Photo Credit: Gili Yaari / Flash 90
Arab construction workers are usually involved in building the homes for both Jews and Arabs.

A Jerusalem municipal committee has temporarily frozen all building construction permits in eastern Jerusalem, not only for Jews but also for Arabs, Army Radio reported Monday afternoon.

The office of the Prime Minister insists that it had nothing to do with the Jerusalem City Building and Planning Committee’s decision to freeze construction.

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The halt in construction comes just before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is to visit President Barack Obama to try to mend fences. It also comes shortly after the Obama administration denounced a near-final bureaucratic advancement in plans for building 900 new residential units in the Hareidi Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, adjacent to the Arab Shuafat area.

A source in the municipality said the decision to freeze all building construction permits was made so there will be no question of discrimination.

The freeze puts Washington in a bit of a bind.  

It frequently has opposed building for Jews in eastern Jerusalem, a tacit approval of discrimination in favor of Arabs. This time, any criticism from the White House or the State Dept. would have to explicitly state that its policy discriminates in favors of Arabs.

Eastern, southern and northern Jerusalem, unlike Judea and Samaria, are not ruled by the military and instead have full legal status as any other city in Israel. The  United States and virtually the rest of the world continue to define half the capital as “occupied,” even though more than 250,000 Jews live in areas that were restored to Israel in the Six-Dar in 1967, including the Kotel.

The decision was made during a discussion on the approval of the units for the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood. The same apartments were approved in an earlier bureaucratic five years ago on the same day Vice President Joe Biden step foot in Israel for a visit.

The timing infuriated Biden, and the project has caused consternation in Washington every time another step is approved.

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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.

20 COMMENTS

  1. The US demands a freeze. Well, then so be it, a freeze for both Arabs and Jews. Obama will be just as virulent, hateful, rude and condescending , no matter what Netanyahu does or says so it is pointless to care about the racist pig.Let the US worry about its own internal problems, such as extreme poverty and homeless rates, the highest of the Developed world, mass killings and murder rates, the highest in the Developed world, the highest teenage imprisonment rates in the Developed world. Or let Obama dictate to Britain that they cannot have laws prohibiting the Irish Travellers from living where they want and going to school where they want.

  2. Bibi please!!!!! don’t go to obama he is not good for you or us he does not care.please only put your trust in Hashem. Trust me on this. Hashem Echad. Hashem is waiting for you to speak to HIM no one else. EMET!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are just wasting your precious time with all these people.

  3. IF THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL TRULY WANT OPEACE they will do the following…First off put BIBI out of office & elect a person who truly honestly wants peace. Next they will hire the BEST PR people on the globe to try & undo the horrible harm BIBI has done to Israel. Then order the IDF to do the following. The next time a rocket if fired at them from Gaza, send a rocket to Gaza. (The rocket should be the dame type as the one fired at them, small & cheap, no planers, no invasions, same for same. Next draw up an honest peace plan & give it to the world to see & let the burden of peace fall 100% on the Arabs & let the world help puch them towards leace. Lastly, you can not have two seperate Arab country's so Gaza needs to be either inlarged by seeding it land of emptied. Give that delema to the Arabs to decide.

  4. Way below –Is Marty Susmans's "blithering". I don't know him so of course I can't use bad language here in assesing his brain. But I can say he obviously has a very small one because his "Blowviating" is so full of -holes- that you almost wonder if he is a real human bieng or just a computer spitting out talking points to some of his equally small brained friends.

  5. I don't think PM Netanyahu is afraid of Obama. He has tweaked Obama's nose many times over the last seven years. No leader of Israel can completely ignore the US and its support, but Netanyahu has more or less stood alone for Israel during this US president's term in office. He has been shunned and belittled, and still fought for Israel; in the face of Obama's dislike and disapproval, other world leaders snubbed him and still stood for Israel. In the face of so obviously NOT being invited to the unit gathering in France, he appeared anyway and forced his way to the front of the march, linking arms with world leaders who were seething inside with having to show solidarity with leader of Israel.

    And this new policy of turning the tables on terrorists, regardless of their ages, allowing Israel's front line defenders to kill in self defense, is so outside the boundaries of what the US, the UN and other "Human Rights" organizations want it is off the charts.

    I wish he had been born in the US so he could run for president here.

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