Author Topic: Bush (or Abrams) wrote Israel a blank cheque on settlements  (Read 2047 times)


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Bush (or Abrams) wrote Israel a blank cheque on settlements
« on: April 24, 2008, 03:20:38 PM »
Bloody Hell!

A letter that President Bush personally delivered to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon four years ago has emerged as a significant obstacle to the president's efforts to forge a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians during his last year in office.

Ehud Olmert, the current Israeli prime minister, said this week that Bush's letter gave the Jewish state permission to expand the West Bank settlements that it hopes to retain in a final peace deal, even though Bush's peace plan officially calls for a freeze of Israeli settlements across Palestinian territories on the West Bank. In an interview this week, Sharon's chief of staff, Dov Weissglas, said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reaffirmed this understanding in a secret agreement reached between Israel and the United States in the spring of 2005, just before Israel withdrew from Gaza.


In a key sentence in Bush's 2004 letter, the president stated, "In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949."

In a companion letter to "reconfirm" U.S.-Israeli understandings, Weissglas wrote Rice that restrictions on the growth of settlements would be made "within the agreed principles of settlement activities," which would include "a better definition of the construction line of settlements" on the West Bank. A joint U.S.-Israeli team would "jointly define the construction line of each of the settlements."


Weissglas said that in 2005, when Sharon was poised to remove settlers from Gaza, the Bush administration made a secret agreement -- not disclosed to the Palestinians -- that Israel could add homes in settlements it expected to keep, as long as the construction was dictated by market demand, not subsidies. He said the agreement was necessary because Sharon needed the support of municipal leaders in the main West Bank settlements. The settlement leaders, he said, focused on the "inner contradiction" of Bush's letter, mainly that it made no sense to have a settlement freeze in places that Bush said would become part of Israel.

Weissglas said he then negotiated a "verbal understanding" with deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams that would permit new construction in those key settlements; Rice and Sharon then approved the Weissglas-Abrams deal. "I do not recall that we had any kind of written formulation," Weissglas said.  

Sorry. I'm still processing.


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Re: Bush (or Abrams) wrote Israel a blank cheque on settlements
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2011, 11:17:39 AM »
I happened upon (ain't der net wonderbar) a blog from an Israeli journalist. He embedded a piece by Louis Theroux (son of Paul) made for the BBC. 
It is a wonderful bit of reporting - Theroux goes about the west back Jewish settlements, 'legal' (if any can be called so) and illegal - speaks to the 'settlers' and even some American supporters hoping to goose god into making the 'end of days' come earlier
Ami Kaufman, the Israeli journalist, says pay attention to the last minute - crog says such sympathies are strewn all through the video. 

This whole thing is worth watching, if only to get to the last minute of it. It’s when Louis interviews for the final time Daniel Luria, of the right wing movement Ateret Cohanim, which settles Jews in East Jerusalem. “There’s Jewish life in united Jerusalem”, he says to Louis as he looks him in the eye, “and there’s nothing – nothing – that you or the world can do about it. Nothing”.
That’s it in a nutshell. But if I may slightly correct Luria’s observation: the world has never tried to do anything about it to begin with. They’re enablers.
Hopefully, some viewers abroad will finally take responsibility and try to change that.

But there are many more quotes and illustrations that make it  well worth watching.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington


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