Is Ball Permanently Dropped?
By Dr. Aaron Lerner
8 March, 2016
Press Release from The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
“The American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years.
While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal.
As the President has expressed many times, he hopes to achieve peace throughout the Middle East region.
The Trump administration has not taken an official position on settlement activity and looks forward to continuing discussions, including with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he visits with President Trump later this month.”
The above was a prepared statement.
Every word was carefully chosen.
Here is the critical phrase: “the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders.”
Whose “current borders”?
The “current borders” “of existing settlements”
This wasn’t arbitrary language.
It refers back to the Bush era exchange of letters that provided for construction within the building lines of all Jewish communities located in Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank). This regardless of if the community was part of a “bloc” or an isolated community.
What was the Israeli reaction to the White House announcement?
We didn’t just drop the ball. We threw it down. (please use the word, “Netanyahu” rather than “we”) jsk
Instead of welcoming this position, we said we were clueless what the Trump Administration wants.
And to make matters worse — we essentially proclaimed that Mr. Trump has a veto on every square inch of construction.
And if we handed Washington veto rights we also put the United States in the complicated position in the world that they are to “blame” for any and every square inch of construction.
Yes. We consult with our friends. And Mr. Trump is a friend. But there’s a world of difference between “consulting” and taking marching orders.
That arrangement doesn’t serve anyone’s interests.
Dr. Aaron Lerner
IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA)
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