U.S. policy: the settlements no longer on the back burner

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josh
U.S. policy: the settlements no longer on the back burner

A small step, perhaps, against the colonization process.  And mere words.  Yet, at least the direction is encouraging.

"Last night, shortly after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told journalists that the Obama administration "wants to see a stop to settlements -- not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a confidante. Referring to Clinton's call for a settlement freeze, Netanyahu groused, "What the hell do they want from me?" according to his associate, who added, "I gathered that he heard some bad vibes in his meetings with [U.S.] congressional delegations this week."

In the 10 days since Netanyahu and President Barack Obama held a meeting at the White House, the Obama administration has made clear in public and private meetings with Israeli officials that it intends to hold a firm line on Obama's call to stop Israeli settlements. According to many observers in Washington and Israel, the Israeli prime minister, looking for loopholes and hidden agreements that have often existed in the past with Washington, has been flummoxed by an unusually united line that has come not just from Obama White House and the secretary of state, but also from pro-Israel congressmen and women who have come through Israel for meetings with him over Memorial Day recess. To Netanyahu's dismay, Obama doesn't appear to have a hidden policy. It is what he said it was."

 

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/05/28/netanyahu_what_the_he...

 

 

 

josh

However, in terms of logic, this argument is among the most unfounded ever uttered around here. Where did they find the right to expand their housing because of natural growth? I, for example, live in a small apartment at the heart of Tel Aviv. Let's assume that I suddenly get married and procreate. And let's assume that I come to my landlord and show him that the apartment, which I inhabited in relative comfort with my cat, is in fact too small for another woman and child in it. Despite this, I find it difficult to believe that based on this argument the landlord will allow me to build another room on what is now the patio behind my apartment.

. . . .

Hence, if any settlers find conditions to be too crowded in Ofra or in Beit-El, they should go ahead and find a more spacious apartment in Beersheba, Holon, Ramat Gan, or any other place within the sovereign State of Israel. They and the prime minister they elected (who they will soon seek to topple) would do well to not talk their head off about rights that nobody else in the world has.

 

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3724131,00.html

St. Paul's Prog...

I'm siding with Obama.

josh

This was inevitable.  Democrats in congress, at the behest of AIPAC, working to undermine Obama:

As President Barack Obama prepares to depart for his first trip to the Arab world, the administration's escalating pressure on Israel to freeze all growth of its settlements on Palestinian land has begun to stir concern among Israel's numerous allies in both parties on Capitol Hill.

"My concern is that we are applying pressure to the wrong party in this dispute," said Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.). "I think it would serve America's interest better if we were pressuring the Iranians to eliminate the potential of a nuclear threat from Iran, and less time pressuring our allies and the only democracy in the Middle East to stop the natural growth of their settlements."

"When Congress gets back into session the administration is going to hear from many more members than just me," she said.

 . . . .

The pro-Israel lobby AIPAC last week got the signatures of 329 members of Congress, including key figures in both parties, on a letter calling on the administration to work "closely and privately" with Israel - in contrast to the current public pressure.

 

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23207.html

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
However, in terms of logic, this argument is among the most unfounded ever uttered around here. Where did they find the right to expand their housing because of natural growth?

 

"Natural growth" is a softer and less threatening term than the German original: Lebensraum.

josh

Obama tells Netanyahu to try again:

United States President Barack Obama intends to give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu four to six weeks to provide an "updated position" regarding construction in West Bank settlements and the two-state principle.
. . . .
According to an official Israeli source, Obama wants to complete the formulation of a preliminary six-month plan for progress toward a Middle East peace agreement and to present it in July.
 
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1090067.html

remind remind's picture

Ya, I can't believe people would actually utter "natural growth" and not realize what they were saying. But then I also feel the same way about Canada allowing continued immigration too!

500_Apples

If I recall correctly, Bush started off harsher towards Israel, and that didn't last due to the pressure.

The pressure was so significant, even Bush shifted tracks.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

remind wrote:

Ya, I can't believe people would actually utter "natural growth" and not realize what they were saying. But then I also feel the same way about Canada allowing continued immigration too!

This might be thread drift, but why?

remind remind's picture

For the very same reason LTJ, it is declared "natural growth" or "replacement population", in Canada too, which actually happens  to be putting people from other countries on lands that are still up for land claim settlements, at the least, or on stolen land at the worst, when FN's are still struggling to get their land back and entitlements.

