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June 25, 2016 / 19 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘East Jerusalem’

Continental Chutzpah: EU Building on Israeli Land, Warning Against Demolitions

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

The European Union over the past few years has been erecting illegal structures in Area C, which according to the Oslo agreement is under Israeli control. After several rightwing NGOs have complained, the IDF set out to demolish some of those structures. By rights, they should have taken all of them down, what with their being built without a permit. Israeli media publicized the demolition of those structures, some of which actually flew the EU flag — like those mythical cat burglars who leave their personal business card in the open safe. But last week the EU chutzpah has reached unprecedented highs when Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the Danish diplomat who since 2013 has been the ambassador of the European Union to Jerusalem, met with Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Gen. Yoav Mordechai, to warn him that if Israel keeps demolishing those “Palestinian homes” it would damage relations with Brussels.

According to a senior Israeli official who spoke to Ha’aretz, the meeting was tense and loaded. The ambassador accused Israel of hurting the “weakest Palestinian populations.” What the senior official did not share was that those structures are a means by which the EU has been challenging Israel’s claim to sovereignty in Area C (the PA is currently in charge in Areas A and B). It has to do with the diametrically opposed views of Israel and the EU of what constitutes the “two-state solution.”

Essentially, the Israeli politicians who are now in government, as well as more than a few in the opposition, envision a future peace deal that turns Areas A and B into an independent Palestinian entity, either as a state or an autonomy. The same Israeli leaders envision some permanent legal solution for the upwards of 400 thousand Jews living in Judea and Samaria, all of them in Area C, most likely with Israel annexing the large settlement clusters and giving away the rest of the land.

Virtually no one outside Israel supports this idea at the moment. Even Israel’s best friends in the world envision the ousting of the Jews from Area C, possibly while allowing Israel to retain eastern Jerusalem. How would that actually be done—no one cares to say, nor where would Israel gather the tens of billions of dollars required for such a move, never mind whether the settler population would acquiesce or opt instead for resistance that would make the traumatic evacuation of 8,000 Jews from Gaza’s Gush Katif look like a picnic. Meanwhile, while Area C in Israel’s view is eventually going to be annexed as part of a peace deal — to the Europeans Area C is Palestinian land ready to be redeemed.

Which is why the EU has been relentless at challenging Israel’s claim to Area C. And it’s why they’ve come up with the delusional notion that taking down 531 illegal Arab structures in 2015, 75 of which had been built by the EU, was damaging the two-state solution. Because the two-state solution the Europeans envision is without any Jews in Area C.

For the same reason, Ambassador Faaborg-Andersen was complaining that Israel is quick to condemn and demolish those illegal structures, but at the same time refuses to give Arabs permits to build legally in Area C. Because while the Arabs view Area C as soon to be part of free Palestine, Israelis plan to keep most of it, thank you very much.

There’s going to be another meeting with the EU envoy, on June 15, this time at the Israeli foreign ministry. The Europeans are going to demand a freeze on demolishing Arab structures in Area C, while at the same time also demanding a freeze on Jewish construction in the same Area C. And at some point something will have to give.

David Israel

Attacks on Jews at Ancient Cemetery Cause Israel to Beef Up Security

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Jerusalem Municipality Finance Committee approved on Tuesday the transfer of 1.5 million shekels (nearly US$400,000) to reinforce security at Jerusalem’s ancient Mount of Olives cemetery following a rash of violence against Jewish visitors and vandalism of Jewish graves. On the same day, an Arab-Israeli man was sentenced to prison for attacking Jews on the Mount of Olives.

The Mount of Olives Jewish cemetery is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world, dating back 3,000 years to the time of the First Temple – and is still in use today. It houses some 70,000 tombs from different historical eras, including the graves of many prominent rabbis, writers, and political leaders.

