One week after the settlement movement marked the end of the West Bank construction freeze, the movement on Saturday commended Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refusal to compromise on the matter.
Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan told Ynet Saturday that any Israeli agreement to reinstate the settlement moratorium will be perceived as political concessions to the Palestinians, even before the peace process gained any true momentum.
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"Those urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept Obama's offer lack in reading comprehension," he said. "They either fail to understand the gravity of the offer or are deliberately trying to trick Netanyahu."
Dayan's statement came following a reported incentive package the Washington administration offered the prime minister, in exchange for a 60-day extension of the settlement freeze.
Speaking of reports suggesting the American president promised Israel it could retain IDF presence in the Jordan valley as part of a future peace deal, Dayan said that should Israel agree to that, "It may as well admit it has given up on the area and all the communities in it before the negotiations have even begun. Otherwise, why would anyone need to agree to have Israeli military presence?
"This would be an admission that Israel is willing to return to the 1967 lines – borders which cannot be defended. There is no deal hear, nothing that offers any incentive for two additional months of settlement freeze. This is an attempt to strip Israel of its assets," said Dayan.
'Beware the clear disadvantage'
The Yesha Council chairman went on to warn that if Israel concedes to anything now, "When the negotiations for Jerusalem, the refugees and water begin, Israel will be at a clear disadvantage.
"The Palestinians keep pressing to finalize the borders first and Israel keeps refusing. Accepting Obama's proposal will give them what they want."
The ramifications, he added would be detrimental to Israel, "as the settlement freeze will be prolonged and we will lose ground in the negotiations. We will pay a million dollars and get nothing but a slap in the face in return. It would constitute outrageous ineptness in negotiating skills.
"Obama's letter," he added, "Isn't a candy given by the American administration to Israel, but a poisonous pill made to look attractive."
Beyond the loss of face and standing on Israel's part should it accept Obama's offer, Dayan warned that once Netanyahu's credibility is shattered, Abbas and Obama will employ the same method over and over – the Palestinian president will threaten to walk away, Netanyahu will be made to appease him, "And if this is how things go, when the negotiations end we'll all be travelling to the Western Wall on a tourist visa."
Dayan concluded by saying he believed a face off with Washington now was better that an Israeli surrender to all its demands. "A smart statesman never puts himself in a situation like this, even if he thinks he can get out of it."
Later Saturday, Gershon Mesika, head of the Shomron Regional Council commented on the PLO's threat to end the peace talks, saying that "We cannot blame Abbas and his colleagues. We have only ourselves to blame.
"We brought them here, we gave them guns and we continue to provide (the PA) artificial resuscitation, while all we get is a spit in the face. This is what the scripture mean when it says 'They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.'"
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