If peace talks are such a good thing, why is there so much pessimism regarding the chances of success for the Israel-PA talks? This is not a rhetorical question; it has a very concrete, specific, one-word answer: Incitement.
Yes, Israel made a sickening decision to release high-profile terrorist murderers in exchange for the PA's consent to sit at a table and insist that Israel's generous concessions do not suffice. However, it seems to have come together with a consolation prize of sorts: The announcement by Housing Minister Uri Ariel of tenders for the construction of nearly 400 new housing units in Judea and Samaria, and another close to 800 in three of Jerusalem's post-'67 neighborhoods.
How many times does PA chieftain Mahmoud Abbas have to repeat that the Israelis are planning to rebuild the Holy Temple atop the most volatile spot in the world before the world begins to accept it as true?
What could be more natural for a column dealing with Jerusalem than to pay special interest to the Temple Mount, the site of the Beit HaMikdash and the very center of the world? Especially given the distinct impression that throughout Israel, interest in this holiest spot has been swelling notably?
When we talk about developing Jerusalem and ensuring that it remains united under Jewish sovereignty, what could be more critical than actually building Jewish housing? Yet it is an open secret that the Netanyahu government has been waging a long-running general construction freeze in the Jewish areas of Judea and Samaria (Yesha), as well as in the liberated areas of Yerushalayim.
It's only natural to see increasing evidence of Jerusalem's glorious Jewish past being unearthed, quite literally, under modern Israeli sovereignty. The new archaeological finds are also very timely – as the Arab onslaught attempting to detach Jerusalem from its Jewish roots gains steam, the facts on the ground, or "under" the ground, show quite otherwise.
A zoning plan that would have enabled the creation of critical Arab facts-on-the-ground in a strategically vital area of Jerusalem has been shelved thanks to efforts by several Zionist organizations.
Rather than ask why Minister Baird met with Minister Livny in the eastern Jerusalem office, why not ask why Minister Livny agreed to meet there with Minister Baird?
Israel, for its part, knows that developing E-1 is critical for its own existence.
One doesn't have to be a Temple Mount loyalist to realize that something not good for the Jews is happening in the world's holiest spot – under Israeli sovereignty.
We must remember, too, that Abbas has said no Jews would be allowed to live anywhere in a Palestinian state.
It appears that when the dust settles after Obama's upcoming visit, Israel's housing market is very likely to take a big hit - in the form of a construction freeze.
Nearly eighty percent of Americans believe the Bible is either absolutely accurate or at least the "inspired word of God," surveys have shown. Around the world, Christianity and Islam comprise an estimated eighty-four percent of the world's population – demonstrating that the Bible clearly has an extraordinary influence over humanity. It is puzzling, then, that the concept of "exclusive Jewish rights" to Jerusalem has not yet caught on internationally.
Amid an intense Israeli election campaign in which "keeping Jerusalem united" figured prominent as a key issue, the question continues to crop up: Is Jerusalem already being divided?
We came across this startling headline in Haaretz:"Most Right-Wing Voters Support Establishment of Palestinian State and Division of Jerusalem." But Haaretz, as dovish and radical as it is, surely wouldn't lie straight out, would they? So how did they come up with such a headline?
With the international community barely having finished expressing its outrage over Israel's decision to build in E-1, between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim (reported at length in last week's column), two other similar decisions have been made that are sure to re-ignite the flames.
International opinion has it that the new planned Israeli neighborhood between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim will prevent the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state. Unfortunately, though, that is not true.
For probably the first time since the Yom Kippur War nearly 40 years ago, air raid sirens sounded this week in Jerusalem and environs. The sounding of the sirens occurred about two minutes after sundown on Friday, such that Sabbath-observers had no direct way of ascertaining where, what, how many, or who, if anyone, was hurt.
Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Fatah wing of the Palestinian Authority, was forced last week to retract some controversial remarks and in the process only succeeded in thoroughly confusing much of the Israeli public.