I suppose at this point it is just tedious to point out, repeatedly, that the Israeli government does not seem interested in a two-state solution and is currently acting in bad faith by continuing to build Jewish settlements on the very land that is contested. It’s even more tedious to note that the current Israeli government has explicitly shown it would sooner release the cold-blooded murderers of its own citizens than cease for one instant its de facto annexation of large tranches of what would be a Palestinian state. The logic of Eretz Israel grinds you down after a while, especially as the US seems utterly powerless to stop its relentless march forward, even as Washington remains Israel’s most vital partner and ally.
The latest argument in defense of the latest round of provocation is that it is being done in those areas that, in most negotiations, would be ceded to Israel anyway in a two-state deal. Notes on Error has a small but telling counter-point to that:
The question could just as plausibly be stated in reverse: if, for the sake of the argument, the areas in question are, in all negotiations, set to devolve themselves to Israel in any case, then what is the rush in building on them right now? If in the sense of the final settlement they are resolved, then why would Israel risk the opprobrium that current construction brings?
The answer, to my mind, is that building a permanent Greater Israel – with eventual forced transfers of Palestinians – is the clear direction in which Israel is headed. I say that not because of anything the Israeli government has said, but entirely by looking at what it does. One cannot help but admire John Kerry for keeping at it. And wonder at what point, if any, the United States will ever say no. And mean it.