Monday, January 25, 2010

Netanyahu Declares Portions of the West Bank ‘Eternally’ Part of Israel.

How can we seriously believe that Netanyahu has any intention of seriously pursuing peace when he makes incendiary statements like this?

Attending a tree-planting ceremony in one of the settlements, Netanyahu proclaimed that “we are planting here, we will stay here, we will build here, this place will be an inseparable part of the state of Israel for eternity.” He added that the settlements were part of “sovereign Jerusalem.”

The settlements are built on land occupied by the Israeli military in 1967 and are not recognized as part of the nation. They lie near East Jerusalem, which was also occupied and is not generally recognized as part of Israel either, though Netanyahu insists that this too will remain part of the Israeli state.
International law clearly states that these settlements are illegal and yet Netanyahu, at a time when he has stated that he desires a two state solution is implying that the settlements are as much a part of Israel as Jerusalem, half of which is supposed to be the eventual Palestinian capital.

And didn't Netanyahu recently accuse the Palestinians of making demands ahead of the peace talks, by insisting that settlement building stop before talks can begin? Isn't it hypocritical for him to make that complaint - which was that he comply with international law - while he now makes the even more outrageous demand that international law be ignored simply because his nation has been flouting it for decades?

I've said it before but Obama is getting nowhere with Netanyahu; indeed, Netanyahu is treating Obama with contempt, making statements like this one which he knows makes it ever harder for peace talks to begin.

And that's before we get to the other completely ridiculous demands which Netanyahu is making prior to taking part in any peace talks.
In a move that seems certain to torpedo what little hope remains of a peace deal in the near term, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demanded that Israel be allowed to maintain a permanent military presence in the Jordan Valley.

This means in practice that even if Israel agrees to the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, it would insist on maintaining military control over the border between that state and Jordan, and would continue to have troops inside the “demilitarized” future nation.
When will Obama realise that he's never going to get anywhere here until he starts exerting real pressure on to Netanyahu? Netanyahu is making these demands for the precise reason that he knows the Palestinians will never agree to them. In this way he seeks to make peace impossible and, hopefully, be able to blame the Palestinians for the lack of progress for failing to understand Israel's security needs.

It would appear that even Obama has woken up to the fact that Netanyahu is not interested in peace:
“This is just really hard,” Obama admitted, “even for a guy like George Mitchell.” The president had suggested when he took office that the time was right for a two-state solution and that it would be a relatively simple matter to get the move started.
It was never going to be easy and Obama has been naive in the extreme if he ever pretended to himself that it was. Especially once the Israelis elected Netanyahu. Now Obama has to deal with what is in front of him. That means he needs to be willing to apply pressure - serious pressure - on Netanyahu.

Obama used to make it very clear that peace between these two nations is important for America's security. That is still the case. This is too important to let Natanyahu play these stupid bloody games.

Click here for full article.

No comments: