Jerusalem, Settlements and the Two-State Solution
Monday November 14, 2011
Church Center for the United Nations, New York
Click here to watch video of this compelling talk by a true insider in the negotiation process.
Excerpt from opening:
Seidemann: “[the surge in settlement building in 2008] was very detrimental but Olmert got away with it. He got away with it because A) He was negotiating in earnest… and B) there was a Republican President. In comes Netenyahu in 2009 and he changes nothing. He was no better and no worse than Olmert… Netenyahu is all about the spin. He is not a big policy person and the policy remained unchanged… and Netenyahu does NOT get away with it. Why? Number 1) He was NOT negotiating with Abu Maazen and nobody really trusts him to really want to… the overheard remarks by Sarkozy [about Netenyahu being a liar] are fairly widely accepted…. And in addition, there is no longer a Republican President… He talked to Elliot Abrams and the NeoCons, not realizing that President Obama isn’t a republican… so that things that in the past, Israel got away with, put him on a collision course with President Obama. President Obama weighed in with a demand for a full stop settlement surge in East Jerusalem as well. And he didn’t get it. When you folks come to town next, [Jerusalem], I can show you the place where President Obama blinked. And I believe that 30 or 40 years from now, when historians will chronicle the decline of United States’ influence in the Middle East, Shepherd’s Hotel will be a prime candidate for where that began.”
In January 2010, Daniel Seidemann founded Terrestrial Jerusalem, an Israeli non-profit organization that works to identify and track developments in Jerusalem. Prior to founding Terrestrial Jerusalem, Daniel conducted legal work with Ir Amim, where he took on cases defending individuals, families and communities who were negatively impacted by the wall and the expansion of Jewish settlements in and around Jerusalem.
This event was co-sponsored by the NGO Working Group on Israel-Palestine, co-chaired by Rev. W. Mark Koenig, Director, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations
With thanks to the Mennonite Central Committee and Roger Hawkins of DisasterTruck.com for the video footage.