Houses, Mr. Rico. Zillions of em!

This is a post about Ramat Shlomo (in East Jerusalem) and the thousands hundreds tens many new houses that have been built there in the last ten years.

How many?

None.

None.

None.

It’s the Elder of Ziyon, again, at his best:

From the NYT today:

But for all the international outrage that Ramat Shlomo has engendered, not a single new home has been built there in a decade.

The NYT article also mentions how incredibly crowded the neighborhood is, and how it is impossible to get building permits to even expand houses – the exact same problem that causes headlines when Arabs cannot get approvals.

No one seriously thinks that Ramat Shlomo will become part of a Palestinian Arab state. All of these news stories cause huge amounts of angst, and give the impression of ever-expanding Israeli encroachment on Arab areas – and it simply isn’t so.

It is obvious that most reporters have no interest in reporting the truth about how incredibly little Israeli settlements have expanded in the past 30 years.

It is equally obvious that the successive Israeli administrations have done an incredibly poor job of telling the world what has been going on, instead letting Peace Now send press releases to the media as many as eight times for each new apartment planned as if it is a huge new terrible development that puts the peace process in crisis.

Whether you agree with building across the Green Line, the Elder’s criticisms remain valid; painfully so. No wonder Israel haters feel free to mislead and offer deceptive propaganda, when Israel cannot get this simple truth across: settlements are not material. Settlements are not a real issue – at least they would not be to a party truly interested in negotiation and meaningful, long term, peace.