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Ruins of an ancient synagogue in Shiloh

“Hebron and Shiloh, that are widely regarded as the cradle of Jewish civilisation” This comes from this article: Middle East: A hold on the high ground by Tobias Buck of the UK Financial Times.

The message: “Fears are rising that any eviction of West Bank settlers would trigger a national crisis.”

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Buck writes:

…In Israel, the real debate today is not so much whether the settlers are winning but whether they have already won. That, in essence, is the boast made by settler leaders. They argue that the West Bank settlements – despite their illegality under international law and the condemnation they attract – have become an “irreversible fact”. The settlers, they say, are now so numerous, and so deeply entrenched that Israel will never be able to remove them.

“I think these days we are seeing a turning point,” says Danny Dayan, the head of the Yesha Council, the main settler organisation. “Everyone knows that at some point it will become irreversible. I think we are already there.”

There are still many – both inside Israel and abroad – who dispute Mr Dayan’s claim with vehemence…the triumphalism expressed by the settlers finds an echo in the despair and frustration voiced by members of Israel’s dwindling peace camp. The number of activists who believe that it is too late to save the two-state solution is growing steadily: some have started the search for alternative solutions to the conflict, such as a binational state for both Israelis and Palestinians, or a Palestinian state that would incorporate at least some of the Jewish settlements. Others simply sound a note of despair…

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