The European Union is, once again, unhappy with Israel about local municipal plans to move ahead with building new apartments in Jerusalem.
The city is proceeding with its routine to approve construction of some 770 housing units, barely a drop in the bucket for the average bustling municipality, let alone a growing metropolis.
Jerusalem is bursting at the seams and in desperate need of affordable housing.
The new project is to be built in the Gilo neighborhood, in the southern section of the city. However, this one little project has deeply upset the European Union, enough to issue a statement castigating Israel over the matter less than 24 hours after an elderly Catholic priest was murdered, his throat cut at the altar of his own church while serving Mass, by two Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists.
He was, in fact, ritually slaughtered on that altar before his flock, his blood flowing on to the steps while the radical Islamists yelled the traditional Islamic jihadist war cry “Allahu Akbar!” (God is Great!) and other unknown phrases in Arabic.
ISIS has vowed repeatedly over the past year to take its battle to the “Crusaders” of Europe and the Middle East. On Tuesday they fulfilled that promise — and yet the European Union somehow still believes it more important to focus its energies on scolding Israel for providing affordable housing for its residents in Jerusalem.
“Israel’s recent decision to advance plans for some 770 housing units in the settlement of Gilo, built on occupied Palestinian land in East Jerusalem, undermines the viability of a two-state solution,” said EU spokesperson David Kriss in a statement sent to media on Wednesday.
“It contributes to the establishment of a ring of Israeli settlements around the city, thus further cutting East Jerusalem off from the southern West Bank. “This announcement comes just weeks after the report of the Middle East Quartet called on Israel to abandon its settlement policy, which is illegal under international law.
“The decision raises legitimate questions about Israel’s long-term intentions, which are compounded by the statements of some Israeli ministers that there should never be a Palestinian state. The EU calls on Israel to reverse this decision and to cease its settlement activity,” Kriss said.
It’s amazing that after all this time, Europe is still unable to bring itself to make peace with the idea that Gilo, a neighborhood of some 40,000-plus that has existed well within the Jerusalem municipal boundaries for more than 35 years, is not going away.
Nor is it a “settlement” outside the city, which anyone can clearly see if they bothered to visit either in person or through a virtual swing through the neighborhood via the Google software.
As for the long-term intentions of the Jewish State, it might be far more constructive (excuse the pun) for the European Union to consider the long-term intentions of the Palestinian Authority rather than those of Israel.
The Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization from which it was born has from the outset cherished the dream of conquering the Land of Israel from “the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea.”
Hana Levi Julian