Posts Tagged ‘building’
Last October, Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, 41, his wife and their seven children were having the third meal in their rooftop sukkah in the “Muslim Quarter” (which used to have an even mix of Jews, Muslims and Christians until the 1929 Arab riots) of the Old City of Jerusalem when they heard a woman’s cries for help from the street below. Rabbi Lavi, an officer in the IDF Reserves, grabbed his gun and ran downstairs, where an Arab terrorist, who had already murdered 22-year-old Aharon Bennett and seriously wounded his young wife Odel, repeatedly stabbed Lavi in the chest and neck, killing him, too. Then the Arab took the rabbi’s gun and shot the Bennetts’ toddler in the leg. Odel, with a knife in her shoulder, managed to run to an Israeli police outpost fifty meters away before losing consciousness. The police shot and killed the terrorist.
In what they dubbed a “true Zionist response” to Arab hatred and terror, Ateret Cohanim, an Israeli Jewish organization with a yeshiva and about 1,000 Jewish residents in the “Muslim Quarter” of the Old City of Jerusalem, recently helped facilitate an acquisition of another building located not far from the Flowers Gate, near the site of the murders, continuing the Jewish return to this part of the Old City.
The building (yet to be named) will be home to 3 or 4 Jewish families and some Yeshiva students. Ateret Cohanim is also involved in the revival and strengthening of Jewish life in the old Yemenite Village of Shiloach (Silwan), which has doubled over the last year; in the Jewish neighborhood of Maaleh HaZeitim (near Ras al’Amud on the Mt Olives); and in Kidmat Zion, at the eastern border of Jerusalem.
Ateret Kohanim issued a statement Monday morning saying, “Arab terror and ongoing Arab incitement and violence, aim to drive Jews out of Jerusalem, to keep Jews away from the Old City, the Temple Mount and even the Kotel, and also intend to weaken the resolve of the Jewish people, especially of the families and students in and around the Old City. However, the Arabs are mistaken on all fronts. We will not be driven out of ‘our Jerusalem’ and such acts of violence have only strengthened our resolve, conviction, faith and fortitude.”JNi.Media
The State Dept. insists that its anti-settlement policy is not dependent on President Barack Obama and will continue even after he leaves the White House in January 2017.
Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told high school students this week in Gush Etzion, which the United States considers “illegal,” that the Obama Administration “won’t be around forever” and that Israel will resume building for Jews in Judea and Samaria once he is gone as president.
He apparently thinks Hillary Clinton won’t succeed Obama.
Ya’alon has a habit of saying what he thinks before he thinks. Earlier this year, he was quoted as stating in “private” remarks that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is “obsessed ‘and has a Messianic complex when it comes to the “Peace Process.”
He didn’t bother to think that his remarks to the high school students this week would be quoted, but maybe it is better off to give the White House a not so gentle reminder that it is going to have to fight hard in the Israeli election campaign if it wants to get rid of people like Ya’alon, who don’t take orders from Washington., which thinks otherwise.
“This Administration’s opposition to settlements is fully consistent with the policies of administrations for decades, including of both parties. So the notion that would change is not borne out by history,” State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters at Wednesday’s press question and answer session,
She agreed that Obama will be out of office in two years, pending a sudden change in the U.S. Constitution, and the next administration is not going to change anything regarding the audacity of Israel to build homes for Jews in half of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, where it had been doing so for more than 40 years before President Obama blew in with the wind.
Previous administrations, contrary to what Psaki says, never have been called Jews “illegitimate” for living in areas of Jerusalem that the Palestinian Authority, with the backing of the State Dept. thinks is their God-given property.
Ya’alon notwithstanding, Israel will be stuck with American opposition to Jews living within Israel’s borders that the United States determines, according to Psaki.
It is unusual for a State Dept. spokesperson to predict what future administrations will determine.
Maybe she knows something that no one knows, but it is more likely that her comments give testament to an attempt to make the State Dept.’s long-standing pro-Arab policy part of the White House Bible.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
Peace in the Middle East between Israel and its neighbors—including the Palestinians—is generally described as “elusive.” Why have forty years of active efforts not led to permanent peace in the region? Why 20 years after Oslo is there no great sign that peace stands ready to break out between the Palestinians and Israelis? The simple answer is that parties are negotiating on different planes that can never intersect.
Let’s analyze the ostensible goals of the parties to the current round of talks. The Israelis want peace and one can see why: lower regional threats, less military spending, greater regional cooperation, increased tourism revenue, export of Israeli technology, increased trade with Europe and more. What do the Palestinians get in the peace deal? They get less than half of the land they believe they deserve. They can look forward to a million or more Arab “refugees” showing up, expecting housing, food, work, and schools. They will be saddled with building an economy without natural resources or a strong technical ethos, while international donations will dry up (especially from Muslim countries, for the sin of recognizing a Jewish state). In short, the Israelis have much to gain from peace, while the Palestinian leaders who are running their side of the talks have much to lose.
Additionally, Israelis negotiate like Americans and Europeans: they try to cut a deal, but if it does not work, then they fall back to the present conditions. The Palestinians work in a different way: either they get what they want, or they pull out the terror card. Lawyers who reviewed signed confessions of Marwan Barghouti’s lieutenants found a singular pattern: if negotiations in the Arafat period were going well, then Tanzim and the like were told to lay low. If the Israelis were intransigent—on borders, refugees, or the like—then the order was given to attack. Negotiations cannot proceed when one side is willing to take a much greater liberty than the other side is willing to entertain. Picture if one football team had to respect the out-of-bound lines, while the other did not. The Israelis might walk away from talks, but they would not order the murder of Palestinian citizens, leftist propaganda aside. The Palestinians, on the other hand, are more than comfortable using attacks on Israeli citizens as a means to get what they want at the negotiating table—and this is a point that Americans and Europeans diplomats have never understood. They are convinced that everyone thinks like they do: peace is always good, and the rules of negotiations exclude violence between sides.
