Israel: Strong Words Must Be Followed by Strong Actionby James J. Zogby
I was both understanding of and puzzled by the Obama administration’s reaction to Israel’s announcement of new settlement construction in occupied Palestinian lands.
It was just a few weeks ago that the White House signed a new 10-year agreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committing a total of $38 billion in military assistance to Israel. In announcing the deal, President Obama noted that this is the most significant support package ever offered to Israel, demonstrating his unparalleled commitment to that state’s security. Shortly thereafter, Obama, speaking before the United Nations General Assembly, cautioned Israel that it “cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.”
And so it was like a slap in the face when, when Netanyahu announced that he was building new settlement units in colonies deep in the West Bank, along with ongoing plans to expand settlements in other sensitive areas of the occupied lands—in Arab areas of Jerusalem, in the heart of Hebron, and around Bethlehem. All of these are clear provocations and when seen in combination make clear Israel’s intention to maintain its control over the West Bank, making impossible the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. Adding insult to injury was the fact that Netanyahu’s the announcement came just two days before Obama was to travel to Israel to speak at the memorial service for Shimon Peres. http://lobelog.com/israel-strong-words-must-be-followed-by-strong-action/#more-36112