The Unrepentant Israelis

As they get slowly cornered into a real peace process, the Israeli government – surprise! – steps up destruction of Palestinian homes:

A statement by 25 aid organisations said the number of demolitions increased by almost half and the displacement of Palestinians by nearly three-quarters between July 2013, when the talks began, and the end of the year, compared to the same period in 2012.

One the more remarkable aspects of this is that Israel would never negotiate with a partner that was doing something equivalent. Take the Iran negotiations, which Israel wants to scuttle. Do you think the Israelis would consent to a negotiation without a freeze on Iran’s nuclear development while the talks are underway? And they’d be right to object. When you’re negotiating, it’s completely destructive of the process if one side actually keeps advancing its relevant objectives while the talks are going on.

So why did Israel refuse to freeze its settlement activities on the West Bank while negotiations with the Palestinians took place? Why is it even now stepping up demolition of Palestinian homes as talks stagger on? Are there any established norms that Israel demands from others that it will ever apply to itself?