Likud Min. Landau: US Demanding Much More Than 3 Month Freeze
by David Lev
Contrary to reports in the media that portray the U.S. as giving Israel a “package” of “benefits” for another three months of building freeze in Judea and Samaria, Washington is actually demanding a lot more for its largesse – far more than Israel can safely agree to, said Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau.
Landau, along with other ministers and Knesset Members – including many Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu ministers, and coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin – are up in arms over the proposed renewal of the building freeze in Judea and Samaria, and have vowed to fight it with all means at their disposal.
Part of the fight, Landau said in a Voice of Israel Radio interview Tuesday morning, was changing the perception of the “deal” the United States. had ostensibly offered Israel for the freeze extension.
According to Landau, the conditions for the deal are far different than those being portrayed in the Israeli media, which is telling Israelis that in exchange for a “small” Israeli gesture of an additional three month freeze, Jerusalem will receive a bundle of benefits, including additional advanced F-35 fighter jets, and an American guarantee to veto any anti-Israel proposals at the United Nations and other world bodies – and to similarly smash any attempt by the Palestinian Authority to seek U.N. approval for a declaration of independence for an Arab state in Judea and Samaria.
But the United States doesn’t just want a three month extension, said Landau. When asked why he was opposed to so much benefit for “only” three more months of a building freeze, Landau responded, “Israel has failed to learn from the past. President Obama is ignoring previous promises, also written in a letter, that President Bush presented to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Those promises, too, were portrayed as a great diplomatic achievement.
“All the American promises share a similar characteristic – they lack specifics, and are not carried out if they are found to be damaging to American interests.” That was the case with the 2003 letter Bush presented Sharon, ostensibly recognizing Israel’s right to retain the “settlement blocs” in the event of a deal with the PA; in the end, that American promise has been rescinded by President Barack Obama because he has decided it is in American interests to do so.
Cross-posted at Avid Editor’s Insights