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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Peace Now’

How Many Times Can Israel Build the Same Homes for Settlers?

Monday, November 25th, 2013

The Defense Ministry announced Monday it already has approved the planning stage for new homes already announced for construction in Judea and Samaria.

The reporting by run-of-the-mill media of every announcement and step in the bureaucratic procedure for new homes in Judea and Samaria gives the impression that Israelis building double or triple the actual amount.

It also gives Peace Now another opportunity to condemn the construction, as it did Monday by stating, “This is yet another move that threatens to derail the peace process.” That is more or less the same thing it said a couple of weeks ago when the government said it will build the homes.

It takes anywhere from three to seven years for a house to completed in Israel following an initial policy announcement, which is followed by a series of steps that require approval by public servants, who otherwise would be unemployed.

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?

Government Evicts a Total of One Family from Amona Outpost

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

One family at Judea and Samaria’s largest outpost of Amona peacefully left their home Thursday, while approximately 40 other families at the community received a stay of execution as the courts try to decide who owns their land.

The eviction on Thursday was in sharp contrast to the vicious clubbing and trampling of sit-down protesters, including reserve IDF officers and Knesset Members, in the 2006 expulsion of nine families and the demolition of their homes.

Peace Now has been trying to prove for years that the families at Amona are living on Arab land. The community claims it bought the land from Palestinian Authority Arabs, whom left-wing supporters insist lost their land through forged papers.

This item around, the courts are not going along with the Peace Now argument that the land is Arab unless proven otherwise. Palestinian Authority Arabs rarely, if ever,  sell their land to Jews unless going through a third party or using a fictitious name. Otherwise, they face the death penalty under Jordanian law, adopted by the Palestinian Authority, for selling property to Jews.

However, the Arabs have not been able to prove they ever owned more than a small part of the land at Amona.

The Supreme Court accepted a government request to delay eviction of Amona families and demolition of their homes, sparing them, for the time being at least, the fate of families in Migron last year. At that time, the court did not accept Migron families’ claims that they had legally bought the land from Arabs.

Following the ruling of Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein last week that only one trailer home was on Arab-owned property, the family moved to another home.

The fate of the other families’a houses will be determined in the courts, unless the Supreme Court accepts a Peace Now appeal that called Weinstein’s ruling “outrageous.”

McDonald’s Boycotts Ariel

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

The Israeli franchise owner of McDonald’s, Peace Now co-founder Omri Padan, has caused an uproar in the city of Ariel in Samaria by refusing to allow a Big Mac branch in the city’s new mall.

In a reverse of the Boycott Israel movement, Ariel residents are threatening a Boycott McDonald’s movement.

The new mall was opened by the popular Rami Levy HaShikma supermarket, with plans for a McDonald’s  branch in the shopping complex.

Padan’s boycott not only will deprive Ariel’s Jews from chomping on McDonald’s menu items, but it also will lock out tens of thousands of Palestinian Authority Arabs in the area, who also will be deprived of the same equal job opportunities at McDonald’s that Rami Levy offers.

Ariel Mayor Eli Shviro told Channel 2 television, “If this is the case, it is a miserable decision. It discriminates against us. We are residents just like everyone in the country, and this is out of place.”

Padan stands his ground, as he has done for years. Levy says that the McDonald’s Israeli franchise owner is a victim of “mistaken thinking,” but McDonald’s Israel said in a statement. “This has always been the policy of Dr. Omri Padan.”

Indeed it has.

In 1998 he said in an interview with the Haaretz  newspaper, “McDonald’s Israel neither did nor will open a branch at any Israeli settlement beyond the Green Line. Already when I was the general manager of Kitan Textiles I told the board I would resign immediately if they move to open a plant on the West Bank. I have the privilege of not needing to compromise on my principles.”

He also fought in the past against a McDonald’s branch in Ramat Gan, adjacent to Tel Aviv, from becoming – God forbid – kosher, even though the orthodox Jewish owner of the mall required that stores be closed on Shabbat. He said in 1997, “We will be a non-kosher restaurant selling cheese-burgers, milkshakes and ice-cream.”

Nine years later, the Big Cheese in McDonald’s American headquarters overruled him and ordered the Ramit Aviv facility to go kosher.

It is doubtful that the bosses will intervene in Ariel. McDonald’s would prefer to suffer a boycott of a few thousand Jews, or even a few hundred thousand in Israel and abroad, rather than a mega-boycott by the BDS movement.

The Boycott Israel movement would gleefully add the hamburger chain to its list of companies that dare to operate in Judea and Samaria, even if they employ Arabs.

So don’t figure on a McDonald’s branch in Ariel.

