Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Enjoy the Silence

Ha'aretz reports that Israel apparently has frozen settlement construction (Peace Now concurs, saying that projects currently in progress are continuing but no new construction has been approved). They're just not officially saying its frozen. So a tangible victory without the symbolism. Good enough?


Charlie H. Ettinson said...

Actually, Peace Now does not seem to be all that thrilled.
Amongst other critiques on their website is: "Fact No. 2: In the past 9 months, since November 2008 the govt has not published any new tenders for construction in the settlements. (Though a few tenders were published for completion of infrastructure, roads, etc. but no new tenders for apartments).
However govt sponsored construction of government only constitutes about 40% of all construction in the territories. Most of the building is through private initiatives from settler groups, NGO’s etc.
Thus, even if there is a complete freeze of construction bids on behalf of the government – at least 60% of all construction in the settlements continues as before."
Frankly, I have no idea what this other 60% is, but there's a half truth floating around somewhere.

PG said...

Isn't there also a problem of the enforcement of Israelis' legal claims to land on which Palestinians currently reside? It's not precisely "settlement construction," but in one way it's even more controversial, because it moves Palestinians out of actual houses where they were living, instead of merely building a new house on land claimed by Palestinians.