Israel Rejects EU Outcry over New Settlements

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday scoffed at international criticism of his plans to build settler housing on occupied land east of Jerusalem.

Speaking to foreign journalists, he compared the E1 plan to build between largely Arab east Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumin, to the accepted goal of a Palestinian state embracing the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

"I don't understand how people say that a Palestinian state cannot exist if Maalah Adumim is connected to Jerusalem,' he said.

"These are the same people who say that you'll have a Palestinian state between Gaza and the West Bank, and they're divided by 60-70 kilometers (40-45 miles)," he said.

"That's fine, that doesn't preclude a Palestinian state in their minds but the fact that Maaleh Adumim can be connected to Jerusalem by a corridor of 2-3 kilometers, (they say) that somehow prevents a Palestinian state. That's not true. It's simply false."

The EU said on Monday it is "deeply dismayed" by latest settlement plans put forward by Netanyahu after the Palestinians won an historic upgrade of their diplomatic status at the United Nations.

"The European Union is deeply dismayed by and strongly opposes Israeli plans to expand settlements in the West Bank, including in east Jerusalem, and in particular plans to develop the E1 area," the 27 EU foreign ministers said in a statement.

The E1 plan "if implemented, would seriously undermine the prospects of a negotiated resolution of the conflict" as it would question the viability of the two-state settlement central to the peace process.

An Israeli foreign ministry statement said that the EU position was "one-sided".

"Facts and history both prove that Jewish settlement never constituted an obstacle to peace," it said.

"The root cause of the absence of a peace accord is the Palestinian refusal to engage in direct negotiations and their unwillingness to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people," it added.

"This one-sided position taken by the EU rewards rejectionism."

Direct peace talks which began in September 2010 collapsed quickly in a dispute over settlements, with the Palestinians calling for a construction freeze and Israel arguing for a return to talks without such preconditions.

Before the start of talks in 2010, Israel observed a 10-month freeze on new West Bank construction but has refused repeated requests to renew it, dismissing them as an unacceptable "precondition" for talks.

Comments 7
Thumb mckinl 10 December 2012, 22:06

Netanyahu is taking Israel into its last stages very quickly. He can't see the changing dynamics right before his eyes because he is blinded by Zionist hubris and hatred of the Palestinians.

He has not noticed that it is no longer just Iran that is backing the Palestinians. While Iran keeps the weapons conduit open Qatar and Saudi Arabia are opening up the public relations front.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia have a lot more gravitas in the foreign policy world than Iran. We already see that the EU has fundamentally changed its view of Israeli settlements.

In fact the entire world now sees Israel as a rouge state, even the US. Netanyahu's interference in the US elections will bode ill in the near future. Even Rahm Emmnauel, US citizen-Israeli soldier is railing at Netanyahu.

Thumb mckinl 10 December 2012, 22:06

continued from above ...

While the US will front for Israel a bit longer Obama does not need to get reelected. With the EU and the rest of the world on board he can rightfully claim that Israel is befouling US foreign policy by angering world opinion.

With AIPAC Israelis on his side Obama can bring Israel to heel quickly ... otherwise the world will begin an embargo that will ban all Israeli products including those American companies doing business there. The result: Israel in economic tatters followed by severe civil unrest and then collapse.

Thumb mckinl 10 December 2012, 22:47

continued ...

The US is well aware of Israel's plight ... In 2009 the CIA did a study on Israel and the findings were that it would not survive another 20 years ...

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger gives Israel less than ten years. From the architect of 20 years of American foreign policy ... “In 10 years, there will be no more Israel.”

Thumb bigsami 10 December 2012, 23:00

The FACE of evil. Put him in the same prison cell with Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah!

Thumb mckinl 11 December 2012, 00:10

With 400 nuclear weapons and carte blanche from the US ... at least so far ...

Missing phillipo 11 December 2012, 08:21

If you can't refrain from your disgusting anti Jewish remarks, then you should shut up. I've never seen a story about him or any other Israeli politician who has said something similar against a single Moslem person.

Default-user-icon Salompas Sohott (Guest) 11 December 2012, 08:27

March 14, say something my compatriots. Get together, warriors, and with one loud voice repeat after me: screw everybody who criticizes Israel. Screw the Palestinians. Screw the world. SO, get set, March 14. Get ready, and go, go, go, go, go lovers of democracy and freedom and human rights and revolutions and Lebanon First Twenty Plus Years Late, Too Damn Late.