It seems that the Obama Administration is missing a chance, again, to leapfrog the settlement issue and move directly to the issue of final borders between Israel and Palestine. The building of apartments in Gilo is irrelevant to eventual disposition of Jerusalem because everyone -- the Americans, the Palestinians and the Israelis -- knows that Gilo, the suburb that is the latest source of tension between Washington and Jerusalem, will undoubtedly end up in Israel as part of a negotiated solution (not that that's ever happening, by the way). It doesn't matter, then, if the Israelis build 900 housing units in Gilo or 900 skyscrapers: Gilo will be kept by Israel in exchange for a one-to-one land swap with Palestine. All "settlements" are not created equal: Better for the Obama Administration to talk tough to Israel about the settlements ringing Nablus, for instance, because these are communities whose existence makes it impossible to create a contiguous, viable Palestinian state. Unless the Palestinians want to grant these Jewish settlers citizenship in their yet-uncreated country. Which also, by the way, isn't happening.
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