Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Speaking a non-truth

Some months ago Prime Minster Netanyahu delivered a famous speech at Bar Ilan University. After many apologies and roundabouts; he uttered the explicit words "Palestinian State". And after several more months of complicated maneuvers, he uttered also the words "Settlement Freeze". Now, there can be no doubt that the ball is in the Palestinians' court.. The government of Israel has done its share, above and beyond expectations! So, at least, say the government speakers.

This week Netanyahu found time to meet with the settlers and try to calm them down. The freeze is limited, it will last only ten months and not a single day more, and afterwards construction will resume and increase. And anyway, even during the freeze construction will continue through all kinds of methods and tricks, despite the settlers' highly publicized confrontations with the government building inspectors.

In at least one of the places, our respectable PM said what lawyers like to call "a non-truth". If truly Binyamin Netanyahu meant what he said in Bar Ilan, and he truly means to end the occupation and reach peace with the state of Palestine, than what will happen after ten months is not a resumption of construction but a transition from freezing the settlements to a complete dismantling. And if he meant what he said to the settlers, than there will be no Palestinian state, the occupation will continue and the Palestinians have no reason to negotiate with such a government.

And meanwhile, the European foreign ministers gathered in Bruxelles played the ball back to Israel.