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June 27, 2008



"settlements which the Israeli government has proven willing to uproot in the past whenever realistic prospects for peace have existed"

The settlements just seem stupid to me. If you're going to take over land where millions of non-Jews live (and have a higher birth rate than Israeli Jews) and you want to remain a democratic Jewish state, the only options are ethnic cleansing or apartheid, both of which are anathema to liberal democracy. Leaving the West Bank shouldn't be seen as just a concession to Palestinians, but something critical for the survival of the Zionist project.


I agree that the settlements are a waste of time and energy which do little more than worsen the security obligations of the IDF, but that is what you get with a PR system like Israel's, under which small religious parties are able to play the role of kingmakers and thereby extract outsize concessions: one sees a similar dynamic at work in the fact that there are large numbers of Haredim who neither work, pay taxes nor even engage in army service, yet whose idle existences and large families are resentfully subsidized by the secular majority which these ultra-Orthodox groups look down upon.

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