Showing at least some vague measure of good sense, the Bush administration is officially against Israel’s plans to construct a new settlement in the West Bank, though they don’t seem inclined to actually do anything about it. New Republic editor in chief Martin Peretz explains that the new settlement is a good idea because “there needs to be a sliver of land between what will ultimately be a Palestinian state and Jordan.” The benefits of such a policy are clear: “An Israeli buffer between Jordan and nascent Palestine will not only protect Jordan from its mischievous neighbors to the west. It will protect Israel from what would otherwise be a new Jordan. Also called Palestine, and part of it.”
Back in the real world, obviously, if Israel insists on such a policy there’s never going to be peace with the Palestinians, but I assume that’s fine by him.