I have long been of the opinion, that immigration should be halted until all land claims are settled, and FN's people become equal parties in governing this land mass. After all, it is their land, we the colonizers, are continuing to put poeple from other countries on and it is no damn different than Israel's natural growth settlements.  Canada for the most part is all still under land claims too, so why in hell do we have a right to bring people in and take more land away from FN's?!

Having said that, I hold a different opinion for refugees though, but even then there should be strict limits and conditions until all land claims are settled and FN's have an equal say in what should happen.

Never ever forget this is THEIR land, not ours!

500_Apples

remind wrote:

For the very same reason LTJ, it is declared "natural growth" or "replacement population", in Canada too, which actually happens  to be putting people from other countries on lands that are still up for land claim settlements, at the least, or on stolen land at the worst, when FN's are still struggling to get their land back and entitlements.

I have long been of the opinion, that immigration should be halted until all land claims are settled, and FN's people become equal parties in governing this land mass. After all, it is their land, we the colonizers, are continuing to put poeple from other countries on and it is no damn different than Israel's natural growth settlements.  Canada for the most part is all still under land claims too, so why in hell do we have a right to bring people in and take more land away from FN's?!

Having said that, I hold a different opinion for refugees though, but even then there should be strict limits and conditions until all land claims are settled and FN's have an equal say in what should happen.

Never ever forget this is THEIR land, not ours!

I really don't like the idea that land belongs to whoever is there first.

By that reasoning, the Israeli Jews should probably get all of Israel. The canaanites are gone.

I wouldn't necessarily be for a Palestinian state (as opposed to say a one-state solution), however it seems like the only conceivable way for those people to have any dignity, due to the oppression from their neighbors.

josh

Doctored photos of US President Barack Obama wearing a kaffiyah (traditional Arab headdress) with a caption reading "Jew-hating anti-Semite" will be circulated in the coming days by Israeli right-wing activists in protest of the growing US pressure on Israel to halt settlement activity, even that which is attributed to "natural growth."

 http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3725938,00.html

breezescream

Hi everyone,

I'm new to posting here but have been following discussions for a while.  I really appreciate the insight and thoughtful comments.....Reading the news today I'm feeling very encouraged by the Obama administration.  I know many of you are skeptical about him but I really do see a drastic change in the U.S. approach to Israel and the Muslim world.  In the last few days the Obama administration has issued strong statements on the settlements, he's said that Iran has a right to nuclear power, has declared that if Hezbollah wins the election in Lebanon they will deal with that government, has finally become willing to acknowledge his Muslim roots and while on his trip to the middle east is using his middle name - Hussein.  I believe this is the beginning of the end of the racist state of Israel.  He has 7 1/2 years left to bring justice to the Palestinians, and I believe he'll do it.  If he pushes for the right of return for Palestinians we may actually see the one state solution be implemented.  The only question after that will be what to do with the anticipated massive exodus of Jews from Israel and what countries would be willing to take them in.

remind remind's picture

Apples, First Nations peoples never left, they are still here and their land has been stolen, FULL STOP.

remind remind's picture

Seems like breezes is perhaps the advance propganda person for "Israeli right-wing activists in protest of the growing US pressure on Israel".

breezescream

Remind:  NO NO NO!  I'm sorry to have created this suspicion.  Please let me know if I should not post anymore comments or if I've offended.

remind remind's picture

That is not a decision that would be up to me, nor have you offended me. Nor I doubt anyone else, though I really can't speak for them.

It was just a suspicion and nothing more on my part, as your comments could be taken several ways. So I will take your comment that you did not mean it to be that way,  at face value then.

carry on

al-Qa'bong

Y'know, remind, we already have moderators for this sort of thing.

argg

remind wrote:

Apples, First Nations peoples never left, they are still here and their land has been stolen, FULL STOP.

 

How far back in time do we have to go in order to restore land to native peoples? Do the same rules apply to native people who stole land from other native people like say the thule inuit did to the dorset?...might be hard since appearently the Thule Inuit killed the Dorset, and our Canadian Inuit are actually Thule..How should we punish them for this genocide?  Pretty unrealistic, but then so is extremism politics.

