Tag Archives: netanyhu

Israel Double Talk Damages Peace Efforts!

Israel stands at a momentous time in its history when an opportunity for peace with Arab nations is now possible. However, to seize the ring of reconciliation will require imagination and trust on the part of the nation’s leaders. Unfortunately, the Netanyahu government is more concerned with votes and politics than their nation’s security. His Cabinet agree with the prime minister that construction of hundreds of new houses in the West Bank would begin even as Israel promised the American government there would be a settlement housing freeze.

Netanyahu has made clear housing construction will continue in east Jerusalem. As one Israel government official commented: “the postponement in construction is a strategic delay. We won’t give up on building in Jerusalem and will still build hundreds of construction units.” These are not the words of peace. Continued housing construction in the west bank and east Jerusalem make it difficult for moderate Muslim leaders to win over their people. Israel will construct houses on illegally seized land and proclaim it is necessary to achieve peace. Of course, the houses will hinder peace.

Israel Refuses To Halt Settlement Building

The issue concerning continued building of housing in West Bank settlements continues to create a bridge between the United States and Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Obama’s special envoy, George Mitchell, that his government would not halt what he termed “natural growth” of housing in the settlements. He also expressed the view, “Israel is working to promote peace and security with our Palestinian neighbors and the wider Arab world.” However, the refusal on the part of Netanyahu to even say he was in favor of an independent Palestinian state most probably reflects his real aim which is to delay and hamper any efforts on the part of the United States, Palestinians, and the wider Arab world for a peaceful solution.

The West Bank was seized by Israel forces in 1967 and thus is occupied territory. Neither the UN or any international body has ever awarded that area to Israel which makes the settlements illegal under any definition of international law.