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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘East Jerusalem’

Israel Bows to PA and EU Threat, Stops Building in ‘East’ Jerusalem

Monday, June 10th, 2013

The European Union, which is one of the Palestinian Authority’s biggest benefactors, has succeeded in forcing Israel from building even one new home of Jews in areas of Jerusalem claimed by the PA, although the number of new housing starts in Judea and Samaria has tripled.

No official building freeze has been announced, but reports of a defacto freeze surfaced at the beginning of the year and were confirmed Monday by Army Radio and by sources at the Israel Land Authority. Plans for Jewish construction projects have been suspended in eastern, northern and southern Jerusalem, all of which the Palestinian Authority says will be part of a new PA country.

In stark contrast, housing starts in Judea and Samaria tripled in the first three months of this year.

The Palestinian Authority threatened last month it would sue Israel if dared to build even one more home for Jews in what is popularly termed eastern Jerusalem.

The European Union then went to bat PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and vowed it would back a suit against Israel in The Hague, as reported here.

Now that Abbas and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry know that Israel can be successful threatened on the diplomatic front, it remains to be seen if Kerry can succeed in satisfying Abbas’ demand for a total freeze as a condition to direct talks with the Netanyahu government.

Kerry was supposed to fly to Israel in Tuesday but has postponed his fifth trip to Israel this year until next week.

Two totally unrelated reasons for the postponement have been cited by different news sources.

Kerry presumably put off the trip due to urgent meetings on the question of whether the Obama administration will begin arming rebels in Syria, according to the Christian Broadcast Network. It also noted that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu plans to visit Poland for two days this week.

The Israel HaYom newspaper said the reason is simply that Kerry wants to give Abbas more time to think twice and removed his pre-conditions for direct talks with Israel.

The Palestinian Excuse Machine

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry’s effort to revive the Middle East peace process hasn’t accomplished much so far and isn’t likely to do better in the future. But it has posed an interesting challenge to the Palestinians.

Given that they don’t wish to further offend the United States or disrupt the flow of Western aid that keeps the corrupt Palestinian Authority afloat, and also don’t wish to return to negotiating with Israel under virtually any circumstances, how do they justify continuing their four-and-half-year-old boycott of peace talks?

Their answer to that dilemma is clear: continue to pile on the calumnies against the Jewish state and hope it will be seen to justify their ongoing refusal to even talk with Israel.

Their reasoning for sticking to this tried and true formula for avoiding peace talks is sound. Given that both Washington and much of the Western media have always been ready to buy into their abuse of Israel and to stick to the idea that the Palestinians are innocent victims rather than the principle authors of their own misery, why shouldn’t they continue to pretend that Israeli building in Jerusalem is an obstacle to peace that prevents them from returning to the table?

Anyone who is familiar with the parameters of past peace talks that they claim to wish to build on understands that their complaints about Jews in Jerusalem or canards about ethnic cleansing are not only false but simply excuses manufactured to justify their unwillingness to play ball with Kerry.

The Palestinian complaints about Israeli building in East Jerusalem dooming peace talks are patently absurd. The plans, which consist of tenders for the construction of 300 apartments in the Ramot neighborhood and 800 in the Gilo area, would in no way affect the Palestinian position or their hopes for an independent state that might include part of the city.

Ramot and Gilo are located in parts of Jerusalem that were illegally occupied by Jordan from 1949 to 1967 and thus are over the “green line” that once divided the city. But these are 40-year-old neighborhoods that are long established, not some remote hilltop settlements in parts of the West Bank that are assumed to be part of a future Palestinian state.

In every peace plan put forward by peace groups as well as the Israeli government’s offers of statehood to the Palestinians, the Jewish areas of East Jerusalem remain part of Israel. The Palestinians know that even in the most generous distribution of territory – including the one put forward by former prime minister Ehud Olmert in 2008 that called for the abandonment of the Old City by Israel – Ramot and Gilo and other such neighborhoods are not going to be handed over to them and emptied of their Jewish inhabitants.

In other words, if the Palestinian goal is truly to have a state alongside Israel that includes the Arab sections of East Jerusalem, it doesn’t matter how many Jews are in Ramot and Gilo.

But of course the PA isn’t really as interested in a partition of Jerusalem or the 1967 lines as it is in finding a reason to avoid talking to Israel. That’s why PA leaders are forced to try to blow up the issue of Jews in East Jerusalem as a provocation that prevents them from negotiating.

To be fair to the Palestinians, they are in some ways merely following the lead of the Obama administration, which made an issue of building in Jerusalem during the president’s first term. Fortunately, though, Obama and Kerry have abandoned past attempts to get Israel to agree to a building freeze in its own capital and instead urged the Palestinians to negotiate without preconditions.

