On Aug. 21, 2004, the New York Times reported that "the Bush administration...now supports construction of new apartments in areas already built up in some settlements, as long as the expansion does not extend outward."
In recent weeks, American officials have denied that any agreement on settlements existed.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that "in looking at the history of the Bush administration, there were no informal or oral enforceable agreements."
These statements are incorrect. Not only were there agreements, but the prime minister of Israel relied on them in undertaking a wrenching political reorientation - the dissolution of his government, the removal of every single Israeli citizen, settlement and military position in Gaza, and the removal of four settlements in the West Bank.
Regardless of what Mrs. Clinton has said, there was a bargained-for exchange. Sharon was determined to break the deadlock [and] withdraw from Gaza. He asked for our support and got it, including the agreement that we would not demand a total settlement freeze.
For reasons that remain unclear, the Obama administration has decided to abandon the understandings about settlements reached by the previous administration with the Israeli government. We may be abandoning the deal now, but we cannot rewrite history and make believe it did not exist.
(Wall Street Journal)