Here in Israel everyone, including our government is pretty surprised that ‘Natural Growth’ has been chosen as such a conflict subject for the Obama administration. It is hard to understand why there is such obstinacy and these harsh demands, this natural growth policy has been in effect for decades in our major settlement blocks?
We intend to keep those blocks no matter what, Jerusalem is our capital no matter what. All irrespective of administrations, new peace initiatives, or even new fangled ‘appeasement efforts’. We have elected, now and previously governments with the implicit expectation that this reality persist as this is our national policy. Even the pliant Olmert / Livni peace process love fest was on record as fully opposed to such a freeze. Even the more dovish Labor leader Defense Minister Ehud Barak is in full agreement – THE MAN from TABA! The guy who Clinton got to nearly sell the whole farm while down in Washington, what more can Obama possibly want from us? Israeli policy has not changed, American policy has. Or seemingly, a desire to create an artificial conflict where non should exist has been put forth publicly by the Obama administration.
Letter from Bush
Before the Gaza withdrawals, we sought direct assurances regarding our major settlement blocks, Ariel Sharon got those assurances from President Bush in the form of letters. Further, earlier in the 2002 Bush White House speech 1st calling for a Palestinian State the President acknowledged realities and changes / facts on the ground. He acknowledged these settlement blocks and these realities yet Obama cannot? So far, Israel’s concerns in the matter seem to be ignored, and the Obama administration has made its pressure on Israel very public indeed. At the same time, few seem willing to comment directly on the US commitments to Israel regarding natural growth.
Does the White House support commitments made by Presidents on behalf of the United States of America or not?
James Rosen (in the audio) from Fox News follows up strongly – Twice!.. He seems to want an answer as well.