But that is something PA leader Mahmoud Abbas knows he cannot do. Abbas fled from Olmert’s offer that would have given him virtually everything he says he wants because he knows he would not survive after signing a deal that recognized the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders would be drawn.

Despite Kerry’s naïve optimism that he can succeed where all his predecessors have failed, the intervening years have not altered Abbas’s position. With his Hamas rivals ensconced in Gaza and his own political position still precarious as he serves the ninth year of his four-year term as president, Abbas has no leeway to agree to a peace that would conclude the conflict.

Palestinian politics remains mired in the rejectionism that has characterized its relationship toward Zionism since its inception. Nor is Abbas strong enough to resist the demands of the descendants of the 1948 refugees for Israel’s destruction even if he really were willing to make peace.

But faced with Kerry’s pleas for talks, all Abbas can do is to stall and pretend that Jews building in areas the Palestinians will never get even in a division of Jerusalem is reason to avoid talking. Both Washington and the Western press shouldn’t fall for the latest version of the PA’s excuses.

Wisdom From Tom Friedman

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Here is Tom Friedman’s latest wisdom:

…the world for the most part would not begrudge Israel keeping its forces on the Jordan River — as will be necessary given the instability beyond — if it ceded most of the West Bank and Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.

Well, I do not know about the “world” but the Pals. would certainly not agree.

That was dumb of Tom, no?

P.S.  Are there “Jewish neighborhoods” of “East Jerusalem”?

Can we retain those?

One Jerusalemite Recalls Dark Years under Jordanian Rule

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

“It felt like Messiah had come,” says Avigail Shlesinger, 81, about the day Jerusalem was liberated from Jordanian Legion rule, 46 years ago.

Shlesinger, who is a sixth-generation Jerusalemite, recalls what life was like in the Holy City during the time the Jordanians were in control of East Jerusalem, from 1949 to 1967. “It was a dangerous era,” she tells Tazpit News Agency. “There were areas in the city, like King George Street, where barriers had to be built to stop the bullets that Jordanian soldiers would shoot at us.”

“We felt like we were living under siege. It was dangerous to ride on busses and cars because stray bullets could hit anytime,” Shlesinger continues.

“When Jerusalem became reunited, I remember feeling that a very small city had suddenly become large.”

During the Jordanian rule, Jews were denied access to the Old City and Jewish holy sites such as the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, while Christians were granted only limited access to their sites. The Jordanians expelled all the Jewish residents of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and destroyed 58 synagogues and yeshivas. On the Mount of Olives, 38,000 Jewish tombstones were destroyed, and used to pave roads, build fences, and lay down latrine floors for the Jordanian army.

Shlessinger recalls that her grandfather’s yeshiva Torat Chaim, established by Rabbi Yitzchak Winograd in 1886, was the only yeshiva in the Old City that wasn’t burned down by the Jordanians. An Arab guard protected the yeshiva and safeguarded 3,000 holy books and the Torah Ark until the yeshiva students returned when the city was reunified.

For three millennia, since the time of King David, Jerusalem remained the center of Jewish faith. And after the Six Day War, for the first time in two thousand years, Jerusalem had come under Jewish sovereignty once more. The Israeli government mandated at that time that everyone, regardless of religious affiliation, has the right to visit all holy places within Israel.

Jerusalem Day, or Yom Yerushalayim in Hebrew, marks the anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem and is being celebrated on the 28th of Iyar, which this year falls on May 8.

“We went from darkness to light,” concludes Shlesinger. “Today I appreciate Jerusalem so much – just to be able to walk safely on the streets and to pray at the Kotel anytime I want. My grandchildren carry Israeli flags and march in the Jerusalem Day parades. On Jerusalem Day, we celebrate the fact that this city has been home to eight generations of our family.”

Jerusalem Landfill Plan Shelved

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

A zoning plan that would have enabled the creation of critical Arab facts-on-the-ground in a strategically vital area of Jerusalem has been shelved thanks to efforts by several Zionist organizations.

The rejected plan involves a tract of land outside Anatot, north of the Old City and south of Pisgat Ze’ev, and also east of French Hill and northwest of the in-the-news E-1 area outside Maaleh Adumim. As reported here several months ago, a proposal was raised to build a landfill there, at the western edge of the Og River bed, for surplus construction waste. The goal was to reserve the area for use as a public park 20 years from now – thus supposedly insuring that the land would not be populated by hostile elements, and preventing Maaleh Adumim from turning into an Arab-surrounded enclave.

However, many Jewish groups feared that the idea was bound to boomerang: The only ones who would be prevented from building there would be those who follow the law – namely, Jews. But Arab elements would certainly follow their general modus operandi and build houses without legal sanction. The bottom line, it was feared, would be a greatly strengthened Arab presence in an area critical to national Jewish demographics.

