Rather than making conciliatory gestures toward the Palestinians and promoting an end to the conflict, the prime minister is sabotaging any chance of an agreement on the issue of Jerusalem. His construction and settlement ventures do not contribute to Israel's security or economic prosperity. Instead, they render the chances of a diplomatic solution more remote, fuel greater frustration among the Palestinians, and degrade Israel's international standing. This campaign to consolidate control over East Jerusalem must be stopped.
The timing, which everyone is complaining about, was brilliant. It was exactly the time to call a spade a spade. As always, we need Yishai (and occasionally Avigdor Lieberman) to expose our true face, without the mask and lies, and play the enfant terrible who shouts that the emperor has no clothes. For the emperor indeed has no clothes. Thank you, Yishai, for exposing it. Thank you for ripping the disguise off the revelers in the great ongoing peace-process masquerade in which nobody means anything or believes in anything.
The expansion of Ramat Shlomo accords with broad government policy.
Differently timed, and ideally quietly explained to Washington ahead of time, it might have prompted public displeasure from the United States that the administration had tried and failed to persuade Netanyahu to extend the settlement-building moratorium to east Jerusalem but likely no more than that.
Instead, because of sheer ineptitude, the timing of the announcement immediately threatened the “proximity talks” in which Netanyahu has stressed Israel has a profound interest. It united the Palestinians, the Arab world and much of the international community in a chorus of anti-Israel condemnation. And most unhappily of all, it embarrassed our most important ally at a time when this ally, as represented by Biden, was making a heartfelt effort to improve relations and assure Israel of its abiding support.
I believe that the great rabbi in the skies has not instructed Israel to force history to stand still. So let me be direct: The Palestinians have only themselves to blame on Jerusalem, as on other disputed matters.
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