French whinesOn Sunday, I reported that a local planning agency had approved the addition of one room to each of the approximately 2,000 apartments in Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo neighborhood.
At first, the news went over quietly. Maybe because it was Sunday. But now Fwance has expressed its 'deep concern,' and you can bet that it will come up in Monday's State Department briefing too.
"Our position is constant: settlement building is illegal in the eyes of international law, in the West Bank as well as in east Jerusalem," said foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero.Just for fun, I did a Google search to find other things about which Fwance is 'deeply concerned.' Of course, 'Israeli settlement' returns the top results, but after that there's 'outbreaks of Middle East violence' (no, not in Syria but on Israel's borders with its neighbors), Iranian missile launches (glad to see someone else on the list), and the 'impending execution' of Iranian citizen Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.
"We call on the parties to resume negotiations based on principles contained in the French initiative presented by Alain Juppe to Mr Netanyahu and Mr Abbas during his recent visit to the Middle East, and to refrain from unilateral gestures which undermine the trust necessary for this resumption," Valero said.
The only item on the first page of the Google search results that did not involve one of the above was continuing drought and climate change.
And so it can be said that at least in the context of the Middle East, France regards adding a room onto your house as equivalent to riots, missile launches and executions.
What could go wrong?