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December 6, 2016 / 6 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Israeli settlement’

Phantom Nation – The Amona Scandal [audio]

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Israel has never staked its claim to Judea and Samaria. This is the root cause of the latest expulsion of Jews by Jews.

Phantom Nation 05Dec2016 – PODCAST with Sha’i ben-Tekoa

Israel News Talk Radio

Emerging Amona Deal: Compensation for Arab Claimants, Regulations Act Preserved, Evacuation On

Monday, December 5th, 2016

A deal has been struck between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) and Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Nftali Bennett regarding the proposed Arrangements Act on Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, Walla reported Monday morning. The bill will be submitted for a preliminary vote by the Knesset plenum without a retroactive application to include Amona, a community in Samaria slated for demolition by the Supreme Court come December 25. In return for this concession on the part of the settlements movement, the government will defend the new law once it is approved in a third plenum vote, even if AG Avichai Mandelblit persists in his refusal to do it.

That part, about government insisting on defending a law against an appeal at the Supreme Court even when the AG (whose function also include being government’s legal counsel), is considered almost revolutionary by rightwing politicians, who view the AG and the individual legal counsels appointed to every government ministry as tyrannical extensions of the largely leftwing judicial civil service.

Last week, Mandelblit approved a short-term solution – moving the Amona residents to nearby vacant land which can be declared as belonging to absentee landlords and therefore may be appropriated by the state. The new deal requires finding proper relocation for all of the 42 families of Amona. To do that, the government intends to petition the Supreme Court once more for a postponement of the evictions, this time for 30 days – after the court has already denied its appeal for a 7-month postponement.

The new deal reportedly also includes a legal solution for the residents of the Netiv Ha’avot neighborhood in Gush Etzion as well as nine homes in Ofra, next door to Amona, which the Supreme Court has also slated for demolition and eviction. The state will be obligated to assign them substitute lands and homes.

Some in the settlement enterprise have suggested that moving the Amona residents to newly obtained state land is still an improvement over the idea of removing them from the area altogether, because the Mountain will not be deserted of Jews, with Ofra and Amona II maintaining their Jewish presence there.

Should the new bill be submitted this week, possibly even on Monday, without the retroactive application to Amona, the Habayit Hayehudi politicians will be expected to prevent clashes between the residents and security forces.

JNi.Media

French Now Force Retailers to Mark Settlement Products

Friday, November 25th, 2016

The French government on Thursday announced new requirements of importers and retailers to label products from Jewish communities in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights.

The government’s “Notice to economic operators concerning the indication of origin of goods originating in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967” cites the November 2015 European Commission guidelines indicating that those areas are not part of the State of Israel. Because of that, the guidelines warn that suggesting a product originating there was made in Israel constitutes a deception of consumers. It is therefore necessary to note on the packages of these products whether they are from places where Jews had lived before or only after June, 1967.

The regulations are very specific about the duty of vendors to note, in addition to the geographical region from which the product had been shipped, the statement that the product was made in “an Israeli settlement.”

No one knows for sure why the French decided to announce these regulations now, one year after the EU had come up with its guidelines, the likes of which have not been issued against any other “occupied” area anywhere. Most EU members have not complied with the guidelines by following suit, as the French have just done, with their own local regulations.

Last year, the European Commission guidelines created a major conflict with the Netanyahu government, which accused the EU of singling out Israel for this kind of hostile and biased treatment. The EU toned down its attack only after Israel threatened to lock its representatives out of any future peace negotiations with the PA.

In that context, it is possible that the Élysée Palace move is in retaliation for Netanyahu’s refusal to attend a peace conference scheduled for some time in the near future in Paris.

David Israel

Eight Crucial Things You Need to Know About the Amona Case

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

Yehuda Yifrach, Courts Editor for Makor Rishon, on Friday listed the eight most important and least known facts about the Amona case. If you haven’t read a rightwing Jewish publication in the last month, Amona is a community of some 40 Jewish families in Samaria, slated by the Supreme Court for demolition on Dec. 25. You can read some background material here.

1. Jordan had no right to parcel out lands
When the Amona case first reached the Supreme Court, a representative of the land registrar for the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) argued that despite the fact that the location was a bald and abandoned mountaintop, there existed documented parcels of land which had been registered by the Jordanian government as belonging to area sheiks and clans. However, as an invading and occupying power, Jordan had no right to award these lands. Jordan’s rule over the “West Bank” was not recognized by the vast majority of UN member states save for the UK and Pakistan, and so this local Arab “ownership” is based on a lie.

