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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

State Department: US 'deeply concerned' about - what else?

On Thursday, I reported that the City of Jerusalem gave final approval for the construction of 930 housing units to be added to the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa. It took a few days, but the US State Department reacted to that report on Tuesday, expressing 'deep concern' (that would put us on the same level with Asssad murdering civilians... except that I can't even find 'deep concern' from the State Department about that recently) that Israel is going to build apartments for Jews within its capital city (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
In a statement, the department said the U.S. has raised the issue with Israel and noted such “unilateral actions work against efforts to resume direct negotiations and contradict the logic of a reasonable and necessary agreement between the parties.”

The administration will “press ahead with the parties to resolve the core issues in the context of a peace agreement,” the statement said.

The housing project will expand the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa, which directly borders the Palestinian town of Bethlehem, by 930 units. Construction on the project, which was approved last week, is at least two years away, The Associated Press reported.
For the record, Har Homa is in southern Jerusalem. It is not a 'settlement' and until Obama came along, no US administration called Jerusalem suburbs 'settlements.' There's not a Jerusalem Arab anywhere near it (the closest ones are probably in Beit Tzefafa).

The picture above, which ran with the Politico report from which I quoted, is not identified. The implication is that it is part of the area into which Har Homa is to be expanded. It looks like there are a lot of people living there, doesn't it?

Then Politico comes up with this one:
In its rebuke, the State Department said Israel and Palestine must continue to work for a peace agreement through the negotiating process.
No, the State Department briefing did not refer to 'Palestine.' Hey Politico - there ain't no such thing as 'Palestine.'

Haaretz adds (Hat Tip: Noah Pollak via Twitter).
The State Department's statement was made four days after AFP reported that EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton condemned Israel's approval of the new housing units and five days after top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat’s released a statement slamming the Israeli approval.

Ashton said the new move damaged Israel's prospects for peace. "The European Union has repeatedly urged the government of Israel to immediately end all settlement activities in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem. All settlement activities are illegal under international law,” AFP quoted Ashton as saying in a statement.

"Continued settlement undermines trust between the parties and efforts to resume negotiations. This is especially true with regard to Jerusalem," the EU chief said, adding "I believe there can be no sustainable peace in the Middle East without a two-state solution with the state of Israel and a viable and contiguous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security."

"Settlement activity damages this prospect," she cautioned.
Hey - what took the State Department so long?

And isn't it amazing that with all the other things going on in the world, this continues to take the top priority for the State Department and for the EU 'foreign policy chief'?

Actually, continuing 'settlement activities' is the only way the 'Palestinians' are ever likely to come back to the table. You see, so long as Israel is freezing 'settlement activities,' the 'Palestinians' have nothing to lose by staying away. If their staying away means that Israel does whatever it pleases, then they have something to lose by staying away.

What could go wrong?

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At 2:42 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

And they saw fit to issue it on Tisha B'Av!

For the record Har Homa isn't even in so-called east Jerusalem. Its in southern Jerusalem well within the pre-1967 borders.

Then again, State Department spokesmen can't be bothered to learn basic geography or historical facts.

Taking the Arab side of the dispute won't endear the Obama Administration to Israelis.


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