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November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘settlements’

Lieberman: Israel Won’t Agree to ‘Further Conditions’ for Talks

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman blamed the Palestinians for lack of progress in peace negotiations, and said Israel would not agree to additional conditions for the continuation of the talks.

“The Palestinians are the ones torpedoing the talks by setting conditions,” Lieberman told Israel Radio Thursday, according to the Times of Israel. “Israel would not agree to any further conditions for the continuation of talks.”

The statement comes in response to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ call for Israel to freeze West Bank settlement expansion in order for talks to continue.

The negotiations, which began last July, are nearing the nine-month deadline that Secretary of State John Kerry set at their start. Kerry hopes to persuade both sides to agree to a framework for ongoing negotiations that would extend beyond the original deadline. Recent reports indicate that significant gaps remain between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Lieberman is set to meet Kerry in Rome later in the day Thursday.

In Time for Obama Meeting, CBS Shows 123% Rise in Settlement Housing

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Hours before a scheduled meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama in Washington Monday, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics released the figures on Jewish housing starts in Judea and Samaria for 2013 and they show a stunning, 123% rise compared to the year before.

According to the CBS, work began on 2,534 new Judea and Samaria homes and apartments in 2013, compared to 1,133 in 2012. Of these, some 1,710 units were in apartment buildings in the larger Judea and Samaria settlements, and 824 were single-family homes in smaller settlements.

The same data shows a 19 percent drop in housing starts in the Tel Aviv area.

The total number of housing starts throughout Israel rose 3.4 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, according to the CBS.

Housing starts in Judea and Samaria have been lower since a 10-month freeze in building in Judea and Samaria settlements that began in November 2009, as part of the Netanyahu government’s capitulation to American pressure.

It took until 2013 for many new housing tenders to be issued for Judea and Samaria settlements, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Housing starts in Judea and Samaria comprise 5.7% of all the starts in Israel. In the south of Israel there was a 12% rise, in the Haifa region 8.1%, in Jerusalem 2.9%, and up north 1%.

The 19% drop in housing starts in Tel Aviv appears dramatic when juxtaposed with the rest of the country.

And now for a word from our friend at Peace Now Yariv Oppenheimer who issued a statement saying that at this rate of growth there’ll be no room left for a Palestinian State.

The other friendly NGO, the “Geneva Initiative,” faulted Netanyahu for creating a one-state solution through his action, and warned that in such a state the Jews would be in the minority.

No they won’t, just check birth rate figures for Jews (on the rise) and for Judea and Samaria Arabs (on the decline since 2005).

Some JTA content was used in this report, but we had to replace all the “west bank” references with the proper “Judea and Samaria.”

Merkel in Jerusalem: Israel and Germany Have ‘Very Strong Friendship’

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Israel that her country and Israel enjoy a “very strong friendship.”

Merkel arrived in the country on Monday with nearly her entire Cabinet, whose members will meet the following day with their Israeli counterparts for a fifth joint meeting. The German delegation is in Israel for a 24-hour visit.

Despite German news reports in recent days indicating that Israel and Germany are at a low point in their relationship, Merkel told reporters in German, “We have come here with almost the whole of our new government, and we wanted to show you in this way that this is indeed a very strong friendship.”

Merkel was to have a dinner meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. The other ministers met over dinner with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Germany has stood “shoulder to shoulder” with Israel over the past five decades, Merkel said, and was working for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli President Shimon Peres is scheduled to present Merkel on Tuesday with the Presidential Medal of Distinction, Israel’s highest civilian award.

Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on Monday in Madrid called Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria “disruptive” and said he would discuss it with Israeli leaders when he landed there later in the day.

Abbas, Kerry to Hold Second Paris Meeting

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have agreed to meet for a second day to discuss core issues in the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

Kerry and Abbas met for two hours on Wednesday evening  in Paris, where they “had an in-depth discussion about the core issues” surrounding a peace deal and agreed to continue the discussion on Thursday, according to news reports citing an unnamed senior State Department official.

