web analytics
February 28, 2015 / 9 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


The Ultimate ‘Settlements are not the Problem’ Article

If you are really being so hurt by the existence and growth of settlements then make peace fast and get rid of them.
The Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim, east of Jerusalem.

The Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim, east of Jerusalem.
Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

It must be a new year. The Washington Post had an editorial last week explaining that Israeli settlements are not the main problem in the Middle East.

The Post editorial is amazing since such sanity is so rare. It begins:

“Two mistaken but widely held notions regarding Israeli-Palestinian peace are that the settlements are the principal obstacle to a deal and that further construction will make a Palestinian state impossible.”

And then it continues by laying down a detailed, factual case that’s worth repeating:

–“Following the 1993 Oslo accords, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government, like several before it, has limited building almost entirely to areas that both sides expect Israel to annex through territorial swaps in an eventual settlement….”

–Almost all of the Jewish settlers live on only four percent of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria -ed.], the sector that Israel has been seeking to annex as part of a peace plan that was first presented twelve years ago.

–Israel’s latest construction, which will connect Maale Adumim—a short walk from Jerusalem—with the rest of the city is hardly the destruction of any chance for peace which has been portrayed in much of the Western media and by some Western governments. The worst-case scenario would be that if this corridor determined the ultimate border between two states, Palestinian motorists might have to take a detour of about ten minutes.

–Those who “are really interested in progress toward Palestinian statehood…will press [Palestinian Authority leader Mahmud] Abbas to stop using settlements as an excuse for intransigence – and cool their own overheated rhetoric.”

One of the questions I’m most often asked is about Israeli settlements. It is ridiculously easy to prove they are not the factor preventing Israel-Palestinian peace. I favor the eventual dismantlement of almost all of them–but only if and when there is a comprehensive peace which results in the annexation of some–that would be in Palestine’s territory. That is a long way off.

The problem with demonstrating that settlements are not the problem is that it is so hard to get those arguments to a big audience in the West. Many people also have a pre-1993 image of the situation in their minds.

Briefly, here are two points that make the case. The first shows that the claims about settlements are contrary to the facts; the second that they are contrary with logic.

First, the day after the Israel-PLO agreement was signed in 1993, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin made it clear that Israel’s interpretation was that it permitted continued construction on existing settlements. The Palestinian Authority did not object and that policy did not prevent it from negotiating over the next seven years. (Deliberate?) misrepresentations often make people think that Israel is establishing new settlements or expanding the size of existing ones. Both claims are untrue.

Second, if the Palestinian side wants an end to settlements that should be an incentive for reaching a peace agreement faster and thus getting rid of all settlements on the territory of the new state of Palestine. Notice that Israel—under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon no less—demolished all of the settlements in the Gaza Strip as, among other things, a sign of what could be gained by a peace deal.

Yet the Palestinian side has been in no hurry to make a deal. In theory, when it complains about settlements the response should be: So why don’t you compromise for peace and get rid of them rather than having them become “larger?”

But you don’t have to think this is a new idea. That was exactly what King Hussein of Jordan told the Palestine National Council, the PLO’s “legislative” body, on November 22, 1984. He explained:

“The years go by….The holy and cherished land is being swallowed up every day….How long shall we heed those among us who say: Leave it for future generations….? What makes them believe that the circumstances of future generations will be more conducive [when postponement is merely] giving the enemy more time….?

In other words, your refusal to make peace makes things worse.

“We thus enabled the enemy to exploit time in order to change reality on the land of Palestine in its favor….Brothers and sisters, because we will be harmed the most as a result of the continuation of the present state of affairs….experience taught us to renounce immobility…..”

Or, to put it bluntly, stop quarreling and using violence, and demanding too much and expecting to gain total victory that will wipe Israel off the map and just make a compromise two-state solution.

About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “The Ultimate ‘Settlements are not the Problem’ Article”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    I've disagreed with this author a lot. But on this he is essentially correct. Settlements are indeed a problem but not a big one. There hasn't been a single new settlement approved in 20 years (since Rabin's election), and no new settlement built in 15. Arafat could have eliminated almost every settlement at Taba — and had an internationally recognized Palestinian State as well — but he chose to go to war instead.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
18,000 Iranian Centrifuges
Reducing Iran’s Number of Centrifuges Makes a Bomb More Likely
Latest Indepth Stories
Netanyahu in a previous address to Congress-

Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world

Korenblit-022715

Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life

Councilman David Greenfield

It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident

Levmore-022715

“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.

If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism

Victim of Palestinian Arab terrorism, a victor in NY federal court, after years of being ignored by Justice Dept.

March 2013: Arabs hurled stones hitting the Biton’s car; Adele’s mother swerved the car-into a truck

The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.

Former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, writing in the Washington Post on Sunday, provided one of the clearest and most compelling analyses we’ve seen of the importance of the prime minister’s speech.

A central concept in any discussion about happiness is achieving clarity. “Ain simcha ela k’hataras hasefeikos” – there is no joy as that experienced with the removal of doubt.

“Je Suis..,” like its famous origin 400 years ago, implies the ability & freedom to think & question

Many anti-Israel demonstrations at universities have a not-so-latent anti-Semitic agenda as well

Believing a few “extremists” hijacked Islam is myopic in history and geography, numbers and scope

More Articles from Barry Rubin
Youssef Ziedan

The interviewer responds, “There was also Balfour.”

peace_clowns

If the Obama/Kerry peace deal does go through, what would the risks be?

Let me make it plain. There will be mass murder, even genocide in Syria.

A large number of pro-Obama and radical or even anti-Israel cadre are Jews.

Does anyone think the Palestinian Authority will resist daily attacks from Hamas and Fatah radicals?

Secret Service security arrangements were overruled.

The Obama Administration plan is very simple, assuming that everything goes smoothly–which of course it will not.

The less you know about Islam, the better. Ignorance is strength.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/the-ultimate-settlements-are-not-the-problem-article/2013/01/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: