by Ami Isseroff
President Obama has said that the U.S. Must Be More 'Honest' With Israel. He said there should be no equivocation. That's a really good idea. Let's start with an unequivocal statement that says the
Here's part of an interchange with State Department Spokesperson Robert Wood:
MR. WOOD: Look, what we are trying to do, James, is to get both parties to implement their obligations, written obligations in the Roadmap. We're trying to get those implemented. Our vision for a two-state solution cannot happen if these obligations are not, you know, held to. And so what Senator Mitchell has been trying to do is to work with the two sides. Both sides have an interest in meeting these obligations. They both want peace. We have said we will be a partner in trying to help them implement them - implement their obligations.
QUESTION: What about the letter?
MR. WOOD: Well, I - look, I speak for this Administration. I've told you exactly what we are doing with regard to trying to get both parties to live up to their written obligations.
QUESTION: What about our written obligations? Do we live up to the ones that we set?
MR. WOOD: Look, we - the
QUESTION: Is the letter binding or not on this Administration?
MR. WOOD: Look, what I'm saying to you, James, is we have - there are a series of obligations that
QUESTION: I haven't asked about their obligations and what they've undertaken. I've asked about a letter that this country sent to
MR. WOOD: Well --
QUESTION: Is it binding on this Administration?
MR. WOOD: Well, this Administration is - as I said, has laid out its proposals, its strategy for moving forward. And that's about the best I can help you with on that, James.
QUESTION: Does it entail that letter?
MR. WOOD: I've said what I can say on this right now.
QUESTION: Robert, do you realize that by not saying yes, indeed the U.S. Government continues to be bound by the letter that former President George W. Bush sent, you are leaving open in the air the possibility that it does not see itself as bound?
MR. WOOD: I don't believe I'm doing that at all. What I'm saying to you is we have had a series of discussions with our Israeli and Palestinian partners. We've had discussions about their obligations and what both sides need to do. Both sides are well aware of what they need to do, and they know that we are trying to help them meet their obligations. And we'll continue to do that.
And I'm just not going to get into the substance of what a previous administration may have agreed to. I'm focused on what this Administration is trying to do right now. And that's where we are.
Do you understand what
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