Is the Israeli policy toward the Palestinians in the West Bank driven by security concerns or are there mostly other reasons for why Israel maintains the territorial status quo with respect to the 1967 borders? What has Netanyahu done to improve Israeli-Palestinian relations and what is his new government expected to do in the near future? Given their obvious negative impact on Israel’s security, why does the Israeli government continue to allow civilian settlements in those areas?
While the recent Israeli elections showed that Netanyahu’s political support has begun to slip, there is also evidence that most Israelis are happy with his foreign policy decisions and share his skepticism regarding the seriousness of the Palestinian partners. But Israel is deeply divided between “hawks” and “doves” and the division regarding what to do with the territories acquired in 1967 stems from ideological and religious factors rather than security. These issues and others are addressed in a piece published today with the International Security Network, in Zurich, Switzerland.