Three Bedrooms. Mountain Air. Spectacular View of Arena of International Conflict

Gershom Gorenberg

My new column is up at The American Prospect.

On the Dangerous Slopes of Jerusalem

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.

I’m standing at the edge of Gilo, one of the largest neighborhoods that Israel has built on West Bank land that it annexed to expand Jerusalem in 1967. Last week, the Jerusalem District Planning Commission approved covering the slopes below in housing developments. I imagine what honest billboards advertising the new homes would say: “Gilo Slopes: Condos and Townhouses, Three Bedrooms and Up. Clear Mountain Air. Spectacular View of Arena of International Conflict.”

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.

1 thought on “Three Bedrooms. Mountain Air. Spectacular View of Arena of International Conflict”

  1. But is anybody listening? This increasing theft, this blockage, has been going on for years.

    Maybe Obama is doing us a favor by weakening what some like to call the American Empire. With regard to Israel and the Middle East, the short term (politics) wins out at great expense to our long term interests and our supposed ideals, the ones that Obama himself has stated. The consequence is that Obama looks weak- he is weak. He allows Netanyahu to humiliate him time after time. And I don’t expect change should he achieve a second term.

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