Kerry reportedly will present in the coming weeks a framework agreement for continuing the nine-month, U.S.-brokered peace negotiations, which currently are scheduled to end on April 29.

Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, told reporters Wednesday night in Vienna that recent remarks by chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, including suggesting that Israel is planning an incursion into Gaza to take the focus off of the peace negotiations, and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping for Abbas’ assassination, are “unhelpful.”

“The secretary will make clear that these kinds of comments are disappointing, that they are unhelpful, especially coming from someone involved in the negotiations, indeed the lead negotiator,” Harf told reporters.

She would not address Israeli news reports that Kerry’s proposal will include a request that the Israeli government freeze all construction in settlements outside of the large blocks of communities that Israel intends to keep in a final status deal.

When asked to clarify whether the official U.S. position recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, Harf replied that it does. She cited President Obama’s Sept. 24, 2013 speech to the United Nations General Assembly, when Obama said: “I’ve made it clear that the United States will never compromise our commitment to Israel’s security, nor our support for its existence as a Jewish state.”

Price Tag Suspects Indicted for Arson Setting Arab Cars on Fire

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Three residents of the Gilad Farms outpost in Samaria were indicted Wednesday on charges of setting Arab vehicles on fire and spraying then with two Stars of David.

Police have been sharply criticized for not putting their hands on price tag vandals. Some leaders in the nationalist movement have been claiming that most or all of the alleged attacks never happened and were staged either by Arabs for propaganda or buy Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) agents trying to slander the outposts.

Indictments have been rare, and there have been no convictions.

Denmark Bank Boycott: All For Show

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

The Danske bank of Denmark announced they plan to boycott Bank HoPoalim for its involvement in settlement construction.

They recently pulled their investments from Israeli real estate giants Africa-Israel and Danya Cebus.

It turns out that the Danish Embassy has an active bank account at Bank HaPoalim, and they have no intention of closing it down.

The Danish embassy said that the decision of Danske bank is a private one, and the government of Denmark has no say over their decisions.

It’s seems worthwhile to point out that Danske bank not only were not doing business with Bank HaPoalim prior to their announced “boycott”, but they don’t have any investments with any other Israeli bank either.

One might begin to suspect that settlements have nothing to do with their decision to not work with any Israeli banks.

Pro-Israeli Group Invites Johansson to ‘See for Herself’

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

The nationalist Legal Grounds organization in Israeli has applauded actress Scarlett Johansson for standing up for Israeli-based SodaStream and invited her to Israel as their guest “to see for herself the benefits that SodaStream and other Israeli companies based in Judea and Samaria provide to people of all religions and ethnicities.”

SodaStream recently signed on Johansson as its world ambassador, including an appearance in a commercial to be telecast during the Super Bowl game on Sunday. The company also is on the Boycott Israel target list because one of its 20 factories in the world is located east of Jerusalem, in the Judean Desert that the Palestinian Authority claims is its territory.

Johansson issued a statement earlier this week that SodaStream’s policy of hiring Palestinian Authority workers and giving them equal opportunity and benefits with Jews represents the road to peace.

She stated that she supports “neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma’alah Adumim factory every working day.” The factory is located in the city’s Mishor Adumim industrial park.

“We would like to recognize Scarlett Johansson for standing up to the anti-Israel BDS movement,” said the Legal Grounds Committee. At a time when there are those who seek to force their agenda through threats of boycotts and increased isolation, it is refreshing to see a public figure who does not just accept the false narrative of ‘illegal settlements’ and ‘occupation’ but understands the subtleties of the issues.”

“We encouraged our followers on Facebook to support Scarlett,” it added. We also applaud SodaStream for serving as such a fine example of the practical application of our Legal Grounds in Judea and Samaria.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pro-israeli-group-invites-johansson-to-see-for-herself/2014/01/29/

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