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State Department official: ‘You are likely to see Israeli settlements continue’ during peace talks

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 40 Comments
Erakat and Livni
On the same day Secretary of State John Kerry spoke about renewed peace talks, an official said that Israel was likely to build more settlements. (Bureau of Public Affairs/State Department)

Israel will likely build more settlements in the West Bank despite renewed peace talks, a State Department official said yesterday. The admission will add to the already ubiquitous skepticism about the renewed peace talks that kicked off earlier this week in Washington, D.C.

An unnamed White House official was joined by a State Department official for a background briefing for reporters yesterday to discuss details surrounding the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Here’s the relevant passage (h/t Josh Ruebner):

QUESTION: Yes. My question is what happens when the Israelis decide to go on and expand settlements, as their behavior has indicated in the past over and over again? Are the Palestinians – have they given any commitment to stay in the talks, or should they walk out of the talks?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Well, first I would reiterate the United States position on the settlements remains unchanged. We’ve made that very, very clear the parties all the way along. As we’ve said, we hope they will take steps to create a positive atmosphere for negotiations. But I think it’s also safe to say that whereas last time we did an extensive amount of work to create a settlement moratorium or a settlement freeze, we haven’t gone down that path now. And so I think it would be fair to say that you are likely to see Israeli settlement continue – activity continue, and we’ve made our position very clear on that to the Israelis.

The official’s frank admission that Israel will continue to gobble up the West Bank while negotiating was aired the day before it was reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had struck a deal for more settlement building.

Maariv reports today that “Netanyahu has promised to advance construction of thousands of housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.” The move was made to “temper Jewish Home’s resistance to the release of over a hundred long-time Palestinian prisoners.” The Jewish Home party had threatened to walk out of the Israeli coalition ruling the government, according to the report.

A spokesman for the Housing Minister, Jewish Home’s Uri Ariel, denied the report. But Haaretz reported last week that Netanyahu told Secretary of State John Kerry that 1,000 building tenders for settlement units will be issued for the major settlement blocs during talks. The State Department now seems to have resigned themselves to that reality. 

Many critics of the peace process paradigm have predicted continued Israeli settlement expansion during the renewed talks. “If Israelis and Palestinians are negotiating towards a peace agreement, that takes a lot of pressure off of Israel, and allows them to continue colonization,” said Ruebner, the national advocacy director at the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, in a radio interview I conducted over the weekend. 

Past periods of high-level peace talks have seen the continued expansion of settlements. When the Oslo peace process was in its hey-day, in the 1990s, Israeli settlement expansion increased. The number of settlers doubled from 1993-2001–when peace talks collapsed. 

And in fact, Netanyahu admitted in 2001 that the peace process was no impediment to continued settlement expansion. In an exchange that was caught on camera, Netanyahu told settlers that while prime minister in the 1990s, he said he interpreted “the accords in such a way that would allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the ’67 borders. How did we do it? Nobody said what defined military zones were. Defined military zones are security zones; as far as I’m concerned, the entire Jordan Valley is a defined military zone.” 

What’s old is new again in peace process land. 

Alex Kane
About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who focuses on Israel/Palestine and civil liberties. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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40 Responses

  1. Talkback
    Talkback
    July 31, 2013, 2:52 pm

    Talking about peace – continuing with war crimes. Israel at its best.

  2. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    July 31, 2013, 3:21 pm

    Grande Chutzpa!
    Taking land while having talks about the exact same land!

  3. Donald
    Donald
    July 31, 2013, 3:21 pm

    “And so I think it would be fair to say that you are likely to see Israeli settlement continue – activity continue, and we’ve made our position very clear on that to the Israelis.”

    Yes, they have. The US will say it is unhelpful and will continue to give money and support to Israel as they continue to build settlements. That’s very clear.

    • Justpassingby
      Justpassingby
      July 31, 2013, 3:22 pm

      Why is Kerry talking on the picture anyway? Anyone know Israel is leading these ” talks “.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      July 31, 2013, 3:28 pm

      Also note how this is NOT “unilateral behavior,” like going to the ICC or the UN.

