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November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Ramat Shlomo’

Snide Remarks from State Dept. Over Jerusalem Housing Plans

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

The United States has — again — expressed its strong disapproval over the latest plans to build badly-needed housing in an overcrowded Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem.

The district planning and building committee today (Monday, Nov. 3) approved 500 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo section of Jerusalem, an area built after the 1967 Six Day War. The State Department slammed the move, calling it “unfortunate” and “illegitimate.”

A week ago, the prime minister’s office approved plans to build 600 new housing units in the same neighborhood, in addition to 400 units in Har Homa, another post-1967 neighborhood in the capital.

Washington said at that point that Israel was taking steps that were “not conducive to peace in the region and a two-state solution.”

The State Department expressed “deep concern” over plans for what it called “settlement construction” in Jerusalem, in a loud echo of the anger bellowing from microphones in the Palestinian Authority.

But none of the neighborhoods in Jerusalem even faintly resembles a “settlement” and there is nothing remotely agrarian or rural about any of them.

Nevertheless, while meeting with U.S. officials in Washington, PA spokesperson Abu Rudaineh called today’s housing approval a “direct challenge” to the Obama administration” in a clear attempt to provoke the U.S. into attacking Israel.

A spokesperson for the far left ‘Peace Now’ organization eagerly aided and abetted the effort, telling the AFP news agency the approved housing units in Ramat Shlomo would “expand” the neighborhood’s existing “settlement.”

To put this all in perspective, please note that the average Israeli residential high-rise in Jerusalem’s Romema neighborhood, not far from the Central Bus Station, is built with eight to ten floors and features two or four units on each floor. So we are talking about the equivalent of perhaps a dozen to eighteen high-rise buildings – maybe double that if they are smaller. An addition of two streets, maybe.

This is called “expansion” of a “settlement?” Really?

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki underlined the sharp disappointment of the Obama government with the decision in her news briefing, claiming that Israel had no interest in peace with the Palestinian Authority because the housing project had been approved.

“Obviously, if they were going to restart a peace negotiation we would be seeing actions,” she said. “Actions like these are contrary to that objective.”

Oddly, she made no mention of the Palestinian Authority unity government’s violation of the cease-fire agreement on Friday night, by allowing Gaza terrorists to fire a rocket at southern Israel. The rocket landed in the Eshkol Regional Council district but did not injure anyone and did not cause property damage.

For some strange reason, Psaki and her boss have not considered the multiple violations of the cease-fire that have taken place since August to be ‘actions’ that signal the Palestinian Authority has no interest in “restarting a peace negotiation.”

A thinking person targeted in a rocket attack or some other form of terrorist violence (such as a shooting, rock attack or firebombing) might actually think that “actions like these are contrary to that objective.”

No?

Netanyahu OK’s New Housing in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this morning inked his approval on plans for new building projects in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. But it’s important to remember that such approval is only the first step in a very, very long process that often takes literally years to come to fruition.

And sometimes such projects don’t ever really come to pass. The red tape is just that complicated.

Today (Monday, Oct. 27) Netanyahu authorized plans to move forward for 1,060 such units in Jerusalem neighborhoods built after the 1967 Six Day War, according his spokesperson.

Officials said 660 of the units are to be built in the Har Homa neighborhood, and another 600 are planned for the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.

Yesterday (Oct. 26), Israel’s Channel 2 reported that the prime minister’s office has been negotiating with the Judea and Samaria Communities Council over a deal to end the de facto freeze on Jewish construction in the regions.

According to the report, Netanyahu’s representatives discussed the construction of new roads in Samaria, including a new bypass road to circumvent Shechem’s dangerous Hawara neighborhood. Other new roads would include routes to the communities of Immanuel and Eli, and plans to widen Highway 60, where Arab road terror attacks are frequent and not easily evaded.

Several youth villages are planned as well as a number of new parks, and a boardwalk in the Etzion bloc in memory of the three murdered yeshiva students, Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar.

In addition, the prime minister has reportedly agreed to the construction of some 2,000 new housing units, most to be built within the current settlement blocs.

Millions of shekels are to be invested in the project, according to the report, which noted the move followed a meeting between Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi party chairman Naftali Bennett.

Has the State Department Ever Looked at a Map of Jerusalem?

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

From YNet:

US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki responded Wednesday to Israel’s announcement of building 1,500 units in east Jerusalem saying “We do not consider continued settlement activity or east Jerusalem construction to be steps that create a positive environment for the negotiations.”

