Settlements - the view from Jerusalem
By Stephen Pollard
December 3, 2012
I’ve been trying to find out the thinking behind the Israeli government’s announcement that it intends to build a settlement of 3000 units in E1.Speaking to various Israeli government sources, here’s my take.
The feeling in Jerusalem is that, no matter what agreements are signed between Israel and the Palestinians, the international community refuses to acknowledge Palestinian infractions.
Instead, the argument goes, no sooner has Israel thwarted attempts to perpetrate a third intifada mounted by the Palestinians, than the United Nations rewards the Palestinian president with the new 'non-observer' status, and potential access to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
What the international community has done, my sources say, is effectively to open the door to any decision Jerusalem wants to take — particularly in the run-up to the elections on January 22.
Because even those in Israel who are unhappy about their government's settlement policy feel that the entire nation is being punished by the international community — over breaches of agreements perpetrated by the Palestinians. And, they say, it is not the first time: Palestinian suicide bombers, during the second intifada, were eventually stopped by the construction of Israel's wall. Yet the wall, which saved Israeli lives when nothing else did, was greeted with international outrage and condemnation.
In this latest such situation, Israel successfully protected its citizens from Palestinian rocket attacks, via Iron Dome and other missile defence systems. But the result was that when Abu Mazen went to New York, instead of being pilloried by the world for the rocket attacks, he was received with rapture and rewarded.
Thus Israel's response in announcing the housing units is born of a bitter reaction to the
wholesale international swallowing of the Palestinian narrative.
It is difficult to see how such a stance can be cooled down. Certainly the mood in Jerusalem is one of white-hot fury.
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