Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a significant hit in the polls when he agreed to the cease-fire with Hamas. Israel’s decision to approve construction of thousands of homes in Jerusalem so soon after the U.N. vote to recognize Palestine may just get him back in some good graces with some of those disenchanted Israelis.
Oh, and the Obama administration isn’t happy about it, which can’t hurt either.
Israel approved the construction of 3,000 new homes in Jerusalem and the West Bank less than 24 hours after the United Nations General Assembly voted to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state.
Israel also intends to move ahead on procedures necessary to plan for construction in a West Bank area between the Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim and Jerusalem, two government officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
The Palestinian Authority, the UN and the U.S. consider all Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal. The area between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim is particularly sensitive because Israeli construction there may cut off Palestinians from their aspirational capital in east Jerusalem in a future peace accord.
Israel settlements and east Jerusalem construction “are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations or achieve a two-state solution,” White House Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in an e-mail today.
The 193-member General Assembly yesterday voted 138-9, with 41 abstentions, for a resolution granting Palestinians a form of statehood recognition on a par in the world body with the Holy See. The most significant ramification is that the new state may be able to join organizations such as the International Criminal Court.
The ICC better have plenty of space on their hard drives because Palestine will be filing charge after charge after charge after charge against Israel. For starters, the first complaint might just be something about Israel building homes on its own land.
When the grievances of the lawless are given credibility, lawlessness is rewarded.
Irony that would choke donkeys.