Wednesday, April 08, 2009

# Posted 6:42 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

ISRAEL MUST STOP BUILDING SETTLEMENTS: That is certainly the conventional wisdom. Elliott Abrams dissents. For him, anti-settlement advocacy is a distraction. Abrams writes that the expansion of the Israeli settler population basically entails population growth in existing settlements, which will become part of Israel under the expected terms of any two-state deal.

What Abrams is against is taking new land for settlements:
Israeli settlement expansion beyond the security fence, in areas Israel will ultimately evacuate, is a mistake: It wastes Israeli resources and needlessly antagonizes the Palestinians who live nearby.
This kind of expansion is also rare; thus it isn't much of a threat to peace talks.

There are plenty of reasons to be pessimistic about the peace process, however. For a closer look, I recommend Abrams' recent cover story in the Weekly Standard. The details are important, but the essence of argument is this. Fatah can't make peace. Hamas won't. American efforts to keep negotiations going are a waste of energy that could spent dealing with real problems in the West Bank.

Cross-posted at Conventional Folly
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Nice Posting
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