Monday, February 28, 2011

Netanyahu Halting Settlements

The odd thing is that he has really only de-facto halted the settlement construction in the West Bank, and apparently hasn't stopped private expansion. Here is a NY Times article which discusses Netanyahu's recent criticism of fellow right wingers in Israel:

“People don’t understand the reality they are living in,” Mr. Netanyahu was quoted as telling an assembly of Likud ministers and legislators, as well as some leaders of Jewish settler councils from the West Bank, who then passed on the remarks to the Israeli news media.

“If you don’t live in this world, you can ignore everything, and I suggest that you beware in order to protect the existing construction, because that’s what’s on the agenda, not the new construction,” Mr. Netanyahu said.

The really bizarre thing is that Netanyahu is taking flak for not expanding the settlements but he really isn't getting the benefits of an outright ban, which would be an advancement of the peace process and the acclaim of the international community. Some people are quick to suggest that the peace process would fail anyway, so why should Israel bother? The answer is simple: world public opinion. Anyone who doesn't think that matters over the long term is crazy. Turning world opinion against Israel is the main strategy of anti-Israeli extremists. Expanding settlements only plays into their hands.

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