occurred. The IDF's Mavi Marmara operation was an act of self-defense."  (Ha'aretz)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):


  • Palestinians Face a Dangerous UN Clash on Statehood - Ziad J. Asali
    A potentially dangerous confrontation looms in September over the question of Palestinian statehood, one that threatens significant negative consequences for all parties. It is in the interests of all constructive actors to find a compromise that avoids such a confrontation. As Palestinians started pursuing this policy, several crucial facts become clear:
        First, the U.S. indicated unequivocally that it would veto in the Security Council a Palestinian application for UN membership, making such membership impossible at this time. Moreover, Congress has sent a strong message that UN action on Palestinian statehood would result in a cutoff of U.S. aid, and the U.S. is the single biggest donor to the PA.
        Second, Palestinian hopes for securing support for UN membership from a unified European community have been dashed by the open opposition of Germany and the Netherlands, and by a lack of support from nations such as Britain and France, which hold key swing votes.
        The significant gains that Palestinians have made recently in building institutions and preparing for their state must not be put at risk. Countries that support a potential Palestinian confrontation with the U.S. at the UN should be ready to shield Palestinians from its financial, political and security consequences. If not, they should help them find a workable compromise. The writer is founder and president of the American Task Force on Palestine. (Washington Post)
  • Hamas' Internal Challenge: The Political and Ideological Impact of Violent Salafist Groups in Gaza - Benedetta Berti
    The official narrative portrays the Hamas government as solidly in charge of Gaza. However, the kidnapping and killing of an Italian activist by a local Salafist cell and the Salafists' repeated defiance of Hamas' restrictions on rocket fire against Israel have highlighted the tense relations between the Hamas government and the violent Salafist groups operating within Gaza.
        Salafism, a revivalist movement within Sunni Islam, has been present in Gaza since the early 1970s when, led by Sheikh Salim Sharab, a number of Palestinian clerics trained in Saudi Arabia returned to spread their vision of Islam. The Palestinian Salafist-jihadists are all interested in challenging Hamas and its government. This attitude has been effectively summarized by Kata'ib al-Tawhid's leader Abu Abdhallah, who stated that his group aims "to overthrow Hamas and set up an Islamic caliphate in Gaza."
        Despite their relative military weakness, the violent Salafist network embodies an ideological challenge to the Hamas government, questioning its Islamic identity and its commitment to fighting against Israel. In turn, these accusations have a concrete impact upon Hamas' policymaking, as the Islamist movement feels additional pressure to publicly demonstrate its support of jihad against Israel. Indeed, the violent Salafist cause has captured the allegiance of many dissatisfied members of Hamas' military wing. The writer is a research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. (Strategic Assessment-INSS)

  • Syria

  • The U.S. and Syria: A Tale of Two Embassies - David Schenker
    During a handful of peaceful protests outside the Syrian embassy in Washington, no one threw tomatoes or attempted to scale the fence. The embassy and its staff are safe here, no matter how much most Americans might detest a government that has helped kill American troops in Iraq, while supporting attacks against U.S. allies in Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories.
        Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's latest outrage against the U.S. was the assault on our embassy in Damascus on July 11. The president's father, Hafez, orchestrated a raid of the ambassador's residence in 1998 when he ruled the nation. Under Bashar, the U.S. embassy was stormed in 2000. During the incursion, a Syrian attempted to desecrate the American flag and was met atop the embassy roof by a U.S. Marine, who - after drawing his sidearm - informed the protestor that should the flag hit the ground, the protestor would soon follow.
        If the White House has chosen to stand with the Syrian people's demands for freedom, the pressure on the Assad regime will increase. And if the past is any indication, the regime will respond - in Washington or in Damascus - by threatening, intimidating, and, quite likely, attacking its adversaries. The writer is director of the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (Weekly Standard)
  • Time for Syria to Move Away from Assad - Clifford D. May
    Under the oppressive rule of Bashar al-Assad, Syria has been the primary agent of Iran's ruling jihadis within the Arab world. It has been the patron of Hizbullah, the militia that has been carrying out a slow-motion coup in Lebanon. And it has been a welcoming host to Hamas and other terrorist groups whose most immediate target is Israel. If Assad falls, the Arab Spring becomes a much sunnier season. Hizbullah and Hamas would be weakened. Lebanon would have another chance. Israel would feel a little safer. Assad's ouster would be consequential. So, too, would be Assad's survival. The writer is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Scripps Howard)