The cemetery is surrounded by Arab neighborhoods such as A-Tur, Ras Al-Amud and Al-Sawana. Many Jews have been targeted over the years in and near these neighborhoods while making their way to visit the cemetery. Additionally, many graves have been torched, smashed, or sprayed with graffiti.

The new plan is intended to improve the personal safety of those ascending the mount and to prevent vandalism and desecration of the graves. It will include the construction of fences, installation of gates, and placement of additional security measures in the area of the mount.

“The Mount of Olives is a holy place which is very important to the Israeli people,” said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in a statement. “We are obligated to preserve its sanctity and the safety of its visitors. We will not allow it to be harmed and desecrated.”

Also on Tuesday, Khalil Jayousi, a 21-year-old resident of A-Tur, was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison for organizing and leading violent riots on the Mount of Olives during which pipe-bombs and firebombs were thrown at Israeli civilians and security forces.

The riots were held in the summer of 2014, following the murder of Jerusalem-Arab teenager Muhammad Abu-Khdeir by Israeli extremists and Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. Fireworks, rocks, and explosives were hurled at a Jewish home and security forces who were guarding it. In one case, fireworks were also used to attack Jewish drivers in their cars.

According to three detailed indictments filed against Jayousi at the Jerusalem District Court, he purchased and supplied arms to dozens of teenage rioters, and also actively participated in the violent riots.

Jayousi, who recently served a prison term for similar offenses, was convicted of aggravated assault, carrying and manufacturing weapons, and negligent and reckless use of explosives. According to the indictment, his actions were motivated by a desire to attack Jews.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Police Uncover Terror Weapons at Arab Falafel Store in Jerusalem

Monday, December 28th, 2015

The word “kador” in Hebrew can mean a ball, as in falafel balls, and bullets.

It meant both of those this morning when Jerusalem police swooped down on a falafel store and another location in eastern Jerusalem and found weapons stored for terror and crime.

The owner of the falafel stand is being questioned. Police found that besides chips, humus and hot pepper sauce, the falafel stand also was stockpiled with two pipe bombs, cartridges and bullets.

The other location was a courtyard next to a house. Buried in the ground was a bag containing 6 pipe bombs, 2 stun grenades, a Gustav rifle, cartridges and bullets.

The owner of the residence was arrested.

TPS News Agency adds:

This is the third time in recent months that such material has been found in seemingly innocuous locations.

In early November, detectives, assisted by sniffer dogs, located several pipe bombs, improvised guns and ammunition hidden near Jerusalem’s district court. Shortly after the incident, an Arab father and son were arrested on suspicion of having a connection to the material.

In December during an overnight raid, the IDF also discovered lethal weapons including Carlo guns, ammunition and knives concealed in a shop inside a refugee camp in Kalandiya in Jerusalem.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Masked Jerusalem Arabs Attack Police with Rocks

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Arabs from the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukahber bombarded Border Police with rocks in the adjacent Armon HaNatziv neighbor Wednesday morning.

Police forced the rioters back with riot dispersal methods.

No injuries were reported.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Rivlin Blames Everyone Except Jerusalem Arabs for Their Misery

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin delivered a passionate plea to Israeli Jews Thursday to understand that Arabs in Jerusalem “are here to stay” but did not note that they have to understand that Jews also are “here to stay.”

Speaking at the “Haaretz Peace Conference in Tel Aviv, the President also blamed both the left and right-wings in Israel for failing to develop Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem, implying that their economic and social misery is the reason for their wanting to kill Jews.

Facts that he did not state were that an overwhelming of Arabs in Jerusalem do not vote in Israeli elections, that the Palestinian Authority claims sovereignty over them but that they have shown little political interest in becoming Palestinian Authority citizens and losing their rights and benefits from the Jewish state.

President Rivlin’s most interesting comment was that the left-wing is just as much to blame as the right wing for not developing Jerusalem.

