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National security advisor says settlements damage Israel

February 17, 2014 at 1:50 am

A report in Haaretz has claimed that Israel’s national security advisor, General Jacob Amidror, has warned of the risks of building more settlement units. Speaking behind closed doors in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office the general apparently said that the construction going on in the settlements “will lead Israel to losing its friends around the world”.

The newspaper quoted Israeli sources as saying that Amidror is “very concerned about the deterioration of Israel’s situation in the international arena, in light of the sharp criticisms that have been addressed to it by the leading European states about the construction wave in the settlements that Israel announced in response to the Palestinian action at the [United Nations].”

“We cannot justify the construction process to the German Chancellor Merkel and nor can we do it to the Canadian Prime Minster Steven Harber,” said Amidror. “Constructing the settlements has turned into a political problem which has made Israel lose support from its western friends.”

Haaretz points out that although Amidror is ideologically right-wing, he takes a moderate line as a national security advisor in all his views, which are based on the professional analyses of the National Security Council.

Amidror was highly critical of his country’s response to the upgrading of Palestine to non-member observer status by the United Nations last November. It is claimed that the lawyer responsible for the Palestinian portfolio in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, Atshak Molcho, shares Amidror’s opinion on this issue.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his advisors estimate that enormous international pressure will be placed on Israel following the formation of its new government, specifically with regard to the Palestinian issue and everything related to the building of settlements. In one of his statements, Netanyahu described this as “like going through the mincer”.

According to Haaretz, the visit by Barack Obama next month, proposals by the new US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the fear of a new European initiative are all part of the international pressure being placed on Israel.