Friday, April 25, 2008

The biggest obstacle

So Israeli "settlements" are back in the headlines again, as Ehud Olmert has made public reference to a secret Bush letter to Ariel Sharon back in April, 2004 (as opposed to this public one), giving Israel permission to expand existing settlements. The Bush administration, naturally, denies the existence of any such letter. And currently (though hopefully not for long), a Jerusalem Post sub-headline reads

PA president says he's pessimistic about peace deal with Israel this year; says biggest obstacle to an accord are Israeli settlements

But the story itself (currently) says no such thing. The "biggest obstacle ... are settlements" (sic) language appears to be as still-born attempt by the AP to plant those words on President Bush (here, too), but of course a very little digging reveals that they have an entirely different source. AP again:

Abbas said the biggest obstacle is Israel's continued expansion of Jewish settlements on Palestinian-occupied territories.

And here.

As for the relative significance of Israeli settlement activity on the overall peace process, Soccer Dad addresses the issue succinctly. And Charles Johnson injects a well-earned extra dose of sarcasm into his treatment, here.

Yes, the real problem is those Israeli settlements.

Not the ongoing rocket attacks, not the suicide bombers, not the indoctrination of children, not the idolization of murderers, not the constant barrage of antisemitic propaganda, not the funding from Saudi Arabia for terrorism, not the jihad clerics preaching genocidal hatred.

It’s those settlements.


Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach.