Likud MK Hanoch Milwidsky, Chairman of the Caucus for the Fight Against Antisemitism and the Delegitimization of the State of Israel, on Friday morning, told Reshet Bet Radio, “Only the government determines Israel’s internal policy. You have to consider the Americans’ position, but considering their position does not necessarily mean doing what they say.”
Milwidsky responded to a Wednesday statement by Vedant Patel, the State Dept. Principal Deputy Spokesperson, regarding Israel’s allocation of some $180 million to expand settlements in Judea and Samaria. Patel stated:
“The expansion of settlements undermines the geographic viability of a two-state solution. It incites tensions and it further harms trust between the two parties. And we strongly oppose the advancements of settlements and urge Israel to refrain from this activity, including the promotion of outposts. We take this issue very seriously, and it impinges on the viability of a two-state solution, as I just said.”
Did he mention it harms the two-state solution?
The reporter, PA Arab Said Arikat, challenged Patel:
“I hate to keep revisiting this issue over and over again, but without leverage, it seems that the Israelis will just dismiss this as just another statement – old, worn-out statement.”
Sock it to the Zionists, Patel…
To which Patel responded in Diplomatese:
“I think you are minimizing the impact that diplomacy can have, the potential impact that it can have, not just in that region but in any part of the world. We, this government, speak in unison when talking about this issue, and it’s something that the Secretary is clear about with his counterparts, the President is clear about, others in this building who work on these very important issues are clear about with their appropriate interlocutors as well.”
Arikat then suggested the US should have conditioned its approval for the $3.5 billion Arrow 3 deal with Germany on Israel establishing a Palestinian State, and Patel promised politely, “I will let our Israeli and German partners speak to the further details of this.”
State Dept. Spokesman Mathew Miller on Thursday night repeated the US objections to settlement expansion because, you know, the 2-state solution, yada, yada, yada, and urged Israel not to do it.
Finance Minister and Adjunct Minister in the Defense Ministry Bezalel Smotrich this week combined both his offices to apply NIS 700 million ($185 million) to Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. His decision empowers the interior ministry to transfer some of the funds to settlements that are not yet regulated (Smotrich to Allocate $180m to Judea and Samaria for Strengthening ‘Civilian Resilience’).
Earlier this week, Smotrich was forced to cooperate with the demolition of homes in A’ira Shahar in Binyamin under orders from “the security establishment and the jurists.” (With Smotrich’s Approval: Large Government Forces Demolish Binyamin Outpost)
Revenge is a dish best served rich.