In 2003, Israel signed onto an American sponsored road map peace plan which called for a settlement freeze including natural growth, but to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when Israel signs an agreement it is open to interpretation, but when Arabs sign agreements, what is signed is. An American State Department spokesperson made clear the Obama administration believes any further expansion of building whether in the West Bank or in east Jerusalem is a violation of the 2003 road map. “We’re talking about all settlement activity, yes, in the area across the line.” Israel insists it has a right to build anywhere in Jerusalem, it says so in the Torah.
Benjamin Netanyahu is a cynical political leader whose goal is maintaining power and he will take whatever steps are necessary to gain support of the religious right and West Bank settlers. The Obama administration will lose all credibility in the Middle East if it allows Netanyahu to continue building settlements. Obama must stand firm, he is the only real friend the state of Israel has in the world.