US Ambassador to Israel, Danial Shapiro has announced that the
It’s only an Israeli decision, he claims.
So say members of a delegation of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) who met with the Ambassador and who called for a reassessment of the entire U.S. policy vis-à-vis the Israelis and Palestinians.
“The two state solution will never work and will only lead to increased terror and bloodshed. By promoting the establishment of a Palestinian state the U.S. is only shooting itself in the foot,” the rabbis told the Ambassador.
According to their release,
The Ambassador said that the two state solution was not a U.S. initiative but one that was initiated and promoted by the last four Israeli governments. “We did not pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu to accept the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Our goal – and Israel’s goal as well – is to get both sides to the negotiating table, they should negotiate by themselves without the help of a third party.”
Members of the delegation included Rabbi Jospeh Gerlitzky, Chairman of the RCP, my friend, Rabbi Avrohom Shmuel Lewin, Director of the RCP, Rabbi Moshe Havlin, Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Gat, who "spoke of the living hell the disengagement from Gaza brought to Kiryat Gat", Rabbi Gideon Perl, the Rabbi of Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion who spoke about Israel’s eternal and inalienable rights to the Holy Land, Rabbi Sholom Gold of Jerusalem who told Ambassador Shapiro that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s statement last week at the Saban forum “proves he does not grasp what is going on...Israel has come to the ‘damn table’ millions of times and has made dozens of bold steps. What gestures or bold steps did the Palestinians ever make?
Ambassador Shapiro listened attentively to the Rabbis’ arguments and positions and responded: “We are always open to hear a variety of opinions even though we may not agree with them and thanked the rabbis for sharing their opinion".
Well, I am not sure if Ambassador Shapiro is correct.
Back in March 2009, we could read:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made clear it was the intention of the Obama administration to work for the creation of a Palestinian state. “We happen to believe that moving towards a two-state solution is in Israel’s best interests.” She was with Prime Minister designate Benjamin Netanyahu who has been lukewarm about the idea of a Palestinian state in the near future. As of this point, Netanyahu only talks about improving the Palestinian economy and refused to take a stand for the rights of Palestinians to have their own nation. He told reporters the issue did not come up in his talks with Clinton even though she told the press conference the United States “will be vigorously engaged in pursuit of the two state solution.
In October last year, speaking at the annual gala of the American Taskforce for Palestine at in Washington, DC, Clinton seemed fixated on a two-state solution:
Clinton: Two-state solution still possible for Israel, Palestinians | said on Wednesday that Israelis and Palestinians have not abandoned peace negotiations and that a two-state solution was still possible.
And last year, although she did reject the idea of an imposed solution
“The United States and the international community cannot impose a solution,” Clinton said at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum dinner in Washington. “Sometimes I think both parties seem to think we can. We cannot. And even if we could, we would not, because it is only a negotiated agreement between the parties that will be sustainable.
she did indicate the US
...will push the parties to grapple with the core issues. We will work with them on the ground to continue laying the foundations for a future Palestinian state. And we will redouble our regional diplomacy...“When one way is blocked, we will seek another. We will not lose hope and neither should the people of the region.”
But despite this, let's go back to March 2009:
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States will press for a two-state solution to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict...Secretary Clinton's pledge of support for a two-state solution may put the Obama administration at odds with Israel's new leadership...Clinton said the White House believes that moving toward a two-state solution is in Israel's best interests.
"It is our assessment as I expressed yesterday and again today that eventually the inevitability of working toward a two-state solution seems inescapable," Clinton said. "That doesn't mean that we don't respect the opinions of others who see it differently. But from my perspective and from the perspective of the Obama administration time is of the essence."
As for President Obama:
a) President Barack Obama said Tuesday that it is critical for Israelis and Palestinians to restart negotiations on a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
b) in February 2009, we could read:
Obama Endorses Two-State Solution for Arab-Israeli Conflict
President Barack Obama sent his Middle East envoy to the region to kick-start a process to end the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The effort will focus on the so-called "two-state solution...Lasting peace requires more than a long cease-fire, and that's why I will sustain an active commitment to seek two states living side by side in peace and security," Obama said.
So, was Shapiro simply being...diplomatic?