Excursions on the Middle East, politics, the Levant, Islam in politics, civil society, and courage in the face of unbridled, otherwise unchecked power.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Israeli Settlements: U.S. Department of State press conference, May 27, 2009
Question: Does the Administration consider itself bound by the contents of the letter former President Bush sent to then Israeli Prime Minister Sharon in 2004? Additionally, does the Obama administration consider itself bound by the unwritten verbal understandings of 2005 between the Israeli government and the Bush administration regarding settlements?
Answer: As Secretary Clinton said, “With respect to settlements, the President was very clear when Prime Minister Netanyahu was here: He wants to see a stop to settlements – not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions. We think it is in the best interests of the effort that we are engaged in that settlement expansion cease. That is our position. That is what we have communicated very clearly, not only to the Israelis but to the Palestinians and others. And we intend to press that point.”