In addition, the Israel Land Fund, the Legal Forum and Green Now filed environmental and property-rights objections to the plan. “The property is owned by Jews, and they should be allowed to build there,” said a source close to the case. “We don’t need a park there in 20 years; we need Jewish construction there now.”

This past week, the Jerusalem Municipality informed the three groups that a scheduled discussion of the plan had been canceled, and that the plan is being withdrawn.

The very fact that such a plan was submitted and considered, however, shows us once again that we must continue to fight in every venue to ensure Jewish national rights to every part of the Land of Israel – even 65 years after the establishment of Israel.

This lesson is all the more poignant as we celebrate Yom Yerushalayim – the anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War 46 years ago.

The Jewish people’s bonds with the Holy City are unshakable, to be sure – but they may have weakened ever so slightly over recent decades. Consider the following commitment expressed in 1949 by Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, in an urgent letter to foreign minister Moshe Sharett. Sharett was then in New York, and the United Nations was considering a proposal to grant control of Jerusalem to an international body.

Ben-Gurion wrote as follows: “I will propose in tomorrow’s government meeting the following government declaration in the Knesset: Israel will not accept any form of foreign rule in Jewish Jerusalem and its elimination from the state. If we face a choice of leaving Jerusalem or leaving the United Nations – we will chose to leave the United Nations.”

The 28th day of Iyar, 5727 – June 7, 1967 – was the day the Jewish people regained control over their holy capital, Yerushalayim. It marked the end of a 1,833 year period during which we were foreigners in our own capital city.

Despite Jordan’s lack of official status, Israel had no plans to oust the Jordanians from the Old City, even after war broke out. Though Jordan shelled Tel Aviv on the first day of the war, Israel assumed this was just a gesture of solidarity with Egypt, and sent a message promising not to attack Jordan if it stayed out of the war. In probably the one act of his life he most regretted, King Hussein refused; within two days his forces had retreated across the Jordan River, and all the area west of it, including the Old City of Jerusalem, was Israel’s.

Seven months later, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel set the date of 28 Iyar as a “day of thanksgiving to God for the miracles that occurred on that day, and for the liberation of Jerusalem.” The Government of Israel followed suit in May 1968, setting the date as Jerusalem Day.

For 30 years, the holiday was a “local” one, until May 1998, when the Knesset granted it the status of a national holiday.

As with all of our holidays, the question we must ask ourselves afterward is not “How did it go?” but rather, “What did it do for you – what effect did it leave upon you?”  We must make sure to commemorate Jerusalem Day with sincere thanks to God for the miracles He wrought in our generation, and we must redouble our genuine appreciation for the historic national process in which God has placed us: He promised the Land to our Patriarchs, brought us there amidst great wonders, exiled us when we strayed from the path, and promised to return us at the right time – and here we are! The process is still just in its beginning; it is up to us, on many fronts, to advance it along.

5 Arabs Indicted for Temple Mount Shooting Plot

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

The Jerusalem District Attorney on Thursday filed in District Court an indictment against five young residents of East Jerusalem, accused of participating in a conspiracy to commit kidnapping and shooting attacks against Jewish civilians in the city. According to the indictment, in February the group leader, Nur Hamdan, decided to launch a shooting attack on Jews coming to pray on the Temple Mount and against the police in East Jerusalem.

The indictment says that Hamdan recruited a gang of four young residents of Ras al-Amud and of a-Tur. To reach the recruits, Hamdan was in touch with the Hamas military wing, the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigade, and Fatah’s military arm, The Al-Aqsa martyrs Brigade, and with terrorists in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Those organizations gave their support to the new gang with training and weapons to carry out the plan.

During the months of February and March, the gang members, most of them in their 20s, held meetings in which they drew plans to shoot Jewish worshipers on the Temple Mount and police forces stationed in Jerusalem. Also, the members planned to kidnap a Jew in order to take his gun and kill him, and then commit more criminal offenses.

According to the indictment, early last month two defendants, Imad Shaar and Jalal Qutub, planned to grab a Jews and kill him in order to obtain his weapon. They decided to ride between pickup stands for hitchhikers, and welcome into their vehicle an armed Jewish civilian (many Israeli civilians who live east of the green line carry handguns), grab his weapon and then murder him.

The two men, along with defendant Amjad Razem, drove two vehicles towards the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood, with one of them carrying a weapon. They picked up a Jewish civilian who was at a bus stop, looking to reach the Adam settlement. But once it became clear that their passenger did not carry a weapon, the defendants dropped him at the entrance to his destination.

So, really, the only thing the terrorist gang actually managed to execute is giving a lift to a Jew.

