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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party’

Bennett Tears Apart Kerry’s ‘New Deal’ for Palestinian Authority

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Minister of Economy and the head of the Jewish Home party, told a party meeting Monday that the claim that a two-state solution will benefit both the Palestinian Authority and Israel is a lie.

He labeled the “economic” track as another excuse to divide Israel. One of  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s selling points is a  $4 billion package of goodies for his dream of a Palestinian Authority state alongside an Israel that would be less than half its size since the Six-Day War in 1967.

“A Palestinian state would destroy Israel’s economy,” Bennett said in an unusually aggressive speech that reflects his certainty that Kerry’s peace talk venture is headed to the same destination as its source – the cemetery where the peace process was buried more than three years ago.

Bennett pulled out a map of the “New Israel,” as originally proposed by the Saudi Initiative of 2002 and since adopted in principle by the United Nations and the United States..

“How will Israel’s economy look if a rocket will fall in …central Herzliya? [or] a missile brings down a plane at Ben Gurion Airport?” he asked.

He said that the peace talk promoters are using the economy like they once used “peace” and “demographics” as excuses to divide Jerusalem and separate Judea and Samaria from Israel.

Bennett is sounding more and more assured recently, and his sharp political antenna sense what foreign media and Israel’s anti-Netanyahu media refuse to acknowledge – that Kerry is headed for a crash landing.

He has made the same mistake as every wannabe peacemaker before him – George Mitchell, David Hale, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton and a host of others who will not be credited even in footnotes when historians look back ask what on Earth the United States was thinking when it thought it could change the Middle East into an extension of Foggy Bottom.

The funny thing it, and it really is sad, is that none of the Western do-gooders looked at the economies of Judea, Gaza and Samaria before and after 1967.

Egypt treated Arabs in Gaza as if they were on the moon, while Jordan at least acknowledged that Arabs in Judea and Samaria were on the same planet, but nothing more.

Growth was stagnant. Education was poor. Infrastructure remained undeveloped. Thanks to the Jordanian prohibition of Christians and Jews from visiting holy sites, tourism was miserable.

All of that changed in 1967. After the war, the Arabs in Judea, Gaza and Samaria were freed from the yoke of their Arab rulers. The entire region blossomed. Israelis flocked to the “occupied” territories to buy cheaper goods and produce.

Israel opened up all holy sites to all religions. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs, not yet called Palestinians, worked in Israel.

Yasser Arafat, born in Egypt, changed all of that.

Bennett should have brought out the graphs of the economy before and after Arafat to show how the Intifada destroyed the Palestinian Authority economy.

The next illogical step, as Bennett warned Monday, is to destroy the Israeli economy.

Post-Election Construction: Will It Happen?

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Now that the elections in Jerusalem are over, and with murderous Palestinian terrorists having been freed from prison, there seems to be an across-the-board desire to resume Jewish construction in the capital. The question is: Will this new enthusiasm last long enough for tractors to actually start work?

Prime Minister Netanyahu, under whose watch Jewish construction in the outlying areas of the Holy City has ground to a resounding halt, let it be known that together with last week’s release of killers from prison, he will initiate construction in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria (Yesha). And in fact, the Housing Ministry announced this week plans for 1,000 new housing units in large Yesha towns – though not in the smaller ones that need it most – and 700 more in Jerusalem.

Specifically, Gilo, Har Homa and Ramat Shlomo – among the Jerusalem neighborhoods liberated from Jordanian control during the Six-Day War – are scheduled to gain hundreds of apartments. In Yesha, the 1,030 new units will be distributed among Elkanah, Beitar Illit, Karnei Shomron, Maaleh Adumim, Givat Ze’ev, Adam, and Ariel (in descending order).

It is said that Netanyahu’s sudden benevolence is an attempt to offset the popular resentment and anger at his government’s release of terrorist murderers. Fifty-two such killers have already been freed in the framework of the ongoing negotiations with the Palestinian Authority – half the total set to be freed as the talks proceed.

This could be a case of getting hit with the fish, paying for it, and having to eat it in any event. For one thing, the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party doesn’t accept the gesture. “Don’t do us any favors,” party officials told Netanyahu. “Don’t release terrorists and don’t build.”

The Yesha Council of Jewish Communities responded similarly: “Releasing terrorists is a terrible mistake both morally and politically. We object even if it is bound up with decisions to build.”

In addition, the PA used the occasion to attack Israel for “sabotaging” the talks and violating their pre-conditions, and its top negotiator even announced his resignation. Though their accusations are totally false – Israel agreed beforehand with U.S. Secretary of State Kerry that no restrictions would apply to Israeli construction during the talks – the international damage to Israel’s reputation has been done.

And in the end, who says the construction will actually ever happen? In the face of international condemnation, it could very well be that the building plans – so necessary for the vitality of Israel’s economy, both inside and outside of Yesha – will go the way of last month’s Hebron announcement: Following a murderous terrorist attack, Netanyahu announced that Jews would be allowed to populate the Jewish-owned Beit HaMachpelah building – and the next day the decision was reversed.

On the municipal level, newly reelected mayor Nir Barkat gave a nod towards the nationalist camp when he said, “I believe we must build [in Jerusalem]; we dare not hesitate. If it were up to us [in the municipality], we would run with it.” He specifically mentioned Gilo, Har Homa, Pisgat Ze’ev – all liberated in 1967 – and other neighborhoods.

Barkat’s political opponents don’t take his pledge very seriously, however. Housing Minister Uri Ariel blames him not for not building, but for not protesting: “It’s the fault of my boss,” he told a crowd of supporters, referring to the prime minister’s construction halt, “but why don’t we see Barkat making an outcry?”

Ariel and Barkat actually agree that there must be no linkage between building in the capital and a possible diplomatic agreement with the PA. “The very attempt to [make an agreement dependent on not building] is the true obstacle,” Barkat said. Ariel was even more pointed, saying:

“Can you imagine any other country forbidding Jews to build houses? We would all run out to the streets to cry out and protest – but here it passes quietly… Netanyahu is not even allowing us to make zoning plans. The construction permits of today are from two years ago. The few hundred new units we obtained are far from enough! We need a minimum of 4,000 new units in Jerusalem each year.”

According to the PA-sympathetic Ir Amim organization, last year saw a record number of tenders issued for housing units in post-1967 neighborhoods – a grand total of 2,386. Keep in mind that this brings up the average number for the past 11 years to the grand total of 877 – quite a bit less than the 4,000 Minister Ariel demands.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/keeping-jerusalem/post-election-construction-will-it-happen/2013/11/07/

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