the resumption of construction is the kind of merchandize that virtually nobody wants to buy out there. At best, it is interpreted as capitulation to a radical Israeli minority. At worst, it is interpreted as a colonialist conspiracy. What’s the logic of new construction, everyone will ask, when you’re negotiating an evacuation? The resumption of construction is a huge reward for Abbas – it’s his getaway path.
Based on what Netanyahu said Sunday at the opening of the government session, it appears he chose a different option: Turning the demand for recognizing Israel as the Jewish people’s state into the main issue, thereby pushing Abbas into a corner. While Abbas will speak about the freeze, Netanyahu shall talk recognition. Both of them will refuse, and a balance of guilt will be created.
The problem with this trick is that it’s too transparent and cheap. Every Israeli expects that an agreement, assuming there is one, would declare an end to the conflict and the settlement of Palestinian (and also Arab League) demands of Israel. Yet woe is on a State that expects another people to recognize its ethnic identity. This isn’t Zionistic. It isn’t Israeli. It’s hopeless.