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

Posts Tagged ‘Judea’

Pragmatism Or Ideology?

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

During the week that the EU announced its planned sanctions against Israel, one of the dedicated Land of Israel lobbyists requested that I add my signature to a petition from MKs to the prime minister requesting the renewal of construction in Jerusalem. Thirty-two highly respectable signatures of loyal MKs from the center and right of Israeli politics already adorned the petition. But after a cursory glance at the following petition, I clearly could not sign:

To: MK Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister

Re: Renewal of Construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – Now

We turn to you regarding the above issue as follows:

1. In these days, we are witness to another attempt by the European Union to terrorize the State of Israel and to damage its vital interests. This attempt may thwart any chance for a political breakthrough and foil the efforts of Secretary of State Kerry to renew the diplomatic negotiations.

2. On the backdrop of this attempt and its results, there is no place to wait any longer and it is imperative to immediately renew construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

3. We request that you give the appropriate instructions for renewal of construction.

Respectfully,

“I can’t sign,” I gently said to the lobbyist. “I have a problem with the wording.”

“What’s the problem?”

“This document implies that we must renew construction in Jerusalem so that Kerry can succeed in the diplomatic process. But I think that we must build in Jerusalem for entirely different reasons, and I am absolutely opposed to the diplomatic process.”

The lobbyist tried to convince me that this is pragmatic politics, that this is the argument around which we can now achieve a consensus. “I also don’t like it,” he explained, “but that’s politics.”

The reputable number of MKs that signed the letter proved, on the surface, that he was right. One week later, Kerry succeeded in renewing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Thirty-two MKs, those most loyal to the land of Israel – from Likud, Jewish Home, Yisrael Beiteinu and even Shas – are now signed onto a document that implies that there is no longer a reason to renew construction in Jerusalem. Our common goal – renewal of “peace” talks – has already been achieved.

Would a leftist MK ever dream of adding his name to this type of convoluted document that fundamentally contradicts his entire worldview – all in the name of political pragmatism?

Which politics ultimately determines Israel’s agenda? The “pragmatic” politics of the Right or the ideology of the Left?

It is time for the Right to connect its politics to its ideology.

Low Supply Driving Judea and Samaria Housing Prices Sky High

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

High demand and low supply characterize the housing market in various Judea and Samaria communities, Israel Hayom reported. In the newly built Leshem quarter of the Alei Zahav community, houses which sold for NIS 900,000 ($252,000) two years ago now sell for up to NIS 1.7 million ($477,000). Similar price spikes have been reported in Yakir, Etz Ephraim, Har Bracha, and other communities in Samaria.

In the last decade, the population of Gush Etzion has tripled, surpassing 20,000. The local council chief, Davidi Perl, said that for every Jewish community in Gush Etzion, an average of 15 families were hoping to be accepted as residents. Overall, 300 families are waiting to move into Gush Etzion.

Housing prices in Gush Etzion, meanwhile, over the last five years have skyrocketed by dozens of percentage points. A piece of land in the Gush Etzion community of Tekoa cost just NIS 50,000 ($14,000) only five years ago. Now, the starting price is NIS 350,000 ($98,000). Demand for housing is so high in Gush Etzion that in recent years, some towns there have begun collecting “entry fees” for prospective inhabitants.

Real estate prices have also risen dramatically in Ariel, doubling in the last three years. A four-room apartment that cost NIS 600,000 ($168,000) three years ago sells today for up to NIS 1.2 million ($336,000). A cottage that could have been had for NIS 700,000 ($196,000) then sells today for NIS 1.5 million ($421,000).

“It was only recently that we received construction permits, but we are still far off from meeting the minimum requirements in the city,” Ariel Mayor Eli Shviro said. “The demand is tremendous, but the supply is low.”

Israel recently announced plans for 1,200 new housing units in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, a decision that was slammed by the United States due to concern over the fate of Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations. Secretary of State John Kerry, who led the efforts to renew negotiations, said Aug. 12 that the U.S. “views all of the settlements as illegitimate.” Those communities, however, are situated in an area that is considered to be subject to the result of Israeli-Palestinian final status negotiations.

Lighter News from the Peace Front

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

The resumption of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority got off to a medically poor start.

In Washington, Israel’s senior negotiator Tzipi Livni fell all over herself praising U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and ended up with a fractured leg that required brief hospitalization.

Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat was treated in the same hospital for laryngitis, after screaming his head off at Israel’s refusal to freeze all construction for Jews in Judea, Samaria and areas in Jerusalem that were occupied by Jordan until the 1967 Six-Day.

Kerry also was hospitalized for a feared tumor after his head swelled to three times its normal size. Doctors took an x-ray and discovered that his head was empty and carried out a procedure to remove air that had filled the empty space. The medical team suffered severe burns from the hot air they released from the secretary’s head.

Martin Indyk, President Barack Obama’s personally-appointed Jewish savior of the peace process, also experienced difficulties. En route to Israel, he read comments by chairman Mahmoud Abbas that not a single Jew would be allowed to live in a future PA state, and he immediately threw up.

Once in Israel, all sides got down to business on Wednesday.

In a gesture to the Palestinian Authority, Livni insisted on a luncheon meeting in East Jerusalem, which the Arabs want as their future capital.

Erekat made a similar gesture and suggested a kosher restaurant.

Indyk, fearing that his being Jewish would be seen as the reason for the kosher restaurant, offered a compromise of going to McDonald’s in Tel Aviv. He lost out on that one.

However, they all agreed to leave a healthy tip and sent the entire tab to the European Union.

Since then, Israel announced the names of 26 terrorists to be freed, as Abbas demanded, a good will gesture that boosts the standing of the Islamic Jihad, Hamas and PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) terrorist groups, whose honorable members were all included.

The release of the terrorists reduces the need for Arab suicide bombers, since the Israeli government itself has decided to embark on suicidal policies.

Israel’s Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who lives in one of those settlements that the United States calls “illegitimate,” announced that tenders would be issued for more than 1,000 homes in Judea, Samaria and areas of Jerusalem claimed by the PA and which were occupied by Jordan from 1949 until the Six-Day War in 1967.

The Jordanian occupation was never questioned by the international community, which has lived up to its amazing record of singling out Israel for as much as it can get away with.

Palestinian Authority officials threatened to walk out on the talks because of Ariel’s building plans that, given the Israeli bureaucracy, will not become facts on the ground for several years, by which time the peace talks will have been at the beginning of their fourth decade.

The Arabs calmed down after the threat had made enough headlines to show that despite the obvious insincerity of Israel for peace, the Arab negotiators would be gracious enough to continue the talks as a goodwill gesture to foreign media and the Middle East desk at the U.S. State Dept., both of which would face serious unemployment if the discussions were to end.

Speaking of the State Dept., it made it absolutely clear to reporters that it would not follow the European Union’s lead to call Israeli settlements “illegal.” The United States prefers the term “illegitimate,” apparently reasoning that comparing Israeli settlers to bastards is more meaningful than accusing them of breaking a law that does not exist.

The List of 26 Palestinian Prisoners and their Victims

Monday, August 12th, 2013

The following is a list of the 26 prisoners scheduled for early release from prisons in Israel later this week as a ‘goodwill gesture’ to encourage Palestinian leaders to return to the negotiating table. In all, Israel agreed to eventually release 104 so-called pre-Oslo prisoners.

As we have noted, many in the media (including the Guardian, The Independent, and the Irish Times,) have whitewashed the violent, and often brutal crimes of the prisoners being released, and, conversely, have depicted the families of the soon-to-be released prisoners in a disturbingly sympathetic light.  So, in addition to listing details about the perpetrators, we’ve also included some information on the victims.  (You can see the complete list of pre-Oslo prisoners – information which was translated, edited and published exclusively by CAMERA – here.) 1. Kour Matwa Hamed Faiz (Fatah. Born 1964, resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested 1985) was sentenced to one life term for his part in establishing an armed Fatah cell and for the murder of Menahem Dadon in 1983 and for another attempted murder.

Menahem Dadon from Netivot was 22 years old when he was murdered. He had been sent by his employer to purchase building materials in Gaza and whilst in the shop, was shot in the head at point-blank range. He left a pregnant wife and two daughters.

2. Tsalah Ibrahim Ahmed Mugdad (Fatah. Born 1966, resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested 1993) was sentenced to 32 years imprisonment for the murder of Israel Tennenbaum and was due to be released on 13/6/2025.

