Middle East Online, Nov 16, 2010
On the face of it the package of “incentives” Secretary of State Clinton offered Prime Minister Netanyahu to persuade him to buy and sell to his coalition government a one-time-only freeze of 90 days on settlement construction in the occupied West Bank could be summed up with one “c” word – criminal.
Criminal because by excluding occupied Arab East Jerusalem from the desired freeze, the Obama administration is not only going back on its own previous demands which were in accord with international law and various UN Security Council resolutions. It is effectively endorsing Israel’s illegal settlement activities there. Simply stated the US is now openly complicit in Israel’s defiance of international law.
It doesn’t matter that Netanyahu may have said to Hillary Clinton in their seven or eight-hour conversation something like: “There’s no point in you asking for a freeze in Jerusalem. I couldn’t deliver it even if I wanted to, and I don’t.” What any Israeli prime minister can or cannot deliver because of the pathological mindset of most Israelis is not the point. It is that if peace is to have a last chance, the Zionist (not Jewish) state must be obliged to comply with international law (not to mention a host of UN Security Council resolutions).
In my analysis there are three possible readings of the Obama-Clinton game plan.