US ditches effort to get Israel to extend settlement slowdown

I guess Hillary Clinton already has her hands full overseeing the State Department’s UN credit card number theft operations along with coordinating cyber attacks on WikiLeaks — the Middle East peace process would just have to go on the back burner. There will be a statement tomorrow.

I wonder whether Israel still gets a free squadron of F-35 striker jets, for… well, just for being Israel. On the other hand, the US could consider offering firefighting equipment instead of fighter jets.

The decision to throw in the towel on getting a paltry three-month extension of the settlement slowdown is not “a retreat,” the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s David Makovsky tells Politico. That’s true. You can only retreat if you first advance.

Laura Rozen reports:

The United States has decided to abandon an effort to persuade Israel to issue a new temporary West Bank settlement moratorium in order for direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to resume, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

“After consulting with the parties, we have determined that a moratorium extension will not at this time provide the best basis for resuming negotiations,” a U.S. official said on the condition of anonymity Tuesday.

“We are still going to continue our engagement with both sides on the core issues and we continue to work towards the goal of a framework agreement,” the official said.

“We hope, obviously, to get the parties to direct talks, but in the meantime, we will continue our engagement with both sides,” the official said, declining to use the word “proximity” in reference to the talks. “We are not changing course. We are still very much committed” to getting a framework agreement.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due to make a statement Wednesday on the Middle East peace process. On Friday, Clinton will speak to the Saban forum, which will also be addressed by Palestinian Nation Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

There will be “no dramatic change” in policy that Clinton announces, a second U.S. official said Tuesday on condition of anonymity.

State Department spokesman PJ Crowley insists: “The process has not stopped. We obviously recognize that, we face a difficult obstacle, and we will continue to engage the parties on the way forward.”

Meanwhile, Brazil and Argentina are showing another way forward which does not depend on the ineffectual Obama administration: recognizing the state of Palestine.

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4 thoughts on “US ditches effort to get Israel to extend settlement slowdown

  1. Norman

    The reason perhaps is because “O” is selling out another piece of the American pie to the Republicans and tax cuts. The Treasury don’t have the money to throw away anymore, as the rest of the World that loans the U.S. money, are not going to anymore, especially seeing that the collateral backing those loans are the same as the housing fiasco taking place in the country today. They are on the verge as being worthless, that the bond holders are going to lose their investment. Of course, what are the Israeli’s going to do when the U.S. tells them that they don’t have the money to even defend them, let alone give them anymore aid? Bush started it, “O” is continuing it, the Congress will finish it.

    This is indeed a fascinating time to be an observer. History will no doubt be cruel to this administration & congress, which they will surely deserve. I really doubt that “O” thinks he can get away with his sell out of the American public, so doesn’t plan to run for a second term. Perhaps he can go live in Israel with the Congress afterward, but then, I don’t think they will let him, as he isn’t a Jew, and even if he converted, they still wouldn’t let him due tio his skin color.

  2. dickerson3870

    I look for George Mitchell to announce shortly that he must reluctantly resign for “personal reasons”. And of course, he would also like to spend more time with his grandchildren.
    As to the consummate obfuscater PJ Crowley and his “the way forward”, if I hear that inane phrase used one more friggin’ time @#$%*)@#*&$%@!!!

  3. Alice

    On July 18th of this year you posted an article which quoted in part a ‘Naval Vessel Transfer Act’ signed by G.W. Bush which enacted into law the absolute obligation of the U.S. to support Israel in its stand against its neighbors and its move towards greater authority in the Middle East.
    I fail to understand why this is not a part of any discussion in regard to actions that Obama takes or even considers. What are his real options?
    And surely this bit of legislation should rule out the U.S. as a neutral negotiator. Someone else should be in that role–not us.

  4. Christopher Hoare

    Gee, there are obstacles to getting the parties to move forward? Like the West Bank Wall? Like the theft of land and human rights? Like the dispossession of a whole population? Like the illegal proliferation of nuclear weapons? Like international murder operations? And as Alice says — that the US is not a neutral party to the dispute and therefore not an honest broker at any discussions.
    Luckily,the Mercosur countries are doing an end run around American and Israeli lies. See the link to Al Jazeera at the end of the article. Keeping the momentum of those recognitions going will make nations who do not recognize the de facto Palestinian State pariahs — as they truly should be. Keep the multi-polar world order building and sideline these liars and their phony diplomacy.

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