Bibi: Israel and U.S. Have Resolved Differences Over Settlements

By Barak Ravid (Haaretz)

Published October 18, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero last Thursday that talks between Israel and the United States over construction in the settlements on the West Bank had ended.

“We solved the matter of the settlements with the Americans,” Netanyahu told his Spanish counterpart.

“I cannot say more than that. If you are interested in hearing more details, ask in Washington,” added Netanyahu.

It is not clear what Netanyahu meant and what the details of the “solution” are, but this is the first time that Netanyahu has said that the issue of the settlements, which is the main bone of contention between the Obama administration and Israel, has been solved.

Sources in Jerusalem said that Netanyahu spoke about the matter after his representatives Mike Herzog and Yitzhak Molcho reached agreements in Washington during their talks last week.

Zapatero told Netanyahu of his visit to the White House two days before his arrival in Jerusalem. He said he was obsessed with Obama, and that there will never be another chance where a man who professes values such as his will be president, and everyone must help him realize his vision.

Netanyahu responded to Zapatero, saying he was willing to start talks with the Palestinians without any pre-conditions.

“The Palestinians should talk to us already,” Netanyahu said.

Spain will assume the EU presidency on January 1.

Molcho and Herzog returned last weekend after meeting with U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell and his staff. The central point of the discussions was the conditions for opening negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as the how the talks will be conducted, their goals and schedule for reaching an agreement.

Molcho and Herzog are expected to fly back to Washington this week for another round of talks. A Palestinian delegation headed by Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat will also be there at the same time.

Mitchell and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will write their report to Obama after this round of talks has ended. Obama asked the two to report on the chances of the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and Obama is expected to receive the report next week. After reading the report and consulting his staff, Obama is expected to make a speech announcing his next steps to advance the negotiations.






Find us on Facebook!
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.