The Freeze

The Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have predictably degenerated into “friendly” pressure on Israel to extend its building freeze, while the Palestinians are given carte blanche.

One good quote from Ehud Barak was reported in Arutz Sheva –  “It sounds bizarre to consider stretching [the building freeze] because we gave an unprecedented gesture that never happened in the history of our country to put an end to private projects for 10 months. For nine months, the Palestinians stalled and ridiculed it as something that was nonsense, and in the last month, it has become [the issue] on which the whole peace process stands. It is almost inconceivable.” 

Barak reminded viewers that the Palestinian Authority in the past has discussed the issue of a new Arab state with Israel despite massive building for Jews. “We should find a formula [for continuing talks] without humiliating Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas ] and without trying to corner Israel,” Barak said.

In the same article, Barak was also quoted as stating “History will judge this [Obama] administration when it comes to the end of its term whether Iran has nuclear weapons or not,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Fox News in an interview. He also said sanctions are not enough to stop Iran from reaching nuclear capability.”

It’s reassuring to see Ehud Barak making clear statements, so that Netanyahu is not alone in resisting the supposed friendly pressure for an ongoing freeze.

Dan Meridor has also been quoted in the Washington Post urging the Palestinians to compromise on the issue of building… and also reminds people that the bottom-up approach for peace may still be a positive approach, irrespective of direct talks or not.

Meanwhile, in Australia, it would be a tragedy if Australian soldiers lives have been lost in Afganistan because of a lack of  fighting support – especially if there is a failure to adequately define the specific goals of the mission.

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