the United States expects Israel to maintain the status quo in East Jerusalem and refrain from establishing new facts on this sensitive ground. The American demands are reasonable and fair. The procedure for approving the Ramat Shlomo building plan took five years or more; it will not come to fruition in the coming months. Netanyahu can transfer lands in Area C to the Palestinians, release prisoners and lift roadblocks.
Israeli agreement to discuss all the core issues, including Jerusalem, derives from the Oslo Accords and the road map, to which the government is committed. Even without the heavy cloud hovering over relations with the United States, an Israeli government that is really and truly interested in ending the conflict must act to strengthen the status of the Palestinian partner, avoid provocative decisions and renew talks on the core issues from the point they stopped a year and half ago.
Instead of fanning the flames with irresponsible declarations about the continuation of construction in East Jerusalem, the prime minister would do well to say yes to the American demands.