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Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Israel, where he expressed the United States’ commitment to its security, was tarnished by the Israeli Interior Ministry’s announcement that it would build 1,600 new settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem (perhaps a not-so-subtle message to the White House, located 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?).
It was a slap in the face to Biden who was urging Palestinians to engage in peace negotiations with the Israelis. But the announcement is one of a list of “facts on the ground” created by Israel that cast shadows over its commitment to a viable two-state solution. Those in the White House today, and those who wish to be in it tomorrow, should take the time to reconsider their “special relationship” with Israel. Canada would benefit from doing the same. Last month, the Harper government preposterously suggested that an attack on Israel would be considered an attack on Canada.