Two days ago I took great exception to new positions put forward by Sec of State Rice regarding Jerusalem,
Now I’m watching LIVE during a press conference with Bush & Rice in attendance, Israel has said in no uncertain terms that Jerusalem & the West Bank are not equal, Jerusalem is the Capitol of Israel, has been annexed and enjoys special status.. There will be no halt, and no discussion of status regarding Israeli Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem is what Olmert just said plain & simple..
Further, the President has basically chased that statement without negating it. Rice’s push to dictate to or evict Jews from Jerusalem was a grave mistake that immediately endangered the entire Peace Process and was pie in the sky, her initiative lasted about 48 hours.
I’ll reiterate my informed opinion as an Israeli, if the US State Dept. continues to insist on these measures I believe they will fail & badly. Just today 70% of Israelis polled, the vast majority are not willing to compromise on this issue in ANY WAY, and before any peace we will vote. Forcing us to turn the USA sponsored peace process down by vote will be the worst policy disaster of the Bush administration by far, and the worst legacy for Rice imaginable.
Back off please, because we’ll take war over peace if forced to. Jerusalem is the Capitol of Israel, we will decide what goes on there.. No one else, peace be damned.
More when reporting on this issue is done up, the conference is wrapping up now.
UPDATE YNET NEWS:
‘J’lem building to continue’ – Olmert makes it clear to Bush Israel will not halt construction in east J’lem despite US objection.
Update II – Jpost:
‘Construction to continue in major settlement blocs, J’lem’