Thursday, June 25, 2009

Seems Hillary's Tongue Is Cleaving

Yesterday, I posted this at my blog:

Going around the grapevine:

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fell and broke her right elbow, earlier this week. This, just after telling Israel that the US includes "East" Jerusalem as part of the "settlement freeze".

Doesn't that remind you of Psalms 137:5 -

"If I forget thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten"?

And I obliquely referred to the next verse:

Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not;

Well, watch out what you wish for. Elliot Abrams, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, handled Middle East affairs at the National Security Council from 2001 to 2009, insists that Hillary's tongue should be cleaving to her mouth's roof:

Hillary Is Wrong About the Settlements

The U.S. and Israel reached a clear understanding about natural growth.

Despite fervent denials by Obama administration officials, there were indeed agreements between Israel and the United States regarding the growth of Israeli settlements on the West Bank. As the Obama administration has made the settlements issue a major bone of contention between Israel and the U.S., it is necessary that we review the recent history. In the spring of 2003, U.S. officials (including me) held wide-ranging discussions with then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem...

...We discussed some approaches: Could he agree there would be no additional settlements? New construction only inside settlements, without expanding them physically? Could he agree there would be no additional land taken for settlements?
As we talked several principles emerged...

On April 14, 2004, Mr. Bush handed Mr. Sharon a letter...On the major settlement blocs, Mr. Bush said, "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." Several previous administrations had declared all Israeli settlements beyond the "1967 borders" to be illegal. Here Mr. Bush dropped such language, referring to the 1967 borders -- correctly -- as merely the lines where the fighting stopped in 1949, and saying that in any realistic peace agreement Israel would be able to negotiate keeping those major settlements. On settlements we also agreed on principles that would permit some continuing growth.

Mr. Sharon stated these clearly in a major policy speech in December 2003: "Israel will meet all its obligations with regard to construction in the settlements. There will be no construction beyond the existing construction line, no expropriation of land for construction, no special economic incentives and no construction of new settlements."

Ariel Sharon did not invent those four principles. They emerged from discussions with American officials and were discussed by Messrs. Sharon and Bush at their Aqaba meeting in June 2003.

They were not secret, either. Four days after the president's letter, Mr. Sharon's Chief of Staff Dov Weissglas wrote to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that "I wish to reconfirm the following understanding, which had been reached between us: 1. Restrictions on settlement growth: within the agreed principles of settlement activities, an effort will be made in the next few days to have a better definition of the construction line of settlements in Judea & Samaria."

...Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated on June 17 that "in looking at the history of the Bush administration, there were no informal or oral enforceable agreements. That has been verified by the official record of the administration and by the personnel in the positions of responsibility."

These statements are incorrect. Not only were there agreements, but the prime minister of Israel relied on them in undertaking a wrenching political reorientation -- the dissolution of his government, the removal of every single Israeli citizen, settlement and military position in Gaza, and the removal of four small settlements in the West Bank.

Mrs. Clinton also said there were no "enforceable" agreements. This is a strange phrase. How exactly would Israel enforce any agreement against an American decision to renege on it? Take it to the International Court in The Hague?

Regardless of what Mrs. Clinton has said, there was a bargained-for exchange. Mr. Sharon...asked for our support and got it, including the agreement that we would not demand a total settlement freeze.

For reasons that remain unclear, the Obama administration has decided to abandon the understandings about settlements reached by the previous administration with the Israeli government. We may be abandoning the deal now, but we cannot rewrite history and make believe it did not exist.



The cleave is Psalms means:

1. to adhere closely; stick; cling (usually fol. by to).
2. to remain faithful (usually fol. by to): to cleave to one's principles in spite of persecution.

Origin: bef. 900; ME cleven, OE cleofian, c. OHG klebēn (G kleben)

and there's the other cleave

Origin: bef. 950; ME cleven, OE clēofan, c. OHG klioban (G klieben), ON kljūfa; akin to Gk glýphein to carve, L glūbere to peel

The sense of "cleft between a woman's breasts in low-cut clothing" is first recorded 1946, when it was defined in a "Time" magazine article as the "Johnston Office trade term for the shadowed depression dividing an actress' bosom into two distinct sections" [Aug. 5].

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