Do Jewish Homes in Jerusalem Really Undermine Peace?

[New York Sun] Editorial - In his speech to the Knesset marking Israel's 60th birthday, President Bush called the founding of the Jewish state 60 years ago "the redemption of an ancient promise given to Abraham and Moses and David - a homeland." What a disappointment, then, to read Sunday's headline in the Wall Street Journal: "Rice Says Jewish Housing Plan Undermines Mideast Peace Talks." The settlements at issue, after all, aren't in the West Bank, but in Jerusalem, Israel's capital. Even if they were in the West Bank, it can't have escaped Mr. Bush's notice that the land promised to Abraham and Moses and David was the West Bank. What is the point of celebrating God's promise of the Land of Israel to the Jewish people if every time the Jewish state wants to create new housing units in its own capital the American secretary of state turns it into an international cause of complaint? The Palestinian Arabs have no more standing to tell Israel not to build in Jerusalem than al-Qaeda has standing to tell America not to build in Washington. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 sets forth "the policy of the United States" that "Jerusalem should remain an undivided city" and that "Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel." There are lots of obstacles to peace in the Middle East. Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia are funding and harboring anti-Israel terrorists. A Hamas state dedicated to Israel's destruction holds sway at Gaza, whence it daily launches rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. For Ms. Rice to elevate Israeli housing construction in its own capital to the level of a problem in the peace talks indicates a lack of seriousness.

2008-06-16 01:00:00

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