Born in Poland in 1921, Israel Tennenbaum from Moshav Vered was a farmer who also worked as a security guard at a hotel in Netanya despite being 72 years old at the time of his death. In June 1993 Tsalah broke into the hotel and murdered Israel Tennenbaum by beating him over the head with a steel rod. He also stole a television from the hotel.

3. Na’anish Naif Abdel Jafar Samir (Born 1967, resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested 1989) was sentenced to a life term for his part in the murder of 24 year-old reservist Binyamin Meisner in February 1989.

Na’anish was part of a group which lured Meisner into an ally in Nablus (Schem) in which they had pre-prepared a stockpile of rocks. They then stoned Meisner to death.

4. Arshid A’Hamid Yusuf Yusuf (Fatah. Born 1968, resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested 1993) was sentenced to five life sentences after having been convicted of the murders of Nadal Rabu Jaab, Adnan Ayaad Dib, Mufid Canaan, Tawfik Jaradat and Ibrahim Said Ziad by stabbing. Arsheed was also indicted on several additional counts of attempted murder of others he also suspected of ‘collaboration’.

5. Al-Haj Othman Amar Mustafa (Fatah. Born 1968, resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested 1989) was sentenced to a life sentence for his part in the murder of 48 year-old Frederick Steven Rosenfeld in June 1989.

Rosenfeld was hiking in the hills near Ariel when he came across a group of shepherds who stabbed him to death with his own knife and hid his body.

6. Matslah Abdallah Salama (Hamas. Born 1969, resident of the Gaza Strip, arrested 1993) was sentenced to one life sentence for the murder of Reuven David in Petah Tikva in 1991.

Together with an accomplice, Matslah entered 59 year-old Iraqi-born Reuven David’s mini-market, tied him up, gagged him and then beat him to death, before escaping in the victim’s car. He left a wife, three children and several grandchildren.

7. Abu-Musa Salam Ali Atia (Fatah. Born 1971, resident of the Gaza Strip, arrested 1994) was convicted of the murder of Isaac Rotenburg from Holon as part of an initiation rite for joining a terror organisation and sentenced to one life sentence.

Holocaust survivor Isaac Rotenberg was born in Poland. Most of his family was murdered in the Sobibor death camp, but Isaac managed to escape and joined the partisans. After the war he tried to make his way by ship to mandate Palestine, but was interred by the British and sent to a detention camp in Cyprus until 1947. After his release Isaac arrived in pre-state Israel and fought in the War of Independence. He continued his work as a plasterer even after pension age and in March 1994 was at his place of work in Petah Tikva when he was attacked by two Palestinian labourers with axes. He died, aged 67, two days later.

Excellent News from Peace Now

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Peace Now reports that Israel is in the midst of approving 1096 new housing units in 11 towns across Judea and Samaria.

The plan also includes the legalization of at least one existing village (aka “outpost”) called Nachlei Tal where dozens of Israelis already live, which will expand the village to over 250 families.

1. Shilo (Nofei Shilo) – Plan 205/4 – 17 housing units 2. Nahlei Tal – Plan 235/10 – 255 housing units 3. Kochav Yaakov – Plan 242/1/3 – 38 housing units 4. Gilgal – Plan 317/2 – 234 housing units 5. Almog – Plan 604/4 – 31 housing units 6. Talmon – Plan 235/2/4 – 314 housing units 7. Alon Shvut – Plan 405/6/6/1 – 60 housing units 8. Etz Efraim – Plan 126/2/3 9. Shilo – Plan 205/15 10. Shilo – Plan 205/16 11. Kfar Adumim – Plan 227/21 12. Shilo – Plan 205/13 – 95 housing units 13. Beitar Ilit – Plan 426/1/1/3/8 – 48 housing units 14. Beitar Ilit – Plan 426/1/3/11 – 4 housing units 15. Mitzpe Shalem – Plan 607/6 16. Beitar Ilit – Plan 426/7/2/a 17. Beitar Ilit – Plan 426/1/3/14 18. Beitar Ilit – Plan 426/7/10/b 19. Beitar Ilit – Plan 426/1/1/3/9 20. Beitar Ilit – Plan 426/1/1/3/10 21. Beitar Ilit – Plan 426/1/3/12

Strangely though, Peace Now seems upset by this good news.

The real question is, with the housing crisis in Israel what it is, why isn’t the government giving permission to build 100,000 new homes for Jewish families in Judea and Samaria, instead of a mere 1000?

