Apparently there are no limits to how far the current U.S. administration goes in supporting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

A recent New York Times report indicated that the administration already moved to support Sharon’s plans to expand settlements against commitments he signed and guarantees he, himself, provided.

A careful examination to the reported American move leads to a troublesome conclusion; the U.S. is ready to violate terms of an international agreement, signed by both sides, with the U.S. acting as the broker and guarantor.

Even when both sides have repeatedly violated most of their road map signed obligations, the “honest broker” is not permitted to do the same; such a mistake is likely to present a sad end to the only existing hope for resuming diplomatic efforts.

Likud rebels and right wing hardliners were the most encouraged by the U.S. administration move. Few of their leaders claimed credit to “the historic achievement”, saying that the more they press against Sharon, the more likely the U.S. will concede to their demands.

Claims that such a move was necessary to support Sharon against the Likud hardliners are mostly baseless.

On Monday, an Israeli governmental source revealed that the construction of 100 more housing units in the settlement of Har Gilo had already started and will be completed by the end of the year. Har Gilo is not a major settlement, 120 settler families live their.

Therefore, even based on the U.S. guarantees to support Israel’s attempts to keep hold of some west bank territories “in line with recognizing demographic changes on the ground”, it is impossible to justify doubling the population of a small settlement.

A more troublesome question would be; how doubling the population of Har Gilo would fit the claimed need for “natural growth”?

Settlements built on occupied Palestinian land, which President George Bush’s vision allocate most of it for the “future Palestinian State”, were built for ideological reasons; were built to force a defacto annexation of a considerable area of the West bank and block any chances for establishing a Palestinian state.

Therefore to satisfy the “natural growth” needs would mean to allow settlements to fulfill their designed rule.

It is hard to believe that an administration with an extended level of detailed involvement in the Middle East is not aware of the consequences of their support to settlements’ expansion, even when presented as a “natural growth need”

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