June 23, 2014
Regarding Dani Dayan’s article ”Peaceful non-reconciliation” (10 June, INYT): As a former chairman of the settlers’ council in the West Bank, Mr Dayan seems to have made an U-turn and is proposing a number of constructive ideas on how to improve the daily life of the Palestinians in the absence of any progress towards a political solution. Hardly anyone can object to his proposals. Unfortunately most of them are unfeasible.
As he himself observes, improvement of the economic situation isn’t the Palestinian’s main aspiration. They want independence and a state of their own. As regards the Israelis, they will hardly take the security risks that Dayan’s proposals imply. Dayan doesn’t address the main obstacle for trustful peace talks: Israel’s continued settlement building. Are they supposed to continue during the implementation of his plan?
He also ignores the fact that many settlers aren’t people who just are looking for affordable housing within commuter distance to Israel. They moved to the West Bank and established illegal outposts, who became settlements, for ideological reasons. A new generation has been born and grown up in the settlements and they are behind the “price tag” policy which Dayan rightly condemns. But what has his council done to stop them?