Last month saw an assault in Congress on Palestinian refugees--an effort to use legislation to re-define the Palestinian refugee issue out of existence. This week the other shoe dropped, when a bipartisan group of members of Congress introduced a new bill embracing the cause of "Jewish refugees from Arab countries" in a way that Congress has never replicated on the Palestinian side (for more info, see this list of all bills/resolutions dealing with Palestinian and/or Jewish refugees since 1989).
On August 2nd, 2012, Yedioth Ahronoth (Hebrew print edition) published a powerful article looking at the financial bonus that settlements enjoy compared to areas inside the Green Line. The article comes on the heels of Peace Now's publication of an analysis of the budget and a plan to save billions by reducing some benefits to settlements.
The translation is by Israel News Today (INT).
On July 30th, the Calcalist published a major report [Hebrew] examining the
issue of Israeli government spending on settlements. Among other things, the articles note that
government spending on settlements increased by 38% under the Netanyahu government (from 2010 to 2011). The
articles also note the fact that Israeli government spending on settlements from 1992-2011 totaled NIS 27 billion
(in 2011 terms). To get a sense of the magnitude of this spending, the article notes that in 2010 the Israeli
government allocated a budget of NIS 27.5 bilion over ten years "for the first stage of project to introduce into
[the entire country of] Israel a network of fast highways and railway lines." All articles translated by
Israel News Today (INT).
Today’s New York Times features an op-ed by Dani Dayan, the head of the Yesha Council (the group that represents settlers and their interests). There isn’t really any news here: it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the settlers want the world to believe that settlements are good, peace efforts are pointless, and that the way forward should be premised on leaving all settlements in place, and leaving the West Bank under Israeli control, in perpetuity. Nonetheless, it is worth examining some representative snippets from this high profile op-ed.