Kerry to demand partial settlement freeze in Israeli-Palestinian talks?

posted at 12:41 pm on February 19, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The US has once again floated the idea of a settlement freeze in the Israeli-Palestianian talks, Israeli army radio reported earlier today. Five years ago, Barack Obama publicly demanded a complete end to settlement expansion as a condition of talks, infuriating Israel and then the Palestanians when Hillary Clinton retreated just a few months later.  The demand from the US escalated expectations about the conditions of talks, which predictably resulted in their complete collapse at the time.

This time, John Kerry has something else in mind. Instead of making a complete freeze a prerequisite for talks at all, the US will propose a partial freeze in smaller settlements as a carrot for Mahmoud Abbas to commit to talks:

Aides to US Secretary of State John Kerry will request that the Israeli government freeze all construction in settlements outside of the large blocs of communities that Israel intends to keep in any final-status deal with the Palestinians, Army Radio reported.

Kerry’s aides say the request will be an integral part of the framework agreement that will allow for the negotiations to continue past the originally allotted nine months, according to Army Radio.

Officials in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office have yet to officially respond to the request, Army Radio reported. While there has been no official response from Jerusalem, government officials have resigned themselves to the fact that Israeli gestures are necessary in order to entice Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas back to the negotiating table.

Israel has insisted that it wants to keep the blocs of major settlements in any deal, both for political reasons and for strategic reasons. Strategically, the blocs in question occupy the high ground around Jerusalem, which Israel believes it needs to secure the state from another invasion through the West Bank. Politically, no Israeli government could sell the dismantlement and relocation of the tens of thousands of Israelis who have established themselves in these blocs, especially not after the retreat from Gaza and the mess it left behind.

However, the smaller settlements are both a political and strategic problem for Israel. There is no good way for Israel to defend them in the aftermath of a peace settlement based on a two-state solution. The security needed for these settlements exacerbate the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, especially along the security zone. Israel cannot afford to maintain these smaller settlements in the event of a peace treaty, or worse, an outright declaration of independence by the Palestinian Authority — which it is threatening, and which the UN is almost certain to embrace in the General Assembly, even among Western nations. The experience of the debate over the PA’s acceptance as a non-member observer nation in the GA showed just how little leverage Israel still has in this negotiation.

So far, Netanyahu’s office is staying quiet about this leak, and its airing by army radio may well be a test balloon to see whether it will fly with Israelis. Netanyahu could implement an “unofficial” settlement freeze by tying up expansion efforts in reams of red tape, but he’d need the Knesset to put an official stop to any construction efforts. If Abbas doesn’t give some sort of public acceptance of this term, grudging better than enthusiastic in this case, don’t expect Netanyahu to stay silent for long. If this fails, though, Kerry will be left with considerable egg on his face.

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Build Bibi, build!!

Deano1952 on February 19, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Go eff yourself, Lurch!

annoyinglittletwerp on February 19, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Bibi should glibly respond by altering one of Pharaoh Obama’s more famous statements, “the future must not belong to those who KILL in the name of the prophet of islam”.

ConstantineXI on February 19, 2014 at 12:44 PM

John Kerry is the US Secretary of State

Freaking Bizarro-World

jake-the-goose on February 19, 2014 at 12:46 PM

…just keep freezing your face…dumb shit!

KOOLAID2 on February 19, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Does anyone care what the talking horse-head wants?

Schadenfreude on February 19, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Flail,fail,bail. Rinse and repeat.

Kabuki can get really boring.

BL@KBIRD on February 19, 2014 at 12:49 PM

…we need Hillary!

KOOLAID2 on February 19, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Vityas proposes a settlement freeze in Washington DC. No more pigs at the trough.

vityas on February 19, 2014 at 12:50 PM

And he’ll demand this in a fashion reminicent of
Ghengis Khan, no doubt.

ToddPA on February 19, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Perhaps Kerry will label Israeli industrial production a the most devastating Weapon of Mass Destruction in history against the Palestinian pristine environment. .

Egfrow on February 19, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Maybe Kerry can go throw someone else’s medals over the fence to protest in a manner reminiscent of Swift Boat John.

Flange on February 19, 2014 at 12:53 PM

It takes two to make Peace, but only one to make War. Until the Parasiteians (intentionally misspelled) want Peace, why bother?

LouisianaLightning on February 19, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Why the long face John?

ToddPA on February 19, 2014 at 12:57 PM

The security needed for these settlements exacerbate the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, especially along the security zone.

I am stunned by this statement. The needed security makes the conflict worse? Yes, if those perky jews would only disarm, I’m sure everything would be alright.

I award you no points, and may G-d have mercy on your soul.

Irritable Pundit on February 19, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Why the long face John?

ToddPA on February 19, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Beat me to it. Horseface and Obummer need a resounding message to go pound sand.

Infidelius on February 19, 2014 at 1:03 PM

It is impossible to overstate how WRONG Kerry is on everything he has touched since becoming Secretary of State.

Unfortunately for America, Obama probably supports everything Kerry is doing. The dangerous, long-term consequences for the United States continue to multiply with every administration “diplomatic” action.

pilsener on February 19, 2014 at 1:03 PM

If this fails, though, Kerry will be left with considerable egg on his face.

Based on his past performances, no one will notice.

butch on February 19, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Kerry will be left with considerable egg on his face.

That will be a lot of eggs that Lurch will be breaking…..

redguy on February 19, 2014 at 1:04 PM

No Freeze.

Accelerate the building of settlements.
Return the borders of Israel to all of Judah, historical Israel, Gaza, West Bank, Golan Heights.

chuckh on February 19, 2014 at 1:05 PM

It is impossible to overstate how WRONG Kerry is on everything he has touched since becoming Secretary of State.

Unfortunately for America, Obama probably supports everything Kerry is doing. The dangerous, long-term consequences for the United States continue to multiply with every administration “diplomatic” action.

pilsener on February 19, 2014 at 1:03 PM

That is why Obama hired him…..

redguy on February 19, 2014 at 1:05 PM

There’s no such thing as a “Palestinian.”

And Israelis living in Judea and Samaria do not constitute “settlements.” It’s just Israelis moving from one place to another. Israelis are perfectly free to move wherever they want to in their own territory, which is what that is.

WhatSlushfund on February 19, 2014 at 1:06 PM

a peace settlement based on a two-state solution.

“Two-state solution”?? LOL. What idiot thinks there will be only two states if any fo this idiocy goes into effect? The West bank arabs and the gaza arabs are wholly different groups who have no love for each other. There will never be a single pali state, AS WE HAVE ALL SEEN ALREADY!!

Anyone who keeps using this “two state” silliness is not a serious person. Tell me who is in control of gaza right now. Who is in control of the leadership in the West bank? Are they the same?

Stop with repeating this “two state” stupidity. it’s as bad as trying to lie about illegal aliens by calling them immigrants (illegal, undocumented, whatever modifier for the lie).

I can only shake my head at this point. It’s like a tsunami of silly.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 19, 2014 at 1:10 PM

John “F’ing” Kerry, the traitor who tried to surrender on America’s behalf to the Vietcong, now trying to dictate to Israel, a sovereign nation, what they can and cannot do within the boundaries of their own sovereign nation. What a fluking disgrace.

oscarwilde on February 19, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Perhaps Netanyahu can ask for a yacht freeze.

cbenoistd on February 19, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Perhaps Netanyahu can ask for a yacht freeze.

cbenoistd on February 19, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Or declare Ketchup un-Kosher…

oscarwilde on February 19, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Unless and until the Palestinians agree that Israel has a permanent right to exist, as a Jewish state, don’t bother having any “talks,” they are a waste of time and energy.

rbj on February 19, 2014 at 1:15 PM

LouisianaLightning, ThePrimordialOrderedPair, WhatSlushfund etc…

I was confounded by Ed’s take on this, and Kerry’s push in general. I am very grateful for you and people like you on this thread. It gives me hope. Thank you.

