Facing growing political pressure from far-right MPs, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly courting President Trump’s adviser Jason Greenblatt on a plan to construct a new settlement in the occupied West Bank, following warnings from the Trump Administration not to build it.
The new settlement had already been announced earlier this year but scrapped in the face of Trump Administration warnings that it threatened the peace process. Netanyahu will now attempt to present it as not a “new” settlement, but rather a “replacement” one.
This argument centers on the idea that the new settlement is being built for evacuees from the illegal outpost of Amona, which was built on Palestinian land. The new settlement will be in part built on Palestinian land as well, but the Israeli far-right government has since legalized just taking Palestinian land for settlements.
It’s unlikely this semantic argument will work on the Trump Administration, which is still trying to get a peace process going, but the effort may be enough for Netanyahu to at least calm his coalition and prove that he’s trying to get American approval.