War for Settlements

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One often hears it said that the Israel-Palestine conflict isn’t really about Israeli occupation of the territories conquered in the 1967 war. That Israel is prepared to withdraw from these territories in order to make a secure peace but that, unfortunately, the Palestinians won’t agree. The New Republic‘s editor in chief, Martin Peretz, had one of his occasional posts in which he usefully points out that this isn’t actually the case a couple of days ago:

Greater Jerusalem is still a vague concept and a vaguer reality. But its outlines are clear. There are some contiguous Jewish neighborhoods east of the city proper, big neighborhoods. There is no way these will be forfeited from Israeli under any agreement. Basta! Finito! Gemacht! Dayenu!

These “neighborhoods” are, of course, settlements built on conquered land. Somewhat similarly, although this time not presuming to speak for the Israeli government, Peretz wrote of his desire to maintain Israeli occupation of the Jordan River Valley and to see the population of 10,000 Israeli settlers living there grow.