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Howard Berman: Please– let’s get back to bashing Goldstone!

Israel/Palestine
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Ron Klein, a Florida congressman, puts out a statement saying, "I am deeply disappointed that even after the Israeli government apologized, State Department and White House officials have sustained their condemnations against the State of Israel, using harsh terms." He wants to get back to the Iran issue! Palestinians just incite violence, he says.

Howard Berman, chairman of House Foreign Affairs, released this statement on the contretemps today. Notice that it ends on the issue of inciting violence: Mughrabi square in the West Bank. Shelley Berkley of Nevada is also exercised about this: "Where was the outrage when the Palestinian Authority this week named a town square after a woman who helped carry out a massive terror attack against Israel?“

(I ask you to imagine how many town squares in Muslim Occupied India would be named after suicide bombers if Pakistan wasn’t a state, 62 years after the people there were promised one by the world and India said they don’t deserve one because they’re violent….) Berman:

"The Administration had real justification for being upset with the timing of the settlements announcement.  A process was supposed to be in place to keep the United States from being blindsided by just such a development, and yet once again we were blindsided.  The Israeli leadership needs to get this right and put a system in place so it won’t happen again.

“But let’s put the situation in perspective.  The United States and Israel have very good cooperation on any number of matters, and this will continue.  These include keeping Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the Goldstone Report, and security assistance.  U.S.-Israel security ties are in many ways closer than they have ever been, and they are certainly far stronger than the news stories of the past few days would lead one to believe.

“We need to disentangle bilateral relations from the peace process. Let’s keep in mind that peace talks are not a gift to one party or the other. They are an opportunity for both parties, Israelis and Palestinians, both of whom badly need peace.  The Palestinians may not like an Israeli announcement about prospective housing in Jerusalem, and the Israelis may not like the Palestinians naming a town square after a brutal terrorist, but the talks need to go forward.”

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Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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