Hush Is the Word When it Comes to the Settlements

DAN-CHYI CHUA
Mar 19, 2010
*Special to asia!

"What you don't know won't hurt you" seems to be the new Netanyahu peace initiative aimed at 'trust-building'. But just whose trust is he trying to get?

There is a piece in the Israeli daily Haaretz today with the headline : Israel to engage in 'trust-building' moves in wake of East Jerusalem row.

According to the article, these 'trust-building' moves would include: the release of Palestinian prisoners, the removal of West Bank checkpoints and perhaps even a willingness to transfer West Bank territories to PA control.

Another piece quoted from the Washington Post has the Israeli ambassador to the US saying 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will offer "assurances that the new neighborhood will not be constructed anytime soon; it is, in fact, two or three years from groundbreaking." 

"Coupled to that would be an Israeli pledge to avoid publicizing further construction decisions in Jerusalem. The result would not be a freeze, but something like a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy for settlements.”

So this is my understanding.

The US has gotten upset with Israel for announcing more settlements during Vice President Joe Biden's state visit. A week of diplomatic chastising followed. In a contrite move, Israel is going to do the following:

1.Free some Palestinian prisoners
2.Allow more Palestinians to travel within Israel and the West Bank
3.Let the Palestinian Authority control more of the West Bank.

But on the most contentious issue settlement-building, Israel is going to go ahead. Only now, they are going to go about doing it quietly.

Apparently the issue that is upsetting everyone isn't that Israel is building Jewish settlements on territory the Palestinians want for a future state. It's just that the construction is making too much noise.

Glad we got that cleared up.

 

dan-chyi chua

Dan-Chyi Chua was a broadcast journalist, before forsaking Goggle Box Glitz for the Open Road. A three-year foray led her through the Middle East, China, SE Asia, Latin America and Cuba, and she's now grounded herself as a writer for theasiamag.com, content with spending her days in Jerusalem.

Contact Dan-Chyi