During his interrogation by the General Security Service, the head of the cell confessed to planning to carry out military operations on the Temple Mount, “to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” The plan was inspired by videos bio he had watched on You Tube about attacks carried out in Jerusalem, especially the attack against the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in 2008.

According to the indictment, Hamdan contacted the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Gaza and Shchem, and asked for assistance to carry out a shooting attack against security forces on the Temple Mount. He later recruited his friends, Omar Wazwaz, Shaer and Qutub, who live in aTur, for the attack.

Members of the cell carried out several gun target practices near the Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, and were planning to go to Shchem to meet with a local Tanzim terrorist, to ask him for assistance with weapons and money for their activities.

The indictment also states that two guns, magazines and a pipe bomb were seized from the home of another defendant, Firas Dajani, a resident of aTur.

PA Stats Reveals 3% of Arabs Are Drug Addicts

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Approximately one of every 30 Arabs in areas claimed by the Palestinian Authority is a drug addict, according to statistics reported by the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency Monday.

The Arab population of Judea and Samaria, along with those living in eastern, southern and northern Jerusalem, is estimated by Israeli demographers at slightly more than 1.5 million.

Maan reported that the PA health ministry stated that its population includes 50,000 drug addicts.

Anti-drugs campaigner Abdul Jabbar Yaraqan told Ma’an last year that Israel is to blame for part of the drug addiction problem in Jerusalem because it allegedly has intentionally abandoned dealing with the problem.

Is Sheikh Jarrah Actually the Biblical Town of Nob?

Monday, January 21st, 2013

As I have published before, the campaign of solidarity with the Arab residents of Sheikh Jarrah (has it fizzled out?) is one big cheat on Jewish history, Jewish property rights on the one hand, while, on the other, a cover-up for Arab ethnic cleansing and theft of identity.

I have now found a recent article which adds one more quite interesting element to the affair. It’s by Professor Boaz Zissu, and appeared in the Israel Exploration Journal (IEJ 62 (2012), pp. 54–70):

Excavations near Nahmanides Cave in Jerusalem and the Question of the Identification of Biblical Nob 

The article discusses the possibility of the identification of a conjectured residency location with biblical Nob and situating it in the higher areas of the American Colony or of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Here’s a map to get oriented:

Professor Zissu explains:

IN June 2001, a salvage excavation was conducted in the upper section of Kidron Valley (known in Arabic as Wadi al-Joz and in Hebrew as Na¢al Ha-Egoz), some 50 m. north of Nahmanides Cave…Among the ancient features scattered on both banks of the valley are open limestone quarries and burial caves, including the Cave of Simeon the Just and the Minor Sanhedrin Cave from the Second Temple period, both of which have been investigated in the past.  Nahmanides Cave, mentioned in the past by Dalman (1930: 180) and Pierotti, who published a drawing of it (1864: pl. 57), derives its name from a medieval Jewish tradition that Nahmanides used to pray in it after moving to Jerusalem c. 1267 (Vilnay 2004: 177–178). It is a huge underground limestone quarry…

He then points out that Nov (1 Sam. 22:19; Isa. 10:28–32; Neh. 11:32) was conjectured to be north of Jerusalem lends credence to the possibility the indeed the biblical town of Nob could be located at this site “because of the proximity of this place to the walls of the capital.”

Moreover,

Jerusalem was in sight from Nob: ‘This very day shall he halt at Nob, waving his hand at the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem’ (Isa. 10:28–32)…In the days of the Restoration Period, Nob is mentioned as one of the localities in the region of Benjamin (Neh. 11:32), situated south of Gibªeah (Tell el-Ful), near ªAnatot (identified as modern ªAnata) and ªAnaniah (identified with the village of el-ªAzzariyeh).

As for the archaeology,

Robinson believed that Nob should be located upon the ridge of the Mount of Olives…Albright looked for Nob at Ras el-Mesarif (Mount Scopus) or at at-Tur (atop of the Mount of Olives)…Aharoni identified Nob at ªIsawiyeh (1968: 340, 356), while Eshel located it at Shuªafat (1987). These identifications are, however, unlikely, since no archaeological finds have been uncovered to support them and, moreover, they do not overlook Jerusalem. Barkay, Fantalkin and Tal suggested locating Nob at Givªat Shapira (2002:65–66)…

and concludes

The two possible locations suggested here — the area of the American Colony or the Sheikh Jarra¢ neighbourhood — are both topographically high, thus providing a view of Jerusalem, as described in Isaiah.

So, another case of national identity theft by Arabs and their supporters.

Visit My Right Word.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/my-right-word/is-sheikh-jarrah-actually-the-biblical-town-of-nob/2013/01/21/

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