Just testing to see if you were awake. No, Hillary Clinton didn’t threaten suspension of $3 billion in annual U.S. aid in response to the Israeli announcement that it would build 1,100 news housing units in the East Jerusalem settlement of Gilo. She should have. But didn’t. But you can bet your Gilo apartment on the fact that the U.S. and EU will suspend millions in aid to the PA if the UN approves Palestinian statehood.
Note the irony in the juxtaposition of these two news stories:
European Union representatives have told the Palestinians that any unilateral move on their part will put European aid to the Palestinian Authority at risk, according to senior UN officials in New York.
Israel announced plans Tuesday for 1,100 new housing units in an area of East Jerusalem outside Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries. The move reflects Israel’s continued rejection of Palestinian demands for a halt in settlement construction as a condition for peace talks.
So, a Palestinian campaign for statehood is unilateral and will result in the Palestinians losing their largest foreign benefactors and driving hundreds of thousands into even greater privation than they now face. But 1,100 new Israeli housing units on occupied Palestinian land is not, and will not result in the suspension of $3 billion in U.S. aid. Makes perfect sense to me.
And did you all see that nice lady, Hillary Clinton telling that bad, bad Bibi that he shouldn’t do those mean things to her friend, Mahmoud? It was touching.
In the meantime, Israel’s inner cabinet can’t even agree to accept the terms of the Quartet for returning to talks in one month and agreeing to a final settlement in one year. Despite the fact that Bibi has already publicly embraced the proposal. Gotta tell ya, Tony Blair and his friends in the Quartet have always impressed me with their political muscle.
Likud young blood, Danny Danon, is teaming up with Tea Party darling, Rep. Joe Walsh, to propose both in the Knesset and Congress that Israel annex a major portion of the West Bank (it has already annexed the Golan and East Jerusalem) in retribution for the Palestinians’ chutzpah in attempting to gain statehood from the UN. Think Progress reports that Walsh is concerned that American Jews “aren’t pro-Israel enough” and that he has to show them the way through his Congressional resolution.
Clearly, Walsh’s goal is to embarrass the White House, which ostensibly opposes settlements and the Israeli Occupation. But if the House actually voted to endorse annexation it would put the U.S. legislative branch on record supporting a major violation of international law, not to mention set the possibility for Middle East peace back, oh, at least a few decades. I don’t suppose anyone’s ever told the Tea Party-ers that foreign policy is the sole purview of the executive branch, have they?
Last but never least, Tom “Terrific” Friedman writes from his august perch next door to the Sulzberger family throne room that “all” the Palestinians have to do to get a peace deal is give up the Right of Return. More clear-thinking from Israel’s man at the Times.