The Comprehensive Guide to
The Truth about The Settlements
The Palestinians, and many in the international community, claim that the settlements in Judea and Samaria are the main obstacle to peace, and that continued construction by Israel in Judea and Samaria is the reason for the repeated Palestinian-led breakdowns in negotiations.
- Why did Israel build settlements in Judea and Samaria?
Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria have been there for centuries. For instance, there were prosperous Jewish communities in Hebron until the Arab massacre of 1929, and in Gush Etzion and East Jerusalem, before they were overrun by the Jordanians following the outbreak of war in 1948.
The Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria is nothing more than the natural return of the people to their
and. It is also necessary to maintain Israel’s security and safety within its very narrow borders, against the
ggression and attacks of her Arab neighbors, as history has proven time and time again.
Since Judea and Samaria is considered disputed until permanent status is established, Jews should not be prejudiced against in building settlements there.
- Are settlements an obstacle to peace?
No. Settlements are not the real issue between Israel and the Palestinians. The real issue here is one of recognition and coexistence. From 1948 until 1967 there were no settlements, and there was still no peace. Abbas and the Palestinians also consider Tel Aviv and Haifa to be occupied territories, showing that the core of this conflict is not territorial, rather it is ideological. The best way to learn what the Palestinians are really thinking is to study the curriculum being taught to Palestinian children, indoctrinating their young minds.
Barak in 2000 in Camp David and Olmert in 2007 in Annapolis offered to dismantle most of the settlements, and the Palestinians still refused to sign a peace agreement with Israel. Furthermore, in 2005 Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dismantled all of the 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip, plus four more settlements in Judea and Samaria, and still there was no peace. Quite the contrary, indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza onto innocent Israeli civilians increased by over 500%.
- Do the settlements harm the ongoing peace process?
No. It is important to note: building in Judea and Samaria is merely a consequence of national growth, not a punishment or a retaliatory move, as the Palestinians and the world media would have you believe. Until an agreement is reached, there is no reason for Israel to punish itself.
Although difficult, we did accept a 10 month moratorium on building in Judea and Samaria, and this in order to bring about negotiations with Abbas. Unfortunately, Abbas didn’t come to negotiate until the 10 months were over. Another thing worth mentioning is that every week building is approved in the Arab parts of Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem, but you don’t hear it on the news, because it fits the Palestinian narrative to play the victim, blaming Israel instead of focusing those efforts towards building up their own society.
- Palestinians claim that settlement building prevents a future Palestinian state, and therefore there is nothing left to negotiate about. Is that true?
No. It was the Palestinians who refused peace, even though Israel offered to dismantle settlements, as mentioned before, and proved that settlement building can be reversed, as was the case in Gaza in 2005. Settlements are only one of the issues standing between Israel and the Palestinians, together with security arrangements, the issue of recognition, refugees and other claims. All these issues will be solved simultaneously through direct negotiations without preconditions. These issues are interdependent and intertwined, and therefore must all be negotiated together, one issue cannot be singled out and dealt with independently.