Irritable Pundit on February 19, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Does anyone care what the talking horse-head wants?

Schadenfreude on February 19, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Sigh. When will guys get it right? It’s not a horse-”head”….

ScottG on February 19, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Netanyahu silent … for now.

Bibi privately told Kerry to wish in one hand and crap in the other. Kerry, incensed and confused, abruptly crapped in both and called it a break through.

onomo on February 19, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Irritable Pundit on February 19, 2014 at 12:57 PM

I believe you may have overreacted to Ed’s analysis. I don’t agree with him either, but I understand his comment in the scope of any possible peace talks, these settlements are an obstruction. However, I have just accepted the fact that the people of the religion of hatred will never want peace with Israel or the Jews.

Deano1952 on February 19, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Who does he think he is to demand anything of the Israelis? I hope they go and do as they please because our policies will get them wiped off the face of the earth.

crankyoldlady on February 19, 2014 at 1:25 PM

John Kerry is the US Secretary of State

Who is doing everything he possibly can to claim some sort of success as Secretary of State to burnish his resume to run again for President in 2016.

After all, if he gets something done that he can actually brag about he beats Hillary for the nomination hands down.

Johnnyreb on February 19, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Who demanded a partial freeze on Lurch’s face?

Cicero43 on February 19, 2014 at 1:29 PM

The Israelis would like the people in that area to have a state but it isn’t in the interests of a lot of leaders in the area. Meanwhile Israel is actually helping those people, not exploiting them, by employing them in their industries.

I bought one of those little plastic step stools recently. I just assumed it was probably made in China. I decided it looked awfully well made to be Chinese so I looked at the label. it was made in Israel. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything made in Israel.

Keep doing what you’re doing Israel.

crankyoldlady on February 19, 2014 at 1:33 PM

but I understand his comment in the scope of any possible peace talks, these settlements are an obstruction.

Deano1952 on February 19, 2014 at 1:22 PM

That is a western attitude. Arabs are not Westerners and do not react as westerners. This is the first problem that most in the west have with understanding anything about arabs, what motivates them and how to get them to act, somewhat, like civilized people.

Westerners cannot project their own ideas on arabs and have any wish to get what they want, because it just doesn’t work that way. The arab mind is so different from the Western mind that just attempting this empathy-driven analysis is a joke.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 19, 2014 at 1:36 PM

John Kerry is the US Secretary of State

Who is doing everything he possibly can to claim some sort of success as Secretary of State to burnish his resume to run again for President in 2016.

After all, if he gets something done that he can actually brag about he beats Hillary for the nomination hands down.

Johnnyreb on February 19, 2014 at 1:27 PM

My money is on, he hasn’t got a chance. It’s going to be Hillary. It’s already been decided. I live in the DC area, and I was at the supermarket yesterday, and I saw this new black Cadillac with two bumper stickers — one said ‘Obama/Biden,’ and the other said, ‘Are you ready for Hillary?’

These people already have the plan in motion. Just like they did with the ACA. They are scarily well-organized, and it’s not even the midterms yet.

Meanwhile, Republicans are in total disarray, and fighting against their own party.

WhatSlushfund on February 19, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Maybe Kerry and his ilk should spend more time solving the Mexican Occupation in the United States and let Israel take care of their own business.

DDay on February 19, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Offer a trade: Israel slows down settlement building, Palestinians slow down producing kids.

Bishop on February 19, 2014 at 1:43 PM

I will bless those that bless Israel and I will curse those that do the same.

Following the Bush 41 land-for-peace (ask Neville Chamberlain how that whole dealy worked out in Europe with Hitler) lie will get Israel nothing.

