Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Link Between the Settlements and the Iran

Short one.

My feel is that Obama is going to make a proposal to Iran that will allow Iran to keep domestic enrichment. He has already told Netanyahu, long before their recent meeting and everyone else in the region.

The connection between Iran's nuclear program and Israel's settlements is not that if Israel freezes its settlements Obama will have more leverage to stop Iranian enrichment. It is that once Iran is enriching in an accepted way, and sanctions begin to be relaxed world-wide, including by the US, then peace with the Palestinians, or at least tangible progress towards peace, for which a settlement freeze is a pre-requisite, is important for Israel's survival as a Jewish state.

There actually is not a rush, that settlement must have been stopped by September, or the end of this year. However, as time passes, the region is turning against Israel in a process the US has little leverage to contain. The US will have more leverage to slow the process if Israel has made concessions to the Palestinians.

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