2. Only 0.5% of the Amona land is registered to private Arab owners
After the Supreme Court had ruled in their favor, anti-Israeli NGO Yesh Din, which has been at the forefront of the Lawfare attacks on the Jewish State, decided to sue for damages over the years of denied use of the parcels in question. The problem is that while the Supreme Court does not entertain evidence, lower courts do, and in Jerusalem Magistrate Court it was discovered that out of the nine Arab petitioners, seven own land that is entirely outside the Amona perimeter, and have had no problem working their land had they been so inclined. The remaining two owned only a sliver – about half an acre altogether, out of the 125 acres of the Amona territory – less than .5%. The remaining land is registered to names of non-existent people who do not appear in the 1967 census.

3. COGAT didn’t differentiate between the parcels with known and unknown ownership
Despite the above facts, the COGAT prosecution related to the parcels whose owners are unknown as being privately owned, declaring that some 15 acres in the southern part of the settlement belonged to real private owners. They then told the court that, in fact, there was no difference between the various parts of the community and that the half-acre that became 15 acres was, in effect, indistinguishable from the rest, and the entire community had to come down.

4. The Settlement Arrangements Act does not violate international law
Regarding the Settlement Arrangements Act, which the left, as well as senior Netanyahu cabinet officials, are saying violates international law, former Tel Aviv University president and international law expert Prof. Yoram Dinstein has argued that “when an occupier appropriates the power to legislate in an occupied territory, said power belongs to the occupying state and not to one of its organs (COGAT).” In a recent article, Prof. Dinstein has shown how international law is entirely indifferent regarding the particular mechanics of legislation in an occupied zone, be it the local general or be it the government that posted said general in said zone.

5. International law compels Israel to care for the rights of Jewish and Arab resident
Another popular argument against the Settlement Arrangements Act is that it violates international law because it sanctions the impounding of Arab owned land for the sake of a Jewish community. However, it has been noted that international law compels the occupier to care for the needs of all the civilians under its rule, Jews and Arabs alike, and the right of a government to expropriate private property for public use, with proper payment of compensation (eminent domain) is inherent in exerting such care.

6. The Settlement Arrangements Act is consistent with the pre-67 law in Judea and Samaria
This one is quite interesting.
Unbeknownst to many, the Settlement Arrangements Act is consistent with the legal systems that were in use in Judea and Samaria before 1967. Both Ottoman law and Jordanian law determine that in a case where a man built and planted in good faith land belonging to another, should the value of the construction exceed the value of the land, the land owner is compelled to receive compensation.

7. Israel legislates retroactively when needed
Another argument against the Settlement Arrangements Act is that it retroactively alters a court ruling. But the state of Israel regularly legislates retroactively, as in the amendment that reversed many hundreds of court sentences of Arab terrorists, to facilitate the Gilad Shalit deal with Hamas.

8. The Settlement Arrangements Act is not unconstitutional
Finally, the most crucial argument against the Settlement Arrangements Act is that it is unconstitutional – the constitution in this case being Israel’s Basic Laws. Setting aside the paradox whereby one Knesset law is inapplicable in the territories while the same Knesset’s basic laws are applicable – does Israel’s basic law really dictate that 40 families with their 200 children who have lived in Amona for 20 years be evicted to satisfy the alleged rights of two claimants who own less than .5% of the land and have never lived there? Has the court become so immoral as to be the enemy of its constituents without any foundation?

JNi.Media

Report: Trump Circle Furious over Liberman’s Leftward Pull on Settlements

Friday, November 18th, 2016

President Elect Donald Trump’s associates are enraged over a statement Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman made this week, suggesting Israel must cool its heels over Trump’s election and approach him with modest proposals regarding settlement construction. Speaking to political reporters on Wednesday, Liberman said, “If we receive confirmation of the Bush-Sharon understandings, we should grab it with both hands.”

The Bush-Sharon understandings recognized the need for construction to support the growth of the existing population in Judea and Samaria inside the settlement blocks — but no launching of new settlements.

According to Makor Rishon, Trump’s people were aghast at the very fact that Liberman was shooting his mouth off before meeting, never mind coordinating anything with them. And they were even more upset for the fact that the defense minister chose to “pass Trump on the left,” as one Trump aide put it.

Several key Trump officials have said that the Israelis have not yet digested the window of opportunity the last election has opened, adding that, should Israel ask for it, the new administration would even consider supporting annexing those settlement blocks, never mind building there.

Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, who supported Trump’s election and is in contact with the transition team, warned that Liberman is “drying out 200 thousand residents who live in areas outside the settlement blocks.”

“The message the defense minister has delivered to the new administration is horrendous, especially since any first year Poli-Sci student knows that the Trump people or on the outs with the Bush line of the Republican party,” Dagan added. “The Bush family didn’t vote for Trump, and contrary to them, the Trump people support a united Jerusalem and construction across Judea and Samaria.”