  • Other Issues

  • Turkish Demand for Israeli Apology over Flotilla Is Not Reasonable - Efraim Inbar
    Even a UN investigation (the Palmer Committee) dealing with last year's flotilla incident apparently concluded that Israel's actions were perfectly legal. Moreover, the Turks on the ship were provocateurs, members of a terrorist organization, and violently resisted a legal attempt to take over the ship. As a matter of fact, Jerusalem deserves an apology and compensation.
        While good relations with Turkey are indeed quite valuable, the deterioration in relations is not due to Israeli actions but to a major reorientation in Turkish foreign policy under the ruling Islamist AKP party. AKP-led Turkey is purposefully distancing itself from the West, wants to improve relations with its Muslim neighbors, and entertains ambitions to lead the Muslim world. Within this framework, good relations with Israel are a burden. An unjustified Israeli apology will not repair relations, as Turkey is no longer interested in a strategic partnership. The writer is professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and director of its Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Bring Those Indicted in 1994 Argentina Bombing to Trial - Matthew Levitt
    Seventeen years ago this week, Hizbullah operatives working closely with Iranian intelligence blew up the Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and wounding 300 more. Argentinean authorities conducted an extensive investigation, with significant international cooperation, and concluded that "the decision to carry out the AMIA attack was made, and the attack was orchestrated, by the highest officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the time, and that these officials instructed Lebanese carry out the attack."
        Argentinian prosecutors concluded that the decision to bomb the AMIA building was made at a meeting of Iran's Supreme National Security Council in Mashhad on August 14, 1993, where senior Iranian leaders approved the bombing plot and selected the AMIA building as the target. Iranian intelligence chief Ali Fallahian was given overall operational responsibility for the attack, and Qods Force Commander Ahmad Vahidi - who today serves as Iran's Minister of Defense - was instructed to provide any necessary assistance. Fallahian turned to Hizbullah's Imad Mughniyeh to execute the attack. The writer directs the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (Jerusalem Post)
  • The Hate that Dares Not Speak Its Name - Walter Russell Mead
    Anti-Semitism is alive and well and not even particularly rare; it's just that many of today's anti-Semites like to think of themselves as enlightened, modern people. Since Hitler's death, the world has defined anti-Semitism down. To believe that Jews control public discourse and the media and bend the gentile masses to their sinister agenda is the essence of old fashioned anti-Semitism.
        People of good will everywhere should remember the need to fight one of the most vicious forms of prejudice that the world has ever known. Prejudice never recognizes itself; anti-Semites honestly think their delusional beliefs about Jews are simple, obvious truths. They are not. Anti-Semitism is real, it is murderous, and it is very much with us today. Whatever your religion, your politics, your views about Israeli policy, fighting anti-Semitism is part of what it means to be a decent human being. (American Interest)
  • The Demise of Postcolonial Frameworks in the Arab World - Shlomo Avineri
    The independence of South Sudan is a sign of the disintegration of postcolonial frameworks which, in the name of Arab nationalist ideology, tried to forcefully impose solidarity and uniformity in places where there were many differences. It was preceded by the de-facto autonomy of the Kurds in northern Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. There is still no guarantee that Iraq itself, split between a Shi'ite majority and a Sunni minority, will continue to exist as a coherent body politic.
        In Syria, the demonstrations against the Alawite regime of the Assad family are being spearheaded by broad sectors of the Sunni majority. Even in Libya it is becoming clear that the rebels' control of Benghazi and eastern parts of the country - while Gaddafi is succeeding for now to maintain control in Tripoli and the west - reflects a historical split between eastern Cyrenaica and western Tripolitania, which were merged into one Libyan entity only under Italian colonial rule.
        Although demonstrations in recent months focused on opposition to dictatorial regimes, from the moment the power-based status quo was undermined, phenomena related to the ethnic and religious complexity of countries once considered to have a uniform Arab national character have been surfacing. The writer, professor of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, served as director-general of Israel's Foreign Ministry. (Ha'aretz)

