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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Settlement Freeze is Netanyahu Challenge to Abbas: "Time to Put Tuchas Offen Tisch!"

Today Bibi Netanyahu played a brilliant move, in Yiddish its called Hey put tuchas offen tisch, literally, Hey put your "arse" on the table (put up or shut up). He offered a ten month freeze in settlement building in exchange for restarting the peace plans. I doubt very strongly the freeze will every happen.

The truth is the real reason there is no peace is the Palestinians don't want peace. No other country in the world has made concessions the way Israel has. Since 1977, we they given up areas of land three times the size of the State of Israel. The Oslo process began in 1993. Sixteen years have passed since then, and they are no closer to a permanent settlement. The Palestinians don't want peace, its bad for buisness. It is the hatred of Israel that allows the PA to keep power. It deflects public anger from their own fraud, theft of public funds and incompetence, to that "evil Zionist entity:"
Netanyahu: Settlement freeze would prove Israel really wants peace
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent, and Agencies
A 10-month freeze on construction in West Bank settlements would prove that Israel genuinely seeks to reach peace with the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday ahead of a cabinet vote on the move.

"In the international circumstances that have been created, this step will advance Israel's broad international interests. This is not a simple step, nor an easy one; but it has many more advantages than disadvantages," Netanyahu told his aides.

Settlement building has been a key sticking point in U.S. efforts to restart Middle East peace talks; the Palestinians say they will not return to the negotiating table without a complete halt to construction.

Netanyahu added: "It will enable us to show the world this simple truth: The Government of Israel wants to enter into negotiations with the Palestinians, is taking practical steps to enter into negotiations and is very serious in its intention to advance peace."

The prime minister was set to announce the settlement freeze at a special news conference on Wednesday evening. The move is expected be approved at the cabinet meeting Wednesday afternoon.

An official statement from the Prime Minister's Office on Wednesday said Netanyahu would seek approval for the moratorium from his cabinet in order to boost peace prospects.

"As part of our efforts to give impetus to peace talks with the Palestinian Authority and promote Israel's comprehensive national interests, the prime minister will ask the security cabinet to approve a temporary suspension on construction permits for new residences and the [actual] start of new residential construction for a period of ten months," the statement said.

The move is not unexpected; Netanyahu announced several days ago that he intended to declare a settlement freeze for 10 months. Israel began building in the West Bank in 1967, following the capture of the territory from Jordan during the Six-Day War. Today, more than a quarter of million Israelis live in West Bank settlements.

The construction freeze will not be implemented in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem, which is viewed by Israel as a separate issue to be discussed in a final status agreement with the Palestinians.

The freeze will also not apply to construction that has already been authorized or to work on public buildings conducive to normal life in the territories.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told reporters Wednesday that a settlement freeze was unacceptable without halt in construction in Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as the capital of a state.

"What has changed to make something that what was not acceptable a week or 10 days ago [acceptable now]?," he told reporters. "The exclusion of Jerusalem is a very serious problem for us."

 Today the Government of Israel showed once again that it is interested in making peace with the Palestinians, they made an offer that will undoubtedly be rejected by the Palestinians side.  But who knows for sure, Hey Mr. Abbas, put tuchas offen tisch!

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