Thursday, July 7, 2016

Is the State Department calling for the dismantling of one of Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods? by Stephen Flatow

...the State Department should stop applying a double standard when talking about home construction for Jews and Arabs in and around Jerusalem. State’s position is not just unfair; it’s an insult to the intelligence of every reasonable person.

Stephen M. Flatow..
06 July '16..

The U.S. State Department has accused Israel of “undermining” peace by planning to build homes in areas in and around Jerusalem that happen to be beyond the pre-1967 armistice line. Washington considers those areas to be “illegal settlements” that ultimately need to be dismantled to make room for a Palestinian state.

Yet most of the new homes in question will be located in an all-Arab neighborhood, Beit Safafa.

So does that mean the State Department is calling for the dismantling of one of Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods? Or is Foggy Bottom simply caught in the web of its own illogical, double-standard rhetoric when it comes to Israel and the disputed territories?

This peculiar situation began on July 5, when State Department spokesman John Kirby denounced Israel’s latest housing construction plans. He expressed “deep concern” at Israel’s plans, warned that they were “counter-productive,” claimed that they “raise serious questions about Israel’s intentions,” and accused Israel of “a systematic process of land seizures, settlement expansions, and legalizations of outposts that is fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-state solution.”

It’s troubling that State Department officials seem to use their harshest language when they comment on peaceful, legal home-building by Israel. State’s passionate tone was conspicuously absent just a few days earlier, when an American citizen (13 year-old Hallel Ariel) was brutally murdered in her bed by a Palestinian terrorist on July 1. Nor did the State Department seem outraged when three other American citizens (Chava Mark and her two children) were severely wounded in another Palestinian attack the following day.

But back to the Jerusalem construction issue.

(Continue to Full Post)

Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.

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