The left is so silly sometimes.  Im not religious in any way, but you constantly critique christians on this forum, and rightly so in many ways. but you're so completely blinded by you're own dogma, the hypocrisy is amusing.  It's too bad really, you stand up for so many good things, but like all zealots the good things you do often stand in the shadow of extremism. 

 

 

breezescream

Ken Burch,

 

Anti-Muslim hate screed?  Huh?  I don't think B.O. is a Muslim and it doesn't matter to me if he is.  I'm going by a report I read on ABC by Jake Tapper which states he is now discussing his Muslim roots - something he wouldn't do during the campaign.   What matters is his willingness to do so now.  Also, I wouldn't use the word "endanger" when it comes to Israel.  Like most others here, I believe in a just, inclusive solution to the Israel/Palestine issue - and that is one state.  Regarding Jews leaving, I think a great many would if the right of return was a reality.  I have no problem with this, as they wouldn't be FORCED to go anywhere, I just think they'd CHOOSE to.

 

I'm not a troll and did not post a comment to pick a fight with anyone.  I'M ON YOUR SIDE!!  I thought my stance was in line with many other posters.  Where am I off base here?  Is it that I'm encouraged by what Obama is saying and doing?  Maybe I'm being naive, but not insincere in my comments.  I'll say sorry again if I've offended anyone.

thorin_bane

Wow you guys are going a little hard on this person can we get maybe a seond post before we boot people. I have seen people here for a lot longer that I would have booted right away. Anyway it's good to see Obomba diong something. It pains so many of us that we have to look to the US as more progressive than our government. What a world.

josh

"The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements."

 

 

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-ap-obama-text,1,...

oldgoat

I think people are a bit precipitous in judging breezescream.  Let's let him develop his ideas.  F'rinstance I'm not Catholic, but I have Catholic roots, though I've had little enough cause to make speeches about that in any positive sense.

 

BTW, argg, you know bugger all about First Nations history or issues, and you're bordering on trolling. Stop it.

josh

The United States has various options for showing displeasure, starting with sharper public criticism of Israeli settlements policy and escalating to changes in diplomatic and military contacts, in distribution of aid, and in sharing of intelligence. The United States could also ban tax-deductible contributions that benefit the settlements, or issue procurement rules to prohibit U.S. government purchases of products made in settlements.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/03/AR200906...

Michelle

josh wrote:

"Jew-hating anti-Semite"

As opposed to the other kind of anti-semite? :D

josh

Update on the biblical tale: Let my people colonize.

 

"The Zionist vision of settling the Land of Israel is stronger than any president or government. We survived pharaoh, and we'll survive Obama as well," Ben Ari said.

 

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3726504,00.html

Ken Burch

 

(on edit), here's why your post read as right-wing and anti-Muslim/anti-Arab in my eyes, breeze. 

1)The right in the U.S. used the "Obama's a Muslim" line as a line of attack throughout the whole fall campaign, both  to claim that Obama was secretly a Muslim himself and to argue that it was unacceptable to have a Muslim as president of the U.S.  This was in line with the U.S. right's "This is a Christian Nation" meme.

2)When you spoke of a flood of Jewish people leaving Israel were a single-state to be approved, you sounded(whether you meant it or not) like you were repeating the old Likudnik canard that the Arabs wanted to "drive the Jews into the sea".  At one time(to my current shame)I believed this myself.  It has since emerged that NO Arab leader ever used that phrase and there is no evidence that any current Arab or Palestinian leader actually wants a Judenrein Palestine(I'm using "Palestine" here to describe all the lands of the Mandate).

Your post inadvertently looked as if you were a right-wing "Israel is never wrong" type who was trying to parody what he or she thought was a "pro-Palestinian" post, and to reveal what such a poster would argue was the "true intent" of anyone who backs Palestinian self-determination.  That's why my response to your post was so intense.

 

 

josh

The most inventive of all these lies - its inventor should be awarded a prize for his life's work - is the silk thread that will be so difficult to break: "natural growth." That is the genetic code by which the settlers clone themselves like sheep.

 

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1090541.html

NDPP

Settlerland

http://bodyontheline.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/settlerland/

""coming home today through the Palestinian village of Khader, I noticed some new posters at the entrance of the Zionist terrorist colony of Efrat's checkpoint. The closeup of the image is below..."

al-Qa'bong

I wonder if one of those settler scum will pull a Rabin on Obama some day.

