Thursday, March 21, 2013

We're All Settled

A graphic follow-up to this:-



...visiting the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Mr. Obama urged the Palestinians to return to the bargaining table even if Israel did not meet their condition of halting construction of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories — a demand he, too, made at the start of his first term, but which had only a temporary, partial impact...Mr. Obama was, in effect, conceding that years of careful study about how to nudge the peace process forward had failed to produce tangible results.

...A draft copy of his talking points for the session with Mr. Obama, obtained by The New York Times, suggested that he was prepared to soften his long-held demand that Mr. Netanyahu publicly halt all building of settlements in favor of private assurances.

A senior administration official declined to discuss details of the meeting between Mr. Obama and Mr. Abbas.

Mr. Obama repeated his criticism of settlement projects, particularly in the strategically sensitive area of the West Bank known as E1. If the Israeli authorities go through with plans to develop that area, it will be “very difficult to square with a two-state solution,” he said.

Still, Mr. Obama did not explicitly call for a halt to such development as a condition for peace talks to resume. The senior official said that while Mr. Obama would continue to discourage building in areas like E1, there were other measures both sides could take to smooth the way for face-to-face talks. He declined to be specific.

...“I recognize that there are those who are not simply skeptical about peace, but question its underlying premise,” he said. “But it is important to be open and honest with one another.”

...Echoing a theme he first articulated in his speech to the Muslim world in 2009, Mr. Obama said the Israeli occupation of the West Bank imposed a shameful human cost...“Neither occupation nor expulsion* is the answer,” Mr. Obama said. “Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land.”...

Mr. President, we Jews will not be expelled from our land, our homes, our fields, our industries.


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