By EARL COX—
Do those who continually attempt to bully and threaten Israel ever rest? Israel is moving forward with plans to build approximately 1500 housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank–all the while the European Union is condemning the construction decision as an obstacle to the peace process.
Historically, there has been adverse reactions from the international community to decisions made by the State of Israel regarding building in the past 45 years:
• July l967 the General Assembly made two decisions which “expressed deep concern regarding Israeli steps to change the situation in East Jerusalem.”
• March 1979 the Security Council decided that the building in the settlements “are not legally valid and they are a barrier to just and total peace in the Middle East.”
• July 1980 the General Assembly made a decision calling for an unconditional Israeli pull-out from all the territories conquered during the Six-Day War including Jerusalem, and for the full implementation of the right of return while declining any solution for the Palestinian refugee problem outside the borders of Israel.
• December 1995 at the height of the Oslo Accords, the General Assembly declared that the “settlements in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem are illegal.”
• December 2008 the Quarter issued a message calling for Israel to “freeze all building activities in the settlements.”
History and the facts, however, demonstrate that Jewish settlements have never been a barrier to peace and the European Union’s emphasis on them is mistaken. In fact, criticism is no less than duplicitous.
When Israel builds in Jerusalem, the international community is quick to criticize. However, when Hamas publicly announced the beginning of a third intifada against Israel and their goal of Israel’s destruction, there was no international condemnation, and no United Nations resolution. There also was no Palestinian diplomat summoned to clarify why Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen not only did not condemn the incitement, but spoke about the possibility of unifying with Hamas.
There is no peace arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians because of the Palestinians’ refusal to directly negotiate and their refusal to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. This was clearly demonstrated by Abu Mazen’s speech at the UN and Khaled Meshaal speech in Gaza. They simply believe that Israel has no right to exist.
Israel’s only desire is to live in peace on the land given to them by the Almighty God. Will their neighbors ever give them this right? Will the time ever come when Israel’s right to exist is acknowledged by all of those seeking to destroy her? Only time will tell. In the meantime Israel is moving ahead with building plans and other necessary endeavors to secure their peace and their future. Thankfully, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not afraid to exercise Israel’s right to build additional housing despite bias criticism from the international community. Settlements have never been a barrier to peace.