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Saturday, September 5, 2009

US harshly rebukes Israel on settlement plans

AP - Sat, 5 Sep 2009 01:04:39 -0400 (EDT)

Alarmed by Israeli plans to build new housing units in settlements and dimming prospects for American peace efforts, the Obama administration on Friday put out a rare and harsh public rebuke of its main Mideast ally.

The White House said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's settlement plans were "inconsistent" with commitments the Jewish state has made previously and harmful to U.S. attempts to lay the groundwork for a resumption in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

"United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement expansion and we urge that it stop," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement. "We are working to create a climate in which negotiations can take place, and such actions make it harder to create such a climate."

Netanyahu's aides, speaking on condition of anonymity Friday because the plans have not been formally announced, said any Israeli settlement freeze would not halt building the new units and or block completion of some 2,500 others currently under construction. They also said the freeze would not include east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians hope to make their future capital.

The unusually blunt White House criticism reflected the administration's growing frustration with Netanyahu, whose decision would approve hundreds of new housing units in West Bank settlements before considering even a temporary freeze in construction, as President Barack Obama has requested.

The White House typically refrains from commenting on such moves until they are formally announced. But in this case, U.S. officials said they acted because Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell had already been briefed on the Israeli plans earlier in the week.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Mitchell and the Israelis had been having "a very open dialogue" in "very intense discussions." He would not elaborate.

But one U.S. official familiar with Mitchell's Wednesday meeting in New York with Netanyahu envoy Yitzhak Molcho and Israeli Defense Ministry chief of staff Michael Herzog said the Israelis "told Mitchell they were going to do it and he told them they could expect a sharp response."

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive diplomatic exchange, said the meeting had "not gone well."

The official added that the White House statement was released before a formal Israeli announcement of Netanyahu's plans because "we wanted to send a strong signal early on."

Publicly, the State Department had described Mitchell's discussion with the Israeli delegation -- which came after his talks with Netanyahu a week earlier in London -- as a "good meeting."

The department said Mitchell would travel again to the Middle East next week to follow up. That trip is still on, officials said Friday.

"The process will continue," said one. The official also noted that the statement was not entirely negative and expressed appreciation for "Israel's stated intent to place limits on settlement activity."

"We are working with all parties -- Israelis, Palestinians, and Arab states -- on the steps they must take to achieve that objective," said Gibbs.

Netanyahu's refusal to bend on the settlement issue despite repeated U.S. appeals threatens to damage Obama's credibility in the Arab world. The administration is counting on Arab support for a resumption in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations but will not likely get it unless Netanyahu makes concessions on settlements.

The Palestinians have said they will not sit down for talks unless there is a settlement freeze and Arab leaders have made similar demands.

This is amazing to me that obama has no problems scolding our allies but can`t use that same tone to the nations that would do us harm!!! Obama should grow a set and put Iran, Korea, Russia in their place and stop kissing up to their leaders!!! It is amazing just how much damage one man and his self appointed administration has done to this once great nation. With every passing day he finds new ways to weaken our standing in the world, whats even more amazing is the millions of dazed americans that just can`t see the harm he is doing.

The Patriot Act is Not Conservative

If Americans needed another reminder of why the Democratic Party is absolutely worthless, they got it during last week’s Patriot Act extension debate when Senate Majority leader Harry Reid again behaved exactly like the Bush-era Republicans he once vigorously opposed. In 2005, Reid bragged to fellow Democrats, “We killed the Patriot Act.” Today, Reid says that anyone who opposes the Patriot Act might be responsible for the killing of Americans. Dick Cheney now hears an echo and Americans deserve congressional hearings—as to whether Harry Reid is a sociopath, mere liar, or both.

Universal Healthcare is SLAVERY

Supporters of Universal Healthcare want to impose an individual mandate on all working Americans. By doing this, they are sanctioning slavery on the American People. On 09/09/09, President Obama addressed the Congress and the nation, stating that individuals would be required to purchase healthcare. Anyone who does not will be fined up to $1,900, thrown in prison, and fined an additional $25,000. This is a perfect example of government tyranny, and is more properly termed, "fascism." In any program designed to help others, there is always an option to withdraw or not participate. A person who doesn’t want to buy auto insurance can opt not to drive a car. A person who doesn’t want house insurance can rent instead of buying a house. In the case of healthcare, a tax is placed on the right to LIFE itself. We should remember that even the slavemasters of old were interested in the healthiness of their slaves. A person who cannot opt out is not free—he or she is nothing but a slave. Socialist programs like Social Security, Medicare, and the Draft all result in slavery or involuntary servitude. Now is the time to uphold the 13th Amendment by defeating Unconstitutional Healthcare.

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