    • Sin Nombre
      Sin Nombre
      July 31, 2013, 7:19 pm

      And what else is very clear is that the U.S. political class will say that those arabs and moslems who say the U.S. is being hypocritical and is facilitating ethnic cleansing just hate us “for who we are” and are anti-semetic terrorists who we must either facilitate making war on, or make war on directly. The dead and wounded arabs and moslems and destruction that such wars result in also not being something the arabs and moslems have any right to take notice of much less resent us for.

      If you ask me the U.S. never really sank this low in modern times before. It’s damn near perfect in its corruption.

  4. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    July 31, 2013, 4:17 pm

    Wasn’t the deal with the Ethiopian women- If you want to come to The Land, you need to take the anti-birth “vaccines”?
    The peace talks are like that- If you want “peace” you need to agree to whatever we think is “fair”. We don’t honor our commitments to international law or to the Oslo Accords, so why should we honor any “peace” agreement? And if you don’t like it, what are you going to do? Terrorism? Ask CNN for an interview? Lol.

    Last time around, the Palestinians said they did not want peace talks with settlements being built. Why? Because they felt there was nothing to negotiate about when the other side doesn’t follow international laws anyway?

    This time around, they have Kerry, Livni, and Indyk- a winning team. That makes all the difference. These solid negotiators just show up, talk about Assaf with some jokes, the settlements are announced to continue, and it’s full steam ahead for “talks”?

    There’s two options: keep on “talking” while their country is disgorged, or go to the international bodies like they should have done a long time ago.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      August 1, 2013, 6:53 pm

      @W.Jones – – Do we know the rate of reproduction of the Ethiopian “Jews” flown to Israel in the tens of thousands decades ago?

      • jon s
        jon s
        August 2, 2013, 7:02 am

        James Canning, why the quotation marks on the term Ethiopian Jews? It’s insulting.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        August 2, 2013, 6:50 pm

        jon s – – Recognition of considerable debate on the issue.

        I think “Jews” is also appropriate to refer to hundreds of thousands of immigrants to Israel from former Soviet Union.

      • jon s
        jon s
        August 3, 2013, 6:24 am

        Whatever “debate” there was – it was seen as insulting by the Ethiopian Jews.
        As to the immigrants from the former USSR – you’re right. A certain proportion are not Jews.

    • miriam6
      miriam6
      August 2, 2013, 2:47 am

      [email protected], [email protected]:

      Wasn’t the deal with the Ethiopian women- If you want to come to The Land, you need to take the anti-birth “vaccines”?

      I presume by anti-birth vaccines what you actually mean is the Depo – Provera – contraceptive injection , which is effective for a period of three months.

      The head of a medical programme in Ethiopia for potential migrants to Israel said that the shots, which are taken every three months, are voluntary and can be discontinued at any time.

      http://www.nathalierothschild.com/2013/02/07/is-israel-sterilising-ethiopianserr-no/

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        August 2, 2013, 6:49 pm

        The shots should be made widely available. Perhaps especially in Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh?

      • miriam6
        miriam6
        August 3, 2013, 6:57 am

        James @ said:
        The shots should be made widely available. Perhaps especially in Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh?

        Actually ,family planning is in greatest demand in the Sub -Saharan nations as well as in South Central Asia.

        I detect a rather facetious tone to your comment.

        I do hope I am wrong otherwise I am forced to conclude that you have something of an aversion to one of the great achievements’ of Modernity, i.e. modern birth control and the huge benefits it brings.

        The marvellous Carl Djerassi set the ball rolling by his part in the invention of the contraceptive pill.

        As regards Ethiopian women , Rothschild says in her article:

        Some Ethiopian women,Haaretz points out, prefer going to a clinic a few times a year for an injection rather than taking pills daily in front of potentially disapproving family members. According to the doctor in charge of the medical programme in Ethiopia, ‘injectable contraceptives are the most desired throughout [Ethiopia]. They are easy, culturally preferred, and offer the ability to be on birth control without a woman informing her husband, which is an issue here.’

        James , FYI ,women like to have as wide a possible choice of birth control methods and may choose to use different methods throughout their reproductive lives.

        The particular appeal of the Depo-Provera birth control shot is that it is a great alternative for women who don’t want the hassle of daily birth control.

