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Monday, June 01, 2009 

US demand to freeze natural growth is unreasonable

Benjamin Netanyahu has described the Obama administration's demand to halt Jewish "natural growth" in Judea/Samaria as unreasonable:
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu characterized on Monday as "unreasonable" US demands to freeze all building east of the Green Line, adding that he was "still unclear" as to what exactly the United States was demanding of Israel regarding construction in the settlements.

The prime minister, briefing the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on his recent trip to Washington, said, "it is likely that we are not going to reach an agreement with the Americans" regarding settlement building, but did his best to portray his meeting with US President Barack Obama in a positive light.

Netanyahu said that "new important understandings were reached" in the course of the meeting, but added that in some fields there was no agreement, and did not elaborate on the "new understandings."

Netanyahu broadly hinted that it was the US which was now changing understandings with Israel regarding settlement construction.

"If they would come to us and say 'there were understandings, live up to them,' then that we could understand," he said. But, he added, if the US instead said, "'there were understandings, but we are abrogating them,' then that would be difficult."

Israeli officials maintain that over the past five years there were tacit agreements with the US over where construction could continue in the settlements, and that the new administration was now essentially rolling back those understandings.
Quite right about the Obama administration's demands, but they're missing an important detail about the Dubya administration: they wanted a "settlement freeze" too, as Condi Rice's stance could suggest.

Update: Hot Air reports that Obama may now be seeking revenge.

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