He said:

The Left, in the name of ‘separation,’ refused to invest in its neighborhoods, citing the supposed ‘transience’ hovering over the issue of a unified Jerusalem. Accordingly, the Left did not see fit to realize our sovereignty there or strive to bring equality in the living conditions between the city’s eastern and western areas. The Right, for its part, for reasons of ideological struggle and electoral unpopularity, also did not deem it proper to invest in the eastern part and thereby to unify the city in practice

Rivlin is a committed centrist. He said that Israelis understand “the limitations of the old ‘land for peace’ formula” and that Jews are “a courageous people, which justly lays claim to its right and obligation to defend itself, and not to fall into fateful mistakes in the name of a naive yearning for instant solutions to end the conflict.”

His declaration to the conference that the right wing must understand that Arabs and “Palestinians,” as he called them, are here to stay was omitted the other side of the coin that they have to accept the fact the Jewish State of Israel is here to stay.

Rivlin told the conference:

The Arabs of the Land of Israel, the Palestinians, are already here, now, by our side and in our midst, and they are not going anywhere. Separation does not make them ‘disappear’ just as Greater Israel will not ‘swallow’ them. Separation will not render them ‘invisible’ or ‘non-hostile.’ and Greater Israel will not make them fond of us or make them our friends.

When the President of Israel calls Jerusalem Arabs “Palestinians” he fuels a disconnect with Israel and feeds their trying to identify with the Palestinian Authority.

In the same breath, he appealed to Arab youth not to turn to violence to solve their problems.

He far from justified Arab violence but implied that it can be understood because, in his words, “We froze and repressed dealing with eastern Jerusalem in the present – and thereby literally abandoned the security of its Jewish inhabitants and the welfare of its Arab inhabitants.

“Is there really anyone, on the Right or Left, who thinks that if in the eastern section of Jerusalem, if more than 70 percent of its inhabitants live below the poverty line, that this advances Israel’s interests or the security of the city’s Jewish inhabitants?”

After having explained why he thinks Arabs are violent, and without a hint of Islamic clerics’ preaching for “martyrdom,” the radical Islamic Movement’s hate Israel message or daily Palestinian Authority incitement, President Rivlin pleaded for peace and said:

I wish to reach out to the Palestinian youth. I say to you, choosing death is not a way out. For too many years blood has been shed like water on this land. Mankind – all mankind – was created in the image of God. No blood is redder than any other.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Knesset Bill Would Label Products from EU Boycotters

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a label for a label.

Likud Knesset Member Miki Zohar has introduced a bill that would require importers to label all products from European Union countries that stamp goods from Judea and Samaria in an effort to discourage people from buying them.

The European Union two months ago overwhelmingly voted for labeling products from Judea and Samaria, “East Jerusalem” and the Golan Heights, distinguishing them from the rest of Israel. EU officials claimed that the labeling is not a boycott but only implements EU policy that considers those areas as “occupied territory” and not a part of Israel.

Under provisions in MK Zohar’s bill, anyone who does not label goods from European countries would face six months in prison or pay a fine of $3,700 (14.400 shekels)

He said:

Boycott Israel groups in Europe cynically use expressions such as ‘human rights’ and ‘war against the Israeli occupation,’ but their political agenda is to boycott Israel and undermine the country as a Jewish state.

If the European Union countries label pour predicts, we should take the same step so that the Israeli consumer can choose if he wants to buy predicts from countries that boycott us and instead can boycott in return.

He added that the EU policy is “gross hypocrisy” that is two-faced because the Boycott Israel movement ignores other countries such as China and Turkey that rule areas that are considered “‘occupied territory.”

MK Michael Oren of the Kulanu party carried out his own “label for a label” action Wednesday by placing “Made in Europe” stickers on European-made products sold in stores a Jerusalem neighborhood.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Jerusalem Challenges US with Building Freeze on Arabs as Well as Jews

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

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.

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.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jerusalem-challenges-us-with-building-freeze-on-arabs-as-well-as-jews/2015/11/02/

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