Local and foreign media Sunday whipped up opposition to an expected approval of another bureaucratic step for a previously announced building project in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.
The Jerusalem District Planning Commission this week is expected to approve the project, another step in a long bureaucratic process that still has long way to go before ground will be broken for 1,400 new units in the neighborhood.
Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, which promotes an almost daily campaign for the “peace process” and the elimination of a Jewish presence in United Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, emphasized that previous permission for the development resulted in the “first in a series of clashes with the United States over Israeli construction” in what it calls “East Jerusalem.” The term refers to all of the land in Jerusalem that was restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967. It includes areas in northern and southern Jerusalem as well as in the eastern part of the capital.
The French news agency AFP took the cue and, like Haaretz, quoted a left-wing Jerusalem city council member as saying, "This is a genuine takeover and it constitutes another nail on the coffin of the peace process," he added.
Unlike Haaretz, AFP made the effort to quote someone in favor the plan, who noted that Gilo is an integral part of Jerusalem. “There can be no argument in Israel over construction in that neighborhood," Elisha Peleg, a Likud city council member, told the news agency.
However, AFP told its readers that Gilo is a “settlement...near Bethlehem,” without noting that it is a contiguous neighborhood with the rest of Jerusalem.
Less than 10 years ago, Arab terrorists in Bethlehem sent Gilo residents into shell shock with massive daily rifle and missile attacks on the neighborhood, causing deaths, injuries and widespread damage.