A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Illegal Outposts to Be Evacuated?

In a saner world than this one, the news that Israel may evacuate the illegal settlement outposts that even the Israeli government acknowledges to be illegal would not be something to celebrate, but if Israeli press reports are right, Netanyahu will begin dismantling the illegal (under Israeli law: many people think all the settlements are illegal under the Geneva Conventions) settlement outposts in the West Bank. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has reportedly told the Yesha (settlers' council) that the outposts will come down.

On the American side, The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Secretary of State Clinton has demanded that all types of settlement construction must cease. Assuming both reports are true, we may be seeing some serious movement on enforcing the "road map" for the first time in years.

And here is a rather subtle, but interesting, shift in the Palestinian position on the Haram al-Sharif/Har ha-bayit issue.

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