Surprise, surprise. Excellent reporting by Janine Zacharia in the Washington Post describing the colonization of East Jerusalem and explaining what an obstacle this new Jewish geography presents to the possibility of a "viable Palestinian state."
A battle for sovereignty and international legitimacy is playing out on every hilltop and valley here. And with tens of thousands of new apartments planned for Jews in East Jerusalem — well beyond the 1,600 announced in March during Vice President Biden’s visit here — the potential for construction derailing the new peace negotiations is high.
"Left unattended, within two or three years, enough will happen in Jerusalem that a two-state solution will not be possible," said Daniel Seidemann, an expert on Jerusalem who has provided informal guidance to U.S. mediators…
Zacharia gets to the point, ethnic domination, cloaked in the usual "demographic" b.s. Imagine if people talked about the Arizona law as being a "demographics" law.
Today, more than 11,000 housing units intended for Jews in East Jerusalem have been given final approval. An additional 9,000 or so units — including the 1,600 in Ramat Shlomo — are in various stages of the approval process. Private and government developers are shaping plans for 30,000 more.
For Israel, the issue of Jerusalem is about not just Jews’ historical claims to the city but also demographic realities. Israelis fret about the Jewish majority of the city declining as the Arab birthrate outpaces that of Jews; by some estimates, the Arab population — which today is about 300,000, or 35 percent of the city’s total — could equal the Jewish population by 2030.
"This is the Jewish capital of the world, and we have to maintain a solid Jewish majority in Jerusalem," said Yair Gabbay, a City Council member who sits on the district planning committee…
There are new territorial obstacles to establishing Palestinian sovereignty in the city and linking those areas to nearby Arab suburbs. A concrete security wall Israel built to prevent terrorist attacks cuts off Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem from the West Bank, the large swath of territory that is slated for a future Palestinian state. In some cases, the wall splits the neighborhoods themselves.
The Jewish settlement of Har Homa, initiated during Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister in the late 1990s, today is home to 10,000 people, creating a wedge between the Arab neighborhood of Umm Tuba and the Arab town of Beit Sahour just to the south of the city.
Jewish settlers are also carving out pockets inside Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods including Ras al-Amoud