3 month freeze would exempt 2,000 buildings: "Yediot Acharonot correspondent Shimon Schiffer reports, in the name of government sources, that the proposed freeze would not include the approximately 2,000 construction projects currently underway." Similar gestures also need to be seen for what they are, namely cons to string along gullible U.S. politicians.
Such gestures fit in with the favored tunes of the last 16 years, such as the idea that the occupied territories are "disputed territories", whereas what Obama's demand for a settlement freeze is implicitly premised on the judgement that Israel's colonization of the occupied territories is "illegitimate" (the word he evoked in Cairo). It is easy to condone the actions of a friend when the status of land is disputed, but it is hard to condone it when it is a question of right and wrong, licit vs. illicit.
Meantime, the contradictions between the position of the Netanyahu government and the Obama administration are proving hard to paper over. A previously planned meeting between Bibi and George Mitchell has been postponed. No doubt, the last thing Netanyahu wants right now is to remind Israeli voters how out of step he is with Israel's superpower benefactor and protector.
A smart U.S. policy will continue to avoid extended discussion of the yawning gap between the two governments. Instead, quiet as a whisper cues loudly signal U.S. displeasure to finely tuned ears.
Meantime, Wapo's Jackson Diehl believes Obama has painted himself into a corner and that he should "end the spat" with Israel. After all, he concludes, its only over a "handful of apartments". This is the sort willful distortion of reality that has helped to rationalize tacit U.S. support for Israel's colonization of the West Bank. .