Welcome, President Obama!

Israel has a special gift in your honor:

Ninety new housing units were approved for Beit El, a major West Bank settlement, on Monday.

The final approval for the new units was given by the Judea and Samaria Civil Administration, and tenders for construction bids have already been issued, meaning that construction permits could be granted within a few weeks.

Some of the new apartments are slated for the evacuated residents of Givat Ulpana, the Beit El neighborhood that was partially evacuated last year after a court ruling determined that 10 of its buildings had been constructed on private Palestinian land. The evacuated residents, 33 families in all, are currently housed in trailers located on military land inside the settlement.

The initiative, which Peace Now Monday called a “mistaken, badly timed decision,” comes on the heels of the announcement that US President Barack Obama intends to visit Israel shorty, in an effort to jump start the peace process among other goals.

Only in Israel, and only with the Jews, could this be considered anything but good news and a blessing.

If they really want to pay tribute to him, they ought to name it Obamaville.

Take people’s minds off the alternative:

PS: Obama may be willing to overlook the housing starts if he gets his way on another matter:

The main purpose of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel in the spring is to warn Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu against attacking Iran, unnamed officials told Army Radio on Sunday.

According to the officials, the urgency of the trip is because in his speech to the United Nations in September, Netanyahu had flagged the spring of 2013 as a significant time in the context of the Iranian nuclear threat.

Therefore, they said, Obama is concerned that the prime minister will decide to attack Iran now when he is backed by a new government and can establish a new security cabinet, without Dan Meridor and Benny Begin, two Likud MKs and alleged opponents of such a strike who lost their Knesset seats in the recent elections.

The officials told Army Radio that the US president subsequently decided to transmit a direct message to Netanyahu: “Don’t attack Iran, let me handle matters with the Iranians according to my understanding, and if necessary I will take action, we have capabilities that you do not.”

Yeah, but Bibi has equipment you don’t, Mr. President: balls.

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