Why is the U.S. subsidizing Israeli settlements?

Uri Blau writes: An office chair is positioned on the top of Dagan Hill, on the outskirts of Efrat, a thriving West Bank settlement. Someone must like to sit here and take in the changing landscape. Once-bare mountains are losing their shape, carved up by new roads and villas for a growing population of Jewish settlers.

Nadia Matar, one pillar of this community, should be happy. Twenty years ago, as she struggled to make a life on this hill, the success of her mission seemed improbable, if not impossible. Now, from the top of the windy peak, the fruits of her victory are apparent. Yet Matar, founder and leader of the pro-settlement nonprofit Women in Green, doesn’t sound cheerful when I call to ask about the funding of her organization. “Choose which side are you on,” she tells me in Hebrew, “ours, or the enemies who try to destroy us.”

Many from Israel’s far right and the settlers’ community condemn the Obama administration as that “other” side. They should know better: While one American hand opposes development of settlements, the other keeps feeding it. [Continue reading…]

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