Why it’s wrong to restrict natural growth
I feel ashamed that Obama administration chose to make demands of a total “freeze” of Jewish communities in historical Jewish homelands of Judea and Samaria – that, if implemented, would affect even the “natural growth,” i.e. without expanding their boundaries.
Historical record of those who imposed demographic/territorial restrictions on Jews (and Jews alone) is abysmal: from medieval expulsions & ghettos to German policies of Schutzjuden, to the Russian Pale of Settlement, to the horrors of the 20th century, to 2005 Israel’s expulsion of Jews from Gaza, which resulted in Hamas’ putsch.
I see the following problems with the new Obama/Clinton stance:
1. It violates the understandings negotiated between the previous US administrations and the govt of Israel. A dangerous precedent.
2. To prohibit even the natural growth within already established communities is an illogical and cruel restriction. Even left-wing Ehud Barak agrees that it is wrong.
3 & 4. I agree with Herb Keinon and Elliott Abrams: it won’t bring peace any closer and will only increase tensions between Israel and the US: Analysis: Is Obama looking for a fight over ‘natural growth’?:
“A ‘settlement freeze’ would not help Palestinians face today’s problems or prepare for tomorrow’s challenges,” Elliott Abrams, the deputy national security adviser under former US president George Bush, wrote in April in The Washington Post.
“The demand for a freeze would have only one quick effect: to create immediate tension between the United States and Israel’s new government,” he wrote. “That may be precisely why some propose it, but it is also why the Obama administration should reject it.”
Abrams proved prophetic: the issue has indeed created immediate tension with the US, not over illegal outposts – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has made it clear he will remove them – but over “natural growth” in the settlements. …
Even if Israel succumbs to ever-increasing and ever-ridiculous demands, Gaza will be still under uncompromisingly genocidal Hamas jihadis, the Palestinian Authority-run schools, mass media and mosques will be still full of incitement against Jews and Israel, Hezbollah will not go away, etc.
5. Finally, and most importantly, it pushes public attention away from the real threat in the region: Iran.
So far Obama’s policies of befriending enemies and antagonizing allies are a big flop. BTW, Bibi deserves credit for standing up against huge pressure.