That’s what everybody’s asking about the latest settlement freeze offer/demand by the Obama Administration to Israel. According to the Jerusalem Post, here are the details:
The US said that if the deal was accepted it would not request an additional settlement freeze. The request does not include east Jerusalem.
The date for the new freeze has not been set, but it would be retroactive to the September 26th date, when the previous 10-month moratorium on such activity expired…
Should Israel accept the offer, the US in turn has pledged in the next year to veto any efforts by the UN Security Council to impose on Israel a non-negotiated solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, as the Palestinians have requested.
It would further veto any resolutions that deny Israel the right to self-defense or seek to de-legitimize Israel. The US would also oppose such efforts in other UN bodies and forums.
The US administration would ask Congress to approve the supply of 20 additional advanced fighter planes to Israel worth $3 billion so that Israel can keep its qualitative edge.
There are many things to think about here, like why the US believes that an additional 3 month moratorium that does not include Jerusalem is going to cause a breakthrough, when the Palestinians already refused to talk for 9 months of the previous 10-month freeze, when they are demanding that Jerusalem must be included, and when we know that the PA can’t agree to end the conflict on any terms that would be acceptable to Israel. But never mind, there’s a much more important question:
Has it ever been the case before that the US would not veto a Security Council resolution to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state, to deny Israel the right of self-defense or to delegitimize her?
No, never. No American administration since 1948, including that of Jimmy Carter or George H. W. Bush, would have allowed such a resolution to pass. So President Obama has simply made support for Israel at the UN, formerly unconditional, depend on Israel doing his bidding. Yes, this is the most anti-Israel administration ever.
In other words, the answer to the question posed by the title of this post is that it’s a threat. Do what we say or else.
But there is even something worse: the ‘deal’ is only good for one year. So even if Israel gives in and accepts the freeze the process starts all over again in a year. What will the US demand then? Probably Israel’s signature on a highly disadvantageous diktat establishing a ‘Palestinian’ state. And if Israel won’t go along, then the Security Council will impose it, by threat of sanctions or even force.
The US in the past guaranteed Israel’s sovereignty against threats from the hostile UN. That’s over.
And it is so over that I don’t think Israel should agree to the proposal, which, after all, will only buy a little time. Here are some reasons a freeze is bad:
- If the PA returns to negotiations, then what happens after three months when the freeze expires? They’ll walk out and it will be Israel’s fault, yet again.
- An additional freeze will be a betrayal of the Israelis living in ‘settlements’, who (with very few exceptions) accepted the previous freeze and were promised that it was temporary. Now they will be told that work must halt on construction that was begun after it expired.
- Despite the language used in the media (“settlement construction”) settlements are not being constructed or even made larger. The construction in question is inside existing settlements. So the point of the freeze is not to make more land available to the future Arab state, but rather to delegitimize all Jewish presence east of the line.
- An extension of the freeze will be yet another blow to the national-religious sector of Israeli society, the same people that were kicked out of Gaza to make room for Hamastan, and who lately have been accepting so much of the burden of Israel’s defense.
I know that Israel’s government faces a very tough decision. Some will say it is better to play for time, get a few F-35’s –although who knows when delivery will be scheduled — and hold off possible UN recognition of a terror state on Israel’s eastern flank.
On the other hand, in a year the choice may be between signing a dictated agreement approving such a state or having one imposed anyway. And this will be after Israel has in effect abdicated her claim to any land east of the 1948 line, publicly shown herself to be a satellite of the US rather than a sovereign state, and screwed her most patriotic and Zionist citizens.
Hmm, put that way it’s not such a tough decision, is it?