Israel should destroy it’s opposition, whatever that takes.

Then we’ll see “peace”.

PappyD61 on February 19, 2014 at 1:44 PM

If your’e using a computer with an intel processor – it was probably made here…
We produce of cool stuff – a lot of which, the US military uses in its fight against terror (drones, for example…).

Anyway. Jerry is voice of his master, and his master doesn’t like us very much. Oh well…

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything made in Israel
crankyoldlady on February 19, 2014 at 1:33 PM

NoBho on February 19, 2014 at 1:44 PM

A settlement freeze?

Is Kerry babbling about Climate Change again?

Deafdog on February 19, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Bibi should just propose taking over Gaza and putting all the Arabs in “Reservations” in the Golan Heights then the U.S. would understand that logic, right?

…..and remember to lie to the Arabs that you forceably remove and tell them, they’ll be better off on the “reservations” and you’ll give them free education, ObamaCare, and all the liquor they can guzzle.

PappyD61 on February 19, 2014 at 1:48 PM

..and remember to lie to the Arabs that you forceably remove and tell them, they’ll be better off on the “reservations” and you’ll give them free education, ObamaCare, and all the liquor they can guzzle.

PappyD61 on February 19, 2014 at 1:48 PM

They don’t drink. At least they aren’t supposed to.

crankyoldlady on February 19, 2014 at 1:51 PM

How about we encourage Abbas to show up by threatening to recognize Israels annexation of East Jerusalem if he doesn’t.

agmartin on February 19, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Why do all Lame duck President’s think they can solve this century long issue in the lasdt 2 years in office…
Truth is BHO could care less about this conflict. He has long ago abandoned any hope of legacy building via foreign policy. Healthcare will be his legacy (insert giggles here). This is Kerry’s wet dream- his last ditch effort to be remembered as a great pol and diplomate instead of a losing Pres candidate and anti war hippy. Without BHO involved early it will go nowhere

dgeis on February 19, 2014 at 1:58 PM

We can only hope that this ends as well as Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Iraq, and Syria under the smartest presidential team ever assembled. I also hear things are going great with Russia. Who said that an “Overcharge” button given by the world’s smartest woman wouldn’t bear fruit.

Frankly, I don’t think the world can stand too many more of these smart diplomacy successes.

jukin3 on February 19, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Israeli Innovations

Chemistry
Model of quasicrystals, discovered by Nobel prize winner Dan Shechtman of the TechnionDiscovery of Quasicrystals by Dan Shechtman of the Technion.The discovery led him to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Discovery of the role of protein Ubiquitin by Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover of the Technion Institute (together with the American biologist Irwin Rose). The discovery led them to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems by Arieh Warshel of the Technion Institute (together with the Austrian-American chemist Martin Karplus and American-British-Israeli Michael Levitt). The discovery led them to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Physics
Eshkol-Wachman Movement NotationPrediction of Quarks by Yuval Ne’eman of Tel Aviv University (together with the American physicist Murray Gell-Mann).
Discovery of the Aharonov–Bohm effect by Yakir Aharonov and David Bohm.
Formulation of Black holes Entropy by Jacob Bekenstein of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Optics[edit]World’s smallest video camera – a camera with a 0.99 mm (0.039 in) diameter, designed to fit in a tiny endoscope designed by Medigus.
Development of the “Pillcam” by Given Imaging, the first Capsule endoscopy solution to record images of the digestive tract. The capsule is the size and shape of a pill and contains a tiny camera.

Medicine See also: List of Jewish American biologists and physicians

Pillcam endoscopic capsule developed by Given ImagingEshkol-Wachman Movement Notation – a notation system for recording movement on paper that has been used in many fields, including dance, physical therapy, animal behavior and early diagnosis of autism.[12]
Development of the Copaxone immunomodulator drug for treating multiple sclerosis. It was developed in the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel by Michael Sela, Ruth Arnon and Deborah Teitelbaum

Development of the Interferon proteins by Michel Revel from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

Development of taliglucerase alfa (Elelyso), a recombinant glucocerebrosidase enzyme produced from transgenic carrot cell cultures.[16] Taliglucerase alfa won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May 2012 as an orphan drug for the treatment of Type 1 Gaucher’s disease.

