Friday's State Department news conference lasted only 10 minutes and was devoted primarily to another harsh public condemnation of
Secretary Clinton also spoke this morning with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to reiterate the United States' strong objections to Tuesday's announcement, not just in terms of timing, but also in its substance; to make clear that the United States considers the announcement a deeply negative signal about Israel's approach to the bilateral relationship – and counter to the spirit of the Vice President's trip; and to reinforce that this action had undermined trust and confidence in the peace process, and in America's interests. The Secretary said she could not understand how this happened, particularly in light of the
Netanyahu and his Interior minister had apologized after both said they had been unaware of the announcement beforehand, pledged there would be no actual building during the "proximity talks" or the anticipated period of any direct talks thereafter, and promised such an incident would not happen again. Only three days after,
The harshness is an indication that the administration believes its only
Since Secretary Clinton raised the "substance" of the issue, not simply the timing, it is worth noting several points. First, even actual building by
What … is obvious … is how important the ridge on which Ramat Shlomo sits would be in the case of any military conflict. That's because it overlooks – and has a clean shot – at every major highway in the city. To give one example, there's a road … known as "Road 9." Road 9 … has three exits: Ramat Shlomo, the 'Cedar Tunnel' road that connects with the
The Palestinians can be expected to seek advantage from any Israeli diplomatic blunder, asserting that their confidence needs to be built, their trust fortified, and their preconditions met before they will continue with a process they know the
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.