2 West Bank Settlements with an Open Mind? Is It Too Much to Hope for?

Modiin Illit and its sister community, Beitar Illit, are entirely ultra-Orthodox Israeli settlements. via Rina Castelnuovo for The New York TimesAmerican envoy George Mitchell is in the Middle East. Today’s NYT gives us a new twist into the Gaza/Israel conflict, with a focus on two ultra-Orthodox Israeli settlements Modiin Illit and its sister community, Beitar Illit.

Unlike settlers who believe they are continuing the historic Zionist mission of reclaiming the Jewish homeland, most ultra-Orthodox do not consider themselves settlers or Zionists and express no commitment to being in the West Bank, so their growth in these settlement towns, situated just inside the pre-1967 boundary, could be redirected westward to within Israel.

Half of all growth in Israel’s settlements comes from these two towns.