At no time in the course of pursuing negotiations toward a two-state solution have we condoned settlement activity or east Jerusalem construction,” she added.

Two things need to be made clear.

One is that the timing of the announcement of 1500 more housing units in Ramat Shlomo was stupid. It made it look as if Israel building in its own capital is a quid pro quo for releasing murderers. The appearance of linkage is completely unacceptable.

Secondly, Ramat Shlomo is not even close to the municipal border of Jerusalem. It is an integral part of the city, even if it is slightly over the Green Line. In no possible universe is that neighborhood or area up for negotiation.

Jerusalem Demographic Map2

The idea that Jerusalem must become frozen in time retroactive to 1967 is, to put it bluntly, stupid.
There are no Arab neighborhoods between Ramat Shlomo and the center of Jerusalem. There is empty land around Ramat Shlomo to expand (it is a small, dense neighborhood.)
ramat shlomo
Building there does not affect any conceivable “peace” plan.  (And it is not in “east Jerusalem,” but north.)
The question is, has the State Department ever condemned Jerusalem investing in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem? Or are the condemnations only for Jews?
I think we know the answer.

Visit Elder of Ziyon.

Independent Legitimizes Jerusalem Ethnic Cleansing Lie

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

If facts and logic governed the media’s coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, then recent claims by Palestinian spokesperson Hanan Ashrawi that new Israeli homes in the neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo represent a “policy of ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem” would be dismissed as the agitprop of the intellectually unserious.

However, not only was there no indication of incredulousness in the face of such absurd charges in The Independent’s Aug. 26 report by Ben Lynfield, but it was actually used in the headline:

headline2

As we explained in a recent post, the broad charge, believed by an astonishing number of “sophisticated” Europeans, that Israel is engaged in a project of “extermination” against the Palestinians, is one of the most easily disprovable hypotheses encountered in the cesspool of anti-Zionist narratives.

Though demographic evidence alone, showing that the Palestinian population has grown dramatically in the West Bank and Gaza since 1948, demonstrates how preposterous these claims are, the mere lack of empirical evidence has never served as much of a barrier to those committed to assaulting the Jewish state’s legitimacy.  Indeed, the laziness of ‘professional’ journalists covering the region, who typically fail to critically scrutinize such hyperbole, ensures that there is no disincentive for the practitioners of delegitimization to continue advancing these hateful smears.

The non-ethnic cleansing of Muslims from Jerusalem:

In response to Ashrawi’s charge, a real journalist could of course look at population statistics demonstrating that the number of Muslims in Jerusalem, both in total numbers and as an overall percentage, have increased dramatically since 1948.  Specifically, the Muslim population of Jerusalem increased from 1967 (when Israel unified the city) to 2011, from nearly 55,000 to over 291,000, while the Jewish population increased by a slower rate – from under 196,000 to 650,000.

Jewish Virtual Library Graph, based on figures from the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics.

Jewish Virtual Library Graph, based on Israel Central Bureau of Statistics data.

The non-ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Jerusalem:

As far as the total Arab population (Muslims and non-Muslims), per the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, “there has been a decline in the proportionate size of Jerusalem’s Jewish population, with a concomitant increase in the proportion of the Arab population.” Specifically, the proportion of the Jewish population fell from 74% in 1967 to 64% in 2009. Simultaneously “the Arab population in the city rose from 26% in 1967 to 36% in 2009.”

Here’s a graph illustrating the increase in Arabs (and Jews, and others) in Jerusalem between 1931 and 2009:

Graph via the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies.

Graph via the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies.

(Additionally, current population figures suggest that Palestinian Arabs outnumber Jews in east Jerusalem by a ratio of roughly 3 to 2.)

As you can see, whatever your views on Israel’s decision to build homes in communities in “east” Jerusalem (parts of the city previously controlled by Jordan), the charge that such construction, on lands which are currently uninhabited, constitutes the “ethnic cleansing” of either Muslims or Arabs is nothing but a lie.

If the toxic influence of pro-Palestinian propaganda wasn’t so severe, the charge that Israelis are engaged in anything resembling the ethnic cleansing of Muslims or Arabs would be regarded with the suspicion and contempt that typically greets other discredited anti-Zionist and antisemitic conspiracy theories.

