US Ambassador Dan Shapiro falsely accused Israel of maintaining a double standard in the rule of law in Judea and Samaria that, he says, discerns between Israelis and Palestinians. The State Department has expressed support for Shapiro’s comments. Protest this false accusation!
US Ambassador Dan Shapiro said that Washington was “concerned and perplexed” over Israel’s strategy of building “West Bank settlements.” Speaking to the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies, a top Israeli think tank, he claimed that Israel’s “continued expansion of settlements” raises questions about Israel’s intentions and its stated commitment to establishing an independent Palestinian state.
As Israel’s closest friend, the United States is steadfast in its support for Israel, but it was also its role to call Israel out on its errors, Shapiro said. He alleged that Israel restricts Palestinian economic development in the PA-run territories and bemoaned what he called an inadequate response to “settler” violence.
“Too much vigilantism goes unchecked, and at times there seem to be two standards of adherence to the rule of law: one for Israelis and another for Palestinians,” he said.
Shapiro’s remarks sparked a terse response from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said they were inappropriate at a time of heightened violence with the Palestinians.
“The ambassador’s comments, on a day when a mother of six is being buried and a pregnant woman is stabbed, are unacceptable and untrue,” Netanyahu stated. “Israel enforces the law on Israelis and Palestinians. The one responsible for the diplomatic stalemate is the Palestinian Authority, which continues to incite and refuses to negotiate.”
Netanyahu met with Shapiro on Tuesday, a day after the ambassador accused Israel of double standards in enforcing the law in Judea and Samaria and Netanyahu responded with a harsh rejection of his remarks.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the private meeting lasted 20 minutes in Netanyahu’s office, prior to Netanyahu’s meeting with four US congressmen.
Neither the Prime Minister’s Office nor the US embassy would provide any details on the conversation except to say the two discussed Shapiro’s controversial comments.
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