{mosimage}An investigation carried out by Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed that the majority of the 140 unauthorized settlers’ outposts were subsidized by governmental money, up to NIS 74 million, were built on privately owned Palestinian land and were located under direct directives of army officials.

The investigation was based on the report prepared by Lawyer Talia Sason, who on Monday said that the expansion of outposts was still ongoing despite government assurances to take action to dismantle them.

The waggling over dismantling unauthorized West Bank settlers’ outposts has been continuing for the past two years and more. Despite U.S. repeated requests, and during the same period, more outposts were erected than dismantled, and many have been extensively expanded.            

No matter how loud Sason cries, warning that a government that does not respect its own issued laws, would endanger the rule f law and democracy, all Israeli government has carried out business as usual.

All Israeli governments have kept a tradition in dealing with settlement activities. A tradition that could be summarized by: “when pressure mounts, you stop bragging about it, but you keep doing it” 

As most of the Israeli practices in the Palestinian occupied territories, especially settlement construction, the annexation of Jerusalem and the construction of the separation wall, were seen as illegal by the international community, consecutive Israeli governments have preferred to go ahead with “illegal” activities, relying on U.S. support to limit the ability of the world community to go beyond statements and condemnations.

Such a strategy has so far worked very well. In fact more than the most optimistic Israeli leader ever predicted. So, why change now?, definitely not for Sason’s blue eyes or in order to relax her fears on the “deteriorating democracy.”

As it looks, the main pressure on Israel concerning outposts is coming from the side of the United States Administration. Embarrassed by Israel’s lack of commitment to the terms of the first stage of the road map, which explicitly calls Israel to immediately dismantle unauthorized settlers’ outposts, the U.S. has attempted to press for a quick removal of at least some of the outposts. Consequently, Washington received “the best show in town”; soldiers and settlers fighting over empty water tank at an isolated hill, and by the end of the show the number of outposts increased by few more.

The American Administration has then decided to follow the steps of other world countries through casting public criticisms and refraining for taking any action in order to “not make things harder for Sharon on the eve of the implementation of disengagement plan”

Nothing can be more convenient for the current Israeli leadership. As the world would be fully busy with the disengagement drama, there is no need to tie the hands of settlers and ministers concerning outposts, let them boost, expand, and flourish, and when we arrive at the stage of discussing a ride back to the road map, if ever, more of them would have grown enough to become hard realities.

Who cares about law and democracy, right now the current Israeli leaders are working to protect the “national interests” of Israel.