By Ted Belman
The US was quick to react to yesterday’s announcement that the Civil Administration had approved the construction of 878 units outside the settlement blocs east of the green line.
State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said when talking to reporters:
- “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity and opposes any efforts to legitimize settlement outposts.”
“The Secretary has made clear that he believes both the negotiating teams are at the table in good faith and are committed to making progress,”
“The secretary has made clear that he believes both of the negotiating teams are at the table in good faith and are committed to working together to make progress.”
Sol Erekat, the Palestinian negotiator, wrote to Kerry to complain about “Israel’s bad faith and lack of seriousness”.
According to Erakat and Kerry anything Israel does not in accordance with a solution based on ’67 lines plus swaps, shows bad faith. How can this be? Israel made it very clear when it agreed to negotiations that she didn’t accept such a solution. Israel has every right to act in accordance with its position and is in good faith with its declared position when doing so.
It is the US and the PA who are acting in bad faith when they attempt to imposed conditions on Israel that she has rejected as part of her agreement to negotiate.
But the problem is that Kerry couldn’t care less what Israel agreed to didn’t agree to or what he accepted as Israel’s negotiating terms. He ignores all this and goes about imposing a solution on Israel.
But even more important is the fact that the issue of a building freeze is a red herring. If the Palestinians were acting in good faith, i.e., willing to compromise to reach a solution within nine months, then whether Israel built 1000 units in J&S during that time would be immaterial.
By asking for a freeze Kerry and the Palestinians are the ones acting in bad faith. A freeze only becomes important if the Palestinians are not in good faith and wish to prevent Israel from building ever. They want to slow Israel down as much as possible while they go about building as much as possible in Area C and being as intransigent as possible.
The only thing that will get the Palestinians to compromise their demands is rapid Jewish building in Judea and Samaria.
Meanwhile Kerry totally supports the Palestinian position.