No it ‘never kicked in’


Rick Richman at Commentary is taking issue with Ron’s post yesterday that the agreement allowing some natural growths in settlements between Bush and Sharon "never kicked in."  Richman then quotes four paragraphs from Eli Lake’s Washington Times interview with Dov Weissglas, the lead negotiator for Israel at the time, that Richman says lead to the opposite conclusion. Actually, they seem to back up Ron’s post. Check out the final paragraph from that sequence:

"There was an agreement," Mr. Weissglas said. "The implementation of the agreement was not concluded because both parties to a certain degree willingly neglected the conclusion of the demarcation process."

The agreement was not implemented, the agreement never "kicked in" — sounds pretty similar to me. But don’t take my word for it, just read Lake’s article — in which he comes to the same conclusion. Lake’s lede:

Israeli officials Tuesday accused the Obama administration of failing to abide by an agreement allowing settlement construction, but a key Israeli negotiator said the deal was never implemented.

And a few paragraphs later:

"We never had an agreement with the previous administration. We had an agreement with America," Dan Meridor, an Israeli deputy prime minister, told reporters in Jerusalem on Tuesday. "The agreement we had with America is binding on us and them."

However, Dov Weissglas, who was chief of staff to Mr. Sharon and lead Israeli negotiator at the time, told The Washington Times that the agreement was not implemented because the two sides never specified where within existing settlements new construction would be permitted.

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