After weeks of negotiations, the United States government announced that they would no longer try to force Israel to extend its settlement freeze. Almost unanimously the media placed the blame for the impasse on Israel.
….. after the administration acknowledged its inability to persuade Israel to halt construction of Jewish settlements in disputed areas for 90 days. The failure embarrassed the White House, which had offered Israel various incentives, and left the administration scrambling for a new way to coax the two sides to the negotiating table.(LA Times 12/11)
Politico described the situation by comparing Israel to North Korea and its relationship to China
Israel, in ways similar to North Korea’s national profile, depends on Washington’s guarantee of its key economic and strategic circumstances. But unlike North Korea, Israel is no longer the supplicant, and realizes that Washington has decided it must acquiesce to Israel’s recalcitrance on Middle East peace, as well as the evolution of an increasing structural division of Palestinians from Israelis within its borders.
If the LA Times, Political and the other liberal outlets wanted to give a truthful account of what happened to the freeze extension they might have said something like:
Israel offered a ten month freeze to help the US out of a problem caused by our President’s naiveté, but the Palestinians ignored the freeze until it was too late, and any extension of the freeze was sabotaged by Hilary Clinton’s bait and switch tactics and a her refusal to put the agreement in writing.
But the truth doesn’t fit the liberal media’s agenda. They do not want to recognize that this entire settlement issue was caused by this Administration as was the failure to come to an agreement on an extension of the freeze.
While the Palestinian’s have never accepted Israeli settlements, secession of settlements all settlement building has never been a precondition to talks. Israel had long ago agreed not to build new “settlements” in Judea and Samaria but would continue to add housing units to existing communities.
During the government of PM Ehud Barak, there were direct talks and construction continued in existing communities.
It was the Obama administration’s naiveté that made the settlements an issue. Hillary Clinton first demanded the freeze in 2009 and was quickly backed up by Obama. What the President and his advisers perceived as a minor concession (a settlement freeze including no new housing units in existing communities) was for Israel a grave sacrifice. From their point of view he was Adults telling children that they could no longer live near their parents.
This was a major error by the Obama administration and it was compounded by their inclusion of Jerusalem in the mix and their constant public berating of the Jewish State turned the Israeli population against Obama, especially the Israeli left who would be more inclined to support a settlement freeze demand. On top of all that was the revelation that his demand for a freeze of natural community growth broke a US/Israel agreement made during the Bush administration.
Obama, through his Secretary of State Ms Clinton, said there was never an agreement between Israel and the US about natural expansion of existing settlements. Elliot Abrams who negotiated the agreement for the United States says that Obama’s contention is simply not true.
Immediately the Palestinians seized upon the Obama-created issue. Seeing an opportunity to avoid talking, they used Obama’s demands to make a settlement freeze a precondition to further talks, even there were negotiations and construction going on simultaneously before Obama became president.
In August 2009 Prime Minister Netanyahu announced a ten month settlement freeze. It was approved and implemented on November 25, 2009 and ran till September 25, 2010. Despite pressure from the United States, the Palestinians wasted the first 9+ months of the freeze and would not come to the negotiation table till September 2010, three weeks before the freeze ended. A fact lost on the liberal media.
While the onus has been put on the Jewish State to extend the freeze, not one media outlet has questioned the Palestinian Authority’s refusal talk for the first nine months of a ten month freeze.
As the end of the construction halt approached, the US began to negotiate with the Israel to extend the freeze. Based on their experience with Obama and the deal negotiated by Elliot Abrams during the Bush Administration, Israel demanded that any proposal be presented in writing as any oral deal with the Obama administration was worth the paper it was printed on.
The written offer never came and worse yet, the Secretary of State wasn’t negotiating in good faith. Instead Ms Clinton was playing “Bait and Switch.”
As Israel waits for a letter clarifying America’s guarantees in exchange for a proposed building ban for Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, a diplomatic source has come forward saying that no such letter is on its way. United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton misled Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and contrary to reports, the U.S. does not guarantee an end to the freeze, the source said.
The source, a senior diplomat with inside knowledge of Netanyahu’s recent meetings in Washington, said Clinton made commitments when talking to Netanyahu, but later slipped out of them by claiming that she had not been speaking on behalf of U.S. President Obama – who, she said in the end, did not give his approval.
When Netanyahu called the State Department to clarify America’s position, officials expressed surprise at his surprise, the source continued. While Clinton made promises, Netanyahu knew from the beginning that Obama has the final word, they allegedly said.
The real story of a settlement freeze has been ignored by the mainstream media. Israel offered a ten month freeze to help the US out of a problem caused by our President’s naiveté, the Palestinians ignored the freeze until it was too late, and any extension of the freeze was sabotaged by Hilary Clinton’s bait and switch tactics and a refusal to put things in writing. Whether they have been ignoring the truth because of the liberal bias against the Jewish State, or because of their refusal to make their favored progressive President look bad, it doesn’t matter. The liberal press refuses to place the blame for the lack of middle east peace talks where it belongs on the incompetence of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.