Friday, June 06, 2014

Repeat after me: "Coddling Does Not Work".

The U.S. is dealing with an Israeli government that is ideologically committed to expanding and preserving illegal settlements in the West Bank.  It is a government that rejects a two-state solution, notwithstanding a politically expedient speech by PM Netanyahu at Bar Ilan University.  Such a government is not going to be dissuaded from what it is doing by quiet entreaties from U.S. diplomats.

Washington, D.C., June 5, 2014, State Department
QUESTION: Still on the settlements. Your counterparts in the EU have actually gone a step further and called on Israel to reverse this decision. Would you support that?
MS. HARF: I’m not going to use those words. I think I’ll stick with: We’re deeply disappointed; again, difficult to understand how these contribute to peace, and would urge both sides to refrain from unhelpful actions that increase tension.

QUESTION: Not changing your policy. But can you show me, like – just give me one example where these talks and this consistency actually helped in any way over the issue of the settlements?
MS. [Marie] HARF [U.S. State Department Spokeswoman]: Well, broadly speaking, we know we have a lot more work to do. Obviously we know where the talks are at the moment; they’re suspended, they’re not happening. So this is part of a larger conversation, quite frankly, about how we move the peace process forward, if that’s possible now, and what each side can do to move that forward. So it’s part of a much broader conversation that we’re having with both sides.
QUESTION: But you don’t have, like, specific case where your engagement with the Israelis, where – was –
MS. HARF: I just don’t have anything further for you on this topic.
 Coddling does not work.

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