Saturday, December 08, 2012

I've Been JTA- Noted

In this JTA backgrounder:

E-1, Olmert and peace: Are Netanyahu’s detractors hypocrites?

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has been outspoken in assailing the Netanyahu government's move to begin planning for construction in the so-called E-1 area.

But Olmert's own history with E-1 -- the currently undeveloped area between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim -- is drawing similar scrutiny from a strange collection of bedfellows.

From the right, the pro-Netanyahu Israeli daily Israel Hayom noted that in 2006, when Olmert was prime minister, he had said that "it is unthinkable that we would talk about Maaleh Adumim as part of the State of Israel and leave it as an island or isolated enclave. It is absolutely clear that there will be built-up continuity between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim." (Settler spokesman Yisrael Medad found a similar collection of Olmert quotes from before he was prime minister calling for Israel to retain control of E-1 and build there.)


Olmert is not criticizing Netanyahu for supporting development in E-1 but rather for pressing the issue now, before there is agreement on borders with the Palestinians and while the U.S. strongly opposes such a move (as past U.S. administrations also have). That doesn't seem to be inconsistent with Olmert's criticism of Netanyahu's E-1 move. (Though it is a departure from Olmert's vow shortly before he became prime minister to pursue construction in E-1, a past stance that is noted by Medad.)

I left this comment there:

what is missing from this analysis review is the simple fact that the basis for Olmert's criticism is the assumption that all he calls 'friends' and 'supporters' are indeed so. Rice forced Sharon to yield on the Philadelphi Corridor and Obama backtracked on the Bush Letter Understandings which formed the basis for the Disengagement. So, are they friends? Can they or their policies be trusted as supportive of Israel?

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