Terminology shifts in the news media are interesting. They often signal historical changes in the wind. Now we find that the relatively conservative Washington Times has referred to neighborhoods in Jerusalem as "settlements in the West Bank."
Let me stress this: These are not far-outlying suburbs of Jerusalem. These are Jewish neighborhoods within the city limits of the city that is Israel's own capital, and apparently not even right at the edge, either (if that mattered). All of Jerusalem is governed by Israeli law. People who live in Har Homa (the neighborhood in question) are literally just Israeli citizens living within Israel's own capital city. That's it. And the building in this neighborhood was approved ten years ago. (Again, if that mattered.)
Now, I'm very interested in being corrected if I'm wrong, but as far as I know it has not previously been part of standard practice in the American MSM to refer to any part of Jerusalem proper as "the West Bank." Certainly even I, ignorant though I have been in the past of the entire Israeli situation, would have thought of "the West Bank" as being outside of Jerusalem. Israeli blogger Carl in Jerusalem confirms that the MSM has not previously referred to any part of Jerusalem proper as being "in the West Bank." Of course, Israel is so narrow that perhaps the entire country could be thought of as "the West Bank" of the Jordan river, if one construes "bank" broadly enough. An ominous thought.
But now we have Condoleeza Rice having a snit over building in Jewish neighborhoods within the city limits of Israel's own capital, and an American official with the insufferable, sickening, almost unbelievable arrogance to say of this, "We don't like chastising people, but we don't want people to do anything to make us chastise them." And Olmert was apparently trying good and hard to give away East Jerusalem to the "Palestinians" for their own capital (read "new rocket-launching pad") at Annapolis, but somehow he didn't succeed in doing so. And Israel may be caving on a plan to build housing in a different neighborhood, also within the limits of the city of Jerusalem, in the face of Condi's wrath. So the Washington Times reporter gets the idea from all of this that the places over which all this fuss is being made must be properly designated as "settlements in the West Bank."
I don't want to make too much of one line in one article. But I think this may be a (bad) sign of things to come for the Jewish inhabitants of East Jerusalem...and, one way or another, of all of Jerusalem.
HT to Dhimmi Watch for the link to the Washington Times article. HT to Carl in Jerusalem for information on the location of these neighborhoods and for links to the Jerusalem Post. But I noticed the line about "settlements in the West Bank" and what it was referring to all on my own and am waiting for my "place in history" badge for having been the first to notice. :-)