        Depo Provera injections are only required 4 times a year .

        It is a highly effective and reversible birth control option.

        It is a private and discreet contraceptive choice

        It does not contain oestrogen, so it can be good alternative for women who cannot take oestrogen.

        Women who are breastfeeding or are 6-weeks postpartum can use Depo Provera.

        Depo-Provera is used in the United States;

        Depo-Provera is the brand name for a 150 mg aqueous injection of DMPA depot medroxyprogesterone acetate. It is applied in the form of an intramuscular injection. ]
        It was approved in the United States by the FDA for contraceptive use on 29 October 1992,[2] and for management of endometriosis-related pain on 25 March 2005.

        .http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DepoProveraContraceptive use

        What the links I have put in this comment show is a huge UNMET demand for MORE access to Family Planning in the developing nations, – not LESS family planning..

        The advantages to women and families in the developing world are HUGE in terms of promoting economic growth , and access to many other resources’ that improve lives and standards of living in the developing world.

        Unfortunately access to Family Planning, though desired by many women and their families is still far from universally available in the developing nations.

        In Egypt, the latest Demographic and Health Survey (2008) acknowledged that many Egyptian women are having more births than they consider ideal.
        Overall, 14 percent of births in the five years prior to the survey were reported not wanted. Among these, 5 percent of births were identified as ‘mistimed’, meaning wanted later; while 9 percent were unwanted entirely.
        If Egyptian women were to have the number of children they consider ideal, the total fertility rate would fall from 3.0 births to 2.4 births per woman.

        In agreement with the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Pakistan pledged that by 2010 it would provide universal access to family planning. Additionally, Pakistan’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper has set specific national goals for increases in family planning and contraceptive use.[25] In 2011 just one in five Pakistani women ages 15 to 49 uses modern birth control.[26] Contraception is shunned under traditional social mores that are fiercely defended as fundamentalist Islam gains strength.[26]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_planninghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_planning

        http://egypt.unfpa.org/english/Staticpage/1ff77960-4546-4dc1-823b-1926a0298ec9/Family_Planning.aspxz

        Even though there is considerable demand for family planning in Pakistan, adoption has been hampered by government neglect, lack of services and misconceptions. Demographics play a large role in Pakistan’s development and security since the recent change from military rule to civilian leadership.[1] Challenges to Pakistani’s well-being, opportunities for education and employment, and access to health care are escalated due to the country’s continuously-growing population.[1] It was estimated in 2005 that Pakistan’s population totaled 151 million; a number which grows 1.9 percent annually, equaling a 2.9 million population growth per year.[2] Though Pakistan’s fertility rates still exceed those of neighboring South Asian countries with a total fertility rate at 4.1 (3.3 children in urban settings and 4.5 children in rural areas) and contraception use is lower than 35 percent, approximately one-fourth of Pakistani women wish to either delay the birth of their next child or end childbearing altogether.[1]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_planning_in_Pakistan

        Contraceptive use in developing countries is estimated to have decreased the number of maternal deaths by 40% (about 270,000 deaths prevented in 2008) and could prevent 70% of deaths if the full demand for birth control were met.[7][6] These benefits are achieved by reducing the number of unplanned pregnancies that subsequently result in unsafe abortions and by preventing pregnancies in those at high risk.[6]Birth control also improves child survival in the developing world by lengthening the time between pregnancies.[6] In this population outcomes are worse when a mother gets pregnant within eighteen months of a previous delivery.[6][100] Delaying another pregnancy after a miscarriage however does not appear to alter risk and women are advised to attempt pregnancy in this situation whenever they are ready.[100]Teenage pregnancies, especially among younger teens, are at greater risk of adverse outcomes including early birth, low birth weight, and death of the infant.[12] In the United States 82% of pregnancies in those between 15 and 19 are unplanned.[58] Comprehensive sex education and access to contraception are effective in decreasing pregnancy rates in this age group.[101]

        From Wikipedia.

        What is family planning?