The reason for this failed understanding is cultural. Let’s look back at the Nazis, some of the greatest murderers ever. One notes that no German soldier was ever commanded to either kill or injure himself in order to gas, shoot, blow up, torch or otherwise kill a Jew. The Nazis were sadists and invented horrific ways to kill Jewish men, women and children; still, they would not have considered personal bodily harm or worse as being required to kill a Jew. The Palestinians, on the other hand, not only are active practitioners of suicide bombings, but polls still show that their citizenry supports such activities. We of a Western mind-frame find it impossible to consider such an act—whom do we hate so much that we would be willing to undertake such horrific activity? Are there any children or aged citizens of any country that we would hope to obliterate with flying shrapnel so as to somehow exact revenge on somebody else who has some tenuous relationship to the ones blown up? I have asked these questions to student groups visiting from the US; no one can answer in the affirmative.
This week marked another gratuitous prisoner release by Israel in the ersatz peace process.
These releases have generally been categorized as “confidence building measures.” Is there anyone who could define or identify any confidence built by releasing 26 murderers? The Palestinians partied with the released convicts and demanded the release of all Palestinian prisoners; Israelis felt anguish at the release and saw protests and complaints against the release of more murderers. What confidence was built by this act? None. The prisoner release is a bribe to the Palestinian leaders to continue with the worthless process of peace-making, so that they can show their base that they are getting something from the talks. The terrorists are free, the Palestinians only want more, and the Israeli leadership is put in the uncomfortable position of explaining why murderers walk free, with nothing to show for it. The Palestinians get their terrorists back, but the act has no tangible effect on the direction, good will or pace of the negotiations.
The current peace talks will enjoy the same fate as their predecessors; and ditto for any future talks. The talks will break down because even the most left-wing Israeli politician is not yet ready to commit national suicide to accommodate the minimal Palestinian demands on dividing Jerusalem, accepting indefensible borders, and welcoming anything more than some token refugees. The Palestinians will blame the Israelis, as will most of the international community. Israel will point the finger at an intransigent Palestinian Authority, and we’ll wait for the whole process to start again sometime in the future.
I would argue that the above analysis is pragmatic and not in the least pessimistic. The Palestinians have too much to lose by making peace and also play by rules not understood or appreciated by the likes of John Kerry or Catherine Ashton. The simple fact is that the Palestinian Authority today enjoys large contributions from international donors and avoids all responsibility for building a functional society designed to absorb four generations of self-made Palestinian “refugees” living in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and the like. Israel looks forward to a rosier future, one that would include peace; the Palestinian cannot see getting a better deal than they have in the present. And for that, negotiations will—again—go nowhere, however much John Kerry and his Israeli partners try to tell us otherwise.Alan Bauer
In 1969 I came to Israel to be a student at Machon Greenberg in Jerusalem. At the time I had many friends doing the year at Hebrew University. Most of them were housed in brand new dormitories, called “Shikunei Elef” at the edge of the Givat Ram campus near the orchards that separated the campus from Givat Mordechai and Bayit Vegan. The buildings were long, thin rectangles on barren land.
I spent a Shabbat with one of my friends, and in the afternoon we walked from her dorm through the orchards to Givat Mordechai to see friends of hers. Two years later I was married, a mother and we lived in a top floor walk-up on Rechov Bayit Vegan which davka overlooked Shikunei Elef. During the ten years we lived there, I was able to observe how the university’s landscaping department managed to camouflage those plain buildings.
I hadn’t seen them for a long time until last week when I visited a friend who lives in the Senior Citizens Residences of the Shalom Hotel. During the time we lived in Bayit Vegan we also saw the hotel under construction.
My friend and I went out on the terrace and I was mesmerized by the view. It was the same basic view I had from my old apartment. That’s for sure, because you can’t see our building from there. I walked around and tried to see from the sides, but it blocks our old building.
The Shalom Hotel has two buildings. In between is the swimming pool. I couldn’t get a picture of our old home. It’s blocked by the other building.
There’s so much building going on in Jerusalem.
It doesn’t matter how many apartments are built. Housing prices still go up in Jerusalem. Supply never reaches demand, because the more there is, the more people want to be in Jerusalem.
When we moved to Bayit Vegan in 1971, it was considered a suburban, almost country-like neighborhood. There’s little to remind anyone of that today, except for the tall trees in the park near our old building.
This picture is taken on Rechov Uziel, under our Rechov Bayit Vegan. Our old building is hidden by the trees. When we lived there, we were next to the large park/playground that connected the two streets. There was just an empty lot in-between us and the park. I could even see my kids playing there from our apartment. You can’t do that today. Just as we were planning our move to Shiloh building began on an apartment house on that empty lot.
Nothing stays the same in Jerusalem.
Visit Shiloh Musings.Batya Medad
President Barack Obama’s statement for Hanukkah:
Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all those celebrating Hanukkah around the world.
This Hanukkah season we remember the powerful story of the Maccabees who rose up to liberate their people from oppression. Upon discovering the desecration of their Temple, the believers found only enough oil to light the lamp for one night. And yet it lasted for eight.
Hanukkah is a time to celebrate the faith and customs of the Jewish people, but it is also an opportunity for people of all faiths to recognize the common aspirations we share. This holiday season, let us give thanks for the blessings we enjoy, and remain mindful of those who are suffering. And let us reaffirm our commitment to building a better, more complete world for all.
From our family to the Jewish Community around the world, Chag Sameach.Malkah Fleisher