The settlements are good for Israel
By Ted Belman
In my article The Real Tragedy in Israel I fisked a NYT article by Gershom Gorenberg in his Op-Ed in the New York Times, “Israel’s Tragedy Foretold,” on March 10, 2006, in which he opines that Israelis and their leaders have finally seen the light, namely that Israel should abandon the settlements.
To reach this conclusion he relies on an opinion by Legal Counsel to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, one Theodor Merion who wrote in 1967, “My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
Mr Gorenberg laments that Israel, in disregard of this advice, started to build settlements with the “sadly mistaken confidence that the legal, ethical and diplomatic difficulties of settlement could somehow be avoided.” The tragedy, according to Mr. Gorenberg, is that Israel now has to untangle the mess at great human and financial cost.
Both my article above and Melanie Phillips’ The international community misrepresents international law set the record straight.
The INSS of Tel Aviv U just published A Strategic Assessment which included two instructive articles on the settlements.
For an indepth understanding about the politics of the settlements I recommend a careful reading.
Bottom line for me is that Israel shouild continue to build including in E1 and probably will with a Likud government. Obama will have to decide whether to go public with real pressure to prevent it.