The United States has — again — expressed its strong disapproval over the latest plans to build badly-needed housing in an overcrowded Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem.
The district planning and building committee today (Monday, Nov. 3) approved 500 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo section of Jerusalem, an area built after the 1967 Six Day War. The State Department slammed the move, calling it “unfortunate” and “illegitimate.”
A week ago, the prime minister’s office approved plans to build 600 new housing units in the same neighborhood, in addition to 400 units in Har Homa, another post-1967 neighborhood in the capital.
Washington said at that point that Israel was taking steps that were “not conducive to peace in the region and a two-state solution.”
The State Department expressed “deep concern” over plans for what it called “settlement construction” in Jerusalem, in a loud echo of the anger bellowing from microphones in the Palestinian Authority.
But none of the neighborhoods in Jerusalem even faintly resembles a “settlement” and there is nothing remotely agrarian or rural about any of them.
Nevertheless, while meeting with U.S. officials in Washington, PA spokesperson Abu Rudaineh called today’s housing approval a “direct challenge” to the Obama administration” in a clear attempt to provoke the U.S. into attacking Israel.
A spokesperson for the far left ‘Peace Now’ organization eagerly aided and abetted the effort, telling the AFP news agency the approved housing units in Ramat Shlomo would “expand” the neighborhood’s existing “settlement.”
To put this all in perspective, please note that the average Israeli residential high-rise in Jerusalem’s Romema neighborhood, not far from the Central Bus Station, is built with eight to ten floors and features two or four units on each floor. So we are talking about the equivalent of perhaps a dozen to eighteen high-rise buildings – maybe double that if they are smaller. An addition of two streets, maybe.
This is called “expansion” of a “settlement?” Really?
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki underlined the sharp disappointment of the Obama government with the decision in her news briefing, claiming that Israel had no interest in peace with the Palestinian Authority because the housing project had been approved.
“Obviously, if they were going to restart a peace negotiation we would be seeing actions,” she said. “Actions like these are contrary to that objective.”
Oddly, she made no mention of the Palestinian Authority unity government’s violation of the cease-fire agreement on Friday night, by allowing Gaza terrorists to fire a rocket at southern Israel. The rocket landed in the Eshkol Regional Council district but did not injure anyone and did not cause property damage.
For some strange reason, Psaki and her boss have not considered the multiple violations of the cease-fire that have taken place since August to be ‘actions’ that signal the Palestinian Authority has no interest in “restarting a peace negotiation.”
A thinking person targeted in a rocket attack or some other form of terrorist violence (such as a shooting, rock attack or firebombing) might actually think that “actions like these are contrary to that objective.”