Israel E. Jerusalem Housing Creates Conflict

The Israel government is undertaking construction of about 304 new apartments in East Jerusalem as its prime minister prepares for meetings with Palestinians to discuss peace. President Mahmoud Abbas made it clear there would be serious difficulties in conducting peace if settlement construction continues in East Jerusalem. A Fatah spokesperson, Abu Rdeneh bluntly stated: “there is need to freeze the settlement activities in order to create the appropriate atmosphere to bring progress in the peace process.” President Mubarak joined in the Arab cry for an end to settlement construction and focusing on the only thing that emerged from the famous Annapolis conference– peace talks. Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni sharply criticized the Egyptian effort to prevent arms smuggling into Gaza and in response, Egypt’s Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman promised his country would take renewed steps to halt smuggling.

There is a time and place for everything, and right now constructing 304 apartments is the wrong move. Some Israelis, undoubtedly, will argue the point of a principle that Israel has a right to build. The only important principle right now is working for a comprehensive peace, not worrying about a few apartments. In the end, Israel must recognize that East Jerusalem should become the capital of the new nation of Palestine. Israelis have every right to express concerns given the past history when Jordan controlled East Jerusalem and desecrated Jewish cemeteries and synagogues. Hopefully, that era is over and when peace arrives all religious institutions will be accorded respect. Right now, Israel must focus on peace, not apartments.

  • journeyer58

    As in the past, Israel, will not heed the world’s warning and will continue on the path of most destruction. It must be stated in the clearest and loudest terms, “the Palestinians are people who deserve recognition.”
    If Israel, continues to build on disputed lands, this “war,” will continue until there is no one left who understands the reason for the conflict in the first place.
    As the political backers of an outrageous policy towards the Palestinians, the Congress of the US must own up to its part in the continuing war against the Palestinians. The Legislative and Executive branches of our government, have upheld, the Israeli apartheid of the Palestinian people. Should the American people, stand by while the Israeli’s continue a pogrom against the Palestinians? I, for one would hope that the American people will come to their senses and vote for change in the Executive and Legislative branches of our government, to reflect the growing awareness that there must be a shift in policy towards the duly and democratically elected government of the Palestinian people, Hamas.
    Without this recognition, there will never be peace in that region of the world. There will never be a time when children will not know strife and fear of , “the other.”
    Give peace a chance and recognize that without Hamas’ approval and recognition, there will never be an end to the strife that now exists in that most important region of the world.

  • Fred Stopsky

    Israel continues making mistakes by not placing the cost of peace as their primary object. Nations, like people, become trapped by their own history, their own fears, their own doubts. Now, is the time for Israel to sacrifice. By that I mean, East Jerusalem must become the capital of the new state of Palestine, but the Palestinians cannot repeat their mistakes of 1948-1967 when Jewish religious places were desecrated and Jews were denied the right to pray. That happened in the past, we can assume the present Abbas government will not repeat past errors. In turn, Israel has to halt building and build on peace.