“This is why the president elect’s people pulled their hair out when they heard what Liberman said,” Dagan noted.

David Israel

Liberman Ready to Freeze Construction Outside Settlement Blocks to Please Trump

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

In a move reminiscent of Woody Allen who he sees the school bully approaching and steps on his own glasses, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday announced that he is ready to freeze construction outside the Judea and Samaria settlement blocks as part of the understandings to be reached with the Trump Administration.

Proving he never read The Art of the Deal, Liberman suggested that Israel’s aspirations in negotiating with President Donald Trump should be to ask for his confirmation of the Bush-Sharon understandings that recognized the need for construction to support the growth of the existing population in Judea and Samaria inside the settlement blocks — but no launching of new settlements (also known as “outposts,” or, according to the Talia Sasson 2005 government report, “illegal outposts”).

The settlement blocks, outside eastern Jerusalem, which, according to the Obama Administration, is also one big settlement, consist of the regional councils of Gush Etzion, Mount Hebron, Matte Binyamin, Samaria, and Jordan valley; the local councils of Alfei Menashe, Beit Aryeh-Ofarim, Beit El, Efrat, Elkana, Giv’at Ze’ev, Har Adar, Immanuel, Karnei Shomron, Kedumim, Kiryat Arba, Ma’ale Efraim, and Oranit; and the cities of Ariel, Betar Illit, Maale Adumim, and Modi’in Illit. As of 2014, the Jewish population there is estimated at 400,000. At the current growth rate, in 2030 this population is expected to hover just below 600,000.

To be fair, this idea was not originally Liberman’s. In 2009, newly elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared: “I have no intention of building new settlements in the West Bank… But like all the governments there have been until now, I will have to meet the needs of natural growth in the population. I will not be able to choke the settlements.” Then, on October 15, 2009, Netanyahu said the settlement dispute with the Obama Administration had been resolved.

Sources inside the Liberman camp have suggested that the reason for this defeatist statement from one of the biggest hawks in the current cabinet has to do less with the incoming Trump people than with the outgoing Obama people, who can still cause a lot of damage in the two months or so left on their calendar. Once the evil teacher is gone, we’ll bring out the balloons and cake for the substitute teacher, those sources are implying.

Meanwhile, the defense minister was very critical of those MKs and Ministers who welcomed Trump’s election as the coming of the Messiah for Israel and the settlements, and cited messages received from the president elect’s camp “expecting us to behave humbly.”

Perhaps. But Liberman appeared to be in a “humble” mood about more than just future construction in Judea and Samaria — he was also giving up hope for existing Jewish communities, such as Amona. This community, built with government support, is slated for demolition and evacuation come December 25, by decree of the Israeli Supreme Court. Incidentally, on Nittel Nacht, the Jewish name for Christmas, eastern European Rabbis forbade married couples from having relations, and studying Torah was also forbidden, as this was a day destined for evil occurrences — a historic and cultural fact completely missed by the court, apparently.

Humble to the point of outright depression, Liberman criticized the Arrangements Act the coalition had just passed in a preliminary vote, which takes care of Arab claims on Jewish land in the liberated territories without having to destroy Jewish communities. For one thing, he pointed out, “it is clear it won’t cover Amona because it cannot be applied retroactively.”

“Sometimes truth is also an option, even when it’s very bitter,” he said, stating that “anyone who says Amona can be preserved in its current location is just spreading delusions and fantasies.”

Or, as Bogie says in Allen’s Play It Again, Sam, “Nothing that a bit of bourbon wouldn’t fiksh.”

David Israel

The Trumportunity for Israel

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Op·por·tu·ni·ty: a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.

Trump·or·tu·ni·ty: A set of circumstances created by the improbable victory of Trump, which makes it possible to further many issues in the US and the world, especially in Israel and the Middle East.

Three Upsets

Just as the world seemed to be progressing towards a post-national, post-family, post-God globalism, three stunning upsets proved that there was a rebellion afoot against those values.

First, Netanyahu won big in the last Israeli election and established a right-wing government, despite serious US intervention and dire predictions of failure. Then, the British people rejected Europeanism and chose Brexit, despite major European pressure and dire predictions of failure. Finally, Trump won while facing a relentless, super-hostile media and dire predictions of failure. These three events were really referendums on the Euro/Obama worldview. Global voters gave a clear response — we want our countries back; we want our values back.

If we are smart and focused, we can make powerful progress in Israel under this new zeitgeist. In particular, the new Trump administration — with its strong ties to Israel, and even to Judea and Samaria, and its repudiation of the Obama worldview — offers three big Trumportunities:

The death of the two-state paradigm

In the Six-Day War, Israel was under threat of total annihilation. And then, providence handed the Jewish heartland back to the Jewish people, and Israel’s enemies fell to the IDF in an incredible victory.

