Here is a very useful series of infographics in the Christian Science Monitor showing that Israel’s settlements have expanded at their fastest rate during renewed activity in the so-called peace process.
However, the Monitor doesn’t answer its own question: “Why do Israeli settlements expand more during peace talks?”
So let me do it: They expand because the peace talks serve as cover, allowing politicians and the media to pretend that Israel has good intentions in the talks and that peace is just around the corner.
At these moments, journalists have a harder time writing critical copy about Israel, and Israel takes advantage of that lack of scrutiny to indulge in lots of settlement-building and ethnic cleansing of the native Palestinian population – as is happening right now.
If one were cynical, one could almost imagine the international community were in on this charade.