As Israel waits for a letter clarifying America's guarantees in exchange for a proposed building ban for Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, a diplomatic source has come forward saying that no such letter is on its way. United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton misled Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and contrary to reports, the U.S. does not guarantee an end to the freeze, the source said.Oh, it wouldn't end even then; it'd be just beginning. The Obama administration won't provide any trustworthy agreement, and Fatah won't cooperate.
The source, a senior diplomat with inside knowledge of Netanyahu's recent meetings in Washington, said Clinton made commitments when talking to Netanyahu, but later slipped out of them by claiming that she had not been speaking on behalf of U.S. President Obama – who, she said in the end, did not give his approval.
When Netanyahu called the State Department to clarify America's position, officials expressed surprise at his surprise, the source continued. While Clinton made promises, Netanyahu knew from the beginning that Obama has the final word, they allegedly said.
Clinton had told Netanyahu that the proposed construction freeze would last for three months, and that it would end regardless of whether or not there was progress in talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. After that, she said, America would not push for a third building freeze.
However, according to the diplomat, U.S. leaders have since said that the building ban for Jews in Judea and Samaria would only end if Israel and the PA reached an agreement on the borders of a proposed PA state.
While we're on the subject, Ehud Olmert has made a very reprehensible attack on Netanyahu, saying he should go along with the proposed farce:
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert took a rare public jab at his successor on Thursday, saying that Israel should agree to the US demand to halt settlement construction in the West Bank in order to restart Mideast peace talks.Olmert really knows how to make you groan with his awfulness. His plan would only be a fiasco for one and all. A truly pitiful man indeed.
Olmert suggested Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Obama administration are wasting valuable time by focusing on such a "marginal" issue, rather than tackling the essential issues at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [...]
Speaking to foreign correspondents, he said he wouldn't have agreed to a settlement freeze in the first place, saying it was more important to focus on larger issues like final borders, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem. But he said he would not turn down a request from Israel's closest ally and endanger ties.
"If someone says that he agrees to 10 months of freezing and the president of the mightiest nation on earth and friendliest nation to Israel comes to you and says 'please give me two (more) months, only two months,' I mean what could happen in two months?" he said. "I would say 'president, why two? Why not three? Take three!"
Olmert said both Israel and the US should instead focus on reaching a final peace deal with the Palestinians.
Since leaving office, Olmert has confirmed he made Israel's most far-reaching offer to the Palestinians, proposing a Palestinian state on close to 94 percent of the West Bank, and offering them the equivalent of the final 6 percent of territory in a land "swap."
Olmert said the Palestinians never responded to his offer, made in the final months of his term in office.
"I think that they made a mistake. I think that the fact that they didn't respond to my proposal was a historic mistake of the highest order that they will live to regret for a long time, until someone will come from our side with the same ideas," he said.
The Olmert plan would have also have turned over Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem to Palestinian control. Jerusalem's Old City, with its holy sites, one of the most intractable issues dividing the sides, was to be governed jointly by Israel, the Palestinians, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United States, he said.