17 June 2009

Much Ado About Settlements ... a/k/a 'Non-Agreements'


"...the parties on the ground understand that if you have a continuation of settlements that, in past agreements, have been categorized as illegal,..."


Arutz Sheva reports:  Dr. Aaron Lerner of Independent Media Review and Analysis: “There are no ‘past agreements’ that categorize the settlement activity as ‘illegal. The Roadmap wasn't an agreement, nor was the Annapolis ‘Joint Understanding on Negotiations.’ The only ‘agreements’ [between Israel and the PA] are the series of Oslo ‘agreements,’ and none of them categorize any Israeli settlement activity as ‘illegal.’”

Obama made the same mistake in his speech in Cairo two weeks ago, when he said, “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.”  Lerner pointed out that officials in the AIPAC pro-Israel lobby or the Israeli government might want to inform Administration officials of the presidential error.


CONGRESS SENDS CAUTIONARY LETTER TO OBAMA:  The US Congress is overwhelmingly pro-Israeli and it is possible millions of voters in America could switch their votes from the Democrats to the consistently pro-Israeli Republicans if Obama’s policies continue to oppose the will of US voters. 329 members of Congress sent Obama a letter warning him about his administration taking anti-Israeli positions.


“There’s a line between articulating U.S. policy and seeming to be pressuring a democracy on what are their domestic policies, and the president is tiptoeing right up to that line,” said Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who said he’d heard complaints from constituents during the congressional recess. “I would have liked to hear the president talk more about the Palestinian obligation to cut down on terrorism.”

“I don’t think anybody wants to dictate to an ally what they have to do in their own national security interests,” said Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), who said he thinks there’s “room for compromise.”

"Other Democrats, in interviews with POLITICO, raised similar concerns. While few will defend illegal Jewish outposts on land they hope will be part of a Palestinian state, they question putting public pressure on Israel while — so far — paying less public attention to Palestinian terrorism and other Arab states’ hostility to Israel."

MASSIVE MAJORITY OF SENATE SEND OBAMA CAUTIONARY LETTER:  Obama’s apparent goal of “getting tough with Israel” received “a sharp reminder this week that his hands could be tied” because a massive majority of the US Senate (76 members) sent a letter to Obama warning him about his heavy-handed approach to the Israelis.

The letter, in part, reads: "We must also continue to insist on the absolute Palestinian commitment to ending terrorist violence and to building the institutions necessary for a viable Palestinian state living side-by-side, in peace with the Jewish state of Israel," continued the letter, whose lead signatories were Democratic senators Christopher Dodd and Arlen Spector, along with Republican senators Johnny Isakson and John Thune."

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