Clinton, Netanyahu make a bloc on settlements


PALESTINE Authority President Mahmud Abbas has been completely undermined by the latest declaration of US Secretary of State Clinton.

In it she supported the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for ‘offering’ to slow down settlement expansion, and urged that peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians commence immediately.

Clinton’s declaration was, in fact, following the lead of President Obama, who in September called for ‘restraint’ in Israeli settlement activity rather than the ‘freeze’ he had earlier demanded.

Netanyahu is now extremely pleased that the US Secretary of State has confirmed to the world that this is the official position of the US.

Netanyahu’s supposed Palestinian ‘partner’, President Abbas, must now reject the Clinton-Netanyahu line and refuse peace talks or else resign.

The attitude of Obama-Clinton to the Zionist leadership and its expansionist policies can now be seen to be not a jot different from that of the reviled former president, George W Bush.

Yesterday Abbas stated: ‘The United States did not offer anything new that would move the peace process forward between the Palestinians and the Israelis.’

He added: ‘This US position is illogical. A six-month settlement freeze does not mean halting settlements completely, which is a condition for the resumption of the peace process.’

However he added: ‘there is no disagreement between the Palestinian Authority and the US on resuming the peace process because Washington is negotiating with Tel Aviv, not with the PA.’

In fact, Clinton when she said in Jerusalem: ‘What prime minister Netanyahu has offered in the specifics of restraint on the policy of settlements. . . is unprecedented in the context of prior-to negotiations,’ was parading US policy.

To rub salt into the Palestinian wound she continued: ‘There are always demands made in any negotiations that are not going to be fully realised. . . Negotiation by its very definition is a process of trying to meet the other’s needs while protecting your core interests, and on settlements there’s never been a pre-condition.’

Clinton in fact is satisfying the core interests of the US and its Israeli client, and throwing the interests of the Palestinians to the wolves.

Abbas’ spokesmen took a harder line on Clinton’s comments. ‘The negotiations are in a state of paralysis, and the result of Israel’s intransigence and America’s back-peddling is that there is no hope of negotiations on the horizon,’ said Nabil Abu Rudaynah said.

The Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat took issue with Clinton’s characterisation of Israeli policy.

He said: ‘What the Israelis are offering is not unprecedented. We have seen these same kinds of “arrangements” before.’

‘What would be unprecedented is a comprehensive settlement freeze by Israel in line with its obligations under international law and existing agreements, and a halt to Israeli policies in occupied East Jerusalem such as home demolitions, evictions and rapid settlement expansion, designed to rid the city of its Palestinian presence,’ he added.

Clinton remains unrepentant. She said yesterday in Marrakesh that her comments were part of an approach of ‘positive reinforcement’ whenever either side made a step forward in the peace process.

In fact, the Palestinian masses are now demanding that there be no peace talks while the right of the Israelis to build settlements is accepted by the United States.

The relationship of the Obama regime and American imperialism to Israel makes it clear that there will never be a viable independent Palestinian state established – with East Jerusalem as its capital, with no settlements and with refugees having the right to return – by permission of the US.

The time is fast approaching for the launching of the Third Intifada.