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Saturday, October 08, 2011

Take Obama's condemnation of Gilo seriously

Isi Leibler writes that the Obama administration's condemnation of Jewish building in Gilo is unprecedented, and that the response should be furious.
We must not underestimate the serious implications of the US administration’s fierce condemnation of a routine municipal approval for construction of 1100 homes in the Jerusalem suburb of Gilo.

Although our government must find a solution to avoid trumpeting bureaucratic announcements for long-term building projects in Jerusalem, it is crucial that the global community understand that Gilo is not a settlement outpost. For 40 years, nobody other than Arabs has challenged the fact that Gilo belongs to Jewish Jerusalem. It is a 100 percent Jewish-populated suburb of southwestern Jerusalem, located minutes from the heart of the city. During the second intifada it was under sniper fire from terrorists located in the neighboring Arab suburb of Beit Jala. Gilo is as much part of Jerusalem as the suburbs of Rehavia or Katamon. To deny that Gilo is part of Israel is akin to denying that Tel Aviv is part of Israel.


It is to be expected that the US government may criticize or have occasional differences with us. But during such a sensitive period, the vicious public condemnation of Israel over construction of homes in its own capital is hardly how one would expect the US to behave towards an ally. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who as a senator had supported recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, even went so far as to accuse Israel of being “provocative.”

Immediately following Netanyahu’s endorsement of the Quintet’s plan to renew peace talks, newly appointed US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta made barbed comments that Israel was “isolating” itself and implied that it was to blame for the deterioration of relations with Turkey and Egypt.

Not surprisingly, the Europeans interpret such remarks as encouragement to intensify their pressure against us. EU Foreign Policy Spokesperson Catherine Ashton demanded that Israel revoke the construction permits. The French Foreign Minister followed suit. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined the pack, informing the media that she condemned Netanyahu and “raised doubts over the Israeli government’s readiness to begin serious negotiations with the Palestinians.”

Despite his charm offensive toward President Obama, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded that the future of the Jewish suburbs of Jerusalem had never been influenced by outside parties and would not be subject to such in the future. He noted that substantial Arab construction plans had been simultaneously approved.

The US administration’s passive stance as the Europeans continue pressurizing us is therefore highly detrimental. Especially as the Palestinians believe that in return for US opposition to their efforts at the UN, they can leverage the Obama administration to extract further unilateral concessions in their ongoing campaign to dismantle the Jewish state. Hopefully most Americans who have become increasingly enraged by the one-sided pressures against the Jewish state will not accept Obama’s UN speech as the last word on the matter.

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At 12:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Carl.
Any Jew planning to vote for Obama should have a thorough medical checkup, a snake swimming in a pool of mud doesn't transform in an eel it's still a snake.
Obama and Erdogan make a perfect couple considering their 'love' for Israel.

At 1:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bibi and the Likud impose no penalty on the PA for the PLO and Fatah running off to the UN and screwing around with the EU; they don't want to go in big with retaliation, or change the stream of financial payoffs or do much of anything different. The PA gets the news and so does Obama with these petty shots across Israel's bow and cheap trick incitement to push the Jewish state into an "isolation" time out corner.


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