web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas's leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh (in blue shirt, center), benefitted politically - and in a dramatic fashion - from this summer's war.  Photo from Hamas victory rally, Aug. 27, 2014.
Gazan Deaths and Destruction Dramatically Drives Popularity for Hamas
Latest Indepth Stories
1347905461_5613_Mideast_Israel_Palestinians_Rosh_Hashana_05475

“these soldiers are on the front lines of a war that the entire world is fighting”

yesha1

Hayovel’s vision: to share with them (Jews) a passion for the soon coming jubilee in yeshua messiah.”

Tibets spiritual leader Dalai Lama.

Dalai Lama: In the interest of Tibetans today to have peaceful co-existence with the Chinese.

Hamas Quote on Death

However, 40+ countries still use capital punishment for a variety of offenses.

The War projects to lower Israel’s 2014 GDP 0.5% but will have little influence on foreign investors

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are actually fighting to “liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine.”

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

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: