Ms. Nuland: “With regard to the larger settlement issue and statements recently and actions on the ground, we are deeply disappointed that Israel insists on continuing this pattern of provocative action. These repeated announcements and plans of new construction run counter to the cause of peace. Israel’s leaders continually say that they support a path towards a two-state solution, yet these actions only put that goal further at risk. So we again call on Israel and the Palestinians to cease any kinds of counterproductive unilateral actions and take concrete steps to return to direct negotiations.”
The bottom line here is: in order to gain peace through a 2-state solution, Israel will have to abandon its densely populated neighborhoods in annexed East Jerusalem. On that point no one in the West, and, needless to say, on the Arab side, has moved an inch since the annexation, back in 1967. And no one will move in our direction any time soon.
In order to achieve a 2-state solution we will have to give up East Jerusalem.
You don’t want to give it up? Then let’s stop talking about the 2-state thing as if it is actually a viable option.
So a reporter at the briefing compared the PA’s UN move with Netanyahu’s declaration: “Is it a recognition of the fact that when the Palestinians take steps that you think are provocative and unhelpful to the process, that those steps actually do not change things on the ground, i.e. going to the UN and asking for recognition there, and that when the Israelis do things that you think are provocative and unhelpful to the process, they actually have the effect of changing the situation on the ground and affecting issues that you believe need to be decided only in negotiation?”
Ms. Nuland: “The number one way to settle this whole question of building and settlements is for the parties to come together and settle security, settle boundaries between them. That is the right path forward. We don’t want to see provocative action on either side. But you’re absolutely right that this strong statement today reflects concern about what’s going on.”
Reporter: “A follow-up on your deep disappointment. You just said you’re deeply disappointed. I assume that you’re referring to the confiscation of about 450 acres, which is 1,200 dunams, yesterday from Abu Dis and Hazara. Now, how will this deep disappointment impact what is going on on the ground? I mean, it seems that from briefing to briefing, more land is taken.”
Ms. Nuland: “Again, I think I just spoke about this, that the only way forward is to have a lasting settlement between these parties. But again, we are not in a good cycle here. We need to break this cycle, end the provocative actions, and get these parties back to the table. It is not easy. It has not been easy for quite some time. We can’t want this more than the parties themselves want it. And we are going to continue to work on it and we’re going to continue to call it how we see it when either side takes provocative action.”
So very patient, she is. And we seem to disappoint her so much, every day, with our provocations.
Folks, I’m ready to take bets on the date when Netanyahu capitulates on the entire construction project. It’ll have to be after he forges a government.
And if Beit Yehudi is in the next coalition, let’s also bet on what kinds of wise explanation Naftali Bennet will be offering on why we had to curtail East Jerusalem construction. Something to do with being more effective inside the government than outside. Better we freeze settlements than Meretz does it…
Of course, I could be wrong. God, help me be wrong…
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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