03/24/2014 - Israel: Siege Mentality - From Kissinger to Kerry, U.S. Secretaries of State engage in endless rounds of shuttle diplomacy. They issue rosy statements about progress and breakthroughs. But little changes. Israeli policy has created concrete facts on the ground. Settlement building on Palestinian land, illegal under international law, has expanded over decades. Some 500,000 Israelis live in settlements from Ariel to Ma’ale Adumim. Jeffrey Goldberg writing in Bloomberg.com calls them “self-destructive.” New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman says they constitute “tacit annexation of the West Bank” and “is not winning Israel friends in Europe or America.” The West Bank, supposedly the home of a future Palestinian state has been sliced and diced into pieces. Israeli-only roads and so-called security barriers and walls are turning Palestinian areas into isolated enclaves. Thus the fabric of a just and lasting peace is tattered and becomes more remote.