web analytics
May 25, 2015 / 7 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »


Contrary to statements by the White House, the natural growth of Gilo, a popular suburb on the outskirts of Jerusalem, is in no way a political statement or a land grab on the West Bank.

In fact, it is within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries, not in East Jerusalem – erroneous reports by the Guardian and The New York Times notwithstanding. None of this has stopped some who have jumped on this issue as an example of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s allegedly violating his promise to suspend expansion in the West Bank for 10 months.

Recently, members of the European Union seemed intent on appropriating this issue as well and attempted to use it to push a resolution through their body that would call for the designation of East Jerusalem as the capital of “Palestine.”

Following intense lobbying from the Israeli government throughout December, they settled on the statement “If there is to be a genuine peace, a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states.”

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs only fueled this manufactured fire by saying that, “at a time when we are working to re-launch negotiations, these actions make it more difficult for our efforts to succeed.”

Whether Gilo is allowed to grow to accommodate more Israeli families has more to do with urban planning than it does the peace process and it is far beyond the purview of the United States, the European Union or the United Nations to comment on. It is a suburb, not a settlement, and is part of the natural growth of Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Advertisement

I worry that the administration is levying too much criticism at Israel in an attempt to allay fears that a peace process negotiated by the U.S. will be a lopsided endorsement of Israeli policy.

The real problem is accountability, and it always has been. Promises were made in Madrid, in Oslo, at Camp David and in Annapolis. In all of those negotiations, concessions were agreed upon, but the Palestinian Authority has never lived up to its end of the bargain and has never been held accountable for their failure to do so.

The Congress passed, and President Obama signed, legislation that prohibits aid to Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Just like previous presidents, Obama signed a waiver, known as a presidential determination, allowing aid to continue to flow into the West Bank and Gaza. I will be requesting that upcoming foreign aid packages continue to include a provision prohibiting all aid to the West Bank and Gaza until the Palestinian Authority comes back to the negotiating table, and I will ask the president not to sign a waiver unless this goal is met.

Gilo, like other areas populated by Jewish Israelis, is frequently the target of terrorist attacks. Parents living in other sections of Jerusalem often, out of fear, forbid their children from entering Gilo. But the families in Gilo have thrived and the neighborhood is expanding.

The approval to expand Gilo was given not by Prime Minister Netanyahu but by Jerusalem’s Construction and Planning Committee, which has jurisdiction over all of Jerusalem, not just Jewish neighborhoods. Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat, succinctly commented: “Israeli law does not discriminate between Arabs and Jews, or between east and west of the city. The demand to cease construction just for Jews is illegal, as in the U.S. and any other enlightened place in the world. The Jerusalem municipality will continue to enable construction in every part of the city for Jews and Arabs alike.”

Israel remains the only true partner of the United States in the Middle East and the sole democracy in the region. While it is certainly President Obama’s right to voice his opinion, in recent statements I think he has stepped over the boundary in how one speaks about another democracy’s internal affairs – and this has hurt the peace process by isolating our ally, Israel.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Court Sentences Olmert to 8 Months in Jail for Talansky Scandal
Latest Indepth Stories
Israeli-flag

U.S and European demands for the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank is world hypocrisy.

Harris-052215

We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.

Shalev and Rabbi Levinger

During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai

MK Moshe-Feiglin

20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse

Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise

Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting

She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes

Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times

Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program

“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me

Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.

The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.

The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.

“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”

More Articles from Anthony D. Weiner

When President Obama spoke last week of the opportunities presented by the Arab Spring, he got a lot right. His calling out of the Arab states was long overdue and dead on.

But he got some big things wrong.

The time has come for us to take the new technology available to terrorists seriously. The United States recently crowned Anwar al-Awlaki the newest “most dangerous terrorist in the world.” And yet an American company, YouTube, has been giving al-Awlaki open access to the world’s largest bully pulpit.

In what country were you born?

If you are a U.S. citizen born in Jerusalem, you’d better not look for the answer on your passport. That line is always left blank.

The decision by President Obama to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia is wrong.

It was leaked last week that the Obama administration was preparing to notify Congress of its intent to sell $60 billion in high tech arms, including F-15’s and military helicopters, to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The facts of the flotilla incident speak for themselves – but only to those who are willing to listen. Unfortunately, albeit predictably, the international community seems to care less about what actually happened and more about that fact that it now has an opportunity to engage in what appears to be a global pastime: kicking Israel.

Let’s remember the facts here. Jerusalem is hardly some far-off outpost. It is the capital of a sovereign nation that happens to be our strongest ally in the Middle East and perhaps the world. And this housing decision was months in the works as part of a transparent process that is followed by dozens and dozens of building proposals each year. Think of it as a decision by a local zoning board. This was hardly war and peace.

Contrary to statements by the White House, the natural growth of Gilo, a popular suburb on the outskirts of Jerusalem, is in no way a political statement or a land grab on the West Bank.

On the anniversary of the tragic events that took place on September 11, 2001, we remembered the lives lost of friends, family and neighbors. We also renewed our resolve to rebuild, to bring to justice those responsible, and to challenge extremism wherever it exists.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/92900/2010/03/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: