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As Netanyahu Heads to Town, Israel Launches New Settlement

By Matthew Yglesias

"As Netanyahu Heads to Town, Israel Launches New Settlement"

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Maybe Barack Obama can mention something about this?

Israel has moved ahead with a plan to build a new settlement in the northern West Bank for the first time in 26 years, pursuing a project the United States has already condemned as an obstacle to peace efforts. The move comes on the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s first meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, despite Western calls for Israel to halt its settlement activity. [...]

The initiative began three years ago, under the auspices of then-defense minister Amir Peretz, who promised to transform a former army outpost into a permanent settlement for evacuees from the Gaza Strip. The move was then frozen due to American insistence.

Realistically, I think both Obama and Netanyahu face strong political incentives to paper over their differences rather to have Obama state his position forcefully. In the short term, Palestinians will probably pay the biggest price for that. But Israel and the United States will come to grief, too, soon enough.

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