Well – as predicted, the debate over various aspects of the temporary suspension of new construction permits in Jewish communities in the West Bank rages on.
The Government has been using it's Defense Minister Ehud Barak to do most of the talking.
His line on the construction freeze – Tough but necessary.
Mr. Barak has made it clear that the settlement blocs will remain under Israeli control (as opposed to Palestinian) in any final status agreement. But he is also trying to conciliate the settlers. He has ironically restored to the West Bank Council heads some planning and construction authority.
Back in Jerusalen, Prime Minister Netanyahu has offered various forms of compensation to the settler leaders such as benefits packages.
But he also must manage the social ramifications of the upsurge in violent confrontations we've seen this week between settlers and the inspectors issuing the freeze orders.
Another irony, is that the Government appointed construction freeze inspector lives in a settlement! They have been subjected to daily demonstrations opposite their house in the West Bank.
Mr. Netanyahu is in a minefield politically, because the settlers' attitude towards the Government's decision to freeze settlements presents him with a serious leadership challenge: the test of the rule of law in a free democracy.
Stay connected to my Blog for the results!
Middle East Correspondent