Monday, 22 August 2011

"Settlements are the issue"

Thoughtful article by Robert Wolfe in the New English Review:

You often hear defenders of the Netanyahu government say, in opposition to demands for a settlement freeze, “Settlements are not the issue. The issue is the Palestinian refusal to accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish state.” The unspoken subtext behind this argument is that if only the Palestinians would accept the existence of Israel, the issue of the settlements could easily be resolved, with Israel retaining some and abandoning others. And it is certainly true that the Palestinians have never accepted the existence of Israel and have always found one pretext or another to avoid a peaceful resolution of the conflict, but even if the Palestinians would formally accept the Jewish state, it is far from clear that a compromise on the question of settlements is either possible or desirable.