[...] the US should focus on removing small clusters of settlements occupied by ideological activist settlers in places such as Nablus and Hebron that are troublesome and heavily tax Israel's security forces. [...] as difficult as a complete moratorium on settlement expansion will be, the US must still exert sufficient pressure on Israel to be sensitive to Palestinian and Arab sensibilities and stop major development projects in and around East Jerusalem.
THEWORLDTODAY.ORG AUG-SEPT 2009 PAGE 20 ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS Alon Ben-Meir, PROFESSOR, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, CENTER FOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY At the heart of any possible solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is the issue of illegal settlements on Palestinian land. But the settlers’ movement has distinct ideological leanings and some may respond to encouragement or persuasion: an opportunity for both the new Israeli Prime Minister and the American President. Gettıngıt Settled m occupation indefinitely. ORE THAN ANYTHING else, the existence of the settlements reminds every Palestinian of the Israeli occupation, and their expansion not only reinforces that painful feeling and humiliation, but suggests that Israel is intent on maintaining the Putting an immediate end to natural but violence might inadvertently erupt, something Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would want to avoid at all costs. The question is, what can be done to resolve this problem which has such potential to strain United States-Israeli relations and undermine the Israeli-Palestinian peace process? US President Barack Obama must insist on stopping the expansion of the settlements to instil some confidence and integrity into the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. settlement growth, especially those which Nethanyahu has thus far been against the have become fully-fledged cities like Ma’ale freeze; changing the semantics from a freeze to Adumim, will be extraordinarily difficult, a temporary moratorium could provide some both politically and practically. Not only would initial manoeuvring room. the settler’s movement rattle the government, A temporary moratorium would mean a halt | INDEPENDENT THINKING ON INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS THEWORLDTODAY.ORG AUG-SEPT 2009 PAGE 21 on the expansion of all settlements enormous and it is here Netanyahu will and settlement-related activity experience the greatest difficulty in trying during a set-negotiating process, to implement a moratorium. This can be likely to be between three and six done, however, because overt American months. This might well work if it pressure offers a h
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