The former US ambassador to Israel, Dan Kurtzer, says the state's security is being harmed by the haggling over an additional moratorium on West Bank settlement construction.
Kurtzer explained in an interview with Ynet Sunday why he had referred to Israel and US attempts at striking a freeze deal "bribery".
In the future, will we be able to trust that Israel has security issues? asked Kurtzer, who served as an adviser to US President Barack Obama during his presidential campaign.
He added that the US offer saying, "Ok, you want 20 planes, freeze construction" could take away from 30 years of enforcing Israel's security needs. Kurtzer called the deal "unprofessional".
The former ambassador also criticized the lack of US strategy regarding the Middle East peace process, saying that the freeze deal was causing settlements to appear divorced from the rest of the issues with which peace negotiations are concerned.
"The US needs a strategy, something wider than the demand to freeze settlements," he said, adding that it was necessary to sit down with both sides in order to devise a plan on how to proceed before haggling over conditions.
Kurtzer would not say who was to blame for the stalled peace talks, Israel or the US, but accused both sides of approaching negotiations incorrectly. In answer to whether a plan was needed, he said, "A plan sounds like dictation. I don't believe in dictation. I want an American strategy on how to bring both sides to negotiations."
He added that it was entirely possible to get the peace process back on track "and be somewhere else in six months", adding that if talks were not restarted soon violence may ensue.
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