Not settling for less

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s partial moratorium on settlement construction is set to expire on Sept. 26. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded an extension of the freeze — a position supported by President Barack Obama’s administration. Netanyahu, however, has remained adamant that construction will resume when the moratorium ends. What has caused the Israeli ...

YEHUDA RAIZNER/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's partial moratorium on settlement construction is set to expire on Sept. 26. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded an extension of the freeze -- a position supported by President Barack Obama's administration. Netanyahu, however, has remained adamant that construction will resume when the moratorium ends.

What has caused the Israeli prime minister to risk the ire of his powerful American ally? In part, it is the Yesha Council, an umbrella organization of Jewish settlements in the West Bank that presses the communities' case with Israeli leaders. More than one-third of the Israeli Knesset is a member of the Land of Israel caucus, which supports the settlement enterprise. The movement is led by Daniel Dayan - the organization's first secular leader and a resident of the Maale Shomron settlement in the northern West Bank, which is the home to approximately 600 people.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s partial moratorium on settlement construction is set to expire on Sept. 26. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded an extension of the freeze — a position supported by President Barack Obama’s administration. Netanyahu, however, has remained adamant that construction will resume when the moratorium ends.

What has caused the Israeli prime minister to risk the ire of his powerful American ally? In part, it is the Yesha Council, an umbrella organization of Jewish settlements in the West Bank that presses the communities’ case with Israeli leaders. More than one-third of the Israeli Knesset is a member of the Land of Israel caucus, which supports the settlement enterprise. The movement is led by Daniel Dayan – the organization’s first secular leader and a resident of the Maale Shomron settlement in the northern West Bank, which is the home to approximately 600 people.

Foreign Policy spoke with Dayan by phone about what he expects to happen after the settlement freeze expires, how his organization can put pressure on Netanyahu, and why he considers Obama “the most hostile president toward Israel that I can remember.”

Read the interview.

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