Forty years ago, Israel forces swept into the West Bank and drove out its Jordanian defenders. The assumption of Israel leaders was for negotiation to begin with Arab nations for some sort of permanent peace which would include return of the West Bank to an Arab government. Forty years later the West Bank is home to hundreds of thousands of Israelis who occupy the territory in violation of international law. Prime Minister Netanyahu insists there must be housing construction in order to meet the housing needs of an expanding population. He recently announced that further construction would halt after the current hundreds of houses go up in order to prove to President Obama that he was willing to compromise.
Neither Benjamin Netanyahu nor any other current Israel leaders have the moral courage to compromise on West Bank housing. Chaim Levinson, writing in Haaretz, noted that housing construction has been going on for years, sometimes with permission, sometimes without. In
Ariel he discovered a children’s adventure park that was built prior to any official sanction, but within the past week, the Israel government gave such permission. He found hundreds of houses going up on condition they be completed within two months.
Each house that rises makes peace agreements with Palestinians that much more difficult. There is no “freeze” on housing and when Netanyahu claims it will go into effect in a few months, he can not be trusted. Housing is going on without official permission as it has for years. He will not crack down on those illegal houses.