U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton seen during talks in Moscow, Russia, Mar. 19, 2010. Clinton is participating in a meeting of the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators—the U.S., Russia, the EU and the UN.
"It Was 'Unprecedented' Allright—But Not in the Way That You Think"
Op-Ed, The Huffington Post
March 19, 2010
Author: Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security
Why is the United States so worked up about the creation of 1,600 new housing units within an exclusively Jewish area in what William Kristol, with characteristic désinvolture,* calls "North Jerusalem"?
Whether by design or subconscious emotion, the Obama Administration's reaction goes back to that moment in 2009 when Israel "sandbagged" the U.S. into implicitly taking East Jerusalem out of the negotiating equation.
You will recall Hillary Clinton's categoric statement that no new settlements or expansion of existing ones would be acceptable to the U.S. This was followed by Benjamin Netanyahu's offer to freeze settlement construction (with some caveats) for a 10-month period — excepting East Jerusalem however. In effect, the U.S. backed down, while lauding, through the voice of the same Ms. Clinton on October 31, 2009, the Israeli offer as "unprecedented." Arab opinion was aghast....
*Désinvolture is an untranslatable French word that is somewhere between insouciance and arrogance.
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