Kerry’s Dream and Abbas’ Nightmare Meet in Biblical Beit El

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

The Israeli government has announced a new step in plans to build 300 new homes in Beit El, in  northern Samaria, just as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to convince Mahmoud Abbas to return to talks if Israel slaps a freeze on building for Jews in Judea and Samaria.

Reports from Israeli sources earlier this week stated that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has buckled under pressure from Kerry, and probably President Barack Obama, to freeze construction to bring Abbas back to the so-called negotiating table.

“Negotiations” in Arab Doublespeak means that Israel must accept Palestinian Authority territorial and political demands or they will be forced down its throat, either by the United Nations or by “resistance,” another Doublespeak word, which means terror.

No government  official has denied the reports of a “de facto” building freeze, and Prime Minister Netanyahu is conveniently in China.

Kerry hosted the government’s unofficial Minister for the Peace Process, Tzipi Livni, in Washington last week and continued discussions with her in Rome this week, where he said he will return to Israel in two weeks.

Journalists covering the State Department asked why he is returning after having been here last month, but the reports of the unofficial freeze provide the obvious answer.

But smack in the middle of Kerry’s Big Momentum – run as fast as you can with the ball so that everyone is too dazzled to see that the ball is a bomb – the government announced the next step for building 296 more homes in Beit El.

The town is not just another community in Samaria. More than 6.000 national religious Jews live there. Beit El is a symbol of the national religious movement in Judea and Samaria. A yeshiva bearing the town’s Biblical name has wide influence across the country. It is home to two of the most prominent national religious rabbis in Israel, Rabbi Zalman Melamed, head of Yeshiva Beit El, and Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, who is widely respected and consulted by many Jews who are not part of the “club.”

After the announcement of the preliminary approval of the homes, the Palestinian Authority immediately said everyone can forget about trying to dig up the bones of the peace process.

As with almost every announcement of building new homes, the one in Beit El refers only to one of several bureaucratic steps before the bulldozers can start digging, not less than a year from now.

Israel has been through this time after time, the most famous incident being the announcement of another bureaucratic stage having been completed for building homes in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem, claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

The news broke just as Vice President Joe Biden was landing in Israel, causing high tension between Jerusalem and Washington for a long time.

Coincidental or not with Kerry’s dream for resumed direct talks between Netanyahu and Abbas, the Beit El housing project proves that Israel is trying to “sabotage” Kerry’s efforts, according to senior PA negotiator Saeb Erekat.

“We condemn this new decision which is proof that the Israeli government wants to sabotage and ruin the US administration’s efforts to revive the peace process,” he said. “This is a message to the American administration and a blow to the peace process. This aims to drag the region into violence instead of peace and stability.”

Violence.

Erekat did not even have the diplomacy to say “resistance.”

It is out-and-out violence, and obviously Kerry would blame Israel if the Arabs kill more Jews. Otherwise he would have to go back on his statement earlier this year that the proof that Abbas is such a great peace partner can be found in the fact that not even one Jew was murdered by Palestinian Authority terrorists in 2012.

What about 2011? Well, that is history. Let’s look at the present and not the past and talk peace.

And what about the present the year 2013? Uh, yeah, well, sure, a Palestinian Authority terrorist stabbed to death a father of five, but that was an isolated incident, and after all, the murderer was not a member of a known terrorist gang.

Kerry does not have to defend himself. He has Livni to do that for him. Both of them desperately need a peace agreement, Kerry because he wants to be president and Livni because she needs something to justify her being politically alive. The latest polls shows that her party would win zero seats in if elections were held today.

Speaker Rivlin: East Jerusalem Construction Is Not Subject to Negotiations

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Against the background of the government’s decision to build in Ramat Shlomo and the E-1 zone, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin sent a message to his acquaintances around the world saying that construction in Jerusalem is not subject to negotiations. “In any conceivable political arrangement, Israel will not cede control of E-1.”

In a greeting for the new year he sent out, Rivlin further wrote: “We refuse to accept that only a few weeks after missiles and rockets were fired from Gaza at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, there are some who view Israel’s decision to hold on to a strategic area around Jerusalem and to build in its capital as the biggest obstacle to peace. We are getting the impression that European countries are more concerned with establishing a Palestinian state than they are with ensuring the existence of the Jewish state. The Europeans are wrong in assuming that Israel’s existence is assured and obvious.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/speaker-rivlin-east-jerusalem-construction-is-not-a-subject-to-negotiations/2012/12/18/

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