Givat Hamatos: Israel against the two state settlement

Without a contiguous East Jerusalem, there will be no two state settlement. And this has nothing to do with the hubris of the PA, or with their corruption; it has to do with something altogether more simple – the ability of the PA to maintain some kind of legitimacy in the eyes of the Palestinian people as they engage in the peace process. If the division of Jerusalem becomes impossible, there will be nothing but war for ever, or at least until the ethnic/religious state of “Israel” is dismantled and the two peoples are granted equal rights.

This is a relevant thing to understand today, because today (or yesterday) Israel announced the end of the division of Jerusalem. To understand this you have to look at some maps, ideally you need to spend time on the ground and understand the physical relations between different neighborhoods. But I can basically just tell you – the announcement of the new settlement of Givat Hamatos plays the explicit role of taking up the land between Gilo and Har Homa. Filling in this gap will disconnect Beit Safafa and Sur Bahir from the rest of the West Bank. So, if this settlement is built, and it is eventually adopted into Israel, it will mean there are Palestinian bantustans in the middle of Jerusalem which are not territorially connected with the West Bank. That will simply not be acceptable, it’s not a serious possibility for peace.

Support Israel if you want, but understand what these actions mean: Israel’s settlement construction plan now play the same role in the peace process from the Israeli perspective that the 2nd intifada played from the Palestinian perspective – it’s the domination of politics by the most extreme members on that side. Feel free to support the settlement expansion, support the taking of more and more Palestinian land – but understand that it means war for ever, and probably the killing of many Israeli civilians. If you want war, then by all means push your government to pursue the most extreme form of colonization that it can get away with in the short term.

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