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August 28, 2016 / 24 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘eastern Jerusalem’

Rivlin Recommends Building Sideways in Order to Move Forward Towards Peace

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

In a curious opinion piece in the Dec. 8 edition of the Washington Post, Israel’s President Reuben (Ruvy) Rivlin acknowledges that, at the moment, nothing is happening or can happen, on the “peace” path. He phrases it cleverly: “no currently viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Rivlin is in the United States for an official state visit. Presumably, he wanted Americans to know where he stands on the most significant issue: the Israeli-Arab conflict. Although Rivlin is a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, the two men are not, shall we say, simpatico.

But pointing out that Rivlin is not BFFs with Bibi is not to suggest that his approach to dealing with the so-called “peace process” is dramatically different than is Netanyahu’s. However, it may be much easier, particularly for American Democrats, to abide a message coming from Rivlin that they could not tolerate listening to if it came from Netanyahu.

And Rivlin’s suggestions are reasonable and, for the most part, attainable.

He mentions three steps he believes Israel should take: first, it should support the building of the new Palestinian Arab city, Rawabi, the first planned city for Palestinian Arabs. Rawabi, financed by Qatar, is located near Ramallah and is expected to ultimately house around 40,000 people.

Rivlin says that even if there is no Palestinian Arab partner for peace, Rawabi is something Israelis should support, not only or even necessarily because it is good for the Palestinian Arabs, but because, he wrote, it is in Israel’s interest.

It is worth noting that Rawabi’s developer, Palestinian Arab multi-millionaire Bashar al-Masri, required all contractors working on the project to “sign an agreement refusing to use Israeli products originating from the settlements or work in the settlements themselves.”

The second suggestion Rivlin offers is one that has already been proposed and is under consideration: all Israelis should learn Arabic in school. That makes sense for all kinds of important reasons, including ones that are purely beneficial to Israel. Which is not what Rivlin says, but it is nonetheless true.

The third suggestion is also a good one, at least in the abstract, but the possibility of moving forward on this front is laden with many more obstacles.

Not surprisingly, this suggestion has to do with Jerusalem.

Rivlin admonishes both the left and the right wings of the Israeli public for neglecting the infrastructure in the predominantly Palestinian Arab eastern half of Jerusalem. Rivlin criticizes the Israeli right for “internal political differences,” and the Israeli left for supporting a hardline Arab ideology of “political separation.”

Rivlin puts it this way:

Thus, in debating the future, we have neglected to deal with eastern parts of Jerusalem in the present — and thereby literally abandoned the security of Jewish inhabitants and the welfare of Arab ones. Does anyone think that dealing with the sewage, roads, schools and medical centers of eastern Jerusalem can or should wait until the end of the conflict? Is there anyone who thinks the consequences of these economic disparities in the city will stop at genuine or fictitious political borders? At concrete walls or fences? Or as a result of this or that agreement on sovereignty?

Makes sense, until you consider the reality.

It is hard to imagine the willingness of either side to invest financially in the eastern part of Jerusalem given the vandalism and terrorism currently rampant, and the future still unknown.

Rivlin’s suggestion puts one in mind of asking the Parisian government to invest heavily in the high immigration (from Northern Africa and the Middle East) war zones known as the banlieues. It is only going to get worse before it gets better.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Austrian Minister Refuses to Meet Israeli Official in Eastern Jerusalem

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Austrian Science Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner has cancelled a meeting scheduled for next week with his Israeli counterpart in eastern Jerusalem because it is in “occupied” territory.”

Israeli Science Minister Ofir Akunis said Friday:

Either the meeting will take place in eastern Jerusalem or it won’t take place anywhere. Austria will not divide Jerusalem.

With all due respect to the Austrian minister, Jerusalem has been the united capital of Israel since 3,000 year ago…. If I were to accept his demand, it would be as if I were dividing Jerusalem, something that never will happen.

We are not going to divide Jerusalem just like Austria is not going to divide Vienna.

Akunis and Mitterlehner were to sign scientific agreements, but meeting with an Israeli official in eastern Jerusalem is contrary to the European position on Jerusalem as well as the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria, despite a large Jewish presence in ares of Jerusalem that the West does not recognize as Israeli..

The only prominent Western official to have met Israeli officials in eastern Jerusalem is Canada’s John Baird, when he was a minister in 2013 and met with Tzipi Livni at her Justice Ministry offices. The Palestinian Authority angrily condemned Canada for the meeting.

Mitterlehner’s snub of united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is no different from that of other European and American official who also do not meet with Israeli counterparts in areas they do not recognize.

