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Monday, October 11, 2010

Netanyahu's “Jewish state” demand is ultimately about Jerusalem

Hussein Ibish: "Netanyahu is essentially asking the Palestinians to give up on not one, but in effect two of the four major permanent status issues: refugees and, you game it out logically, in effect Jerusalem as well.

He's asking for this in return for an eight week extension of a partial, temporary moratorium that led to a minor slowdown but not a halt in settlement expansion and never covered Jerusalem.

What he's really asking for is an explicit concession on a new, highly problematic and emotional non-permanent status issue, not to mention massive implicit concessions on permanent status issues, in return for a very partial and very temporary meeting of Israel's obligations under Phase One of the Roadmap of the Middle East Quartet.

There is no basis in international law for Israel to claim a right to continue any form of settlement activity whatsoever.

It has been asked not to do so repeatedly by its major ally the United States.

And it is obliged by the Roadmap not to do so.

The idea that it would fulfill this obligation partially and for eight weeks in exchange for one of the most far-reaching Palestinian gestures imaginable with extremely serious implications for two of the most important permanent status issues is, frankly, insulting and indeed frivolous."

Netanyahu's “Jewish state” demand is ultimately about Jerusalem

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