Economics- Work of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem explaining irrational human economic choices.[18] The work led Daniel to receive the Nobel Prize in Economics.

Developments in Game theory. Israel Aumann of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem received the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in this field.

The Rubinstein bargaining model, one of the most influential findings in game theory, refers to a class of bargaining games that feature alternating offers through an infinite time horizon. The proof is from Ariel Rubinstein 1982.

Biotechnology See also: List of Jewish American biologists and physicians
Nanowire – a conductive wire made of a string of tiny particles of silver, a thousand times thinner than a human hair. developed by Uri Sivan, Erez Braun and Yoav Eichen from the Technion.[22]
World’s smallest DNA computing machine system – “the smallest biological computing device” ever constructed, according to Guinness Book of Records, which is composed of enzymes and DNA molecules capable of performing simple mathematical calculations and which uses its input DNA molecule as its sole source of energy it was developed in 2003 in the Weizmann Institute of Science by professor Ehud Shapiro and his team.

Theoretical computer science[edit]Michael O. Rabin introduced the concept of nondeterministic finite automatons.

Amir Pnueli introduced temporal logic into computing science.
Lempel-Ziv-Welch (LZW[26]) compression algorithm.

Adi Shamir with Ron Rivest, and Leonard Adleman introduced RSA public key encryption.

Dead Sea Salts
Jaffa Oranges
Intel Pentium Chips
Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

AirForceCane on February 19, 2014 at 2:16 PM

AirForceCane on February 19, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Nice list. You can add to that the fact that Israel has the most companies on the Nasdaq of any foreign country.

Also, Israel is a world leader in irrigation systems and water purification technologies, along with having been at the forefront of drone technology before the US jumped in … just to add aanother couple.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 19, 2014 at 2:32 PM

The same mistake as in the past. In a negotiation, you don’t ask one side to give up something for nothing. You don’t give up something just to get the other side to the table.

woocane on February 19, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Piss off waffles.

Murphy9 on February 19, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Kerry can demand all he want’s. It’s not going to happen.

sadatoni on February 19, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Kerry is more interested in getting his photo in papers than accomplishing anything.

The leftist Dems thrive on talk, only talk. What have they accomplished for this nation other than driving it into the ground?

MN J on February 19, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Netanyahu has remained silent? Silence is what John Dumbass’s proposal deserves.

RebeccaH on February 19, 2014 at 3:50 PM

crankyoldlady on February 19, 2014 at 1:33 PM

<3 <3 <3 :) Thank you.

saus on February 19, 2014 at 4:02 PM

It’s as though the last 40 or so years never happened with this crew.

Sheerq on February 19, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Kerry is just the messenger. It’s the Obama policy.

Given the Obama foreign policy is weak, feckless, and wrongheaded in the South Pacific and East Asia, Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, South Sudan, CAR, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Venezuela, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Argentina, and Greece, we can say it is at least consistent.

For Israel, it means they can safely ignore him. Unfortunately, so can the rest of the world – and that is dangerous, for the world and the USA.

1065 days, and counting . . .

Adjoran on February 19, 2014 at 7:36 PM

The USA is as much a threat to Israel as the mudslimes are. Leave them along. Every time the USA dictates to Israel they loose. WE do not need to tell them what to do or not do. They live with the dangers and we are on the outside looking inside. The mudslime groups are making threats daily about destroying them. Let them defend themselves and we should help maintain their munitions. Let odumba go over there and get on the front line and fight with his mudslime brotherhood family.

harvey1 on February 20, 2014 at 10:51 AM