Since the goal of starting a diplomatic dialogue with Iran has been put on hold for the foreseeable future, it looks like the US is willing to compromise on the issue of natural growth in existing Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Right now, an Israeli delegation is in New York City ahead of a meeting with US envoy George Mitchell. According to reports, compromise on settlement construction seems to be high on the list of subjects they will be discussing. Just days ago, US President Obama was demanding that Israel stop all settlement expansion, which included natural growth.
Here is an excerpt from intelligence website Debkafile on the sudden change in ME policy by the Obama administration:
DEBKAfile's political analysts attribute this large crack in US president Barack Obama's unswerving push for a total halt on settlement activity on the West Bank to four new developments:
1. The prospect of direct US-Iranian dialogue on the nuclear issue has vanished into the blue yonder as relations go from bad to worse in the aftermath of Iran's disputed presidential election. A tough US stance against Israel as a bargaining chip with Iran is no longer relevant.
2. Saudi Arabia has made it clear that even if the Netanyahu government surrenders to the US demand for a total halt in settlement activity, Arab concessions will not be forthcoming. There will be no visas for Israeli tourists or permission for Israeli airliners heading east to transit Saudi skies.
The Obama administration had factored Arab reciprocity into its campaign to halt Israel's settlement activity. When it was denied, the White House saw no point in continuing to lean on Israel.
3. More and more former Bush administration officials are challenging the administration's insistent denial of Bush administration understandings with Israel on settlement expansion to accommodate natural growth. These officials emphasize that the understandings exist both orally and in writing.
4. Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, backed by government and popular majority, stuck to his guns and resisted Barack Obama's demand to halt settlement activity of any kind.
Monday, June 29, the Washington Post offered three reasons for the White House's decision to ease up on its "absolutist" position:
"First, it has allowed Palestinian and Arab leaders to withhold the steps they were asked for… Second, the administration's objective… is unobtainable… No Israeli government has ever agreed to an unconditional freeze and no coalition could be assembled… to impose one. Finally, the extraction of a freeze from Netanyahu is, as a practical matter unnecessary… both the Palestinian Authority and Arab governments have gone along with previous US-Israeli deals by which construction was to be limited to inside the periphery of settlements near Israel - since everyone knows those areas will be annexed to Israel in a final settlement…" Debkafile
With natural growth no longer an issue, even US officials believe significant progress can now be made during the meetings slated for the tomorrow.
It looks like the claim that the Ethiopian Ark of the Covenant will be revealed to the world is no longer true. I call it the Ethiopian Ark of the Covenant because I do not believe it is the real Ark but a replica. In due time, it will be revealed after Israel reclaims the Temple Mount and takes it from a secret compartment located beneath the Temple Mount.
Are you ready to meet the Lord? If not, your time is running out!
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