The Israel Government today approved the construction of a further 900 homes in the settlement of Gilo in East Jerusalem. This is land occupied during the 1967 conflict, and deemed illegal under international law. This is another blow to any hopes of Israeli-Palestinian talks any time soon. Any prospect of a two-State solution in the Middle Eastis more distant than ever. And as for peace in the wider region, dream on!
But the difference this time is not that the Israeli leadership views things differently – Benjamin Netanyahu is a hawk if ever there was one – but the American leadership certainly does. President Obama was, and remains, a breath of fresh air when it comes to seeing old problems differently. So this is a calculated act of defiance that changes the game.
What has this to do with mission? Well, if mission aims to bring about the
As always, what is needed is for men and women of courage to break the cycle of hatred and violence. Leadership is nothing if it is not courageous.
Will Netanyahu find the courage to go for peace? Will Obama have the courage to call his bluff?