Meridor: Time To Freeze Settlements

Outgoing Israeli Deputy PM Dan Meridor and longtime prominent Likud figure now finds himself on the outside looking in, and he says that may be because he has become an outspoken advocate of the two-state solution and reinvigorating the peace process.

He believes Israel’s first move should be to freeze all settlement activity beyond the security fence and confine growth to the major settlement blocks adjacent to Israel’s border, an area constituting about 6 percent of the West Bank. He said a construction halt should not be to accommodate the Americans, the Palestinians, the Europeans or anyone else, but “because it is in Israel’s best interest.”

The peace process is at a juncture and Israel needs to make a choice: pursue a final-status agreement or seek interim partial agreements, Meridor said in a conference call from Jerusalem. “Something needs to be done,” he added, and President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit may be “a good opportunity to discuss what and how it may be done.”

But that seems unlikely.  Reopening peace negotiations appear to be low on his agenda and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s as well.

Read more about his views in my Washington Watch column.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.