State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland added, "We're going to be evenhanded in our concern about any actions that are provocative, any actions that make it harder to get these two parties back to the table."
When do you recall ever hearing something very finger-wagging at the Pals.?
The whole section:
QUESTION: Sorry. Just to follow up, the Israelis decided to build, I think, 3,000 new units as a response to this decision. Why don’t you see the Israeli decision as a unilateral act that also will endanger the peace process?
MS. NULAND: Well, let me start by reiterating our longstanding position with regard to settlements and with regard to Jerusalem. This is also not new. It’s our – we reiterate our longstanding opposition to settlement activity and East Jerusalem construction and announcements. We also believe that these actions are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations or achieve a two-state solution. Direct negotiations remain the only way to achieve the goal that both Palestinians and Israelis say they seek. So we’re going to be evenhanded in our concern about any actions that are provocative, any actions that make it harder to get these two parties back to the table.
QUESTION: So what will be the repercussions for the Israelis as a result of this?
MS. NULAND: Well, again, we are, as Ambassador Rice said yesterday, as the Secretary said yesterday, as we said at this podium, we are going to continue our efforts to try to get these parties to the table. Because that’s the only way that we are going to get to two states for two peoples with a sovereign, viable, and independent Palestine living side by side in peace and security with a Jewish and democratic Israel. That’s the goal that both parties say they want. The only way to get there leads through Ramallah and Jerusalem, not through New York, and we’re going to keep trying, we’re going to keep doing our best. But the parties have to want it, the parties have to work for it.
QUESTION: What is new about that announcement? It seems in Jerusalem is that the Israeli Prime Minister’s office is asking for the expedition of final approval of building in E1, that crucial area outside East Jerusalem. Is that your understanding? I mean, that’s something that the Bush Administration warned the Israelis against advancing plans to build there. And I think the Obama Administration reportedly did so a week ago. Is it your understanding --
MS. NULAND: Can you tell me who you are? I don’t --
QUESTION: Sorry. Dominic Waghorn, Sky News.
MS. NULAND: Our policy is as I stated it with regard to settlements and with regard to East Jerusalem. So our concern remains wherever this is and however it is.
QUESTION: Is it your understanding that they are expediting final planning for E1? Because that would be quite a significant move if they were, wouldn’t it?
MS. NULAND: It sounds like that’s a question for the Israelis, not for us in terms of the specifics.