He writes that after the necessary and justified 1967 military victory,
...it’s an open question whether the seemingly endless second phase -- occupation, failed peace negotiations and Jewish settlement of the West Bank -- will lead to Israel’s ultimate defeat...Israeli leaders searched for Arab interlocutors who would negotiate withdrawal in exchange for peace. They found none. That’s when the logic of settlement began to take hold.
...religious nationalists succumbed to ecclesiastical temptation and agitated for Jewish settlement of these territories. Successive Israeli governments gave in to their demands.
...A country once perceived as progressive is now seen by much of the world as illiberal and imperial...It is more complicated than that, of course. For one thing, the Palestinians have done a terrible job of bringing about their own independence....Israel’s government will be forced to make a choice: Give up the settlements, or give up the idea of a democratic Jewish homeland...
...there is something Netanyahu can do: He can have an honest conversation with the Israeli people about the consequences -- military, moral and demographic -- of the settlements. And he can contemplate a notion advanced by a growing number of the country’s security experts: a unilateral pullout of some settlers from the most distant reaches of the West Bank...
My comment there:
Goldberg continues, as does Beinart, et al., to distract attention from the "peace problem" that needs to be solved. Since no "settlement" or even any "occupation" existed prior to June 1967, why did that war break out? Whey was Fatah and the PLO founded in 1964? What were the fedayeen infiltrators doing killing Israelis in 1949-56? If the Jewish communities were to be disbanded and their population expelled, what problem that prevents peace is that solving (and not making Israel's security situation worse, by the way)?
But harping on the term "settlements" can have an advantage. That is, if we apply the term to Arab locations of residency. If Um El-Faham, Rahat, etc. become "Arab settlements", finally we'll have at least semantic equilibrium to discuss who needs to compromise. And is Jordan part of the "Palestinian problem" (just as it was part of the Palestine Mandate) and is its territory part of the equation of compromise?
Of course, the issue of demography isn't as is portrayed as, too, the concern for democracy (I'll soon post on the "Double D Offense"). Goldberg keeps whipping those dead issues because the facts of the matter - and the threat presumed - are not as described.
And, to be honest, there is nothing wrong or immoral in living in, developing and asserting claim to one's historical homeland.