Thursday, July 2, 2009

 July 2, BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted “concessions” from Israel are needed on the issue of “settlements”. “I am convinced that there must be a stop to this, otherwise we will not arrive at a two-state solution that we need urgently,” she said.

 June 25, PARIS: French President Nicolas Sarkozy asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to impose a "total freeze" on Jewish settlements.

 Endlessly, WASHINGTON: “… (U)nder Annapolis there’s a clear understanding that we have to make progress on settlements, that settlements have to be stopped in order for us to move forward. That’s a difficult thing to recognize, but it’s an important one. And it has to be addressed.” Hussein Obama

And what does Israel say? In the manner of Bartleby the Scrivener, we're saying thanks anyway, but we prefer not to.

That was more or less what Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu said at the beginning.

As the demands to “freeze settlements” continued, however, he got a little more pointed, saying that the Community Organizer was wasting everyone’s time. "I think that the more we spend time arguing about this, the more we waste time instead of moving towards peace," Bibi said, adding that Jerusalem would remain the undivided capital of the Jewish nation forever.

Yesterday the final answer came from thank-goodness-for-loose cannons Foreign Minister Avidgor Lieberman, who couldn’t mince a word even if he wanted to.

“People love us when we make concessions,” Lieberman said. “But past Israeli concessions in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority have not had positive results.

"North Korea is firing missiles and we are continuing to deal with that little house in Judea and Samaria?" Lieberman asked. "Against the backdrop of events in Tehran, should this be the top priority of the global community?"

So no, he said. Israel will not “smother the normal lives of Jews living in Judea and Samaria.” We will not freeze construction.

Interestingly enough, there’s one group of our neighbors who side with Lieberman and Bibi completely on this issue of Jewish building in Judea and Samaria. Who? ‘Palestinian’ Arabs.

You read that right. Who doesn’t want the building in Judea and Samaria halted? The 12,000 Israeli Arabs who live in Judea and Samaria and who work in the construction business.

"We come here (to Judea and Samaria) because our Palestinian and Arab governments haven't done anything to provide us with better jobs,” one Arab construction worker told the Jerusalem Post.

According to the report, Arabs employed by Israeli companies earn almost three times what they would earn working for Arab companies.

Never a dull moment around here. Never a day without interesting developments.

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