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December 10, 2010
Israel Slammed For Rejecting Non-Existant Obama 'Offer' On Building Freeze
When the United States officially announced that negotiations over the proposed extension of Israel's building freeze had failed, an interesting thing happened. The way the news was announced, it was phrased in such a way as to appear that the Israelis had rejected a handsome US offer out of sheer intransigence.
The usual sources and anti-Israel pundits - the BBC, the UK's Financial Times, Andrew Sullivan, CBS, The Guardian, the New York Times - all repeated this narrative.
I have to confess, I'm puzzled. What 'offer' is Israeli PM Netanyahu supposed to have rejected?
Originally, Netanyahu sat down with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and she apparently made Netanyahu a number of verbal offers and assurances to enable Netanyahu to go to his cabinet and try and extend the unpopular unilateral 10 month building freeze for another three months.
But when Netanyahu requested the terms in writing so he could present them to his cabinet, a funny thing happened - the longer the Israelis waited for SecState Clinton's assurances to Netanyahu in writing, the more those assurances melted away.
Although the Israelis were assured time and time again that a letter outlining the terms of the Obama Administration's offer in writing were en route, in the end it never arrived. So the reality is that in spite of how this is being spun, the Israelis never 'rejected' a US offer to extend the settlement freeze - because they never received one.
It's pretty obvious to me that what we're seeing here is a failed attempt at one of the oldest cons in the book, the bait-and-switch. Obama and Clinton were willing to appear to offer the Israelis something, but they had no intention of delivering, and certainly not of putting anything in writing that could be referred to later. What they were hoping was that Netanyahu would take Clinton's promises at face value..and after the freeze was in place, the Obama Administration could then 're-interpret' the deal to Israel's disadvantage.
Unfortunately for them, Netanyahu had been down this road with Clinton before, when she and Obama blatantly lied about President's Bush's 2004 letter and assurances to Ariel Sharon recognizing Israel's claim to parts of Judea and Samaria in any peace agreement, among other things. They simply reneged on it and claimed it never happened.
No one is mentioning the 'Palestinians' intransigence as a reason for the failure of the talks, but then, the 'Palestinians' made no secret about the fact that they had no intentions of negotiating anything with Israel. That's why they waited until there were only two weeks left in Israel's unilateral ten-month freeze before opening direct talks, and then walked away to deliberately create a crisis.
Instead, their strategy is to abrogate Oslo and the Roadmap and to go the the UN Security Council and get a resolution recognizing 'Palestine' on the pre-1967 borders, thus further isolating Israel. In fact, the 'Palestinians' have already said (in Arabic, of course) that they're no longer bound by the Oslo Accord and that all of Israel is fair game for 'liberation'.
The 'Palestinians' can undoubtedly get such a resolution, provided the US abstains and does not use its veto. ..and there's an excellent chance not only that President Barack Hussein Obama, the most hostile president towards Israel in US history will do exactly that.
In fact, there's a better than even chance that Obama has already worked this out with the 'Palestinians' beforehand.
However, I think the US will likely make an attempt at imposing a solution on Israel in favor of the 'Palestinians' before that, perhaps using the threat of abstaining from a UN vote asan arm twister. Look for nuanced phrases like ‘bridging proposals'.
Rob Miller blogs at Joshuapundit.