21 December 2010

Wikileaks: Barak had "geheime overeenkomst" met VS over uitbreiding nederzettingen

De meest verzwegen cable tot nu toe. Enkele dagen na Obama's speech in Cairo, waarin hij onverbloemd een bouwstop voor de joodse nederzettingen eiste, stuurde de Amerikaanse ambassade een geheime cable naar Washington, waarin vermeld wordt dat minister van Defensie Ehud Barak op 15 juni 2009 in een bijeenkomst met Franse regeringsambtenaren meldde dat Israël een "geheime overeenkomst" had met de Amerikaanse regering om "de natuurlijke groei" van de nederzettingen op de Westelijke Jordaanoever te continueren.

Wat president Barack Obama in Cairo zei over de nederzettingen laat niets aan fantasie over:

Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.

Besproken cable werd afgelopen zondag, 19 december 2010 vrijgegeven. Hoe reageert Nederland op deze belangrijke smoking gun? Niet. Nederland reageert helemaal niet. It never happened. It was of no importance.

De Volkskrant houdt "dagelijks" de gepubliceerde cables bij. Maar blijkbaar niet afgelopen weekend. Maandag dan? Op maandag schreef de krant over de leak over Abbas en zijn samenwerking met Israël (niets nieuws dus). Maar niets over de "geheime overeenkomst".

De internationale nieuwsmedia dan? Amper. Het persbureau AFP meldde gisteren:

Another US cable newly published by Wikileaks said that a French official quoted Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak as saying there was a "secret accord" between Israel and the United States "to continue the 'natural growth' of Israeli settlements in the West Bank." It gave no further details of the alleged accord.

En er verschenen twee artikelen in de Jeruzalem Post, maar die gaan meer over de te brengen boodschap van Sarkozy aan Netanyahu. En dat was het dan. Is dat niet merkwaardig? Het lijkt wel een afspraak.

S E C R E T PARIS 000827

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/22/2019 TAGS: PGOV PREL FR

Classified By: Acting Political Minister Counselor Andrew R. Young for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (S/NF) MFA Middle East Director (Assistant Secretary-equivalent) Patrice Paoli informed POL Minister Counselor June 18 that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told French officials in Paris June 15 that the Israelis have a "secret accord" with the USG to continue the "natural growth" of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Paoli noted that the French anticipate strong Israeli resistance to USG pressure on this issue. He asked whether the USG has considered how to adapt to possible Israeli responses: "How will you react to Israeli reactions to your pressure?" He claimed that "the credibility of President Obama will be judged on the issue of settlements." MFA DAS Ludovic Pouille, who also attended the meeting, underlined this point: "Arabs are saying progress on settlements is crucial. Saudi Arabia and Egypt seem obsessed with the settlements issue; they won't even enter the game without progress on settlements." Paoli added that "negotiations can wait until the fall, but steps forward cannot wait until then." Both diplomats emphasized the need to build confidence measures on the ground now.

¶2. (S/NF) In stressing the energy with which the GOF plans to approach the peace process, Paoli said that France will not wait until all 27 EU members are in agreement before pressing ahead with their support of USG efforts. Pouille said the French can play an important role on "two key issues": working toward a settlements freeze and monitoring the implementation of an eventual agreement. By leaning on other countries in the European Union and within the Quartet to bring their resources to bear ("their diplomatic presence, their networks"), Paoli said that France hopes to contribute to pressing the parties forward as quickly as possible. Pouille stressed monitoring in particular, which he described as "a big hole at the Annapolis conference." He argued that "the US cannot be the only judge" of progress.

¶3. (S/NF) Paoli explained that President Sarkozy will have three messages to convey to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu when they meet in Paris on June 24:

-- "You think you've got time, but you don't."
-- "You think you have an alternative solution, but you don't."
-- "You think you're stronger than the Palestinians, but you're not."

Paoli said that Sarkozy will stress that "there is a single door and it is imperative to move through it now." Paoli and Pouille both expressed disappointment with the reservations contained in Netanyahu's June 14 speech, but noted that it nonetheless reflected significant movement in the Likud position regarding a Palestinian state. "It's not easy to reverse a campaign promise two months after the campaign," Paoli observed. They also said that President Obama's address in Cairo was extremely well received in France and in the Arab world. "It was a speech, though, and it was a received as a speech," Pouille said. "The reaction in the Arab world was: 'Now do it.'"



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