But there always is the good side to everything. Ariel residents, and neighboring Arabs, will be spared McDonald’s nutrition.

US Implicitly Backs Peace Now Petition to Destroy Outpost

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

The United States pushed itself into the nitty-gritty of Israeli domestic procedures Wednesday by sending a United States embassy official to Supreme Court hearing on a Peace Now petition to destroy the Givat Assaf outpost in northern Samaria

Peace Now was thrilled at the unprecedented involvement in Israel’s domestic affair’s while nationalists were aghast at the implied pressure on Israel judges to approve the Peace Now appeal.

The United States considers a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria an international issue, but to actually attend a local court hearing, especially one initiated by the Peace Now organization, is implicit support for the leftwing group and could affect the court’s verdict.

It is clear that the embassy official, Andrew Schut, was not on an exercise in civics 101.

His appearance at the hearing, although he did not make any comments, comes three weeks after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry personally called Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, to complain about Israel’s recent decision to consider recognizing four Jewish communities in Samaria instead of destroying them.

The United States justifies its interference in anything concerning the right of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria.

How far can the American government plant delegates in Israel’s system to force its own policies on Israel?

Perhaps next week the Obama administration will send a representative to sit on a Knesset committee discussing Judea and Samaria.

The latest chutzpah is an escalation of a policy that is aimed at removing Jews from Judea and Samaria and areas of Jerusalem where the Palestinian Authority wants sovereignty.

It started out in a much more subtle form.

Twenty years ago, when I was in charge of security in the community where I live in the southern Hevron Hills, an elderly couple – immigrants from South Africa who converted to Judaism at a relatively late age in life – moved a small housing unit to a deserted and barren hill across from the community where I live.

That was around 1993, after the Reagan administration backed the Madrid Conference that developed into what has been misnamed as the peace process.

One evening, I received a phone call from the U.S. Embassy.

“Hi, there,” said the friendly voice. After exchanging a few pleasantries that I started my journalism career not far from his home town in the Blue Ridge Mountains, he said, “Our satellite noticed that one of those ‘caravans’ on the hill, referring to a small three-room and pre-fab trailer home without wheels.

“I was just wondering where they get their water en electricity,” continued the good ‘ol boy from down south. “Do y’all provide them with that? he asked.

I usually am not at a loss for words, but I was flabbergasted that the U.S. Embassy would call me – at night, no less – about a lonely hill.   I eventually sputtered out that I did not have much information for him.

If the American people, even the leftists, knew how deeply their government is involved into building up an Arab-only presence in Judea and Samaria and “eastern Jerusalem, they would be screaming their lungs out.

Around three years ago, when I was writing for Arutz Sheva, a Jewish Press blogger, whose name I will keep anonymous, called me up one day with a shocking story.

She had bought some old file cabinets from the U.S. Embassy in an auction. When she brought them home, she found some of the drawers were filled to the gills with documents and letters from the U.S. Information Agency that exposed the American government’s attempts to undermine a Jewish presence and to help the Palestinian Authority create a “Palestinian” culture.

Given the history of the State Department’s disgust for  Jews living where the administration wants Arabs, and only Arabs, to live, Schut’s appearance at a Supreme Court is not surprising.

Peace Now chairman Yariv Oppenheimer was ecstatic.

He explicitly stated that he understood Schut’s presence at the hearing as a silent but clear statement to warn Israel to think twice before recognizing the outposts in question.

And although the word ”outpost” conjures up a few wild-eyed radicals living in a circle of wagons, Givat Assaf is a community of more than 20 families working and living like every other normal person in the world.  They live on land that was purchased from Arabs, but like all such purchases, Peace Now insists that the Arab sale was a forgery.

PA Arabs Go to Court to Divide Efrat

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

The Palestinian Authority made its case in the High Court Wednesday in a suit that claims the government discriminated against Arabs during a process that declared Givat Eitam in Efrat “state land.”

Givat Eitam is an area of approximately 500 acres and is so large that it has been termed “Efrat ‘B,’” where 2000 homes could be built.

The area includes approximately 75 acres bought by a Jew before the re-establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The land was registered with the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in order to protect the identity of the purchaser, Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi told the Jewish Press.

The entire Givat Eitam, literally the “Eitam Hill,” was state land under the Ottoman Empire and during the Jordanian occupation after the War for Independence until the Six-Day War in 1967.

However, apparently trying to avoid claims it is “occupying” the area that was not under any internationally-recognized rule, Israel kept the area as a sort of “no-man’s land” and did not allow Efrat to build on Givat Eitam or even work the land as a farm.

