Clinton says Deal on Jewish Settlements Possible:
Peace Now, an advocacy group that opposes Jewish settlement in areas beyond the 1967 boundaries, said in a new report that more than 2,000 housing units were awaiting immediate construction after the moratorium, and that plans for at least 11,000 more housing units had already received full government approval.
There are plans for 25,000 more housing units, but these would need further government approval, the report said.
Mr. Netanyahu faced growing pressure from the settlers’ leaders. The Yesha Council, the West Bank settlers’ umbrella organization, said in a statement on Monday that any continuation of the construction freeze, which began in November, would lead to “severe political instability within Israel and the ultimate collapse of the current government."
I didn't know anything about this umbrella organization. So I googled it. Here's what comes up on yesha-israel.com:
Who is represented by The Yesha Council?
Yesha is an acronym for the Hebrew names of three geographic regions in Israel: Yehuda, Shomron and Aza (Judea, Samaria and Gaza). These regions are divided into 24 municipalities representing three different governmental structures; city, regional and small town. The Yesha Council represents all 24 municipalities and operates to insure the interests of all their residents' present and future.
What are The Yesha Council's Goals?
* Annexation of Yesha to the State of Israel
* Further development of Jewish communities surrounding Jerusalem
* Preventing agreements which damage the integrity and security of the State of Israel
* Defending the rights of the Jewish people to the land of Israel
What is the philosophy standing behind The Yesha Council's Goals?
* The land of Israel is the birthright of the Jewish people and no political leader has the jurisdiction to give away any part of it.
* Agreements damaging the integrity and security of Israel have not and do not further the goal of peace in the region
* Territorial capitulation has led primarily to the shedding of Jewish blood
So these people are telling their Prime Minister that if he doesn't let them build on Palestinian land, they will overthrow him. Where is the mainstream condemnation? Accusations of disloyalty? What about the government? Are they freaking out and saying "oh shit, stop making us look bad, settlers...."
Settlers receive 22% more budget grants than other Israelis, probe shows
This is bleak.
So if we let the moratorium on building expire, and Abbas walks out, is Palestine history? What if....Abbas sticks around, settlers start building like crazy, but Netanyahu agrees to pull out of the territories? Does that mean Palestinians will be able to build their own settlements? Will there be a massive settlement battle?
I lost my train of thought....more later.