Dora McPhee (VIC) on “Israel defiant on home building” The Australian 30 June 2009 June 30, 2009

The Australian:  “Israel defiant on home building”,25197,25709606-2703,00.html

Israel’s Ehud Barak flies to meet US Middle east envoy George Mitchell to
try and do a deal on the settlements, which Israel is already pre-empting
the outcome of by the approval of 50 new houses north of Jerusalem and
claiming the 2000 buildings in construction in the West Bank should also be
exempt. And the ongoing encroachment of Jewish settlers and accompanying
demolition of Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem as Israel furiously tries
to change the demographics through pro-active town planning is not even on
the table for those determined to deny Palestinians their future “capital”.
Meanwhile in Gaza tens of thousands of Palestinians are forced to live in
tents with little or no access to potable water or proper sewage, with no
prospects of rebuilding their destroyed homes due to the crippling siege.

Many of these Palestinians were forced from their homes in what is now
Israel during the 1948 and 1967 wars so losing everything and having to
subsist in a tent has been visited on them multiple times. Does this not
make people wonder at the morality of defending the natural growth of
illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem? Palestinian
natural growth is severely curtailed in Israel and the occupied territories,
with precious few building permits given. There is no compunction in
demolishing houses of the Palestinians nor in rendering them homeless either
as collective punishment or as collateral damage in war. And yet Jewish
settlers are somehow sacrosanct – being brought in from all over the world
not to live in Israel but in the occupied Palestinian territories, where
their population growth is threefold that of the population growth in

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