Video: Camp Jihad

Monday, August 5th, 2013

This film was shot on location in the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) facilities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, by a TV crew hired by the Nahum Bedein Center for Near East Policy Research.


Hitting Back: Israel Threatens EU Prestige and Success with Pullout

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

In response to the EU directive that attacked Israel’s sovereign rights and claims over the land of Israel, Israel has taken its first retaliatory step.

According to a report in Ma’ariv, Israel has threatened to pull out of the EU’s massive science and technology project, “Horizon 2020″.

Israel is the only non-European full partner in the project, and is supposed to invest 600 million Euro (785 million US dollars) in the project over 7 years.

Besides the financial hit the EU project would take as a result, the move would be a serious blow to the project’s prestige and success. Israel is a central partner in the projects that Horizon 2020 undertakes, and part of these project’s successes are dependent on Israeli human resources and research.

When announcing their anti-Israeli directive, the EU thought they had Israel over the barrel, but the EU overestimated their power, as Israel clearly has plenty of powerful ammunition it can fire back in return.


How the EU Will Reverse Itself, in Three Easy Steps

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Yesterday’s announcement by the European Union, to block funding to any organization that has direct or indirect ties over the Green Line (Jerusalem, Golan, Judea and Samaria), unless they are a leftwing organization, has shocked Israel.

The overt anti-Semitism, the transparent politicization, and the blatant chutzpa took Israel by surprise. Worse, at first it felt as if Israel were trapped in a corner with no options to respond.

But reality is different.

The EU is in bad shape. It has economic problems, social problems, and credibility problems.

With its most recent action, the EU overplayed its hand, not considering the backlash the decision could cause.

Some responses Israel may choose would hurt the EU quite a bit.

THE PEACE PROCESS

In March 2012, following a UN attack on Israel that went too far, Israel announced a boycott of the UN Human Rights Council, declaring it a “superfluous and extravagant body” that Israel would have no connection to anymore.

This caused an earthquake in the UN, and it still threatens to destroy the credibility and legitimacy of the council.

Most importantly, Israel’s declaration has forced the HRC to take clear steps to correct itself.

The first action Israel must take here as well is the most obvious one: the EU craves legitimacy on the international stage. With wildcat strikes hitting Greece, Spain, and Portugal, to name but three ailing EU members, the organization must prove it is relevant and credible.

Israel should expel the EU from the Peace Process.

Israel should declare—something Prime Minister Netanyahu was hinting at in his Tuesday night statement—that the EU and all its member states will no longer be considered honest brokers, and no Israeli official will meet with them on any issue related to the Peace Process. It only takes a simple statement, and it will be enough to cause them to capitulate.

Any member state wishing to be included in the peace process must sign a statement that the territories of east Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights are in dispute and their fate will be determined through direct negotiations. It must also commit to disregarding the EU directive regarding those same territories.

Be firm and consistent – they will fold.

Israel is an important trade partner with Europe, and its third largest trade partner in the region following the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Israel buys from Europe more than it sells. A retaliatory trade war and boycott in response to their expulsion from the Peace Process would hurt the already flailing European economy, it’s the last thing they want, and not a step they would take in response.

DIVIDE AND CONQUOR

Next Israel must immediately pass the Foreign Agents Act, with an additional stipulation.

As the EU’s declaration makes it clear that they will now only be financially supporting NGOs on the far left, Israel must make it clear that any NGOs receiving EU funding are de facto foreign agents. These NGOs fund raising will be curtailed, their access to Israeli government officials would be restricted, and their entry into the Knesset will be forbidden.

Watch the left wing NGOs quietly pressuring the EU to back off their directive.

All it takes is a firm conviction on our part.

REPLACEMENT THERAPY

The third step is financial.

The EU invested close to 1 billion dollars in research grants and investments, some of which could now be lost.

Israel should approach private, patriotic wealthy Jews — Sheldon Adelson, who put his money where his mouth was this past U.S. election, comes to mind — to pick up the slack. In return, those who invest in Israeli research will reap the benefits in royalties, shared patent ownership and so on. They could stand to make a lot of money.

Stand your ground, don’t blink, they’ll blink first.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/how-the-eu-will-reverse-itself-in-three-easy-steps/2013/07/17/

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