And we’re off to the races again, with a big NY Times headline: State Department Rebukes Israel Over Settlement Activity, and yet another absurd tail chasing by the U.S., the E.U., Israeli and Jewish leftists, who are convinced that the true threat to the much yearned for 2-state solution is the fact that Jews will live in homes.
The most likely outcome, unfortunately, is that Prime Minister Netanyahu will capitulate, as he has done so many times before it’s an embarrassment to even mention it any more. Netanyahu is like your slightly slow nephew that you catch stealing ten dollars from your jacket pocket. You let him know that you know he did it, only to discover half an hour later that the kid stole the same ten dollar bill yet again.
Does he really think we don’t know he has no intention of actually building anything, that it’s all an election-month gimmick, after which he will surely find a fantastic explanation as to why he must not follow through (I’ll never, ever forget the post-Pillar of Defense appearance of the three tenors, Bibi, Ehud and Ivette, who told us they have achieved for us the very goal that 2 weeks earlier all three described as absolutely insufficient).
But, for now, Netanyahu has promised to start construction on thousands of new homes, 1,500 in Ramot Shlomo, well within Jerusalem proper, and 5,000 in E-1, also inside the Jerusalem municipality. And, again for now, he hasn’t reneged yet, so, who knows, maybe he became a Zionist overnight and will stick by his promises.
The world, fulfilling its own part in this bizarre dance, has taken its cue from the Palestinians, and started shrieking.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told Reuters on Monday that “Settlement activity is unilateral” – you heard that? Going to the UN for statehood in violation of the written “Oslo” peace documents – that’s not unilateral. Building in Jerusalem – that’s a deal breaker.
Fayyad continued, saying the move “is completely adverse to the continued viability of a two-state solution and the possibility for our people to continue to exist.”
Now, observe the following exchange between a reporter and U.S. Dept. of State’s Spokesperson Victoria Nuland, over the issue of the mutual violations of the peace accords:
Reporter: “Up until now, the Palestinians haven’t had any recourse when these settlements were being built. Now, as an upgraded member of the United Nations General Assembly, they do have the option of joining the International Criminal Court or other courts and pursuing this as a matter of international law. And the United States itself recognizes that the settlements are not legal. So what incentive do you have to offer the Palestinians not to try and seek this redress in an international court when you yourself are saying that it’s provocative and it’s not legal?”
See what happened here? By acting unilaterally and in violation of their signed contracts with Israel, the Palestinians will now have to ability to take Israel to court over its own violations of the same contracts.
Now, in PA PM Salam Fayad’s play book, a viable Palestinian state must have East Jerusalem as its capital. Unfortunately, Fayad knows the score, but countless Israeli governments have failed to act on this essential issue: if Israel does not create facts in the field with mass construction in East Jerusalem, they’ll take it away from us. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but some Israeli prime minister, wishing to show how big hearted he or she is (think Tzipi Livni), will give it away – unless it’s built and populated with hundreds of thousands of Jews.
And so, on cue, on Tuesday, E.U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton joined the chorus of condemnation, saying that the European block was “deeply dismayed by and strongly opposes” the Israeli plans.
U.S. Dept. of State’s Spokesperson Victoria Nuland, in her much quoted press briefing appearance on Tuesday, was asked: You will have seen Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comments this morning that they will continue to build in Jerusalem, East Jerusalem included, because it is the undivided and eternal capital of Israel. You will probably also have seen that several European countries that are members of the Security Council are talking about drafting some kind of condemnatory language about this. So one, I’m wondering what your reaction is to the Prime Minister’s comments, and two, I’m wondering if you’ll sign on to the European expression of extreme displeasure.”