After a nine-year process towards declaring it state land, Israel allowed all parties to stake claims. Oded said that there were nine Arab claims on different parcels of land, and one was accepted. The government rejected the other claims because the land had not been worked for 10 years.

Arabs claim that Efrat blocked them from farming the land, an assertion that is difficult to swallow because if it were true, the supposed landowners could have gone to the courts. Furthermore, if they were the landowners, why was the same area “state land” under Turkish and Jordanian rule?

PA Arabs, buoyed by Peace now and other left-wing supporters who have succeeded in winning court cases on property claims without proving landownership, found a new tactic.

They appealed to the High Court in 2009 and accused the government of Israel of discrimination in the process of declaring Givat Eitam state land.

When the court heard the case on Wednesday, lawyers for the Arabs reasoned that since the process applied only to the land that is not owned by Jews, that proves that the government’s intention was only to take over what the Arabs said is their land.

One of the judges on the three-justice panel saw through the hollow reasoning. He asked the lawyer if he really thinks that the government would declare as “state land” an area that already is proven to be legally registered by Jews.

When a judge asks that kind of question in a hearing, it usually points in the direction of the eventual ruling, which will be handed down at a future date.

The argument “shows that the Arabs did not challenge the ‘state land’ designation’ innocently, according to Oded.

Asked what would happen if the High Court rules against the government and recognizes the Arab claims, Oded sad he really does not know.

The entire issue is buried in semantics. When Haaretz’s Amira Hess reported the story earlier this week, she wrote, “Local Palestinians have also expressed concern that if the land is claimed by the state, Efrat will be expanded and Bethlehem will ultimately be cut off from Palestinian towns to the south.”

Obviously, the land will be used for homes, but the other side of the coin is that the Arabs wants to cut off one area of Efrat from the other.

The claim that Bethlehem would be cut off from other Arab villages is patently false because building on Givat Eitam would not change the current situation.

Revivi told the Chinese news agency Xinhua three years ago, after the petition was filed in court,  “Givat Eitam was declared state land three years ago, so it is not Palestinian land, and the whole city plan was laid out in 1983, for all of Efrat, so to come and say we are trying to expand is ridiculous because this was part of the original plan.”

Peace Now’s Hagit Ofran boldly admitted the facts don’t matter. She told Xinhua, “I don’t care when it was approved, it’s against Israeli interests because it makes a two-state solution much harder.”

That, of course, depends on a negotiated border of two states, something that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has categorically stated that is not for negotiation.

Which Prime Minister Built the Most Homes in the Settlements?

Friday, January 18th, 2013

A Channel 10 report on Thursday ranked the various Israeli Prime Ministers, since 1991, based on the amount of actual housing construction that began during their respective terms, inside the Israel’s Settlements.

Who Built the Most and When?**
Rank  Prime Minister            Party    Years      Construction  
1 Ehud Barak Labor   1999-2001 4,292
2 Benjamin Netanyahu Likud   1996-1999 3,194
3 Shimon Peres Labor   1995-1996 2,443
4 Ariel Sharon* Likud   2001-2006 1,826
5 Ehud Olmert Kadima   2006-2009 1,741
6 Benjamin Netanyahu Likud   2009-2012 1,168

*Also destroyed thousands of buildings and homes.
** This chart doesn’t include infrastructure construction, only homes.

Based on information collected by Peace Now, below are the number of government tenders for new settlement housing that were issued, by year for the past decase. We then correlated that information according to who was Prime Minister at the time.

Who issued the most Housing Construction Tenders? 
Year   Prime Minister   Party   Tenders   Subtotal  
2002 Ariel Sharon Likud 689
2003 Ariel Sharon Likud 2508
2004 Ariel Sharon Likud 912
2005 Ariel Sharon Likud 1184  Ariel Sharon
5293
2006 Ehud Olmert Kadima 919
2007 Ehud Olmert Kadima 65
2008 Ehud Olmert Kadima 539  Ehud Olmert
1523
2009 Benjamin Netanyahu Likud 0
2010 Benjamin Netanyahu Likud 0
2011 Benjamin Netanyahu Likud 1009
2012 Benjamin Netanyahu Likud 660  Benjamin Netanyahu 
1669

Again, the information above is for new homes only. It does not include the infrastructure development in the settlements, which Netanyahu, for instance, did a lot of (exact data unavailable at the moment) during this last term as Prime Minister.

Updated:

According to Peace Now, the Netanyahu government also approved dozens of “outposts”, though what Peace Now calls “outposts” are actually neighborhoods of existing Settlements.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/which-prime-minister-built-the-most-homes-in-the-settlements/2013/01/18/

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