But we blew it. We did not annex the heartland. Instead, in time, we allowed an alternative anti-Israel atmosphere and narrative to metastasize in that land and later globally. Later on, instead of fixing the problem and making Israeli law the law of the land, the Jewish state drank the Palestine Kool-Aid, and entered a process of giving away the land to a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel’s destruction.

This was in spite of the fact that “two-state” was never going to work. There was never a way to split the tiny landmass of Judea and Samaria, rip it away from its rightful residents — the Jewish people — and instead empower the jihadists to fight the rest of Israel from the strategic high ground. Yet this is precisely the formula that Israel’s leadership went for, and which subsequent US administrations have adopted. The two-state solution has been taught ad nauseam as the only solution to the conflict, and has been stuffed down Israel’s throats by every US administration since Jimmy Carter was president.

But change is on the horizon. Recently, the Republican party unanimously voted to drop support for the two-state solution in its national platform; rejected the notion of Israel as an “occupier;” and “specifically recognize[d] that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (“BDS”) is antisemitic in nature and seeks to destroy Israel.”

In a recent Statement from Trump’s Israel Advisory Committee, Jason Dov Greenblatt and David Friedman, wrote: “The US cannot support the creation of a new state where terrorism is financially incentivized, terrorists are celebrated by political parties and government institutions, and the corrupt diversion of foreign aid is rampant.”

With the Trump election, a window is opening to finish the work of the Six-Day War and to further a plan of action to assert Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria and dismantle the PA. The first step towards that aim is clear: If freezing construction in those areas was a concession to President Barack Obama, then now is the time to rectify that sin and build, build, build. Maybe we can even put up a Trump Tower in Kiryat Arba.

Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem

The first clear test of the Trump administration will be the promised move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and thereby recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Actually, Trump won’t have to do anything to make that happen. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 is a US law — passed by the 104th Congress on October 23, 1995 — for the purpose of relocating the Embassy of the United States in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The act also called for Jerusalem to remain an undivided city and for it to be recognized as the capital of the state of Israel. The law was adopted by the Senate (93–5) and the House (374–37). Nevertheless, it has never been implemented, because of opposition from presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, who have consistently claimed the presidential waiver on national security interests.

All Trump has to do is not sign that waiver and the law — the will of the American people — will be fulfilled. This is a Trumportunity to instantaneously erase the disgrace of Israel’s great ally not recognizing the Jewish right to Jerusalem.

Push back Iran and Jihad

This is what Trump’s Advisory Committee on Israel has written:

“Despite the Iran Nuclear deal in 2015, the US State Department recently designated Iran, yet again, as the leading state sponsor of terrorism  — putting the Middle East particularly, but the whole world at risk by financing, arming and training terrorist groups operating around the world including Hamas, Hezbollah and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The US must counteract Iran’s ongoing… quest for nuclear weapons.”

Indeed, the Netanyahu, Brexit and Trump victories are signals from us global voters that we are tired of concessions to jihad — and we want it pushed back. In the UK and and the US, people want an end to dangerous unchecked immigration, and here in Israel we must demand of our leaders to strike at the jihadist infrastructure that exists within the borders of our country. The Obama era encouraged Iran and global jihad; the Trump era is an opportunity to push that dark genie back into the bottle.

But jihadist are not only waging war in Iran, Syria and Gaza. They are also on American campuses and in the media. Much of the intellectual force of jihad against Israel actually sits in offices like those of the New York Times and on campuses like Berkeley — places that affect millions with their incessant teaching and broadcasting of the delegitimization of Israel. In response, Trumps advisers on Israel have written: “The Trump administration will ask the Justice Department to investigate coordinated attempts on college campuses to intimidate students who support Israel.”

Indeed, there is now a Trumportunity to counteract anti-Israel sentiment throughout the world as Trump’s election is, in part, a repudiation of “progressive “ ideology, and within that, of course, is anti-Israelism.

Opportunity to work hard

The Trumportunity is by no means a guarantee. The opportunity here is just that, an opportunity. Just as in the Six-Day War, it can be harnessed or squandered. Now is the time for us Israelis to push hard on our leadership to maximize this moment. Now is the time for pro-Israel Americans to hold the Trump administration to its promise to fulfill its pro-Israel mandate and the Republican platform. Now is the time for all of us to get out and push this wagon all the way home. The victories of Netanyahu, Brexit and Trump are a good start, but nothing here is going to happen automatically. Let’s get to work and take hold of the Trumportunity. May God give us strength to succeed.

Yishai Fleisher

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/yishai-fleisher/the-trumportunity-for-israel/2016/11/14/

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