West Bank — Seen from afar, this fast-growing settlement embodies everything that the Obama administration wants to address through its demand for a freeze on settlement building: it sits on land captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and, with 45,000 residents and 60 births a week, it is the largest and fastest-growing Jewish community in the West Bank.
(...)“If I thought this was a settlement, I would never have come here,” said Yaakov Guterman, 40, the mayor of Modiin Illit and a grandfather of three, his Orthodox fringes hanging from his belt, his side locks curled behind his ears. Asked about the prospect of a Palestinian state rising one day on his town line, he said: “We will go along with what the world wants. We have gone through the Holocaust and know what it means to have the world against us. The Torah says a man needs to know his place.”(...)