Israel creates 'Obama' settlement, more obstacles for viable Palestinian state
Settlement named in honour of the US president forms part of an initiative aiming to Judaise Jerusalem
Saleh Naami , Tuesday 31 May 2011
The east Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev is seen behind a section of Israel's separation barrier (Photo: AP)
In a move that comes as gesture of deep gratitude, the Israeli government permitted an extreme rightwing Israeli association to name a new settlement Obama. The building of settlements makes the establishment of a connected Palestinian state an impossible task.
Bulldozers started to pave the way for the settlement a day after Obama gave his speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual conference. The construction of the settlement comes in the larger context of a Judaisation project that aims to link Jerusalem to the city of Ma'ale Adumim, north east of Jerusalem.
The location of the Obama settlement is along the main road that connects the West Bank’s northern and southern regions; a consequence of building the settlement would therefore be to separate those territories permanently.
In order to make concrete the reality of settlement in these territories, the Israeli government has decided to move its police headquarters next to the Obama settlement.
Israeli radio reported that this step came to honour Obama’s positions in solidarity with Israel which he disclosed to his audience at the AIPAC conference.
Israeli official sources mentioned that the Israeli step comes in the framework of the strategy “Greater Jerusalem,” which aims to change the demographic nature of Jerusalem, raising the number of Jews to one million, a project put forth by former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon.