U.S. Assurances and the Settlement Freeze

(Jerusalem Post) Barry Rubin - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu couldn't continue the freeze because there isn't enough support in his coalition for doing so. Minor U.S. offers won't change that fact. Moreover, the main underlying problem is lack of confidence that the Palestinian Authority wants peace, is willing to compromise or will implement future commitments. Consider: Why ask for a two-month extension on the freeze? Why not three or four? What is happening within two months? The U.S. election. According to the draft letter, the U.S. agrees to support measures to prevent the smuggling of weapons and terrorists into Israel after a Palestinian state is established. This is interpreted as allowing Israeli forces to stay in the Jordan Valley for several years. But Israel knows that the PA would never agree. Moreover, this would set up a situation in which an isolated Israeli force would be subject to attack by terrorists, and international condemnation when it had to intercept or kill them. The letter promises the U.S. government would veto any UN Security Council resolution against Israel for the next year. This is insulting and signals to Israeli leaders that the current administration isn't exactly reliable. It suggests that after the year is over Washington will not veto such resolutions. Finally, the U.S. pledges to sell more weapons to Israel after a peace agreement and the creation of a Palestinian state. Suggesting that this would happen if construction is frozen for two months simultaneously suggests that it won't happen otherwise, withdrawing something Israel was previously expecting. According to the media, Netanyahu politely pointed out that when the U.S. originally demanded the freeze, it promised that it would secure concessions from Arab states. This didn't happen. It also promised that the Palestinians would be responsive and fulfill their commitments. That didn't happen either. The writer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center and editor of Middle East Review of International Affairs and Turkish Studies.

2010-10-04 10:37:09

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive