Monday, May 25, 2009

Netanyahu says settlements can expand.

Well, Netanyahu has certainly responded to his first meeting with Barack Obama in a way which answers any questions over whether or not he is serious about peace. Answer: He's not.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says settlements in the occupied West Bank will be allowed to expand despite US objections.

Mr Netanyahu said no new settlements would be built, but natural growth in existing settlements should be allowed.

During Mr Netanyahu's visit to the US last week, President Barack Obama told him all settlement activity must end.
The US regards the Jewish settlements -home to some 280,000 Israelis - as obstacles to the peace process.

"I have no intention to construct new settlements, but it makes no sense to ask us not to answer to the needs of natural growth and to stop all construction," a senior official quoted Mr Netanyahu as telling the Israeli cabinet.

"There is no way that we are going to tell people not to have children or to force young people to move away from their families," he added.
Netanyahu has quite simply declared war with the Obama administration, as the expansion of existing settlements under the pretext of "natural growth" is the main way that the Israelis have expanded their presence in the occupied territories for decades now. Netanyahu is basically saying it's business as usual.

And the excuse Netanyahu is offering is simply blatant garbage, offered up only to convince those who are already on the Likud side.

Most people accept that, even though all countries require "natural growth", that a state, nevertheless, grows within its own borders. By going upwards rather than outwards if necessary.

The Israelis are unique in arguing that it is the most natural thing in the world for them to naturally grow across the land of another people. It's an act of blatant theft wrapped up in horseshit for those stupid enough to swallow it.

I am sure that the Obama administration are not of that ilk. Obama has been ignored and he will know that he has been ignored. The real question is how far is Obama prepared to go to yank Israel into line behind his plan.

I suspect a cold hard frost is about to descend between the governments of Israel and the US, although Hillary will be doing her best to bring about a thaw. I hope that her behaviour is part of some great Obama plan, rather than Hillary undermining her own president.

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