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April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Minister Uri Ariel’

Left Targeting Jewish Home Housing Minister for Ouster

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Gush Shalom, which defines itself as the “hard core” of Israel’s peace camp, is going after Jewish Home Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who is, apparently, to blame for anything that has and will surely go wrong in the explosive Middle East.

The reason Gush Shalom, headed by the aging but still very charismatic journalist Uri Avneri, who was the first Israeli newspaper publisher to meet openly with the late PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, is going after Minister Ariel has to do with something he said this month:

“We should make clear to Secretary of State Kerry that Israel will never return to the Auschwitz borders, will not freeze the settlements endeavor, and will not agree to be sacrificed so that he could receive the Nobel Peace Prize. I am sure the prime minister will not be partner to abandoning Israel’s security.”

And on Sunday, on the occasion of the inauguration of the new neighborhood of Leshem in the town of Alei Zahav, a few miles away from the city of Ariel in Samaria, Minister Ariel said:

“It should be clear to any thinking person: there are no two states for two peoples west of the Jordan River, there will be no such thing, even if we’re sitting at the negotiations table, this is not on the agenda.” He then added: “We will build everywhere in the Land of Israel, and certainly in Samaria, and certainly in Judea.”

The reaction from the left was furious:

“With the winds of war blowing in our region, Housing Minister Uri Ariel pours more oil on the flames by establishing the new ‘Leshem’ settlement on the West Bank. In the inflammatory speech which he delivered on that occasion he shows himself a dangerous extreme right provocateur,” reads the Gush Shalom press release, responding to the Minister’s relatively benign, if somewhat excited statement.

The entire press release reads like the stuff Avneri used to dish out on a weekly basis, back in the roaring 1970s. The next paragraph is vintage Avneri:

“This is far from an unexpected development. Ariel’s rampage could have been predicted from the moment when the settler cat was placed in charge of the housing cream. Ariel is not a private individual, he the Minister of Housing in the government of Israel.”

It’s interesting to note that Alei Zahav, established a little over 30 years ago, in 1982, is more likely to vote Likud-Beiteinu than Jewish Home: its 130 families (now a few more, with the opening of the new neighborhood) are 80 percent non-religious. So you can’t quite accuse Minister Ariel of being the cat taking all the cream to himself – not if he shares the cream with other cats…

Also, Deputy Minister Ophir Akonis of Likud Beiteinu, who also graced the inauguration with his presence, repeated everything the minister had said: “There are indeed negotiating with the Palestinians, but that does not stop anyone from building homes in Israel,” he said. “Out of this place, a message is emanating, that a Palestinian state will never be established.”

“Look around you,” Akunis said, “who needs another Arab country in this area?”

Nevertheless, Avneri et al are after Uri Ariel, despite the fact that his message is not different at all from what’s being said these days by the majority of the Likud Beiteinu ministers. The reason is obvious: if you portray the situation as it is, meaning that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Justice Minister and chief negotiator Tzipi Livni are way to the left of the government in which they serve, then you must abandon hope of the two-state solution becoming a reality in the near future.

But if you portray Jewish Home as the extremist, settler holdout in a government eager to plant a second Hamas entity right next door to Ben Gurion International Airport – then you’ve got something to work with.

This is precisely Avneri’s next point:

“There is not one government which is busy building settlements and spitting in the face of the Palestinians, and a different government which is supposed to negotiate and reach a peace agreement with the same Palestinians. It is the same government, and all its ministers are responsible for Ariel’s acts of provocation.”

Despite US and Livni Objections, 1,200 Homes Approved

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Israel’s housing minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) has given final approval to the construction of more than 1,000 apartments in Jewish Judea and Samaria and in East Jerusalem, three days before Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are to resume in Jerusalem, and two days before the release of the first batch of Palestinian terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands.

Minister Ariel said close to 800 apartments will be built in East Jerusalem and close to 400 in several large Jewish towns east of the “green line.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had long insisted he would not resume talks without an Israeli settlement freeze. In the end, he acquiesced, in response to intense U.S. pressure.

Israeli negotiator Minister Tzipi Livni is also vehemently opposed to resuming construction in Jewish areas east of the “green line.”

Peres Pushing Peace Talks, Ministers Argue He Shouldn’t Do Policy

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Israeli President Shimon Peres says that the Arab Peace Initiative constitutes a meaningful change and a strategic opportunity.

In his speech at the World Economic Forum in Jordan, Peres turned to the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, who is also participating in the conference, and told him that he is Israel’s partner in the peace process.

“We should not permit the hurdles to overcome us. History will judge us not by the process of negotiations, but by its outcome. The today obstacles will pale in the light of peace,” Peres said Abbas.

Peres stressed that he is convinced that the gaps that prevent the resumption of negotiations can be bridged and noted that the parties agree on how to finish: two states living side by side in peace, dignity and freedom – the state of the Jewish people, Israel and an Arab state of Palestine.

Peres earlier said that Israel and the Palestinians should not miss the opportunity created for peace, and work to overcome doubts. He said that the time for peace is now, and if this chance is missed, it could be replaced by a great disappointment. Peres said that he is aware of the difficulties but still thinks that you can establish an agreement with the Palestinians based on the two state principle.

A Jordanian journalist asked Peres if he is speaking on behalf of the Government of Israel and Peres replied, “I am an Israeli, and it just so happens that I’m also president of the State of Israel.”

But back home, few in government were amused. Minister Yuval Steinitz said the government is in charge of making policy decisions, and that any statement, especially on the eve of entering this kind of negotiations is not useful to Israel’s positions.

But the tone of Steinitz’s voice was a lot less restrained.

In response, Peres told reporters that he had spent two hours coordinating his message to the forum with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and that if Steinitz had a problem with it, then he had a problem with it.

Jewish Home chairman, Minister Naftali Bennett, said that he respects and appreciates the president, but it so happens that the great majority of Israelis strongly opposes withdrawal to the ’67 lines, because they understand that this would bring Hamas terror to the cities of central Israel.

“The Israeli public has experienced the results of the Oslo Accords and the thousands who were killed, and they have the good sense to know that the path to achieving peace and security is through strength and not through weakness and retreats,” Minister Bennett said.

Minister Uzi Landau of Yisrael Beiteinu quoted the late Foreign Minister Abba Eban, who said that the Israel’s 1967 borders were ‘Auschwitz borders.’ Before Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Landau said that Israel cannot give up its ability to defend itself, it must remain realistic and not build on pipe dreams.

Finally, Jewish Home Minister Uri Ariel commented that President Peres’s speech had no connection to the reality in Judea and Samaria—where some 400,000 Jews live in towns and villages, and another 300,000 in the neighborhoods of annexed East Jerusalem.

In an interview on Reshet Bet, Minister Ariel said that the president is allowed to express his opinion: “Everyone is allowed to dream and to say what he thinks.”

Ariel reminded listeners that Jews pray for peace three times a day and will continue to do so, but in the real world, when the Prime Minister Ehud Olmert wanted to give the Palestinians everything, Abbas fled the discussion..

Welcome to Israel, where internal clashes between left wing presidents and right wing governments are par for the course, where we have a special name for such clashes: Monday.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/peres-pushing-peace-talks-ministers-argue-he-shouldnt-do-policy/2013/05/27/

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