Why Is Washington Enraged Over More Homes for Jews in Jerusalem?

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Since Israel’s conquest of “East Jerusalem” in the 1967 Six-Day War, all faiths have enjoyed freedom of worship throughout the city. Actually the only exception is the Temple Mount—to which, under an unfortunate deal worked out after the war between Israel and the Muslim Wakf, Islam retains full access while Judaism and Christianity have only partial and restricted access.

Since 1967 the city has also flourished economically, and both its Jewish and Arab populations have grown dramatically. Polls have found that, even if a Palestinian state were to be established in the West Bank, most East Jerusalem Palestinians would prefer to remain Israeli rather than become citizens of the Palestinian state.

None of this, however, dislodges Washington’s—and, of course, every European government’s—idée fixe that the only acceptable fate for “East Jerusalem” is to be held in perpetuity by Israel as a purely Arab, predominantly Muslim zone until such time as the mythical “two-state solution” can be reached and the city can be redivided.

Meanwhile Washington, London, Paris, Berlin and so on will not hesitate to tongue-lash Israel for the transgression of building homes for Jews in those parts of the city they insist should remain Jew-free—even though, by now, there are over 200,000 Israeli Jews living both in Jewish and mixed Jewish-Arab neighborhoods in “East Jerusalem.”