While peace talks are frozen, settlement expansion marches on, threatening Israel's security and international standing and the rights and aspirations of Palestinians, and giving new fuel to the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. Hence the importance of emphasizing this issue at this time.
The US administration, concerned about this move's impact on the moribund peace process, has urged the Israeli government to reverse its decision. But if a peace process is to have any chance of success, its sponsors, and the USA in particular, must recognize that the settlements are more than a diplomatic obstacle.
Extolling the virtues of a ceasefire in the Gaza war that collapsed barely two hours after it took effect, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry inadvertently highlighted the root cause of the failure of international efforts to silence the guns in the Palestinian territory and resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.