Israel Builds, Obama Administration Squirms

...But is Toner right about the Israeli building plans not being “constructive”? In a world where there are mounting crises in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt, severe human rights abuses in America’s trading partner China, and so on, are housing units in Shiloh what Washington should fret about? In fact, these building plans not only pose no problem for the U.S. but are constructive, for several reasons.

1. They give people in Shiloh places to live. It’s natural for a community—especially a very life-affirming one like Shiloh, where people make a point of having children—to grow. One has to have a very crabbed perspective to want a place like Shiloh to freeze in place, so that parents can’t provide homes for their kids, no one can move in from outside the community, and so on. It’s a throwback to the early days of the Obama administration, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thundered against “natural growth” in such Israeli communities. Isn’t this supposed to be an election year, with the Obama administration cooling it toward Israel and wooing Jewish votes?

2. Shiloh is a modern-day iteration of the ancient biblical city of the same name, the center of Israelite religious and political life for about three hundred years before Jerusalem took that honor. Having a modern-day Jewish community there is a renewal and revitalization of one of the ancient roots of Western civilization....

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Israel Builds, Obama Administration Squirms

...But is Toner right about the Israeli building plans not being “constructive”? In a world where there are mounting crises in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt, severe human rights abuses in America’s trading partner China, and so on, are housing units in Shiloh what Washington should fret about? In fact, these building plans not only pose no problem for the U.S. but are constructive, for several reasons.

1. They give people in Shiloh places to live. It’s natural for a community—especially a very life-affirming one like Shiloh, where people make a point of having children—to grow. One has to have a very crabbed perspective to want a place like Shiloh to freeze in place, so that parents can’t provide homes for their kids, no one can move in from outside the community, and so on. It’s a throwback to the early days of the Obama administration, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thundered against “natural growth” in such Israeli communities. Isn’t this supposed to be an election year, with the Obama administration cooling it toward Israel and wooing Jewish votes?

2. Shiloh is a modern-day iteration of the ancient biblical city of the same name, the center of Israelite religious and political life for about three hundred years before Jerusalem took that honor. Having a modern-day Jewish community there is a renewal and revitalization of one of the ancient roots of Western civilization....

Leave a Reply

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