Ted BelmanThe author is a retired attorney and the editor of Israpundit. In 2009 he made aliya and is now living in Jerusalem.
At the opening of the Likud/Yisrael Beyteinu campaign, PM Netanyahu emphasized that he would do a lot for settlements and stressed Jerusalem is ours, but Liberman was more specific:
“There is a dispute between [Israel] and the world. The dispute is over construction in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs.”
The corollary to this is that we agree with the world regarding massive building in Judea and Samaria but we do not agree with them on the settlement blocs and Jerusalem. This implies that the Levy Report won’t be approved.
This point is driven home by the fact that Netanyahu made no mention of the Levy Report at a time when it was important to state his party’s intentions regarding it.
Furthermore the ceasefire was part of a larger deal involving the Sunni Bloc of Egypt, Turkey, Qatar and Jordan. This deal set out understandings on Syria and Iran in which Israel was a partner.
1. The US and Egypt committed themselves to stopping smuggling into Gaza. Egypt was rewarded with 29 fighter jets and Israel was rewarded with $700 million worth of ordinance and bunker buster bombs.
2. Hamas agreed to enforce a ceasefire of rockets and Israel agreed to liberalize restrictions.
3. Turkey abandonned opposition to Israel’s participation with NATO and effectively began cooperation with Israel, notwithstanding her rhetoric. She received in return the installation of Patriot missiles.
4. Obama and Netanyahu agreed not to try to influence their respective elections.
5. Netanyahu agreed to withhold attacking Iran until March 1/13 and Obama agreed to place the military option on the front burner at that time.
6. Netanyahu agreed to participate in a renewed peace process in March under the auspices of the US and the Sunni Bloc. What has yet to be disclosed is what has been agreed regarding parameters for negotiations.
I think Obama’s formula of ’67 lines with swaps has been abandoned. I think Obama has agreed that Israel can build in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs and Netanyahu has agreed not to build elsewhere and to bury the Levy Report.
Since getting his bunker buster bombs, Bibi has been aggressive in pursuing construction Jerusalem and in the blocs - perhaps because he had tacit approval.