Despite all the hype swirling about Goldstone’s recent op-ed in the WaPoo, and, how he seems to be recanting his investigation’s results, of which, Israel was quick to pounce… Israel asks for Goldstone Report to be repealed… The UN, to its credit didn’t bite…
‘UN reports are not canceled on the basis of an op-ed in a newspaper,’ UN Human Rights Council spokesman says, adding Goldstone has not submitted official request to withdraw the report.
Now, in another de ja vu moment…
“The United States is deeply concerned by continuing Israeli actions with respect to settlement construction,” said White House National Security Staff spokesman Tommy Vietor.
Not exactly a “Welcome Shimon Peres” card.
But then again — for not the first time of the Obama presidency — a US-Israel meeting featured the overture of an announcement of new Israeli settlement permits, despite continued US opposition to new Israeli settlement activity on disputed territories.
Israeli President Shimon Peres is due to have a working lunch at the White House Tuesday, but as Mr. Vietor notes, the Obama administration is “concerned” about the recent announcement by the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee of approval of 942 housing units on the Southern Slopes of Gilo, in addition to the Israeli government’s approval over the weekend of hundreds of apartments in West Bank settlements Gush Etzion, Ma’ale Adumim, Ariel, and Kiryat Sefer, as reported by Ha’aretz.
“Not only are continued Israeli settlements illegitimate, Israel’s actions run counter to efforts to resume direct negotiations,” Vietor said.
As Ha’aretz had reported today…
Plans would enable legal construction in these settlements; approval joins 2 plans the Defense Minister has already indicated he is inclined to sign off on.
‘Legal construction’…? Huh…? What is legal about any of the West Bank settlements…?
Moving along, Raw Story had this interesting report today…
…According to the New York Times, support for a UN resolution to recognize an independent Palestinian state has steadily been growing.
The declaration of Palestine state would put Israel in a bind. If the UN were to pass such a resolution, Israel would be occupying land belonging to a fellow UN member. Israel has been building settlements in the West Bank and Gaza for decades. [...]
“We want to generate pressure on Israel to make it feel isolated and help it understand that there can be no talks without a stop to settlements,” Nabil Shaath, leader of the foreign affairs department of Fatah, the main party of the Palestinian Authority, said. “Without that, our goal is membership in the United Nations General Assembly in September.”
White House Middle East advisor Dennis Ross said Monday that the United States was opposed to the Palestinian Authority seeking a UN statehood declaration.
“We have consistently made it clear that the way to produce a Palestinian state is through negotiations, not through unilateral declarations, not through going to the UN,” Dennis Ross told the Anti-Defamation League’s annual leadership conference. “Our position on that has been consistent in opposition.”
I just love that stereotypical, AIPAC-endorsed response from our co-opted WH…
Btw, this is truly a tragedy… Arab-Israeli actor gunned down in West Bank town…
RIP Juliano Mer Khamis…!