Speaking at Harvard last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu criticized Israel’s decision to continue building settlements on Palestinian land:
Jewish settlements [themselves] are illegal. How can we talk on the extension of [the] moratorium or extension of Jewish settlements?
With peace negotiations on the verge of falling apart, the comments demonstrate increasing anger at Israel from a former ally. The Turkish Foreign Minister also declared Gaza an “open prison” and stated that Palestinians have “the full right to live in their own country with full sovereignty based on 1967 territory, including Eastern Jerusalem.”
The following email was sent by US Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office to constituents who emailed her on the topic of Israel and Palestine. Her comments reflect a clear break from the positions of AIPAC and the pro-Israel lobby.
However, like you, I have grave concerns about the expansion of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and I believe that this issue is a major stumbling block to a peace agreement. In my view, settlement activity should be halted until an agreement is reached. Neither side should take any actions which would prejudice the outcome of negotiations on the final status issues.
To: Sanjeev Bery
Date: Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 4:16 PM
Subject: U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein responding to your message
Dear Mr. Bery:
Thank you for writing to express your support for the Obama Administration’s position on the expansion of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. I appreciate hearing from you on this topic, and welcome the opportunity to respond.
In the 48 hours since President Obama’s speech in Cairo, Israeli journalists and pundits have had a lot to say. Their comments offer insights into U.S. foreign policy that many American observers might not get at home.
Some were particularly struck by Obama’s implicit linkage of Palestinian aspirations and other global struggles for freedom. In the liberal newspaper Ha’aretz, journalist Akiva Eldar wrote: