Israel Resists Europe, Vows to Build New Settlements
Netanyahu: Israel will 'stand by its vital interests'
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2012 6:58 PM CST
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/Lior Mizrahi, Pool)

(Newser) – Israel resisted international pressure today and vowed to plow ahead with its plan to expand settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Guardian reports. France, Britain, Sweden, Spain, and Denmark summoned Israeli ambassadors to protest the plan, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn't budge: "Israel will continue to stand by its vital interests, even in the face of international pressure, and there will be no change in the decision that was made," he said. In related news:

  • French President Francois Hollande criticized the plan to add 3,000 new homes to Israeli settlements, but said he didn't "want to shift into sanctions mode," Ynet News reports. "We are more focused on persuading."
  • Washington reiterated its opposition to Israel expanding settlements in the so-called E1 corridor, a roughly 5-square-mile area that borders Jerusalem, reports the Jerusalem Post. A US State Department spokesman said building in E1 is "particularly sensitive" and "especially damaging to efforts to achieve a two-state solution."
  • In reaction to Palestine's new UN status as a "non-member observer state," Israel said yesterday it would hold back about $100 million in tax revenues from the cash-poor Palestinian Authority, the Los Angeles Times reports. Israel said it plans to use the money to repay part of Palestine's debt to an Israeli electricity company.
  • Der Spiegel reports that Israel's national security adviser was offended when German said it would abstain rather than voting its customary "no" on the UN vote over Palestine. Germany said it blamed Netanyahu's unbending approach to the peace process. Relations between the two countries "have rarely been as bad as they are now," reports Der Spiegel.

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Jul 11, 2013 5:21 PM CDT
Israel is well within it's rights to build anywhere within the Promised Land given to Abraham by God.... It covers a good wide spread of real estate. From the Nile River in Africa to the Euphrates River in Turkey. Check out your maps. Thus it encompasses Palestine, Jordan, Turkey and parts of Syria. In all these years, I have finally come to understand why Israel has been so adamant about building where they have. People, don't forget that the Roman Empire then in charge, came and obliterated what was left of Jerusalem in the year 68 of the first century. Only 68 years AD, after the death and resurrection of Christ. The Israeli people were given these lands by the Universe's Creator. They have suffered so, so much at the hands of incompetent people who do not respect Allah/God. If Allah gave Israel this land, what is the beef? There is enough sand for everybody! The Prophet Muhammad who came in the year 600 was sought after for his wisdom. He, and he alone chartered and wrote the 1st Islamic Constitution known as the Medina Constitution whereby all tribes are to live in peace, including the Jews. It stated that the Jews didn't have to fight, but should pay for their protection. If we cannot believe what is written in the Bible or Torah or Quran, then we might as well as all go jump into the Red Sea. It was this Red Sea that opened when Moses delivered the Israeli's to the Promised Land. Incidentally, the Dead Sea was once part of the Red Sea and shall be again. 1492
Dec 7, 2012 6:59 PM CST
All the land west of the Jordan river was given back to the Jews in 1922 by the League of Nations. The Arabs have fought the Jews over this land for 90 years, and tthe Jews have won innumerable wars, so why can't they settle the land they were given by the League and which they also liberated over the last 90 years in dozens of conflicts? It's Jewish land, won back fair and square. No other country in the world gets the kind of flak Israel gets for settling its own liberated homeland.
Dec 4, 2012 7:42 AM CST
I am not going to speak to the validity of them building settlements or not as I feel that is it's own seperate fundamental conversation. But do they really realize what they are risking doing something so opposed by their own allies?