...such unilateral action [a flurry of announcements of new construction] by Israel, like the unilateral Palestinian initiative to seek statehood recognition in November from the U.N. General Assembly, serves to complicate the negotiations that are the only realistic route to a Middle East peace. But the reaction is also counterproductive because it reinforces two mistaken but widely held notions: that the settlements are the principal obstacle to a deal and that further construction will make a Palestinian state impossible.
...Mr. Netanyahu’s government, like several before it, has limited building almost entirely to areas that both sides expect Israel to annex through territorial swaps in an eventual settlement...Mr. Netanyahu’s [E1] zoning approval is hardly the “almost fatal blow” to a two-state solution that U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described.
The exaggerated rhetoric is offensive at a time when the Security Council is refusing to take action to stop the slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians — including many Palestinians — by the Syrian regime. But it is also harmful, because it puts pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to make a “freeze” on the construction a condition for beginning peace talks...
...If Security Council members are really interested in progress toward Palestinian statehood, they will press Mr. Abbas to stop using settlements as an excuse for intransigence — and cool their own overheated rhetoric.
Of course, had I been on the editorial board, I would have pointed out that:
a. Jewish communities are not illegal, an approbation that is highly inflammable and an error and that the Jewish people have historic, cultural and religious rights in Judea and Samaria;
b. Pal. Authority rhetoric indicating that the "state of Palestine" would, in essence, be uni-ethnic and, in excluding Jews, would be racist and thereby an apartheid polity;
c. highly-charged existing rhetoric, in the form of PA incitement, is not condemned, leads to terror and subverts the whole sense of why there should be negotiations and negates the idea of peace;
d. the unilateral PA move at the UN was not similarly condemned despite it violating the Oslo Accords as it has been doing since 1993;
e. an extensive Israeli military presence for security is in anyway obligatory for peace and stability;
among other matters.
And over at Mondoweiss:
Wow, this is unbelievable. The Washington Post editorial page states that the reaction to Israel's plans to build more settlements is overheated, that a two-state solution is alive and well, that settlements outside Jerusalem don't block Palestinian access to a possible capital.