The U.S. State Dept. has expressed “disappointment” and “concern” over Jerusalem’s final approval for 900 new housing units for Jews in northeastern Jerusalem, near the Arab neighborhood of Shuafat.
The homes for Ramat Shlomo have gone through several stages of bureaucratic approvals, giving the impression to foreign readers that seven approvals means 6,300 homes are being built instead of 900.
The 900 units are the same ones that caused a storm of protest in the Obama administration when the project passed another bureaucratic step just about the same minute Vice President Joe Biden landed at Ben Gurion Airport for a visit in 2010.
The Obama administration still spouts the “peace process” and “two-state solution” but in effect has not taken any actions to punish Israel for building or the Palestinian Authority for inciting terror and ditching the “peace process” that President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry espouse.
The policy of benign neglect made the job of State Dept. spokesman Jeff Rathke a bit difficult at Thursday’s briefing.
He went through the usual routine of saying:
We strongly oppose steps by the Israeli authorities to advance construction in East Jerusalem. This is a disappointing development, and we’re concerned about it just as a new Israeli Government has been announced. Israel’s leaders have asserted that they remain committed to a two-state solution.
Let’s stop right there. None of the journalists at the daily State Dept. briefing, not even ace Associated Press reporter Matt Lee, has thought of asking why building homes for Jews (and in Jerusalem too) means the end of the concept of “two states.”
If they would stop and think about what the Palestinian Authority wants, they would realize that the “two states” would mean that no Jews can live in half of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria but that Arabs can live in whatever is left of Israel.
If a Jew-free Palestinian Authority country is not racist, what is?
But let’s assume that for the sake of peace, the Obama administration really is not out of its mind and that two states will mean the lion and lamb can sleep side by side – if only Israel would stop building homes for Jews.
That is when things get sticky for the spokesmen became reporters start asking why Washington does not put a stop to Israel’s insistence that Jews have a right to live in all of Jerusalem.
Rathke said, “We need to see that commitment in the actions of Israeli” and that “construction of housing units in East Jerusalem is damaging and inconsistent with that commitment. We continue to engage with the highest levels of the Israeli Government, and we continue to make our position clear that we view this as illegitimate.”
A couple of reporters wondered about action instead of words. One asked:
Well, then what is the point of saying we need to see that commitment? If it becomes the case that you don’t ever see that, or you don’t see the commitment and you don’t do anything about it, what good is saying that we need to see that commitment?
Rathke sang and danced like this:
Well, this is a longstanding U.S. policy. We’re reiterating that policy in relation to this specific development that Said asked about. This is our view and it hasn’t changed.
Every time Israel builds another home for Jews in areas that cause the Obama to express “disappointment” and “concern,” Obama and Kerry lose more credibility among the Arabs.
President Barack Obama has created for himself a trap that was born with his predecessors Carter, Reagan, Clinton and the junior Bush.
Instead of standing by his word that it is up to the Arabs and Israel to make war or peace as they see fit, he went against his own stated common sense that he would not set the conditions for a peace agreement.