Both the G-8 and the Middle East Quartet - the United States, Russia, European Union and United Nations - urged Israel to freeze all settlement activity Friday.But, yes, Israel and the U.S. did have an agreement on settlements. The Obama administration can deny it from here to next Purim, but it won't change the facts. That agreement was, needless to say, a deliberate incentive and a pivotal selling point for Ariel Sharon in pushing the "disengagement" from Gaza back in 2005. Some of us warned then that President Bush's successor might decline to feel bound by it and we were pretty much written off as nuts. As happens so often lately, I'd really rather have been nuts than right.
The call included freeze of 'natural growth' construction, with the quartet also urging the Israeli government to dismantle settlement outposts erected since March 2001.
Meanwhile, severe thunderstorms threaten southeastern Pennsylvania.