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Cablegate: Consul General and Settler Leaders Agree (Again)

VZCZCXRO4981
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #2237 3471552
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 121552Z DEC 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3506
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY

"C O N F I D E N T I A L JERUSALEM 002237

SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE. NSC FOR ABRAMS/RAMCHAND/PASCUAL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/03/2018
TAGS: KWBG PHUM ASEC IS PBTS PTER
SUBJECT: CONSUL GENERAL AND SETTLER LEADERS AGREE (AGAIN)
TO DISAGREE

REF: JERUSALEM 371

Classified By: Consul General Jake Walles, per reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Summary: Settler leaders Dani Dayan (Yesha Council
Chairman), Shaul Goldstein (Gush Etzion Regional Council
Chairman), and Elyakim Haetzni (co-founder of Kiryat Arba
settlement) met with the Consul General in Jerusalem on
December 11, again agreeing from the outset to disagree. The
settler leaders said recent settler violence reflects young
settlers' disrespect for Israeli law and the influence of
extremist rabbis. None offered a concrete solution to the
conflict, but all rejected the current process towards a two
state solution. End summary.

SETTLER LEADERS REGRET RECENT VIOLENCE
--------------------------------------

2. (C) The Consul General opened by condemning the recent
settler violence over the past six months, especially the
last few weeks in Hebron. Yesha Council Chairman Dani Dayan
said the settler violence is an outgrowth of the unilateral
Israeli disengagement from Gazain 2005 and ""outrageous""
recent Israeli Supreme ourt rulings. He said these GOI
steps taught Isaeli youth that ""you can't play by the rules
becuse the opponent will change them at the last minue; so
why play by the rules?"" Dayan argued that dsengagement was a
disaster for Israel, but he emhasized that the ""price tag
policy"" is a mistakethat will not serve the interests of the
settlemnt movement. Dayan criticized the GOI evacuation f
the Rajabi House, arguing that the operation was ""based on an
outrageous court decision"" and that the situation could have
been resolved in an alternative and legal manner consistent
with court rulings. Goldstein noted that settlers in the
compound had evacuated non-violently but that outsider
settlers engaged in violent activity following the operation.


3. (C) Kiryat Arba co-founder Elyakim Haetzni said the GOI
needs to stop pushing the settlers ""to the edge"" with
settlement evacuations, noting that he has strongly, publicly
condemned the violence, including desecration of mosques and
gravestones, and encouraged all settler leaders to do the
same. He and Dayan said they are ""shamed and embarrassed"" at
the level of violence. Haetzni said the rabbis whom the
settler youth follow should forbid attacks on Palestinians.

SITUATION WITHOUT A SOLUTION
----------------------------

4. (C) Asked by the Consul General how they propose to
solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the settler leaders
called it a ""situation without a solution"" and strongly
rejected current efforts towards a two state solution.
Goldstein said the Jewish and Palestinian national dreams are
fundamentally incompatible and said he does not believe the
Palestinians will be content with anything less than all the
land west of the Jordan. Dayan suggested focusing on
economic partnerships and reviving the exchange of trade and
labor between Israel and the West Bank. Haetzni said it is
""not possible to solve the problem today,"" and advised that
the U.S. administration ""should approach our problem with a
little more respect for history."" The Consul General
responded that the picture they painted of a conflict that
can not be resolved presents a bleak future full of
continuing suffering for both Arabs and Jews.


WALLES
"

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