NY Times: Netanyahu’s Strategic Mistake
The Israeli prime minister is unnecessarily escalating the crisis.
Instead of looking for ways to halt a downward spiral, Mr. Netanyahu on Monday defiantly dug in on his plans to build 3,000 more housing units in contested areas east of Jerusalem and in the West Bank, and to continue planning a development in the most contentious area known as E1.
Israel also announced that it was withholding $100 million in tax revenues that it has collected from the financially-strapped Palestinian Authority. The moves would impose devastating penalties on the only officially recognized representative of the Palestinian people and could doom the chances for a two-state solution because building in the E1 area would split the northern and southern parts of the West Bank. Such measures are puzzling since Israel disparaged the United Nations vote as insignificant.