March 18, 2010
How About an Arab ‘Settlement’ Freeze?
When she is surrounded by a swirl of conversation she cannot understand, my two-year-old granddaughter turns to me expectantly: “What they talking about, Bubbe?” Right now, I would have to confess to her that the hubbub over 1,600 new housing units in Jerusalem defies rational explanation.
Of the children of Abraham, the descendants of Ishmael currently occupy at least 800 times more land than descendants of Isaac. The 21 states of the Arab League routinely announce plans of building expansion. Saudi Arabia estimates that 555,000 housing units were built over the past several years. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced during a meeting in Baghdad last year that “Some 10,000 units will be built in each province [of Iraq] with 100 square meters per unit” to accommodate citizens whose housing needs have not been met for a long time. Egypt has established 10 new cities since 1996. They are Tenth of Ramadan, Sixth of October, Al Sadat, Al Shurouq, Al Obour, New Damietta, New Beni Sueif, New Assiut, New Luxor, and New Cairo.