The difference this time is the one of timing as well as the official reaction by Akunis, a strongly nationalist Likud minister. Israel is taking the offense against last month’s European Union Commission decision that prohibit the “Made in Israel” label from appearing on products made by Jews in the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria.

The Commission now requires the labels to read “made in settlements.”

Austria is one of the countries that is accelerating moves to adopt the policy, the Austrian DerStandard reported Friday.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, one of the leaders in the move to label “settlement” products, was forced to cancel a visit to Israel after the office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who officially also is Foreign Minister, said he would not meet with the Belgian official.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Terrorist Who Shot Soldier Was PA Intelligence Officer

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

This morning’ shooting attack on an IDF soldier was carried out by none other than an intelligence officer for the Palestinian Authority.

The terrorist opened fire at the Hizme checkpoint at the entrance to northern Jerusalem, lightly wounding one soldier. An Arab bystander suffered serious wounds in the crossfire.

Soldiers at the checkpoint killed the Palestinian Authority intelligence officer/terrorist, who was part of the PA “preventive security service.”

He was identified as Mazen Hassan Aribah, father of four and from the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Dis, a hotbed of terror.

The IDF and the Palestinian Authority coordinate in the area of security, for the benefit for the endangered Abbas regime as much as for the protection of Israelis.

Neither the Palestinian Authority nor the IDF has commented on the incident, which blows a big hole in the idea that the PA has vetted out terrorists, especially from its force that is supposed to prevent terror.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Terrorists Sentenced for Plotting to Kill Jews on Temple Mount, Police on Patrol

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Three Jerusalem Arabs were sentenced to prison terms on Monday for plotting to kill Jews on the Temple Mount, and security forces as they patrolled so-called “eastern Jerusalem” neighborhoods.

According to the indictment the leader of the cell, Nor Hamdan, 24, allegedly recruited the defendants and others to form a terror cell after deciding in February 2013 to attack security forces in Jerusalem and Jews who visited the Temple Mount “to pray.”

Under questioning Hamdan confessed that he intended to “defend the Al Aqsa Mosque.”

According to a statement by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) the members of the terror cell reside in the A-Tur and Ras Al-Amud sections of Jerusalem, and in the Old City. Hamdan received training, guidance and weapons from terror organizations in Judea, Samaria and Gaza with whom he was in contact, according to the indictment.

The Shin Bet added that Hamdan was influenced by YouTube videos of past terrorist attacks that he saw on the Internet channel. One that particularly caught his eye was the shooting attack on Jerusalem’s Merkaz HaRav yeshiva in 2008. Eight Israelis were murdered in the attack. The terror cell was comprised of six members: • Nor Hamdan, leader of the cell, who has not yet been sentenced • Amjad Ra’azam, not yet sentenced • Omar VuzVuz, not yet sentenced • Jalal Koutoub, convicted on charges of assisting the enemy in wartime, conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping, two counts of attempted murder, abduction for the purpose of murder and other crimes. Sentenced to a prison term of 13 years. • Muhammed Sha’ar, convicted on charges of assisting the enemy in wartime, attempted robbery; sentenced to a prison term of 4.5 years. • Ahmad Bazalmit, convicted on charges of conspiracy to assist the enemy in wartime and attempted robbery; sentenced to a prison term of 3.5 years.

According to the Shin Bet statement, the terrorists “began firearms training with a handgun near Qalandia” and later planned to steal weapons from police officers in A-Turn.

In one incident the terrorists also briefly considered ambushing a police vehicle but were themselves caught off guard by police instead, according to the indictment.

Hana Levi Julian

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

State Dept Press Pool Suggest Israeli Security Move is ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ and Wrong

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

In the wake of a wave of vicious brutality unleashed on innocent Israelis by Arab Palestinian terrorists drunk on the lies told them by their political and religious leaders, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised the possibility of a serious punishment for the stabbings, shootings and car rammings. The response from some quarters suggest Israelis have no right to self-defense, and should perhaps just turn the other cheek. Wrong religion.

Netanyahu suggested that perhaps it was time to strip Arabs living in eastern Jerusalem of their Israeli identity cards.  Most of the terrorists responsible for the recent violence come from almost exclusively Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem, such as Shuafat and Jabal Mukaber.

What Netanyahu said when he raised the topic two weeks ago during a cabinet meeting was: “We need to examine the possibility of canceling their residency. There needs to be a discussion about it.”  Such a discussion was necessary, he said, because it is a lawless area, with “no enforcement.”

