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Opinion
Jeffrey Goldberg

Israel Chooses Settlements Over Friends

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government fervently believes that the Jewish settlements in the West Bank -- whose expansion it supports -- are irrelevant to its conflict with the Palestinians. 
Terror at a Jersusalem train station. 
Terror at a Jersusalem train station. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government fervently believes that the Jewish settlements in the West Bank -- whose expansion it supports -- are irrelevant to its conflict with the Palestinians. Rather, the Israeli government thinks that the core of the conflict is located in what it sees as the Arab rejection of the Jewish people's right to a nation-state in even a part of the Jewish ancestral homeland.

Certain members of Netanyahu's cabinet have expressed to me the belief that their country is fated by history to forever be, in the words of the Jewish Bible, a nation that dwells alone. In other words, those world leaders who argue that settlement growth is an impediment to a two-state solution would simply find something else to complain about should Israel reverse the settlement project. Some members of Netanyahu's cabinet also believe that Western leaders who still express open support for Israel but criticize it on occasion for continuing to advance the settlement cause, are either dangerously naive, or outright malevolent.