- By David KennerDavid Kenner is the Middle East editor at Foreign Policy. He is based in Beirut, Lebanon, and has been with FP since 2009 (a long time, he knows). He worked for FP previously in Cairo, where he covered the early days of the Arab Spring, and before that in Washington. He has attended Georgetown University and the American University of Beirut and has reported from Libya, Egypt, Gaza, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq.
In the last issue of FP, Gershom Gorenberg worried that Israeli settlements in the West Bank were endangering the two-state solution. “No one knows exactly where the point of no return is — when so many Israelis will have moved into so many homes beyond the pre-1967 border that there is no going back,” he wrote. Wherever that point may be, a new report reveals that Israel raced toward it at a breakneck pace in 2008.
The number of structures in West Bank settlements and new outposts increased 69% in 2008 compared to 2007, according to a new study released by Peace Now. The Israeli government has allowed new construction in larger settlements, which Israel would likely keep in any final status agreement. But of the 1,518 new settler structures, Peace Now found that 39% of the structures were built in outposts outside these areas.
This explosion of settlement growth, it is important to note, happened under a Kadima and Labor government. If you believe that Benjamin Netanyahu, whose Likud Party is leading election polls, is going to bring a halt to the settler movement — well, I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Beitar Illit.
Photo: AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images