I'll say it again. WHAT???
Settlements were a topic in the peace talks. They were considered a precondition at one point. Now, Netanyahu wants to free a spy who was jailed by the US for spying on us on a grand scale before he will halt illegal settlement building. For a few more months. Then who knows what he'll demand.
In a universe where truth and justice were important, the deal would be: Israel, stop building settlements (and other illegal activity) and remove all Israelis from Occupied Territory or lose all financial benefits from us. In the Middle East, it's Israel's game, not one involving truth or justice- quite the opposite. They make the rules. They are above the rules and laws.
Guess he doesn't care about Shalit anymore. Crazy. Sometimes I don't know whether an authoritarian regime like Iran is talking or Netanyahu when I hear some of the things he comes up with. This has got to be one of the most absurd stall tactics I've seen yet.
I mean, why does Netanyahu need a concession from us?? I thought we were the mediators of peace between Israel and Palestinians. They should be giving us stuff. Isn't that the way a bribe works? And what in the world does Jonathan Pollard have to do with Middle East peace?? That guy should be walking on eggshells with all the violations of international law and human rights Israel has committed, not making outrageous demands! I guess it shows us how certain that 2 or 4 billion dollars per year to Israel is. If they actually succeed in getting absolutely anywhere- concession, acknowledgment, anything but a big fat NO WAY- on this Pollard thing, we might as well pack up and go home. We will have proven totally ineffective and detrimental to the process.
The infamous quote might just be true if Israel can make such wild demands of the mediator, be in violation of law with no consequences, and still be guaranteed loads of money:
"every time we do something you tell me Americans will do this and will do that. I want to tell you something very clear, don't worry about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it."