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February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Peace Now’

AP Anti-Settler Campaign Surging – With or Without Netanyahu

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

It’s a shame the Times of Israel and other news outlets chose to regurgitate AP’s article, “Netanyahu years see more settlement growth“, “West Bank settlement expansion surged under Netanyahu” and the other variations on that title’s theme, without bothering to add any critical editorial commentary or response to how AP selectively presented their data and reached their conclusions.

Starting with the various titles (some worse than others), the article is misleading from beginning to end.

“The population of Jewish settlers in the West Bank has surged during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s years in office, growing at more than twice the pace of Israel’s overall population, according to newly obtained official figures.”

After repeatedly telling us how much Netanyahu supports settlement construction and growth, using words like “surge” and “strong” and “continued support”, it’s only 6 paragraphs into the article that AP bothers to admit (right before reminding us that the settlement population “more than doubled” in 21 years):

“The rate of settler population growth slowed slightly under Netanyahu, from 31% during the previous five years under his predecessors Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.”

“Slowed slightly” - exactly how much is “slightly”?

It’s only towards the end of the article, quoting the “anti-settlement watchdog group Peace Now,” who claims that settlement growth rates are now “23% inside the barrier and 20% beyond it”.

If under Sharon that percent was 31%, and under Netanyahu that percent dropped to 20%-23% – um, wheres the surge?

Are you still with me when I ask how these papers let this AP article be published?

Continuing on, you might also find yourself confused from the beginning — is the article talking about new settlements? New home construction? Population growth? The article seems to go back and forth, mixing them together.

Correct.

The article mixes them together, but suspiciously leaves out the hard numbers on actual construction data, sticking only to select population growth numbers and percentages – and there’s a reason for that.

In 2010 (I provide the raw data at the end of the article, all supplied from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics website), Netanyahu completed construction on 1670 homes in Judea and Samaria. That number reached a low of 1,272 in 2012, and in 2013 was only 1,439.

Between 2010 – 2013, the settlement population grew by approximately 50,000 people, yet the total number of new homes built was a mere 6,062 – nowhere near enough for the population’s needs.

It gets worse.

The AP article likes to talk percentages, so let’s use their lingo.

In 2013, Settlers represented 4.28% of the national population – yet only 3.37% of national construction was completed in Judea and Samaria.

Since 2010, the settlements’ share from the national percentage of housing completions has only declined — under Netanyahu.

For the period between 2010 to 2013, settlers averaged 4.19% of the national population – but only represented 3.23% of national house starts and 4.1% of national housing completions.

In short, unlike what the article wants to make you think, under Netanyahu, besides not being allowed to build what the population needed, settlements did not even receive their fair share of new homes compared to the rest of Israel.

Considering AP’s history, it’s important to point out that the article liberally quotes the radical left-wing Peace Now, but yet doesn’t quote NGO-Monitor or any settler for that matter who might have a thing or two to say about Peace Now’s statements or this data.

But now let’s also talk about the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, since the article addresses them too.

The article makes a doubly ridiculous statement that the Israeli papers let slide:

“The more than 2 million Palestinians in the West Bank cannot vote for the Israeli government that controls much of their lives, while Jewish settlers can.”

To begin, Ambassador Yoram Ettinger’s research shows there to be approximately 1.69 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria in 2013, not over 2 million – the 2 million+ is based on clearly false data provided by the Palestinian Authority. Even if you don’t accept Ettinger’s exact numbers, the numbers AP supplies are disputed, and they should have mentioned that.

The second is that the article wants to imply, if not say outright, that Israel is an Apartheid state by not allowing “Palestinians” the right to vote for the Israeli government.

Except for one minor detail — the Arabs in Judea and Samaria have their own government that controls much of their lives.

The Arabs in Judea and Samaria pay taxes to the Palestinian Authority, they can serve in the Palestinian Authority’s army, police, national and municipal authorities, they run their own schools and can fill up their children’s minds with as much anti-Semitic brainwashing as they want (and they do), and when their government allows them to, the Arabs in Judea and Samaria even get to vote for their own government.

If there were any sentence in the AP article that shows how biased the article is, it is certainly that one.

It really is unfortunate that this AP article was posted by any Israeli paper of note, but worse, that it was published without any critical editorial response from the papers that published it.

Netanyahu Proposes Stiff Jail Sentences for Rock-Throwing Terrorists

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told senior officials on Monday to prepare a new law that would call for up to 20 years in jail for attacks cars and people with rocks and for economic sanctions on parents of offenders who are minors.

Anyone who has been on the receiving end of a rock, as most residents in Judea and Samaria outside of Maaleh Adumim have been, knows the sound of the body of their cars being smacked, a window smashed , or their own bodies being bloodied and their bones broken by rocks.

In the best possible scenario, the driver is able to continue to driving, often with one less window. In the worst possible case, the terrorist, often a teenager, gets “lucky” and the driver is killed after being struck by the rock or flying glass and losing control of the vehicle until it crashes.

In between there are hundreds of cases of people having being wounded, often for life.

Arabs popularized throwing rocks in the beginning of the intifada more than 25 years ago. They won great headlines for causing havoc on the highways and being faced by rifle-toting soldiers.

It is the kind of David and Goliath story that foreign media love, especially when it can disgrace Israel.

“Proportionate” response, the favorite policy of the West when the Arabs are losing, would require soldiers and police to lay down their weapons and throw rocks back at the youth.

