the American reaction, which didn't go beyond complaints with us and Biden's
one hour late arrival for dinner with Netanyahu, we can see that refraining
from eating sweets is the extent of Washington's disapproval."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: When his government announced plans to build 1,600 new homes on what is widely percieved to be occupied Palestinian land in East Jerusalem, it was a major slap in the face to visiting Vice President Joe Biden.
announcement of Palestinian consent to indirect negotiations, it was said that, in the event that they failed, the United
States would announce the party responsible.
It seems that, due to Israel's announcement of a new settlement project, the talks were aborted before they began. But the 1600 settlement units are just the tip of
the pyramid of a huge project that includes the construction of 50,000 housing
units for settlers in occupied Jerusalem in the coming years. It's not true that, as Israelis
claim, Netanyahu - a man who advocates a huge settlement expansion, is angry
about the announcement or didn't know about it.
Every project and every stone
that is moved goes through his office and that of his war minister, Ehud Barak.
Consequently, lies about his resentment and lack of knowledge are only
meant to stymie American Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. envoy Mitchell, and push
the Palestinian side into a corner by forcing it to refuse to resume negotiations.
Israel isn't, as it claims, interested in
peace talks. The more the Americans have strengthened their
alliance with Tel Aviv and acted as donor and middleman, the more Israeli
extremism has deepened; and as Israel has sped up settlement projects, it has intentionally
embarrassed Washington, suggesting that the two diplomacies - American and
Israeli - are one.
This was actually confirmed
by Vice President Biden, when he spoke of reaching a settlement with Arabs who
are concerned about Iran. Within just a year, by working inside the U.S. Congress
and the Obama Administration, the Israelis have succeeded in pushing the road map
and the understandings reached at Annapolis off the table. Within this
context, Tel Aviv has pulled these settlement projects out of its pocket and
thrown them in the face of Vice President Biden, who was turned into a hostage
of Judea when, so as not to be seen as closing
the door on American obedience to Israel, he couldn’t rebuke his shameless hosts.
Now the Americans can say
that Israel is responsible for the failure of indirect talks before they began.
But we doubt their capacity to say so publicly, because previous reports prepared
by American generals who monitored the implementation of the terms of the first
phase of the road map weren't published at the request of Israel, after
Israel failed to comply with any of its provisions.
The follow-up meeting of the Arab
Monitoring Committee, which said it would announce which side is
responsible for the failure of Palestinian reconciliation [between Hamas and
Fatah], has now decided to delay the announcement. Washington’s situation is no
different from that of the Arab Monitoring Committee, so don't expect a change
in the American position because of plans for settlement projects amounting to
50,000 housing units. From the American reaction, which didn't go beyond complaints
with us and Biden's one hour late arrival for dinner with Netanyahu, we can see
that refraining from eating sweets is the extent of Washington's disapproval.