Give us a plan on colonies or stop the side-show

Zvi Bar’el in Haaretz:

It should be said from the onset: Do not freeze settlement construction, do not stop it in part or periodically, not for six months, not for a single day. As long as the U.S. administration does not present a comprehensive plan that explains its endgame – what the end will look like and what the shape and character of the Palestinian state will look like – the demand for a cessation of construction is pointless. It is a pathetic return to the doctrine of “confidence-building measures,” which led nowhere. The demand to freeze settlement construction is like the demand to remove roadblocks or cease razing homes; all these demands and similar ones mean only one thing: making the continuation of the occupation a little more pleasant.

The demand for a cessation of settlement construction will have no impact on the political process as long as they are not telling the Israeli and Palestinian public what will happen with the half-million Israelis who already live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. How many of them will have to be evacuated? How much money will this cost and who will pay for it? Evacuating 7,000 Jews from the Gaza Strip cost more than NIS 10 billion.

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