        Family Planning refers to the process by which individuals or couples are able to determine freely the number, timing and spacing of their children and to select the means by which this may be achieved. –

        History and current situation

        During the last several decades, great progress has been made in providing safer and more effective contraception as well as affordable and accessible family planning services. As a result, more individuals and couples are now choosing to have fewer children than previous generations, with the average number of children born per woman declining in every major region of the world since the 1990s.
        Globally, 56 per cent of women who are married or in union use a modern method of contraception compared to 47 per cent in 1990.-

        Although the use of modern contraceptive methods has increased, there still remains a high unmet demand for family planning services in many countries.

        cont..

        Global Action

        In September 1994, at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), 179 governments from around the world adopted a 20 year program of action to address population and development issues, including those related to reproductive health. The reproductive health rights of individuals, including the right to determine the number, timing and spacing of children, were endorsed at the conference as fundamental human rights..

        See more at:

        http://www.savethechildren.org.au/resources/position-papers/family-planning#sthash.Ar6TyKbS.dpufz

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        August 3, 2013, 2:11 pm

        @Miriam – – Absolutely. Sub-Saharan Africa desperately needs ZPG. Instead, populations are exploding in many countries.

      • Djinn
        Djinn
        August 2, 2013, 8:26 pm

        Israel was sterilizing Ethiopian women without their knowledge or consent for a long time. They have already admitted this. It was quite a big story. Did you miss it or do you have no problem with an obvious program of eugenics?

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-gave-birth-control-to-ethiopian-jews-without-their-consent-8468800.html

      • miriam6
        miriam6
        August 3, 2013, 1:36 pm

        [email protected]:

        You claim falsely that Israel was sterilizing Ethiopian women for a long time.

        False on both claims.

        The administering of a Depo-Provera contraceptive jab effective for only THREE months hardly amounts to a programme of sterilization/eugenics.

        Also, there is no evidence that it was happening for a long time.

        The article your comments links to states;

        The drug in question is thought to be Depo-Provera, which is injected every three months and is considered to be a highly effective, long-lasting contraceptive.

        Again, as the article admits, the administration of a contraceptive jab which is effective for THREE months only hardly amounts to evidence of a programme of sterilization/ eugenics

        Also part of the reason the Depo -Provera is linked to Ethiopian women is because it is a preferred birth control method already in the women’s native Ethiopia.

        This next paragraph is mis-leading as the controversy about so- called illegal African immigrants in Israel referred to in the article pertains to non- Ethiopian Jewish immigrants.

        Last year, the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the health portfolio, warned that illegal immigrants from Africa “threaten our existence as a Jewish and democratic state”

        Natalie Rothschild had this to say in her article I linked to in my earlier comment;

        Perhaps it was Haaretz’s unfortunate use of the word ‘practice’ which misled some commentators.

        The official cited in that paper’s report did not say that Israel has a systematic fertility-control programme among Ethiopian Jews, or that it is mandatory for Ethiopian women to use birth control.
        The official only acknowledged that Depo-Provera has been administered within that community.
        Back in December, the head of a medical programme in Ethiopia for potential migrants to Israel said that the shots, which are taken every three months, are voluntary and can be discontinued at any time.

        Some Ethiopian women, Haaretz points out, prefer going to a clinic a few times a year for an injection rather than taking pills daily in front of potentially disapproving family members.

        According to the doctor in charge of the medical programme in Ethiopia, ‘injectable contraceptives are the most desired throughout [Ethiopia]. They are easy, culturally preferred, and offer the ability to be on birth control without a woman informing her husband, which is an issue here.’

        It is particularly baffling that anyone would take seriously the idea that Israel sterilises Ethiopians.
        The Depo-Provera jab is effective for three months and the women have to return to clinics for booster shots, which they do voluntarily because, contrary to what some seem to believe, Ethiopian women can actually think for themselves.

        If Israel really wanted to stop the growth of its Ethiopian community, there would be more effective means to do so than administering contraceptive jabs, never mind running large-scale programmes to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel in the first place.

        http://www.nathalierothschild.com/2013/02/07/is-israel-sterilising-ethiopianserr-no/

        A question for you Djinn, – – how do you reconcile your belief that Israel was operating a programme of sterilization with the reality that for more than thirty years Israel has been eager to bring Ethiopian immigrants into Israel?

