Petra Marquardt-Bigman explains that, contrary to popular belief, the built-up are of “the settlements” in the West Bank is only 1.4-1.7 % of the total (according to leftist sources, no less!), and that even a minimal land swap could take care of the problem. But… that would force the “Palestinians” to do something they are not prepared to do — give up the dream of destroying Israel by violence or by demographics.
Last week, James Zogby, the founder and president of the Arab American Institute (AAI), published a post entitled “The Politics of Palestine.” It’s the usual lament about the endless oppression inflicted upon Palestinians by Israel (and its US supporters), and of course, there is the inevitable reference to the “ever-growing settlements” that make the Palestinians feel “increasingly squeezed.”
The fact that Zogby can rightly assume that even people who have only the foggiest idea about the Middle East will think that these “ever-growing settlements” are a major obstacle to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict illustrates perfectly how divorced from reality much of the commentary and debate on this subject really are.
As Zogby knows full well, the “ever-growing settlements” haven’t grown for many years.
Veteran Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat acknowledged as much publicly when he stated in an interview last November that “despite Israel’s continual policy…
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