July 27, 2009 Gates in Jerusalem

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

July 28, 2009 Agreement Close Between US and Israel Over Settlements

Raviv Drucker reported on Israel Channel 10 today that he was surprised to learn the Netanyahu government and the Obama administration were much closer to an agreement than anyone knew. According to Drucker, Netanyahu agreed to a total settlement freeze; in return for Arab concessions on normalization. According to the report, the offer was made by the US administration, stating Israel would agree, if the Arab states made those concessions. The Obama administration was unable to get the Arab states to make those concessions. It has now returned to the Israeli government and asked it to make its offer public, in an effort to prod the Arab states to make their concessions. The Netanyahu government said it would consider making that public statement. At the moment, the Israeli government has offered a six month settlement freeze, as long as the current 2000 plus units of housing are finished. The US has agreed Israel can finish the units currently being built, as long as Israel freezes other building for one year.

There were two interesting and very different article in the papers the last two days. Yesterday in the New York Times there was an interesting piece written by Aluf Benn, an editor of Haaretz, called Why Won’t Obama Talk to Israel?

Today the Wall Street Journal carried an article written by former US UN Ambassador John Bolton, entitled: It's Crunch Time for Israel on Iran

From the title of the article you might believe Bolton has clear ideas what Israel should do, or even what the American government should do, for that matter. However, Bolton does not claim to know. I am certainly not sure what is the right course of action to take with Iran at this moment, either for Israel or the United States.

Raviv Drucker reported on Israel Channel 10 today that he was surprised to learn the Netanyahu government and the Obama administration were much closer to an agreement than anyone knew. According to Drucker, Netanyahu agreed to a total settlement freeze; in return for Arab concessions on normalization. According to the report, the offer was made by the US administration, stating Israel would agree, if the Arab states made those concessions. The Obama administration was unable to get the Arab states to make those concessions. It has now returned to the Israeli government and asked it to make its offer public, in an effort to prod the Arab states to make their concessions. The Netanyahu government said it would consider making that public statement. At the moment, the Israeli government has offered a six month settlement freeze, as long as the current 2000 plus units of housing are finished. The US has agreed Israel can finish the units currently being built, as long as Israel freezes other building for one year.

There were two interesting and very different article in the papers the last two days. Yesterday in the New York Times there was an interesting piece written by Aluf Benn, an editor of Haaretz, called "Why Wont Obama Talk to Israel?" http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/opinion/28benn.html
Today the Wall Street Journal carried an article written by former US UN Ambassador John Bolton, entitled: "It's Crunch Time for Israel on Iran" http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203609204574316093622744808.html
From the title of the article you might believe Bolton has clear ideas what Israel should do, or even what the American government should do, for that matter. However, Bolton does not claim to know. I am certainly not sure what is the right course of action to take with Iran at this moment, either for Israel or the United States.

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