The violence in Gaza once again spotlights attention on the Israel-Palestine problem. While much of western media have blamed Hamas for inciting the violence by killing three Israeli settlers, John Judis points to deeper underlying policy trends. In particular, this graphic on the sharp increase in construction of housing units in the occupied territories is revealing.
The point about incitement is plain dis-ingenuity, even dishonesty. Since June 2007, Israel has maintained a ruinous and inhuman blockade of the Gaza Strip. The scale of human suffering caused by the blockade makes it a powerful source of incitement. The spurt in settlements, since Netanyahu came to power in 2009, especially in the West Bank, is even more inflammatory in so far as it is a definitive signal that Israel is against any solution involving Palestinian statehood. Given the near impossibility of large-scale relocation of settlers, each housing unit is one more nail in the coffin of the "two-state solution".