Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Henry Siegman, " Grab more hills, expand the territory," London Review of Books, April 10, 2008.

Recommended by Sam Bahour at ePalestine

A review of

* The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-77 by Gershom Gorenberg
* Lords of the Land: The War over Israel’s Settlements in the Occupied Territories, 1967- 2007 by Idith Zertal

The title of Gershom Gorenberg’s book is somewhat misleading in its suggestion that the establishment of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza was ‘accidental’. While Gorenberg, an American-born Israeli journalist, notes that no Israeli government ever made a formal decision about the future of the West Bank, his account of the first decade of Israel’s occupation leaves no doubt that the settlements were deliberately founded, and were intended to create a permanent Israeli presence in as much of the Occupied Territories as possible (indeed, the hope was for them to cover all of the Occupied Territories, if the international community would allow it). No Israeli government has ever supported the establishment of a Palestinian state east of the 1949 armistice line that constituted the pre- 1967 border. At the very least, the settlements were designed to make a return to that border impossible.

For full article see:

Henry Siegman is director of the US/Middle East Project and a research professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Programme at SOAS. He was a senior fellow on the Council on Foreign Relations from 1994 to 2006.
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