To "punish" the Palestinians for applying for UN recognition, Israel has announced the building of more settler houses in the Occupied Territories. This time they want to build in an area that is to make it even more difficult to reach a two state solution.
Who will punish Israel for this outrageous response? The USA cannot be relied upon. But, unless Israel will be made to pay a high price for its belligerence, it will not stop. Keeping European criticism to verbal displeasure is not enough.
There is a substantial proportion of Israel's population and an important majority in that part of the population which forms the economic power base of Israel who do not like this right-wing activism and settlement policy. And yet, many of them vote for parties that either declare their wish to hold on to the occupied land or quietly support it without fully showing their hand. This population may not gcontinue to do so once Israel gets to pay a price for its expansionist policies.
In two days, Netanyahu and his cabinet will be coming to berlin for their annual get together. Ideally, Mrs. Merkel should have found a way to postpone the visit. Because of Germany's history, Merkel is unlikely to do so. nad, six weeks before the General Elections in Israel, Netanyahu will milk this visit to the end to prove his international standing to his own population. This must be prevented.
Mrs. Merkel believes that Germany, because of its history, shares responsibility for Israel's security. This can sometimes be accomplished by the supply of U-boats. Sometimes, other measures are called for. She should now be cruel to be kind and help save Israel from its own self destructive spiral.
The least Mrs. Merkel should do is to prevent any photo opportunities, any show of public sympathy or any cultural programme for Netanyahu and his colleagues.
Please, Mrs. Merkel.