The Settlement Project Is Now Self-Sustaining

11.13.12 4:00 PM ET

Over the weekend, Haaretz reported that President Obama asked Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to forestall his push for non-member observer status at the United Nations. Abbas's spokesperson said the Palestinian Authority President would go ahead with the bid anyway, in part because of Israel's continued settlement expansion in the West Bank. Abbas has a point; indeed, he is, in some respects, already too late. While in the past Jewish immigration from Israel to the Occupied Territories was necessary to guarantee the success of Israel’s settlement project, in the future natural population growth among settlers suffices to sustain Israeli expansionism in the West Bank. This has been accomplished in large part by moving ultra-orthodox Jews, whose fertility rate is exceptionally high, to the Occupied Territories. Israel’s demographic intervention, in other words, is giving birth to one Jewish-Palestinian state.

With the help of graphic designer Michal Vexler, we've created an infographic to illustrate the demographic changes informing Israel's settlement project and its transformation into a self-propagating "success" story—another nail driven into the coffin of any lingering hope for a two-state peace between Palestinians and Israelis.