In response to a question about the Jordan Valley at a press conference in Davos on Friday Netanyahu wowed the crowd and made headlines by saying he didn’t intend to evacuate any settlements or uproot even one Israeli. Let’s take a look:
“I do not intend to evacuate any settlements or uproot a single Israeli,” he said.
A flurry of news reports followed. Times of Israel sought out articulation from the PM’s office today to clarify if Netanyahu was referencing the Jordan Valley or the entire West Bank, and if he was speaking short-term or was this his permanent position.
The official was explaining and elaborating on comments made Friday by Netanyahu during a press conference in Davos, Switzerland. “I have said in the past, and I repeat today: I do not intend to remove a single settlement, [and] I do not intend to displace a single Israeli,” Netanyahu said.
How surprising/not. He’s just a chip off the old block, has already said that, and Ira Glunts reported it here in ’09. What’s the chance of Kerry standing him down? Just kidding!
Even before the news broke that “negotiations” had been watered down to merely an “agreed upon framework,” AFP reported senior Fatah party member Nabil Shaath as saying that Israel had “forced” its agenda on Kerry, had successfully persuaded him to “change the agenda of the discussions.”
“Today, you will see Mr Kerry going back and forth, discussing nothing but two issues. The two issues have never been in our agenda: the Jewishness of the state and (security in) the Jordan (Valley),” he said.
….Kerry was being forced to hammer out the two issues as other crucial points — such as the borders of a future Palestinian state — were being overlooked.
“They (Israelis) force the agenda on (Kerry); they will not talk about anything else.”
Discussing nothing but these two issues! They let Israel set the agenda–which once again closes the door on a Palestinian state. It’s the old “economic peace” lie, wasting everyone’s time.
And serendipitously, the Washington Post has a fresh article this weekend about the Jordan Valley, complete with photo spread explaining how imperative the valley is to Israel’s security, titled “Jordan Valley emerges as core issue in Middle east peace talks.” Huh– emerges? The Jordan Valley didn’t just emerge as a core issue for Palestine. No, as the breadbasket of the West Bank it’s always been crucial to a Palestinian state. What WAPO meant is that it is emerging as Israel’s new core issue for talks (code: annexing the Jordan Valley).
As the article explains, the demand by Israel, that it remain in the Jordan Valley, is a new demand:
The Israelis are insisting that their troops remain in the Jordan Valley corridor in any future Palestinian entity, and since this demand is new — and was not a core issue in the last serious negotiations in 2000 and 2007 — it represents a real test for the Obama team’s diplomatic ingenuity.
A real diplomatic test? How about saying No, it’s too late to be making new demands? WAPO even squeezes in the 50,000 figure for the number of Palestinians who will be able to stay in the Jordan Valley “under any scenario”– with no mention of the fact that the Palestinian population in 1967, just prior to the Israeli occupation, was 300,000 people!
The complicity in this colonization, the denial of what’s occurring, is astounding. There will be no end to the occupation under this “framework”. And it’s a huge cruel gargantuan waste of time by and for politicos who have proven to be unwilling time and again to just say NO to Israel. Annexation by increment.
And the mainstream press in America is, for the most part, completely silent. More parroting by the Post of Israel’s framing:
“The zone is so pacified that the Israeli Defense Forces have assigned a special brigade of ultra-Orthodox recruits to guard it — devoutly religious soldiers not especially celebrated here for their warrior spirit.”
So the religious will protect, support, and facilitate their marauding settler brethren when they terrorize Palestinians. No problem.
(Thanks to Ira Glunts and Ilene Cohen)