        How do you account for that?

        Countries do not encourage immigration into their midst only to sterilize them.

        You idea makes no rational sense.

        Also , if the birth-rate has indeed fallen the explanation could be attributed to the fact that Ethiopian women , since immigrating to Israel find themselves in a more affluent society than the one they left.

        A fall in birth-rates is common amongst affluent, Westernised societies , taken together with access to family planning in such societies.

        See more at;

        http://www.savethechildren.org.au/resources/position-papers/family-planning.

        The upshot of the decision to discontinue the availability of Depo Provera , perhaps even on a voluntary basis ,is unfortunate as it means Ethiopian women may be deprived of the choice of access to the Depo-Provera contraceptive jab , all because of this moral panic / smear story.

        But then again , Djinn perhaps you approve of and have no problem with, a country’s public health policies
        being dictated by smear stories/ moral panics.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        August 3, 2013, 2:10 pm

        Miriam – – There are several countries I can think of, who would benefit from advice from Israel on simple ways to lower birthrate.

      • just
        just
        August 3, 2013, 3:40 pm

        Yep, James. We can start with the US of A.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        August 4, 2013, 1:33 pm

        @Just – – Yes, US indeed could use help on that score.

  5. Sin Nombre
    Sin Nombre
    July 31, 2013, 4:25 pm

    Well of *course* they will continue.

    In the first place they’ve got good old Indyk telling our side it’s okay.

    And in the second, they’ve got good old Indyk telling them (as “our” Ambassador to them his security clearance was revoked) exactly how far they can go in this or that direction doing this or that before we say this or that, and then of course exactly how far they can go before we actually *mean* this or that and … on and on and on.

    And of course when the Palestinians tell us how far *they* will go as to anything good old Martin will make sure everyone knows *their* positions too, and can be counted on to tell ’em whatever, and to spend U.S. billions bribing them to accept anything, and ….

    Anyone who isn’t sickened by the “Americans” like Indyk just isn’t paying attention. But of course he’s got good old Progressive political correctness making even the clearest and most obvious observation and recitation of their histories about them off limits.

  6. chet
    chet
    July 31, 2013, 4:30 pm

    The Israelis might as well have brought a donkey for US servicing.

  7. amigo
    amigo
    July 31, 2013, 4:37 pm

    Let the Zionists continue to construct the destruction of Zionism and perhaps even the State of Israel.

    Who are we to argue. with those who are the chosen ones.

  8. piotr
    piotr
    July 31, 2013, 5:48 pm

    It is beyond pathetic. It reminds me my favorite show of last summer, “Humanity Has Declined”. Even pretending is too hard to do. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanity_Has_Declined

  9. just
    just
    July 31, 2013, 7:31 pm

    Israeli government= thieves who do not want peace.

    They want the Palestinians gone forever and ever, no matter the cost to the living and breathing indigenous Palestinians who will NEVER surrender to the Occupiers and thieves.

    Not even Israel can steal the collective souls of the Palestinian people.

    1S1P1V.

  10. James Canning
    James Canning
    July 31, 2013, 7:37 pm

    Obama did try to stop the growth of the illegal colonies, back in 2009. Aipac boxed his ears.

  11. James Canning
    James Canning
    July 31, 2013, 7:39 pm

    Fools in the US Congress no doubt will encourage more of the insane programme of Israeli colonisation in the West Bank.

  12. American
    American
    July 31, 2013, 8:58 pm

    No surprise, …..neither is this..

    http://mjayrosenberg.com/2013/07/31/house-to-pass-new-aipac-iran-sanctions-bill-to-keep-war-option-hot/

