The Mondoweiss universe is derisive, but the sun also rises in the east, so that's OK.
Jeffrey Goldberg gives some context, but still regrets the decision.
I understand the impulse behind the building of these housing units. They are going up in areas that no one -- Israeli, Palestinian, or American -- believes will become part of the Palestinian state. They are being built on land that will be swapped for territory now under Israeli sovereignty. The Netanyahu government, under pressure from the Obama Administration, is trying to solidify even further -- these neighborhoods are already thickly-built -- Israel's claim to these places. So the impulse is understandable, but Netanyahu shouldn't give in to this impulse, for two reasons. One, he will never please the settlers and their partisans in the cabinet. They will always demand more. Two, building like this, and right now, undermines Israel's relationship with the United States, at a crucial moment. Next year may be the year of decision on the Iranian nuclear program, which Netanyahu calls an existential threat to his country. You would think that he would want the strongest possible bond just now with the American president. But this new building binge only serves to alienate the President, and for what? Does Israel's existence depend on these 700 apartments?I like Jeffrey, and once told him I agree with him 88% of the time. In this case I fully understand his position, which unlike the Swedish one is well-informed, but beg to disagree.
These neighborhoods are not and never will be part of a Palestinian state. There are more than 100,000 Jews living in them. Adding 700 apartments for, say, 3,500 people in neighborhoods that already have 100,000, shouldn't be a news item; demanding that 100,000 people not expand merely as a symbolic tactic should be newsworthy for its peculiarity.
The fundamental problem with the demand is that it emphasizes how very shaky the prospects of peace are, so shaky that Israel is required to make-believe and pretend so as to create an undefinable positive atmosphere.
Peace between Israel and Palestine will succeed only if everyone honestly accepts what it's about, and sincerely accepts the compromises both sides will be required to make. That means the Israelis accept that the Palestinians be sovereign and the occupation truly end; it means the Palestinians accept we're here to stay and don't need their permission to live our national life. Pretending that new apartments in Pisgat Zeev somehow offend Palestinian sensibilities merely demonstrates that Palestinians still hope we'll not be there eventually.
Another way to put this is that peace must be achieved by adults.