Historical Parallels

Why Israel Must Accept Settlement Freeze

A historical parallel is in store: “The Israelis’ furious reaction to the pressure they are under from the Obama administration is reminiscent of the British rage early in the Northern Irish peace process, when it became clear that our American allies were intent on ‘talking to the terrorists’ of the Irish Republican Army,” Gideon Rachman writes in the Financial Times. “But, as it turned out, the Americans were right to insist that there was a peace deal to be made with the IRA. They are right again on the Middle East peace process. There is still a deal to be had—and if Israel does not take it soon, the long-term survival of the Jewish state will be imperiled.” He goes on, “The Israelis are certainly right to argue that there is no guarantee that a freeze on settlements will lead to a peace deal. On the other hand, there certainly is a guarantee that a continued expansion of settlements will ensure that no peace deal is ever possible.”