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Populating the vanishing frontierby michael • February 16 2008
As if the current status of Jerusalem and the labyrinthine, mostly secret negotiations over its future weren't complicated enough, a whole apartment block or two worth of sticking points is about to go up in the controversial Jewish East Jerusalem neighborhood Har Homa, where 307 units have just been approved for construction and contracted out to builders. Who knows what the rationale is? Unless another sea change is lurking just beneath the horizon - which isn't unlikely, given the inherent instability of regional politics - a final status agreement on Jerusalem seems imminent, and there doesn't appear to be much chance that final status will not involve dividing the city more or less along its pre-1967 lines. The era during which parts of Jerusalem could be knit together into one unified whole through development and housing is quickly passing, and it may be that Har Homa is forcibly emptied before it's even filled. Seems like a waste, especially when sections of Jerusalem that will without a doubt remain Israeli are in dire need of renovation. Forget the fringes - what about downtown?
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