05 June 2009

Settlers and Settlements: not necessarily the thorniest issues for Two State Peace Deal?

This report on polling in Israel is a bit of a mixed bag, but it does show, insofar as it may be trusted (a ?), that the Israeli public is hardly monolithic in support of settlers and settlements, and that, in fact, they would even grudgingly accept evacuation, which no one other than the Palestinians is advocating.

This makes me think that the settlement issue, while thorny, is not necessarily completely intractable. Plus, I believe the right of return is a total nonstarter for the Palestinians, and that, although they won't admit it, they are prepared to ultimately (literally, maybe, as the last thing), concede this issue. So, both with Syria and with the Palestinians, that, it seems to me, leaves the resource allocation (esp. water) and status of East Jerusalem as the biggest problem issues before a two state solution can be formalized.

UPDATE [5 Jun]
Joe Klein pretty much eviscerates Krauthammer's Pro-Likud rant on the settlement issue. I'm not always a total fan of Klein, but I agree with him here.

This [from American Prospect] is a liberal Israeli correspondent's explanation of why the "natural growth" argument is a dodge, and in fact settlements have always been illegal. (Violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention on obligations of an occupying power). I think there will inevitably be some accommodation of some settlements, especially near Jerusalem, but definitely there is going to have to be a cessation of any new ones, and probably at least dismantling of "outposts," as part of any deal.

M. J. Rosenberg is worth reading too.

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