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November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Givat HaMatos’

Peace Now Founder’s Firm Builds Over ‘Green Line’ in Jerusalem

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Peace Now co-founder Tzali Reshef may passionately defend his organization’s position against construction in areas outside the 1949 Armistice Line (“Green Line”) — but in his other life Reshef’s company invests in the lucrative building trade to be found in those exact same areas in Jerusalem.

The disparity emerged last week following Reshef’s debate on Israel’s Channel 2 television with Dani Dayan, entrepreneur and former chairman of the Judea and Samaria Council of Jewish Communities (Yesha Council). Reshef, 61, served as a Labor MK from August 2002 to February 2003. Today he is a successful businessman who heads Arledan Investments, Ltd and its subsidiary, Keter Publishing House.

The issue under discussion between the two men was the construction of a new neighborhood – Givat HaMatos — in southern Jerusalem, near Gilo and on the “other side” of the 1949 Armistice Line.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has slammed what he called a “deliberate” attempt by the radical leftist Peace Now movement to sabotage his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday. The group deliberately publicly railed about a published tender notifying Israelis of the final approval for construction of housing in the Givat HaMatos neighborhood, a years-old project that had already won its initial approval in 2011.

The group’s “leak” was timed to coincide with Netanyahu’s meeting at the White House, where it did indeed create a firestorm of outrage, as Peace Now intended.  White House press secretary Josh Earnest condemned the project, saying it would “call into question Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki issued a similar condemnation.

Notably, “The truth is that there is no private Palestinian land in this plan,” Peace Now admits on its website. “The lands included in the plan are state lands and tenders to these plans will be published by the state, similarly to the case in Har Homa, Gilo, Ramot and other neighborhoods,” according to the site. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced that in Givat HaMatos, plans include construction of housing for Arab residents as well.

As co-founder of the radical leftist movement, Reshef presents himself to the Israeli public as someone passionately opposed to building new Jewish neighborhoods or communities – or any construction in those that exist, including expansion – in areas claimed by the Palestinian Authority for its hoped-for state. Among those territories are areas that were forcibly occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967 and won by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War (Judea, Samaria, Jordan Valley, and about half of Jerusalem.)

Last week, Peace Now executive director Yariv Oppenheimer openly blamed Israel’s prime minister for U.S. President Barack Obama’s outrage at the construction of new Israeli homes in the neighborhood, saying “He is responsible for authorizing building in sensitive areas like Givat HaMatos.”

Likewise, during last week’s televised debate with Dani Dayan, Reshef said bluntly that construction in “East Jerusalem” sabotages peace, is an anti-patriotic act, and called it an “abomination.”

Jewish Press.com tried several times to contact Reshef by phone to request elaboration on those remarks, but failed to reach him.

“Fine. That’s his opinion and he is entitled to it,” commented Dayan in an exclusive interview with JewishPress.com on Monday evening. “But I was shocked to discover the day after our debate that Reshef’s company, “Arledan,” actually initiated construction projects in Gilo and French Hill – two major neighborhoods located over the ‘Green Line.’ ”

In fact, Arledan’s website is quite clear that the firm is proud of its accomplishments, and apparently rightfully so.

Arledan shows off its properties in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.

Arledan shows off its properties in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.

One of Israel’s leading public investment companies, Arledan began as a private corporation, acting primarily as a real estate developer. But it went public in 1981, with shares now trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Arledan acts as a developer for properties that it owns and also rents out various commercial and residential properties, to quote the company’s site, “primarily in the city of Jerusalem. Some of the projects Arledan has successfully developed over the years include residential projects in the neighborhoods of French Hill, Gilo, Givat Oranim and Mevaseret Zion, as well as residential and commercial projects in downtown Jerusalem.” (italics added for emphasis)

OU Rejects US Govt’s Criticism of Jews Buying Homes in Jerusalem

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

On Thursday, Oct. 2,  the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, strongly rejected statements made by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki with regard to Israeli plans for housing construction in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Givat HaMatos and Israeli Jews purchasing houses in the neighborhood of Silwan.

Commenting on these matters, Earnest stated: “This development [in Givat HaMatos] will only draw condemnation…” and “It also would call into question Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.” He further condemned “the recent occupation of residential buildings in the neighborhood of Silwan by people whose agenda provokes tensions, it only serves to escalate tensions.”

Psaki, the state department spokesperson, stated: “This development will only draw condemnation from the international community, distance Israel from even its closest allies [and] poison the atmosphere…”

The Orthodox Union’s executive director for public policy Nathan Diament issued the following statement in response:

“We reject yesterday’s harsh statements by the Obama Administration. First, they suggest that the onus for the peace process impasse is upon Israel, when in fact it is decades of Palestinian and Arab rejectionism and incitement (such as that voiced by Palestinian President Abbas at the UN General Assembly last week) that “poisons the atmosphere” for peace. Israel has demonstrated its interest in peace, not merely through words but through deeds, time and again.

