RAMALLAH, November 15 (JMCC) - The plan to build 1,300 new housing units in the Gilo has been taken off the agenda by committees dealing with construction in Jerusalem
. This comes at the request of the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, frightened to worsen the relationship with the United States.
Nonetheless Prime Minister Netanyahu
’s frequent statement that Jerusalem is the ‘united capital’ of Israel remains fresh in people’s minds.
For Akiva Eldar the options are clear: either Jerusalem will become the capital of two peoples or Israel
will become the state of two peoples.
President Barack Obama does not hand out U.S. graces at half price, for example a temporary freeze in settlement construction. In order to receive the generous package of American incentives put before him, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is required to hand over a list of Jewish settlements that will be wiped off the map. This list must include Hebron and Shiloh, the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea, and also East Jerusalem. Read
On the map hanging in Netanyahu's office, such broad swaths of territory are labeled Jerusalem, and on other maps around the world they are noted as occupied territories. No country recognizes the annexation of 70 square kilometers of West Bank territory into the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem (whose area was 6.4 square kilometers under Jordanian rule ). Opposing a withdrawal from East Jerusalem will no doubt lead to a failure in the negotiations and turning our back on a two-state solution.
Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak is credited with making the first attempt to break the taboo over the political division of Jerusalem (in every other way Jerusalem has remained divided ). Ehud Olmert followed in his footsteps and drew a line between the Jewish and Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.
Opinion polls have shown that the Jewish-Israeli public began shaking off false cliches that have been used to cover up the failure to do anything about the poorest city in Israel. Many have grown accustomed to the idea that they will have to give up on the Shuafat refugee camp and a quarter million Palestinians. Since the dispute broke over the settlement freeze, hardly a day has gone by without Netanyahu or his spokesmen issuing another legend glorifying the myth of the eternal capital that will never be divided.
more at Haaretz…