In this particular part of the world, things are always more complicated than you think. And whenever you're convinced you've finally got a handle on stuff... poof! They come along and complicate matters again. Thus the settlement freeze which Israel just ended: that was pretty clear, wasn't it? They stopped building them for a while, which made everyone happy except the settlers,and now they're building them again, which makes everyone sad except the settlers. There, that was easy enough, wasn't it?
Well, no. My friend Dror Etkes, whose entire career is built around settlements (sorry for the pun), explains in Haaretz that there never was a freeze to begin with, and the whole thing was a charade. Of course, this raises the question, if it's true what are the Palestinian negotiators all agog about? If the situation is the same this week as last?
Anyway, just as we begin to reconcile ourselves to Dror's narrative about the construction of settlements that never abated, we notice this item, likewise in Haaretz, that tells the opposite story: the contractors and workers doing the construction are Palestinian, and they've been unemployed for ten months, but are now pleased to be returning to work, since the freeze is over. Hello? Haaretz? Anybody home?