[As public opinion worldwide moves to support Palestine, Israel’s apartheid, zionists dig in… — NP]
Israel presses on with contentious settlement plan
JERUSALEM — An Israeli military planning committee has unveiled plans for a contentious new West Bank settlement outside Jerusalem, pressing forward with the project in the face of heavy international pressure.
The military says the plans to develop the area known as “E1” were formally presented at Wednesday’s meeting. There is now a 60-day period for public objections.
The project envisions construction of 3,000 new homes in a strategic corridor near Jerusalem. Construction would be years away.
Israel had frozen E-1 construction plans under pressure from successive U.S. administrations.
Israel’s government revived them last week, after the U.N. General Assembly accepted Palestine as a non-member observer state.
The Palestinians say construction in that area would cut Jerusalem off from the West bank and essentially kill any chance for a future state.
There are reasons why Palestine was recently given statehood status. Namely, the international community at large sees the Fatah-led government in the West Bank as more peaceful than the Hamas-led government in Gaza. Since the latter was able to win a diplomatic concession through force of arms recently after Gaza was ruthlessly attacked, it was now the West Bank’s turn to get a diplomatic concession, such as to level out the influence of the different Palestinian forces and thus prevent Hamas from gaining ‘undo influence’ amongst the people. Thus they can say that ‘see, diplomacy works’, despite the fact that this obviously wouldn’t have happened had Hamas not used force of arms to defend itself. Notice that it didn’t happen last year, for example, when the same proposal was floated by Abbas through the same channels. And yet the irony, of course, is that this is still a net loss for Israel, the United States, and other aligned belligerents because now they encounter round condemnation from seemingly everywhere when Israel attempts to do things like this. The West Bank government could even charge Israel with war crimes at some point, given that their situation is now officially recognized as an occupation. Israel and its supporting belligerents know that full well. That’s why they opposed the statehood declaration.
What are we to learn from all this? I believe we learn that a victory for some of the oppressed can lead to bigger victory for oppressed people more broadly. A victory for one can reinforce the strength and enhance the legitimacy of the other as well. In this case, a victory for Hamas helped strengthen the hand of all Palestinians, including those not politically aligned with Hamas.