But that won’t help because then the media would complain that the Israelis have an unfair edge, deploying adults against children. Furthermore, the police wear protective gear. It’s not a fair fight if Israeli wins.

Netanyahu has come up with a better weapon than guns – jail. Throwing rocks at passing cars is attempted murder, nothing more and nothing less.

The police and IDF have arrested thousands of rock throwers. Most of them are released after detention or simply given a slap on the wrist by the judicial system, which goes to the extreme to avoid convicting a minor for disturbing the peace.

Netanyahu’s directive would change that, assuming Peace Now does not win an appeal to the Supreme Court that jailing rock-throwers violates their human rights.

 

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)

Netanyahu Slams ‘Peace Now’ Sabotage Over Jerusalem

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has slammed what he called a “deliberate” attempt by the leftist Peace Now movement to sabotage his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

The group publicly recycled stale news about a Jerusalem housing project in the southern part of the capital that had already won its initial approval in 2011, with its final processing and approval signed last week. Such projects are frowned upon by the international community, including the United States. The news “leak” was timed to coincide with Netanyahu’s meeting at the White House.

“This is irresponsibility on the international level – for some element to publish a statutory plan in order to sabotage a very important meeting that dealt with the Iranian nuclear program, our basic security questions and Islamic State (ISIS),” Netanyahu said in an interview with Amit Segal on Israel’s Channel 2 News, to be aired after the Yom Kippur holiday.

The announcement of 2,610 new building tenders in Jerusalem’s Givat Hamatos neighborhood was greeted with a harsh condemnation by the State Department, which labeled the project “poison.” Spokesperson Jen Psaki claimed the new homes in southern Jerusalem would “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.”

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, meanwhile, also slammed ‘Peace Now’ for its attempt to sabotage the prime minister’s meeting at the White House over the issue, and underscored the group’s foreign ties. Peace Now, a worthless organization whose budget mostly comes from foreign sources, leaked the news the same day as the prime minister’s meeting with the president of the United States in order to poison the atmosphere,” Katz charged.

Likewise, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat rejected the condemnations and instead said the construction in the holy city was “essential, important and will continue with full force.” He added that he will “not freeze construction for anyone” in Israel’s capital. “Discrimination based on religion, race or gender is illegal in the United States and in any other civilized country,” Barkat said.

“[The] 2,600 apartments in Givat HaMatos that we approved two years ago will enable more young people from all sectors and religions to live in Jerusalem and build their future here, thereby strengthening the capital of Israel. We will not apologize for that.”

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.

 

 

Destruction in Gush Etzion: It’s Only ‘Anatevka’

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

When the IDF soldiers and Border Police officers who destroyed the homes of seven families and a kindergarten in Gush Etzion take off their uniforms to lay down for the night, will they be able to sleep when they close their eyes? What images will they see?

Hundreds of security personnel were involved in today’s (Wednesday) in demolitions, making sure the small playground vanished where Ma’aleh Rehavam’s children once learned and played.

A like number of Arab workers – just pour a little salt on the wounds please — were present to shove their precious few belongings into big metal shipping containers. When it was over they were sent who knew where.

A few scattered pieces of shelving lay broken on the rocky ground, carelessly tossed in the rush to finish the job done before media could report the gory details. Pitiful bits of furniture left here and there gave testimony to the presence of seven families and their small children. They didn’t have much.

It was only Anatevka. Or some Bedouin clans. Frankly, in this day and age, they don’t look much different, do they?

If you live in Israel and travel the Negev or the hills of Judea and Samaria, or around the Galilee and the Golan Heights, you know the truth. You know that Jews who choose to help settle the Land – as Jews are commanded to do in the Bible – don’t do it because it is easy.

They do it out of a commitment to their People and their nation, and to their Creator. They bring their faith and sometimes their small children and whatever few things they manage to pull together for a home. And then they live in a caravan for a while. Eventually, if they’re lucky, the caravan becomes a “real” house – but usually it’s a hut with a corrugated tin roof. Just like those of the Bedouin in the Negev and up north.

We’re basically the same. We’re only different when it comes to how our government treats us.

Fear of the European Union, which generously funds the radical leftist Peace Now movement, has driven the government to discriminate against the settlers. Peace Now files hundreds of lawsuits that whip the courts and the government into expelling Jewish settlers from their homes. They don’t bother to do the same with Arab settlers.

According to Peace Now, Arabs own all the land outside of the 1949 Armistice line. Peace Now would never dare to harass the Palestinian Authority into “enforcing” any law – nor would it attempt to force the PA to formulate a law to control settlement or housing construction.

They are too busy harassing Jews. It’s also safer. Harassing Hamas or Fatah would earn a death sentence for anyone attempting to “enforce” anything and well does the European Union’s proxy agency know it. So they aim at those who are committed to holding the land won in 1967 in a war not even of Israel’s making. Land that was ours decades before, and millenia before, towns whose names were written eons ago in the Bible. They persuade Israel’s military – who rush with an agenda – to clear out the settlers. They figure it will eliminate the “facts on the ground” and create an atmosphere of “peace” with the Arabs.

The saddest and most destructive part of what happened today at Ma’aleh Rehavam, however, is the haste with which the entire demolition was carried out.

What on earth was that about?

Here is a copy of the Supreme Court restraining order, clearly stating that the IDF forces are not to take any steps that carry “irreversible outcomes.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/destruction-in-gush-etzion-its-only-anatevka/2014/05/14/

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