Second, suggesting that Jews residing in neighborhoods of Jerusalem—the historic capital of Israel and the Jewish people—is “provocative” is offensive. It is also fundamentally at odds with the notion that differences over Jerusalem are to be resolved in negotiations.

Finally, the implied threat that Jewish residences in Jerusalem will “distance Israel from even its closest ally”—i.e., the United States—is a resort to rhetoric which is entirely unacceptable.

We appreciate the constructive conversation President Obama had yesterday with Prime Minister Netanyahu and the President’s restatement of his “unshakable” commitment to Israel’s security, which has been manifested in many practical ways. Yesterday’s statements by Administration spokespeople run counter to such a useful and productive working relationship.”

State Dept. Complains New Homes in Jerusalem ‘Poison’ US Peace Plan

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

The U.S. State Dept. branded advancement of a project for 2,610 homes for Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem as “poison,” a label totally rejected by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

The statement by State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki exposes the total hypocrisy of the Obama administration’s stated policy that Israel and the Palestinian Authority should reach an agreement through negotiations.

She charged that the project for new homes in southern Jerusalem “poison the atmosphere not only with the Palestinians, but also with the very Arab governments with which Prime Minister Netanyahu said he wanted to build relations, and call into question Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.”

The key words are a “peaceful negotiated settlement.”

President Barack Obama has repeatedly said that Jews living in parts of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority are “illegitimate” and ”illegal.”

He and his “straight man,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, have claimed that the United States will not try to force an agreement on a “take it or leave it basis,” but that is exactly what they do with such statements that every “illegal” home “poisons” the atmosphere.

The construction project indeed poisons the “peace plan,” which is a misnomer for a ploy to grant the Arabs world everything they want without negotiation – Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley, half of Jerusalem and mass immigration of millions of Arabs whose only connection to Israel is that they are third, fourth, and fifth generation descendants of permanent “refugees” created by the United Nations for the exact purpose of holding on them as demographic weapon to eliminate Israel as a Jewish state.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with President Obama on Wednesday hours after Peace Now leaked the news that another bureaucratic obstacle has been removed for the construction project in the Givat HaMatos neighborhood, announced two years ago,

More than one-third of the proposed homes are slated for Arabs in the adjacent Beit Safata neighborhood. After Psaki’s condemnation and the White House’s objections that Jews are “stoking tensions” by the purchase this week of more buildings from Arabs in the Silwan area of eastern Jerusalem, Netanyahu said, “Arabs in Jerusalem freely buy apartments, and nobody says that is forbidden. I will also not say that Jews cannot buy property in Jerusalem. There cannot be discrimination between Jews and Arabs.”

Barkat said Thursday, that the Givat HaMatos project, rather than “poisoning” anything is a “necessary” step and that he will not be part of any policy that discriminates between the rights of Jews and Arabs to build in all of Jerusalem.

The Obama administration’s policy, which follows the lead of the Palestinian Authority and the Saudi 2002 Plan, does not object to Arab building in parts of Jerusalem claimed by the PA. It only objects to construction for Jews.

Some of the headlines of the American criticism are misleading are simply wrong.

One large Israeli news site proclaimed, “US-Israel Ties in Crisis Over East Jerusalem Building Plans,” but the disagreement, no matter how harsh Psaki’s words, is the same tempest in the same teapot that has brewed for years.

The real “crisis” is that the Palestinian Authority, Peace Now and the U.S. State Dept. are beside themselves because of their failure to hijack the “peace process” that has been in the works for more than 20 years and which has achieved agreement after agreement that the Palestinian Authority has reneged.

Blatant violations include worsening incitement for terror and the establishment of a Palestinian Authority army, under the guise of a “police force,” but Mahmoud Abbas’ fatal mistake was to ditch the entire premise of the process that a final status agreement is to be reached through “negotiations.” Israel has turned the other cheek dozens of times, but the Netanyahu government has held hits red line concerning Jerusalem remaining united.

Leak of 2,600 New Homes in Eastern Jerusalem Precedes Obama-Bibi Talks

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Plans for a previously announced huge construction project in eastern Jerusalem were reported on Wednesday hours before the meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama Wednesday.

The 2,610 apartment project was not officially announced but was leaked through social network media and by Peace Now.

In fact, it was announced in December 2012 and includes approximately 800 units for Arabs in the nearby neighborhood of Beit Safafa, but everyone is jumping all over themselves as if this is a new plan.

Housing construction in Israel can take years from their announcement until bulldozers go to work. However, establishment media report every bureaucratic step in building plans as if the project is something new, resulting in fictional numbers.

