US Vice President Joe Biden’s trying to recover from the embarrassment of arriving in Israel on a peace mission, to be greeted by an announcement of 1,600 new homes being built in disputed East Jerusalem. So is the US now ignored by Israel? A once strong force that has lost its influence? Or has Israel always done what it wants, regardless of outside pressure? This is how the visit is playing in Israeli and Palestinian newspapers.
Posts Tagged ‘settlements
The Palestinian leadership “wants a deal with Israel without any negotiations” and Israel’s leadership “wants negotiations with the Palestinians without any deal.”
The Israeli government has offered to stop settlement building in the West Bank for 10 months. But the Palestinian authority is not impressed and officials say that this is nothing new and unless it involves East Jerusalem it was unacceptable. Continue reading ‘On air: Should Israelis and Palestinians be left to make their own peace?’
The majority of Americans wanted him as President, and the majority of the world wanted him to win too. When I was in Washington for the Inauguration, people wore t-shirts reading ‘Our moment is now’. But is the President making the most of that moment? He always emphasised to his supporters that they had a part to play, but while the right in the States makes its opposition very well known, are his advocates backing him as effectively and passionately as they might? Put simply, reverse the question – are Pres Obama’s supporters letting him down?
I heard a fascinating contribution from John Simpson, the BBC’s World Affairs editor, on the Today programme on Saturday. See if you agree with his analysis… Continue reading ‘On air: Is President Obama letting his supporters down?’
President Obama is very clear :
“The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop. “
Benjamin Netanyahu is equally clear : (according to a spokesman) ” I have no intention to construct new settlements, but it makes no sense to ask us not to answer to the needs of natural growth and to stop all construction, there is no way that we are going to tell people not to have children or to force young people to move away from their families”.