the park benches
are half melting
a summer storm
Recently, we read the following:
Los Angeles Times: “Israel backs East Jerusalem housing construction despite U.S. opposition” By Jeffrey Fleishman and Batsheva Sobelman
"Calling Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem indisputable, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today rejected U.S. demands to stop plans to build 20 Jewish-owned apartments in the eastern part of the city that Palestinians regard as key to their future state.
"The decision to allow new housing on land annexed by Israel after the 1967 war probably will further agitate relations with the Obama administration, which has been pressuring Netanyahu to halt the expansion of settlements in hopes of reviving the Middle East peace process and enticing Arab nations to normalize relations with Jewish state...
"While refusing to rule out natural growth in existing settlements, Israel has pledged not to build new settlements and not to confiscate more land. But Israel doesn't consider projects in East Jerusalem to be settlements, but rather legitimate expansions in a section of the city it captured in the Six-Day War…
"Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Netanyahu's comments were a distraction from the peace process and that East Jerusalem, like the West Bank, would one day be freed from occupation to become part of a Palestinian state. Washington and the international community hold that Jewish expansion in disputed East Jerusalem is a major deterrent in solving the Israeli-Palestinian crisis…
"The Israeli activist group Peace Now said construction in East Jerusalem is not supported by all Israelis and ‘undermines the chances of the city becoming the joint capital of Israel and the future Palestinian state…’ "
And we thought:
...Is this a bargaining ploy to exact some concessions from the U.S. and Britain? Or some deadpan design to actually put the brakes on the restarted peace process?...