While the World Condemns, Israel Builds

Despite criticism, Israel insists on right to build in its capital, settlement blocs

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While the world condemns Israel for building apartment buildings and houses in areas that "everyone agrees" will constitute Israel proper in "any future peace agreement" Israel continues to insist on the right to build in its capital and settlement blocs.

On Wednesday, Israel approved the construction of 2,612 new homes in the Givat Hamatos neighborhood of southern Jerusalem, land that Israel annexed after the 1967 Six-Day War. On Monday, Israel endorsed the construction of 1,500 housing units in Ramat Shlomo, land similarly appended to the Jewish capital.

Israel also published plans for 6,000 new homes in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. The new homes will be constructed in a new neighborhood called Gevaot.

In reaction, the U.N. Security Council overwhelmingly condemned Israel's plans, with the European members in particular issuing a venomous attack on Israel, including a libelous accusation of "forced transfer of civilian population."

France, Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom issued a joint statement after the vote, which attacked plans to build in the E-1 corridor between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim.

It was filled with the usual cliches about "the viability of the two-state solution" being "threatened by the systematic expansion of settlements" which are, of course, "illegal under international law and detrimental to any international efforts to restart peace negotiations and secure a two-state solution."

Among the cliches, however, was buried what can only be described as a demented libel of the cruelest and most vicious kind.

"The reported planning in the E1 area," the Europeans said, "would risk cutting off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank and could also entail the forced transfer of civilian population."

How this ludicrous accusation of "transfer" could possibly be justified was left unsaid by the Europeans, who proffered no explanation or proof of their slander. 

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