  • Weekend Features

  • The Most Foolish Story about Israel Ever Published in the New York Times - Jonathan S. Tobin
    According to the New York Times, Israelis have been inspired by their counterparts in Tunisia, Egypt and Syria to demonstrate against their government's economic policies. Not only is there not even the faintest connection with Arab efforts to overthrow authoritarian tyrants, the idea Israelis needed Arab inspiration to generate protests against the government of the day is simply absurd.
        Anyone who has spent even a small amount of time in Israel can tell you that street demonstrations, protest tents or movements based on dissatisfaction with the status quo are a staple of the country's political culture. In my visits I am hard pressed to remember a time when there weren't protests of some sort going on.
        The political culture of Israel is inherently anarchic. Protests, strikes and all forms of public disagreements are not exceptional, they are ordinary. The notion that Israel has anything to learn from the fledgling Arab attempts to hold their rulers accountable is laughable. (Commentary)
        See also The New York Times' Flotilla Bias - Andrea Levin
    The New York Times compares the latest Gaza flotilla, led by radical anti-Israel extremists and terrorist groups, with the efforts of Holocaust survivors in pre-state Israel to breach the British blockade onboard the Exodus. The outrageous, false analogy is cast as the viewpoint of "some" unnamed persons who "see a parallel." The thrust of the newspaper's nearly daily dispatches conveys a seemingly irrepressible impulse to mute and distort the openly expressed aims of the Palestinians themselves with regard to Israel, to focus instead on indictments of the Jewish state and to belittle Israeli concerns.
        The disparagement is echoed in the bizarre use of, for instance, the word "scuffle" to characterize the attacks on Israelis during the 2010 flotilla crisis. Soldiers were beaten unconscious, stabbed and thrown off an upper deck, prompting an extensive, violent exchange in which nine flotilla members were killed. The writer is president and executive director of CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, (Washington Jewish Week)
  • Transitioning from a Pro-Palestinian to Pro-Israel Perspective - Philip Mendez
    There is no doubt that my emotional sympathies have switched since the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada in September 2000. The indiscriminate violence and extremism of the second intifada finally removed my infantile prioritizing of one form of national rights over another. I now accepted that the Palestinians had and always have had political choices, and that their actions seemed to be driven by a zero-sum political culture which demanded absolute rather than partial justice.
        The malevolence and irrationality of the second intifada also helped me to finally understand the factors that caused the 1948 Palestinian Naqba or "catastrophe." On both occasions (1947-48 and 2000-02) the Palestinians had initiated a conflict and lost. They had then blamed the Israeli victims of their aggression for acting in self-defense and winning instead of acknowledging that the war had been a horrible error.
        In 1948, the Arab states had refused to take responsibility for resettling the Palestinian refugees as permanent and equal citizens in their countries as the Israelis had done with an equally large number of Jewish refugees from Arab countries, and instead duped the refugees into believing that they would be able to return to their former homes inside Israel. Similarly in 2000-02, the Palestinian leadership refused to acknowledge that their actions had caused the deaths and injuries of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis, and achieved absolutely nothing.
        If the Palestinians had not reneged on the commitment they made in the Oslo Accord to peaceful negotiations, they almost certainly would have had an independent state with the support of Israel by the end of 2001. The writer is a senior lecturer in social policy and community development at Monash University. (ABC-Australia)
  • Israel: The World's Second Silicon Valley - Emma Barnett
    Israel, the 100th smallest country in the world, can fit into Europe 459 times. Yet it has the highest number of companies listed on the NASDAQ after America. It also has the highest number of high-tech start-ups outside of the U.S., estimated to be 3,500, ranging from Internet companies to software solutions. Snaptu, a mobile application platform (acquired earlier this year by Facebook for $60-70m) and ICQ, the first Internet instant messaging service (bought by AOL in 1998 for approximately $400m) are a couple of the high-profile Israeli start-ups to have been snapped up by major web players.
        Gilad Japhet, the founder and chief executive of a popular social networking site for families, noted: "Israelis are incredibly good at problem-solving. They are trained to never accept barriers and always try and solve an issue - no matter how difficult it is. This makes Israel very strong in technology....People here usually like to solve digital issues for businesses."   (Telegraph-UK)

Netanyahu to Arab World: Israel Seeks a Partner for Peace (Prime Minister's Office)

In a transcript released Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Al-Arabiya television:

  • Interviewer: The Palestinians say that you have left them no choice in fact but to go to the United make a bid for statehood.
    PM Netanyahu: I challenge the premise and the question, because here's what I did. The first day that I came in I called for direct negotiations without preconditions. Shortly afterwards I lifted 400 roadblocks and checkpoints, allowing the growth of the Palestinian economy. Third, I called for two states for two peoples in my speech in Bar-Ilan University. Fourth, I agreed on a freeze on new construction in the settlements. Fifth, I agreed with President Obama, if necessary, for another three-month extension of the freeze. So these are five things I did. I think we've shown we really want the negotiations to come.
  • We've just wasted two years on a non-issue or an issue that has to be negotiated, the settlements. The entire built-up area of the settlements takes up 2% of the West Bank. It doesn't gobble up the West Bank, it doesn't preempt the map of a Palestinian state. It's a side issue.
  • I think that the Palestinians are missing a great opportunity. There is a government here and a prime minister here who, exactly contrary to the received wisdom, is able to deliver a peace settlement and wants to deliver the peace settlement. You can't do it if you're a marginal party in Israel or if you don't represent the large consensus. [Menachem] Begin did it once and I can do it again, but I need a partner.
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