The cabinet members decided to hold a special session to further discuss the matter.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the public discussion of residency restrictions, some Israelis say the violence has already begun to diminish.

But having raised the issue of the potential restrictive measure at the height of the violence, the story took on a life of its own. Some Arab outlets already announced that the decision was made and Israel decided to withdraw the identity cards of 80,000 Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem.

In the State Department press briefing discussion about this matter on Monday, of course, the message was distorted as well.

Ever-ready to paint Israel as the evil wrongdoer, Al Quds’ journalist Said Arikat asked State Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby about the security measure at Monday’s briefing.

Said Arikat. State Dept. Press Briefing, Oct. 26, 2015.

Said Arikat. State Dept. Press Briefing, Oct. 26, 2015.

Arikat said of the proposed security measure, “stripping 80,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites from their identity card, basically cutting them off outside of the wall,” and Arikat sought a response. “Do you have a comment on that?

That’s fine, Arikat is entitled to ask for a comment.

But then he went one step further: “Does that amount to some sort of ethnic cleansing from Jerusalem?”

This is what Arikat does. He introduces a poisonous phrase into the briefing room, a phrase likely to linger in the ears of those so inclined, a phrase that may very well appear in the reports filed by others in the room. It also spurs others to respond to that image, and to ask questions, and give answers, in light of that phrase permeating the atmosphere.

To his credit, initially the spokesperson declined to respond, uttering those magic talking points of the “expectations of all sides that they’ll avoid provocative actions and rhetoric and being to work cooperatively to restore calm.”

But the press group just couldn’t let it go.

Soon, Brad Klapper of the Associated Press stepped in, taking his cue from Arikat. Klapper, sitting in his elder sidekick Matt Lee’s seat, assumed a mien of incredulity, and asked a question as if he were in a session on Applied Ethics instead of a government briefing room.

Klapper intoned:”But rhetoric aside, just the idea of stripping tens of thousands of people of the right to move about where they currently move about, work where they may currently work, travel where they may currently travel – is that something that – provocative or not, is that something you just oppose because you think it’s wrong?”

Brad Klapper of the Associated Press

Brad Klapper of the Associated Press

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

New Arab Claim on Susiya: History Begins When Arabs Settled

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Arabs have raised a new claim on “Arab Susiya,” located in the southern Hebron Hills, based on an alleged 1881 document from the time of the Ottoman Empire.

The tiny area of Susiya, as The JewishPress.com reported here last week, has become a critical case that could determine the future of the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The IDF has issued orders to destroy several European Union and leftist-funded tents and structures on “Arab Susiya.” If the Palestinian Authority wins an appeal against the orders, it would pave the way for Arabs to dig up claims on every inch of land in Israel.

Israel aerial photos and academic researcher have refuted previous claims that Arabs lived on Susiya in recent years, Haaretz reported on Sunday that an Arab lawyer has dug up an Ottoman-Empire-era document in the Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration, that the “Jabri” family had a deed for “land near Susiya” in 1881.

Even if the claim were valid, it does not mean that Arabs can build without permits, but it would allow them to use the land for agriculture.

Haaretz noted that previous deeds from a century ago are problematic because they do not clearly define land boundaries.

The claim of a document from 1881 is strange because the Jabri family was one of the heads of the city of Hebron, 12 miles away by road. Susiya was not exactly Boardwalk on the Hebron land board; it was not even on the board at all.

The southern Hebron Hills is a barren mountain desert area. A family in Hebron would have no apparent reason to buy or lease land in Susiya.

But if the deed really is true, it exposes the Palestinian Authority as claiming that history begins only when Arabs settle land.

If Arabs wants to start digging into history before the re-establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, then all recorded documents have to be honored.

For example, using 1881 as a starting point, there are dozens of recorded land purchases by Jews of land in such places as Gaza, Gush Etzion and the Silwan Valley in “eastern Jerusalem.”

If Arabs want to use historical land deeds as a basis for claims, and since they accept the Five Books of Moses as a prelude to the Prophet Mohammed, then there is no argument that Abraham bought the Patriarchs’ Cave in Hebron, King David, Jacob (Yaakov) bought Shechem (Nablus) and King David bought Jerusalem.

Islam began in the 7th century, hundreds of years after Jews settled the country.

The Palestinian Authority wants it both ways. If it can find a document that Arabs paid taxes on land or even owned it, it claims that is proof the land is theirs.

If they don’t have a deed, they claim it is their “ancient homeland.”

Their meaning of “ancient” is when Arabs first appears on the scene.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-arab-claim-on-susiya-history-begins-when-arabs-settled/2015/07/27/

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