Goldblog reader Hershel Ginsburg writes:
A few additional points (and a correction) related to your Gilo post.
First of all, Gilo is not a suburb of Jerusalem. It's a neighborhood in the city, i.e., within the city limits, forming the southernmost part of the city (not in "east" Jerusalem as a number of ignorant journalists have reported).
Second, the land upon which Gilo sits was largely, if not overwhelmingly, purchased, much of it before 1948 and the balance after 1967. It was one of the earliest neighborhoods built after 1967 and is contiguous with pre-1967 Jerusalem.
Third, there are something like 30-50,000 (or more) residents in Gilo many secular Jews, some religious Jews and some Arabs. As such it is very much a mixed Jerusalem neighborhood. The current planning commission vote to authorize the 900 additional housing units is just the latest, and not the last step, in a process that started a number of years ago and it will likely be a few more years before the first bulldozer moves the first clod of dirt related to these housing units.
Fourth, Gilo is so much a part of the Israeli consensus that even a Meretz member of the Jerusalem City Council told Army Radio this morning that it is integral part of Jerusalem and that Israel has every right to build there (admittedly she may now change her tune as she learns that such a statement contravenes the current world-wide P.C. dogma; Meretzites are strict adherents of political correctness).
Another measure of how much Obama has lost the Israeli mainstream, even the left-wing mainstream: Razi Barka'i, the host of Army Radio's flagship morning news & public affairs interview show, opened the segment on the Gilo controversy by playing a snippet from Obama's 2008 AIPAC speech and his subsequent comments recorded during the 2008 visit Sderot, where he spoke of an undivided Jerusalem or at least one that will not be a mindless 50-50 split, and that in all events it's not the U.S's' job to dictate to the parties what to do. But as Barka'i (who is not, G-d forbid, suspected of any right-wing leanings; quite the contrary) noted, that was 2008 before the election and this is 2009 after the election. Or in standard American political English, bait and switch. Bait which much of the mainstream American Jewish Community swallowed hook, line and sinker.