Brain Bush’s Blog

More Settlements

  • By : Brian Bush
  • August 12, 2011
  • 2:32 pm

Hello Everyone!

As we look back on the developments here in Israel over this week the main event is Israel's green light to build an additional 4,300 homes in the settlements – specifically in the Arab parts of Jerusalem.

Largely, the media sees this an abutt to the Palestinians intention to declare statehood at the UN next month.

Other commentators are seeing it as a bit of a political slap in the face to America who has been working hard behind the scenes to get the Israeli and Palestinian governments back to the negotiation table in order to avert the UN vote.

You'll remember that back in March when US Vice President Joe Biden was in Israel pressing for a resumption of peace talks, Israel approved 1,600 homes in a large settlement and caused a diplomatic riff between the two countries that lasted for months – the lowest in decades.

Israel says it is simply responding to the popular housing protests being seen over the country during the past four weeks.

But this is a political decision rather than an economic one as all the building is taking place in areas deemed by the international community as 'occupied territory' and land upon which the Palestinians were to have as part of their future state.

Although Israel disputes the termination, settlements are considered illegal under international law. Israel has controlled the West Bank since 1967, and annexed the old city and it's surrounding Arab neighborhoods , a move not recognized by the international community.

Thus international criticism has been coming in, not only from the UN, but also from some of Israel's staunchest allies like America, Britain, and others.

The Palestinians of course have decried the move, making the argument that the US should not use it's veto (as it has indicated it would) against the vote to Statehood but rather support it because it is the only way to preserve the two-state solution.

Ironically, Israel's decision to move forward with settlement expansion falls right into the Palestinian's argument.

But Israel believes that it is in a win-win situation carrying out the plans because either way – the houses will be built, and thus be another altered reality on the ground that puts them in a stronger position.

Everyone enjoy your WORLD PULSE weekend!

Brian Bush
Middle East Correspondent
LeSEA Broadcasting

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