by Glenn Greenwald
Wednesday Jan. 28, 2009 05:01 EST
(updated below – Update II)
The Jerusalem Post today reports that, according to a newly released study by Peace Now, “the number of new structures in the West Bank settlements and outposts increased by 69 percent in 2008, compared to 2007” and “the settler population grew from 270,000 in 2007 to 285,000 in 2008.” Earlier this week, the leading candidate to be Israel’s next Prime Minister, Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu, said that while he “has no intention of building new settlements in the West Bank,” he “would let Jewish settlements expand in the West Bank if he’s elected prime minister.”
When it comes to explanations about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Americans are typically inundated with reports about the indiscriminate, civilian-targeting violence engaged in by Palestinian religious fanatics and other extremists who oppose the very existence of Israel. But they hear little about their Israeli counterparts — the religious extremists and radical nationalists who, with the tacit and sometimes active support of the Israeli Government and military (funded and armed by the U.S.), continue to take over more and more land in the West Bank, imposing ever-harsher and more oppressive conditions on West Bank Palestinians. All of that is making a two-state solution increasingly difficult to envision, if not close to impossible.
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