Israel Settlement Issue

Israeli settlements on the West Bank are opposed by the West, by Arab states on many grounds. Why do they oppose these settlements? Do you see any merit in this? What is India’s opinion on this? Critically examine. (200 Words)

The Israeli settlements on the west bank areon a piece of land that historically and legally belongs to the Arab Palestine’s. It was captured by Israel from Jordan in 1967,and despite many international and Arab condemnations, refuses to return it back.
  • Israel considers this captured land both as a buffer territory to resist attacks from hostile Arab neighbors as well as a source of land for its burgeoning Jewish population.
  • This has created tension between Israel and the Arab states and even with US. The US and the UN want Israel to vacate these territories to facilitate peace talks by building trust and giving the Arab negotiators something to show their domestic audience as not compromising on long stated Arab position.
  • India, while accepting the Israeli right to existence and need or better Arab Israeli ties also say that Israel should look at the issue from both a humanitarian as well a security angle. Considering Israeli unequivocal support for India at times of crises like Kargil war position on Kashmir etc. India’s soft position on the issue is understandable. India’s  support of Palestinians all these years didn‘t yield much diplomatic and political dividend form the Arab and Muslim world. Hence India is well within its right to put its national interest first.
  • For its own security, Israel has to leave the captured lands. The illegal settlements fuel Arab resentment, strengthen Israeli foes like Hamas, and Iran’s position and incite attacks on Jewish settlers and inside Israel itself.
  • It also robs Israel of crucial moral and diplomatic support it deserves in many respects at the international fora.



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