Thursday, January 14, 2010

Israeli Deeds vs Words

Israel purports to support economic development for Palestinians as an antidote to extremism bred out of poverty. That policy is being put to an interesting test and the Israeli government appears, again, to be failing in its self-proclaimed effort to promote Palestinian economic stability and growth. This is not the first time, of course, and the treatment of Palestinians who happen also to be Israeli citizens is not exactly the same as other Israelis. An example is the construction of walkways in Palestinian areas of Jerusalem that are deliberately set lower than where Jewish citizens walk. The placement of the shorter chair for the Turkish ambassador is a recent example of this type of degrading action targeted at those whom the Israel government is displeased.

In any event, the report of the construction of a new, planned suburban town called Rawabi in the West Bank,funded by a Qatari firm, to house Palestinians in an American type suburban setting, puts Israeli words up against deeds. The issue in question is not the construction of the complex (which has already begun), but access. The entire access road runs through Palestinian territory - except for 3 kilometers(just short of 2 miles)under Israeli control. Without an access road no one will buy or rent in the new town. So far, the Israeli government has refused to answer the requests by the developers and has even refused to comment to the AP.

The current Israeli administration needs to respond quickly and positively to this type of activity. To continue to fail to do so says more about this government's future plans for the West Bank and the Palestinian state than any statements to the contrary.

No comments: