Barack Obama, at Cairo University, June 4, 2009. Speech was titled “A New Beginning:”
At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. (Applause.) This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop. (Applause.)
AP tonight, Karin Laub reporting:
Israeli settlers have begun building new homes at an extraordinary pace since the government lifted its moratorium on West Bank housing starts — almost 550 in three weeks, more than four times faster than the last two years.
And many homes are going up in areas that under practically any peace scenario would become part of a Palestinian state, a trend that could doom U.S.-brokered peace talks
Politico’s Laura Rozen reports:
“They’re really upset,” one Washington Middle East hand in close contact with administration officials said Tuesday. “At the end of the day, they made this incredibly good faith effort to keep Bibi at the table.” And Bibi proved as yet unwilling to budge.
“’We put our asses on the line,’” the sense of dismay among the U.S. Middle East team at Netanyahu’s rejection of the U.S. package was described. “’We worked with your defense minister and gave you this amazing deal, all the cover you needed to extend the freeze. And you not only rejected it, but put forward a counterproposal [demanding Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state] pandering to the right and a stalling tactic.’”