Posted by on July 23, 2009 in Blog
The Obama Administration’s engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has renewed the long-standing settlement debate. On this page, you will find links to AAI articles and interviews, as well as outside experts, on the issue of settlements in the Occupied Territories.
Ofra Ben Artizi: The Writing on the Wall
Sarah Netanyahu’s sister-in-law writes of her experience during the Sunday, August 3, 2009 eviction of two Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem.
Ofra Ben Artizi was detained and interrogated after she attempted to console the evicted families. ““The expulsion of the families slams shut the door on any chance of dialogue with the Palestinians. It is a slap in the face of the Obama Administration and of those in the International Community seeking to promote a political process in our region,” she wrote. Read the rest of her story here
Abusing Jerusalem to Assail Peace: the Case of the Shepherd’s Hotel”
A publication of Americans for Peace Now
(Excerpt from Vol. 5, Issue 4 — July 22, 2009)
Q: What does this current controversy in Jerusalem mean for peace?
The current project is a direct challenge to President Barack Obama and his effort to launch negotiations that can lead to Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab peace. If Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sees sense and finds a way to back down and cancel/freeze this project, the chances for a serious peace process, with a credible result, may very well improve. Alternatively, Netanyahu and others may well have decided to do everything possible to use this project to deal a fatal blow not only to Obama’s efforts but to the two-state solution. If they succeed, it will be Israelis as much as the Palestinians who suffer.
American Presidents and Israeli Settlements
Largely because the Obama Administration has directly challenged Israel’s continuing settlement expansion in the West Bank, the issue has been receiving unprecedented US press coverage. Last week alone, there were several dozen editorials, commentaries and news articles appearing in major US dailies.
For more than three decades now, Israel has, despite US objections, carefully plotted its settlement building program as a way of creating “facts on the ground” in order to establish its claim to all, or at least significant parts, of the occupied lands. Given Israel’s persistence in furthering this settlement enterprise, US Presidents have reacted—sometimes harshly, sometimes merely objecting, but with a “wink and a nod.” In this context, it is useful to review the evolving US language on settlements.
Washington Watch: The Settlement Freeze Ruse II
While supporters of a two-state solution continue to insist that Israel freeze settlement construction in the West Bank, there is something quite maddening about this entire enterprise.
The U.S. has called on Israel to halt settlements for over three decades now. On at least one half dozen occasions, Israel has appeared to acquiesce to these demands. Nevertheless, settlements continue to expand their range like an invasive disease, eating up more Palestinian lands, as evidenced by a recent Israeli press report noting that 15,000 new units have been authorized, with another 58,000 under consideration. If completed, this will nearly double the number of Israelis living in the West Bank!
It’s an old story.
Americans for Peace Now – June 19, 2009
A settlement freeze is good for Israel and good for peace. Settlements are bad for Israel. They constitute a burden to Israel’s security services. They create points of friction between Israelis and
Palestinians. They drain Israel’s financial resources. They create a false impression that Israelis are not interested in a two-state solution.
As made clear in the previously-published analysis, “How to Freeze Settlements: A Layman’s Guide,” a settlement freeze is also eminently doable. Implementing a settlement freeze – or a
“stop” or a moratorium, or whatever people want to call it – is entirely a question of political will on the part of Israeli decision-makers. It is also a matter of calling-out the excuse-makers and
naysayers and saying clearly and unequivocally: your arguments don’t hold water.
Click here to download the entire article. (PDF)