    House Passes AIPAC “Strangle Iran” Sanctions 400-20
    31 Jul
    Sometimes I hear from readers who complain that I lay too much blame on AIPAC for our one-sided and failed Middle East policies.
    What can I say? I worked at AIPAC for almost six years (1973-1975, 1982-1986) so I know how it operates. Additionally, because I left AIPAC on good terms, I maintained friendships with its staff (no more!) and they filled me in on how the lobby was increasing its power over Congress. Of course, I saw that myself during 15 years as a House and Senate staffer. AIPAC runs the Middle East policy show on Capitol Hill.
    Rarely am I surprised by anything AIPAC (or Congress, tucked securely in its pocket) does. But sometimes, AIPAC’s actions are so egregious, and those of Congress so supine, in promoting policies that are clearly against U.S. interests that I have to admit some surprise.
    Take what AIPAC is doing this week. It is getting the House of Representatives to pass legislation it wrote that would impose the heaviest sanctions on Iran yet, (Here is AIPAC’s one minute video urging support for its bill).
    Here is how the New York Times described the AIPAC bill on Thursday.
    The legislation, if enacted into law and fully enforced, could basically eradicate what is left of Iran’s diminished oil exports by coercing its remaining customers to find other suppliers. Proponents of the legislation say that with 376 sponsors, it is expected to pass the House easily. It would then move to the Senate for consideration in September.
    There is nothing surprising about that. AIPAC has been drafting and the House and Senate passing AIPAC’s Iran sanctions bills for years. They don’t accomplish anything except punish the Iranian people. After all, if they did “work,” AIPAC wouldn’t keep having to write new sanctions bills. Iran would have surrendered to Israel’s demands on the nuclear issue years ago.
    In a sense, this is all deja vu except for the timing.
    Again the Times:
    But critics say the timing of the House vote has raised sharp questions about the kind of message it would send to Iran’s president-elect, Hassan Rouhani, before he takes office on Sunday.
    Ya think?
    A new president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, takes office in a few days. He was elected as a moderate, the un-Ahmedinejad. Since his election he has made clear that his goal is to resolve the US-Iran stalemate over Iranian nuclear development through negotiations.
    Of course, at this point, who knows? Maybe he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
    We will know soon but not until after he takes office on Sunday, which is why AIPAC’s preemptive strike is so appalling.
    After all, there is not one reason for passing this punitive bill before the new president takes office, unless, of course, AIPAC’s goal is to insult Rouhani and the Iranian nation in order to push him toward becoming another Ahmedinejad.
    Nothing pleased the lobby more than having an Iranian president who spouted obscene nonsense about the Holocaust and Israel, all the easier to convince the United States to go to war with him. But this guy is trouble. If he is a real moderate, AIPAC won’t get its war.
    As to the question as to why Congress would go along with AIPAC on this, you know the answer. Members of Congress will do whatever it wants to collect campaign cash from donors associated with it. Even in a case like this, where the U.S. interest is so clear, dollars and cents point the other way.
    The good news is that the administration has made clear it welcomes the new Iranian president and is eager to hear what he has to say. Of course, AIPAC’s legislation, once passed by House and Senate, could box him in.
    This is why I write about AIPAC so much. There is no other lobby like it. Other countries are represented in Washington by registered foreign agents who are banned by law from any involvement in U.S. politics. AIPAC skirts that requirement by being an American lobby representing a foreign government. Neat trick! And it is the trick (funding politicians legally) that enables it to foist all these dangerous policies on the United States.
    Last point: most of your favorite “progressive” Members of Congress are co-sponsors of the AIPAC bill, meaning they knowingly put U.S. interests behind their fundraising desires. Here is the list. Read it and weep, no, read it and get angry.

    yea get mad…..

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      August 1, 2013, 6:51 pm

      Bravo, American (and MJ Rosenberg).

    • just
      just
      August 1, 2013, 7:27 pm

      This action against Iran is criminal and is contrary to our national interests and security.

      I am furious and sick and tired of being sick and tired of our “leaders”– almost every single one of them!

  13. southernobserver
    southernobserver
    July 31, 2013, 11:07 pm

    This article suggests that the progressive eating up the west bank is intended to pressure the Palestinian’s to negotiate.
    http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/revamping-the-allon-plan-some-belated-thoughts-on-the-beinart-gordis-debate/

    Fair warning, this is a straightforwardly racist/ethnicist/one sidedly immoral article. It reads like the vile reader comments that every comment on Israel attracts. On its own terms it suggests a rational strategy, but only if like the author, you ignore the 65 year history of deliberate violence, oppression and aggressive war.

    On balance I now strongly don’t believe that this is what any Israel government has tried to do. The published evidence of preplanning says that they simply want to steal as much as possible. Only complete BDS of the actual state of Israel will maybe, perhaps stop it.

  14. piotr
    piotr
    July 31, 2013, 11:11 pm

    Today I was doing research on “Candidate Weiner” and I stumbled upon something quite … interesting. The communication director of Weiner campaign was compared to the heroine of “sorority email” incident that I never heard about but was something of a major cultural event this Spring, with at least 5 different actors and actresses recording their interpretations of that missive.

    Before I have listened to that e-mail I have thought that there is no ….. way to revive this …. process. However, perhaps one sweet-faced young student could jolt the “process” to life — my new recommendation how to replace Mr. Indyk. She would know how to properly re-phrase the statement “we made our opinion clear” (it would be for mature audiences only, but heavily redacted version should be published.)

  15. Blank State
    Blank State
    August 1, 2013, 12:07 am

    How the hell can any Palestinian of sound mind have ANY respect for Abbas, if talks proceed while Israel is continuing to allow settlement building? This is a scandalous sham, that has the sole purpose of casting the Palestinians in a bad light. The purposeful endgame here IS failure, which is designed to be laid squarely on Palestinian shoulders. I expect such slimey machination and underhanded scumballery from Netanyahu and his gang, but it saddens and angers me to no end to see Kerry and Obama choreographing this pathetic and corrupt display of political tomfoolery. I’m becoming further ashamed of my country and its “leaders” as each day passes.

    • piotr
      piotr
      August 2, 2013, 11:38 pm

      Some get paychecks, the patronage machine may include 25% of West Bank population or more. Not all are grateful, of course.

  16. Citizen
    Citizen
    August 1, 2013, 5:03 am

    The pro-Israel congress critters are phoning Kerry regularly, making sure he’s watching out for Israel’s interests–Kerry told one of them that in the final settlement, Israel will keep 85% of its settlement blocs.

  17. Citizen
    Citizen
    August 1, 2013, 8:35 am

    Latest traitor to sign the bill declaring Israel are most elite, unique ally, which basically will immunize Israel from foreign aid cuts. The bill also will give us our only non-reciprocal visa waiver program out of what will be 38 of such programs.

    Jul 31, 2013 — New Cosponsor

    H.R. 938: United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013

    Looks like they will easily get the votes needed to make this law by end of summer.
    New Cosponsor: Rep. Robert Wittman [R-VA1]

  18. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    August 1, 2013, 9:32 am

    RE: “Past periods of high-level peace talks have seen the continued expansion of settlements. . . And in fact, Netanyahu admitted in 2001 that the peace process was no impediment to continued settlement expansion.” ~ Alex Kane

    MOSHE YA’ALON: “[T]ime works for those who make use of it. The founders of Zionism knew … and we in the government know how to make use of time.”

    FROM ALISTAIR CROOKE, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:

    [EXCERPT] . . . Israel’s vice-premier, Moshe Ya’alon, was candid when asked in an interview this year: ‘Why all these games of make-believe negotiations?’ He replied:

    Because … there are pressures. Peace Now from within, and other elements from without. So you have to manoeuvre … what we have to do is manoeuvre with the American administration and the European establishment, which are nourished by Israeli elements [and] which create the illusion that an agreement can be reached … I say that time works for those who make use of it. The founders of Zionism knew … and we in the government know how to make use of time.

    SOURCE – http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n05/alastair-crooke/permanent-temporariness

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      August 1, 2013, 6:48 pm

      Great post, Dickerson. Maybe best response is to tell Israel: plant Jews by the hundreds of thousands in West Bank, but border will not change.

  19. US Citizen
    US Citizen
    August 1, 2013, 10:34 am

    Pathetic isn’t it? A tiny country the size of Bakersfield California that’s 6,000 miles away controls the most powerful nation in the world. Obama, Kerry, our sycophantic Congress should be ashamed of themselves.

  20. James Canning
    James Canning
    August 1, 2013, 6:46 pm

    @USCitizen – – Israel lobby is largely controlling the US Gov’t, in matters related to Israel. Israel itself of course is important element or factor in the equation.

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