My new column is up at The American Prospect.
The neighborhood covers the hilltops. Beyond the last row of apartment buildings, the slope descends steeply, carpeted in loose rocks, olive trees, and brutally thorny shrubs. A long bridge, part of the highway linking Jerusalem to West Bank settlements to the south, sweeps across the valley below. On the other side, the hills rise again toward the Palestinian town of Beit Jala.
Technically, some red tape remains before bulldozers begin carving lots in the hillside. Practically, the planning board’s OK opens the way to building up to 1,380 new homes, attracting thousands more Israelis to move across the pre-1967 borders. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could have blocked the Gilo Slopes plan, and chose not to. …
Read the rest here.