By Ramzy Baroud
".....This is what Miliband had to say: "Settlements are illegal in our view and an obstacle to peace settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements challenge the heart of... a Palestinian state."
But then, he added: "It's so important for all those who care about security and social justice in this region that discussions about borders and territory are restarted in a serious way, because if you can progress on border and territory, you can resolve the settlements issue."
This is classic Miliband. While his clear and decisive statement regarding the illegality of the settlements and the fact that their construction is an obstacle is to be welcomed, one cannot decipher a politician’s statement in increments; to be truly appreciated, they must be understood as a whole.
The danger lies in Miliband’s follow up statement, where he purposely changed the order of the proposed solution to the Middle East crisis to be "discussions about borders and territory are restarted in a serious way", which means unconditional negotiations, because "progress" at that front would "resolve the settlements issue."
But isn't this the exact type of dialogue that Israel wishes to take part in: peace talks with no conditions, no deadline and no specific end, while it persists in building its illegal settlements in flagrant violation of international law, unabated? More, isn’t this what Palestinians, all Palestinians, have vehemently rejected?....."