Israel announced 3,000 new settlers because they're jerks who still claim it's the Palestinians holding up the peace process. Juan Cole says that the Europeans who voted overwhelmingly in favor of recognizing Palestine at the UN may be able to punish Israel with boycotts or other actions in the future. If so, maybe they can fix what the US seems incapable of fixing. (And what Egypt can't help with anymore.) I can only hope.
I've been disappointed with people like Jon Stewart, who on a recent show falsely implied that the intractable Israeli/Palestinian conflict is ancient and goes back to Biblical times. No, it goes back to the founding of Israel in the 20th century and its illegal land grabs. It's also based on humanitarian injustices and racism more than religious disputes about the Holy Land. Stop selling the misconceptions.