Building in Jerusalem Won't Prevent Peace

(Commentary) Jonathan S. Tobin - The permits for constructing 69 apartments in the Har Homa neighborhood of Jerusalem was treated as a big deal in Friday's New York Times, which was quick to compare it to the 2010 episode in which the Obama administration picked a fight with Netanyahu over a routine announcement about a housing start in a 40-year-old Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem. The administration claimed it was an "insult" to Vice President Joe Biden, who happened to be passing through the city at the time. The Palestinian claim that any building in parts of Jerusalem that were once illegally occupied by Jordan from 1949 to 1967 - and during which Jews were banned from even worshiping at the Western Wall - is an obstacle to peace simply doesn't make any sense. Even under a peace plan proposed by Netanyahu's predecessor Ehud Olmert, Israel would retain Har Homa and other Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem. What does it matter to the Palestinians how many Jews live in the areas they won't get? The Palestinians want Jews out of Har Homa for the same reason they want them out of most other parts of the country, since what they desire is a Palestinian state free of Jews. Treating building even in those areas that no one thinks would be handed over to the Palestinians under any circumstance as off limits is not about making peace. It's about delegitimizing Israel.

2013-07-01 00:00:00

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