Hey, America: We’ll keep having babies


In an opinion piece posted to Ynet, P. David Hornik criticizes U.S. and international effort to stop "natural growth" in Israel’s West Bank settlements.

In his meeting with Vice President Joe Biden last week, President Shimon Peres is reported to have said that “ending natural growth in settlements was a non-starter” and, in his own words, that “Israel cannot instruct settlers in existing settlements not to have children or get married.” …

“Natural growth” was officially made an issue in the “Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” promulgated by the US State Department in 2003 under the auspices of the International Quartet.

That document, as part of the Palestinian and Israeli sides’ responsibilities under Phase I of the roadmap, states that the Israeli government "freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements).”

Just a year ago, then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and three other ministers from the Quartet expressed “deep concern at continuing settlement activity and called on Israel to freeze all settlement activity, including natural growth.” Peres – who, it should be stressed, is a dove and no enthusiast of settlements – was presumably fielding a similar appeal from Biden when he tried to remind him of elementary biological reality, and, moreover, of the fact that Israel is not a Chinese-style dictatorship.

Indeed, these days almost all Israeli settlement activity in o Judea and Samaria is of the natural-growth variety (which, it must be confessed, includes building new houses for growing families). The days when Israel aggressively built new settlements in the territories in defiance of US wishes are gone.

Hornik concludes by arguing that the push for such a freeze is a seriously violation of Western norms.

Which brings us to the moral issue that has long been obscured and forgotten: why would “peace” entail the forced expulsion of at least 100,000 people, and even if a sovereign Palestinian entity were to arise in the West Bank, why would it have to be Judenrein?

That it has, for the most part, been bipartisan US policy for decades – notwithstanding America’s own religious and ideological roots in the Bible and the Land of Israel — to bow to the Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim demand for a Judenrein Judea is what leads top American officials to accost Israel about “natural growth” without realizing that they thereby trample the most fundamental human, or at least Western, norms.

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