Friday, March 12, 2010

Israel Expands its Capital; Not Building Settlements

As the media and blogosphere report about Israeli disrespect and lack of consideration towards vice-president Biden during his visit to the Middle East, by announcing the construction of 1600 residential units in East Jerusalem, let us remember a couple of American commitments made to Israel by the former administration and the Congress of the United States, that Obama seems to be ignoring or willfully disregarding.

The current administration is ignoring the fact that prior administrations have stated that borders are to be negotiated.

Letter from US President George W. Bush to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon upon Israel’s withdrawal and uprooting of 8000 settles from Gaza:

His Excellency Ariel Sharon
Prime Minister of Israel.

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

...... The United States appreciates the risks such an undertaking (i.e. the disengagement from Gaza) represents. I therefore want to reassure you on several points.

First, the United States remains committed to my vision and to its implementation as described in the roadmap. The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan. Under the roadmap, Palestinians must undertake an immediate cessation of armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere, and all official Palestinian institutions must end incitement against Israel.

The Palestinian leadership must act decisively against terror, including sustained, targeted, and effective operations to stop terrorism and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. Palestinians must undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that includes a
strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.

Second, there will be no security for Israelis or Palestinians until they and all states, in the region and beyond, join together to fight terrorism and dismantle terrorist organizations. The United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to Israel's security, including secure, defensible borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel's capability to deter and defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats.

Third, Israel will retain its right to defend itself against terrorism, including to take actions against terrorist organizations. The United States will lead efforts, working together with Jordan, Egypt, and others in the international community, to build the capacity and will of Palestinian institutions to fight terrorism, dismantle terrorist organizations, and prevent the areas from which Israel has withdrawn from posing a threat that would have to be addressed by any other means.

The United States understands that after Israel withdraws from Gaza and/or parts of the West Bank, and pending agreements on other arrangements, existing arrangements regarding control of airspace, territorial waters, and land passages of the West Bank and Gaza will continue. The United States is strongly committed to Israel's security and well-being as a Jewish state.... "
In addition, on April 24, 1990 the U.S. Congress passed the following resolution concerning Jerusalem:

"House Resolution Expressing Support for Jerusalem as Israel's Capital.

Whereas the State of Israel has declared Jerusalem to be its capital; Whereas from 1948 to 1967 Jerusalem was a divided city and Israeli citizens of all faiths were not permitted access to holy sites in the area controlled by Jordan;

Whereas since 1967 Jerusalem has been a united city administered by Israel and persons of all religious faiths have been guaranteed full access to holy sites within the city; Whereas the President and the Secretary of State have demonstrated their strong desire to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and have worked diligently toward that end;

Whereas ambiguous statements by the Government of the United States concerning the right of Jews to live in all parts of Jerusalem raise concerns in Israel that Jerusalem might one day be redivided and access to
religious sites in Jerusalem denied to Israeli citizens; and the search for a lasting peace in the region: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That the Congress

(1) acknowledges that Jerusalem is and should remain the capital of the State of Israel;

(2) strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic religious group are protected; and

(3) calls upon all parties involved in the search for peace to maintain their strong efforts to bring about negotiations between Israel and Palestinian representatives."
Finally, if Netanihau showed any disrespect towards Biden, he was doing nothing more thatn repay the Obama administration for the treatment he received when visiting Washington.

Israel should not have to justify construction on what should be forever a unified Jerusalem under Israel's control.

No comments: