Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person
While designed to provide a short-term boost to Israel's embattled prime minister, Ariel Sharon, this cynical change in administration policy will have important long-term costs. It will further demoralize Israeli and Palestinian moderates, frustrate Washington's closest European and Middle Eastern allies, and undermine the American-backed road map peace plan, which, though a long shot, is the only current peaceful political alternative.The continued reference to the "road-map" willfully ignores the facts on the ground - the road map is dead. It was killed when the Palestinians refused to abide by the first step, namely disarming and dismantling the terrorist organizations. Everything afterwards is irrelevant. To pretend otherwise is simply dishonest.
Settlements are such a sensitive matter because they cut directly to the core of the Israeli-Palestinian issue - the ultimate division of the land of Palestine.This is the standard leftist view of the conflict that if we just partition the land (again), the Arabs will stop their war against Israel. Israel gave up all of the Sinai to Egypt in exchange for peace. And while Egypt is no longer technically at war with Israel, it is not at peace either. The Egyptian army trains with one goal in mind: war with Israel. The editorials of the government controlled press are no different in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic invective than the virulence emanating from the Hizbullah press or the Syrian or Iranian press.
No one step by Israel would be likely to do more to restart peace talks and isolate Palestinian terrorists than announcing a genuine freeze on all settlement construction.So the Times's prescription for restarting "peace talks" is Israel's acceding to the demands of the terrorists. This is about as inane as it gets, but typical for the Times. Does the Times really think that agreeing to one demand of the terrorists will not encourage them to continue terrorism in getting more concessions, in the belief that their tactics work?