Whether or not the plans for new homes were posted – or re-posted -  again by the government or by Peace Now, as a Housing Ministry official suggested, the report is a clear message to Washington that the Palestinian Authority can forget about dividing the city along the old 1949-1967 borders.

The project is slated for the neighborhood of Givat HaMatos, near Gilo in southern Jerusalem.

Housing Ministry spokesman Ariel Rosenberg did not confirm or deny the new project. But Bloomberg News reported, “Rosenberg said in a phone call that Peace Now probably released the information today to embarrass Netanyahu before his meeting with President Barack Obama.”

Referring to plans to develop an area in Maaleh Adumim, east of Jerusalem, Peace Now stated, “Like the E1 plan, it divides the potential Palestinian state and blocks the possibility to connect the Palestinian neighborhoods in south Jerusalem with the future Palestinian state.”

The European Union stated, “At this delicate moment after the Gaza ceasefire, it is essential to avoid actions that may increase tensions, in particular in East Jerusalem.”

There really is not much tension. The Palestinian Authority’s openly anti-Semitic remarks this week, calling Israel genocidal and comparing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the ISIS leaders, has reduced the entire “diplomatic process” to an illusion.

There is no tension because neither Israel nor the Palestinian Authority really cares what the other side says.

 

 

EU Urging Boycott of Companies Threatening Two-State Solution

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

An EU report calls for member states to prevent support for the settlement enterprise.

An internal report issued by the EU recommends that member states completely prevent financial transactions that support settlement activity in Judea and Samaria. The report, entitled “Jerusalem 2012,” was compiled by the heads of European Union missions to Jerusalem and Ramallah.

According to the report, Israel’s construction in the southern neighborhoods of Jerusalem is the greatest threat to the two-state solution and defines it as “systematic, deliberate and provocative.”

The report notes three neighborhoods specifically: Har Homa, Gilo and Givat Hamatos, warning that if construction there continues at the present rate, it may create by the end of this year a buffer zone between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The report argues that such a buffer, when completed, would make it difficult to implement the two-state solution, and might mean its demise altogether.

Israel’s relations with the 27-member EU have been extremely tense in recent months, as the European organization has been voicing its discontent over a long list of Israeli construction programs involving construction of at least 5,000 new homes in and around East Jerusalem.

The EU is Israel’s largest import and export market, and should it implement punitive trade sanctions it would affect the already stumbling economy of the Jewish State.

According to the report, tenders were issued for 2,366 new units in 2012, which was “more than twice” the total number issued over the preceding three years—only 1,145, the report said.

Most of them were for construction in Har Homa, “significantly expanding the existing footprint of the settlement’s built-up area.”

Israel liberated East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it, a move which is yet to be recognized by the international community. In fact, most Western countries, including most notably the U.S., don’t even fully recognize West Jerusalem, within the 1949 armistice “green line,” as Israel’s capital—preferring to keep their embassies in Tel Aviv.

Israel officially considers all of Jerusalem its “eternal, undivided” capital and rejects the view that construction in the eastern sector as settlement building.

But since the Palestinians want East Jerusalem to become the capital of their state, they— along with many in the international community—consider settlement construction in East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria to be equally illegal.

This is born by an erroneous reading of the Geneva Convention Rule 130: “States may not deport or transfer parts of their own civilian population into a territory they occupy.” Technically speaking, the area formerly known as “West Bank” was never recognized widely as belonging to the state of Jordan, whose army occupied it in 1948. Since the area remained as a no man’s land until 1967, Israel’s taking of it did not constitute an occupation.

U.S. official policy refers to the area, as well as to Gaza, as “disputed territories.”

“If the implementation of the current Israeli policy regarding the city continues, particularly settlement activity, the prospect of Jerusalem as a future capital of two states — Israel and Palestine — becomes practically unworkable,” the EU report’s executive summary said. “This threatens to make the two-state solution impossible.”

Part of Givat HaMatos Building Project in Jerusalem Declined

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

A significant portion of the new Jewish neighborhood in Givat Hamatos, one of the new eastern Jerusalem projects announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the wake of the Palestinian Authority’s decision to unilaterally seek non-member observer state status at the UN, has been rejected by the Jerusalem municipality.

According to reports, the reason for the rejection was bureaucratic, not political. City officials said the new project to build some of the 6,500 new apartments slated for Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, lacked good urban planning and proper notification to neighbors.

On Monday, 1500 apartments were approved for the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of Jerusalem, and on Wednesday, the city’s Local Committee is expected to give approval to 2,610 apartments in another area of Givat HaMatos.

Gilo is expected to receive approval for approximately 1,000 homes on Thursday.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/part-of-givat-hamatos-building-project-in-jerusalem-declined/2012/12/19/

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