 

Will the US in turn increase aid to the Zionist entity?

josh

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has authorized the building of 300 new homes in the West Bank, defying U.S. calls for a halt to settlement growth.

According to Army Radio said 60 of the 300 homes slated for the Talmon settlement in the West Bank have already been built and that Barak had approved plans to construct another 240 units there.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1095031.html

josh

But the uncomfortable reality is that the prime minister restated the unvarnished truth: His government has no intention of recognizing international law or opinion with respect to Israel's land-grab in "Judea and Samaria."

Thus President Obama faces a choice. He can play along with the Israelis, pretending to believe their promises of good intentions and the significance of the distinctions they offer him. Such a pretense would buy him time and favor with Congress. But the Israelis would be playing him for a fool, and he would be seen as one in the Mideast and beyond.

Alternatively, the president could break with two decades of American compliance, acknowledge publicly that the emperor is indeed naked, dismiss Mr. Netanyahu for the cynic he is and remind Israelis that all their settlements are hostage to American goodwill.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/22/opinion/22judt.html?_r=2&pagewanted=2

Ken Burch

al-Qa'bong wrote:

I wonder if one of those settler scum will pull a Rabin on Obama some day.

 

Will the US in turn increase aid to the Zionist entity?

They did after Israel knowingly sank the U.S.S. Liberty in the Sixties.  LBJ practically sent 'em a thank you note for it.

josh

Israel's Defence Ministry said on Monday it had approved construction of 50 new homes at a West Bank settlement as part of a plan for 1,450 housing units, an expansion that defies a U.S. call for a settlement freeze.

News of the planned building work emerged hours before Defence Minister Ehud Barak was due to travel to the United States for talks aimed at narrowing a rift with Washington over the settlement issue.

http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLT729539

Cueball Cueball's picture

Shell game.

Ken Burch

Ah Ehud Barak...the last remaining member of the Israeli "Labor" Party. 

josh

So much for a settlement freeze?

Israel had won agreement from the United States for the continued construction of 2,500 housing units in settlements in the West Bank, despite U.S. calls for a freeze, according to the widespread circulation tabloid daily Ma'ariv.

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said the United States and Israel have been trying to find common ground on the sensitive settlement issue, but he had no comment on the front-page report of a deal.

A U.S. embassy spokesman in Tel Aviv also had no immediate comment.

. . . .

Yedioth Ahronoth quoted unidentified cabinet ministers, who attended Barak's briefing, as saying reports a U.S.-Israeli agreement on settlement had been sealed were wishful thinking on the part of the defense chief.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1098716.html

josh

The United States and the United Nations sharply condemned the eviction of two Palestinian families from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah and their replacement with Jewish families on Sunday.

Diplomats from the U.S. Embassy sent a protest letter to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, stressing the move went against the spirit of the road map. The diplomats said a high-level protest will be communicated to Israel later on Monday.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1104779.html

josh

Here people quickly sensed that there is nothing to fear from Obama, and the fetters were taken off. Defense Minister Ehud Barak was quick to declare that there is no Palestinian partner, even after the Fatah conference elected the most moderate leadership that has ever been assembled in Palestine. Afterward, in a blatant act of provocation, he brought a Torah scroll into the heart of the Muslim Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, in full view of television cameras, just so America can see who's boss around here.

Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, another two politicians who smell American weakness, were quick to declare during a visit to Ma'aleh Adumim that Israel will not freeze any construction. To hell with Obama. The settlers continue to move into more homes in East Jerusalem, Netanyahu is silent and Israelis sense that the "danger" has passed.. . .

Nothing remains from the speeches in Cairo and Bar-Ilan University. Obama is silent, and Yishai speaks. Even "Israel's friends" in Washington, friends of the occupation, are once again rearing their heads.

The minute Jerusalem detected a lack of American determination, it returned to its evil ways and excuses. "There is no partner," "Abu Mazen is weak," "Hamas is strong." And there are demands to recognize a Jewish state and for the right to fly over Saudi Arabia - anything in order to do nothing.

 

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1107603.html

Unionist

[url=U.S">http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/us-decision-to-drop-settlement.... decision to drop settlement demand rattles peace process[/url]

Quote:

In a surprise move that undermines Barack Obama's early efforts to improve relations with the Arab world, the White House announced that it was embracing Israel's position on the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

What a surprise. Please, my heart pills!!!!!!!!!