Tuesday, July 21, 2009

ICG Report on Israel's Religious right & the question of Settlements

The latest report from the ICG looks at the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the influence of the religious right on any action that is to be taken regarding them.

As pressure builds (most notably from the US) for Israel to suspend the growth of its settlements in the West Bank, it seems that the religious right is gaining in numbers, support and influence. There have been almost militant attacks by them on Palestinians in the West Bank and many in positions of authority have been almost powerless to condemn these acts. Many Israeli officials feel that any move towards disengagement in West Bank could results not only in Israeli Jew and Palestinian conflict but also unrest and violence among Jews.

The options proposed by the ICG on how to deal with this emerging but already powerful socio-religious group show that there are a number of firm yet tactful approaches to the religious right that could facilitate long-term peace and stability.