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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘West Bank’

Finkelstein Loses It in J-TV Debate with Ken Spiro [video]

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

J-TV tried to run an intelligent debate between Norman Finkelstein and Ken Spiro discussing if Israel is held to double standard or not.

It quickly degenerated into Finkelstein quoting out-of-context cherry-picked facts, and then just losing it completely when confronted, until he eventually hung up.

The segment was a short one, and unfortunately was not set up to answer all the claims that Finkelstein made, but we found his mention of Theodor Meron very interesting, such that we wanted to discuss it further.

Theodor Meron was a legal advisor for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1967.

The cover letter version is that Meron, in a top secret document, apparently gave his legal opinion to the government that Israeli settlements on the Golan Heights and the West Bank would be in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention, though the entire issue is complex from a political and legal point of view.

And Finkelstein ran with that, claiming that Israel knew that settlements were illegal under international law, and purposely ignored international law.

Putting aside for the moment that Meron was only just one legal opinion, and other government legal advisors held different legal opinions, it’s interesting to point out that Finkelstein chose to only wield the part of Meron’s response that he agreed with.

Reading Meron’s complete response we learn that he also advised the government, based on his legal position, how the government could set up settlements legally .

Furthermore, and perhaps more interesting to this discussion, Meron legally opined that Israelis could return to live in Gush Etzion (and Hebron and eastern Jerusalem, by definition) and it would be difficult to claim it was a Geneva Convention violation, and those Israeli settlements would not be illegal — as Jews inhabited those areas before 1948.

“With regard to Gush Etzion, settlement there could to a certain extent be helped by claiming that this is a return to the settlers’ homes.”

Finkelstein was happy to selectively quote Meron’s general opinion to use it against Israel, but ignored the parts of what Meron wrote that he found unacceptable.

If Finkelstein accepts Meron’s opinion, and we have to assume he does as he was using Meron to prove his point, then Finkelstein has to also accept that there are no illegal Jewish settlements in Gush Etzion, Hebron and eastern Jerusalem.

Imagine how apoplectic Finkelstein would have gotten if Spiro had pointed that out.

J-TV is a new, global Jewish YouTube channel featuring weekly segments on Jewish Wisdom, Current Affairs, Movers & Shakers, Jewish Food and more.

Video of the Day

State Dept on ‘Illegal Settlements’: Jews Bad, Arabs Good

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

This will soon change, you know, but for now it was fascinating to watch how State Dept. Press Office Director Elizabeth Trudeau, at a daily press briefing, November 14, 2016, was able to describe the exact same construction issue as against and for peace, depending on the religion of the people involved.

A reporter said: “Yesterday, Israel’s ministerial committee for legislation unanimously approved a law to retroactively legalize the illegal outposts. Do you have any comment on that?”

Trudeau responded: “We’re deeply concerned about the advancement of legislation that would allow for the legalization of illegal Israeli outposts located on private Palestinian land. … If this law were enacted, it could pave the way for the legalization of dozens of illegal outposts deep in the West Bank. … Our policy, as you know, on settlements is clear. We believe they are corrosive to the cause of peace.”

Next question, without an interruption, hardly a break for air:

“Also, a couple of days ago the Israelis made a Palestinian family of 12, or a number of families, demolish their own homes in East Jerusalem. I wonder if you have any comment on that.”

Trudeau: “We’ve spoken before to this practice of demolition. … We believe that any actions like that raise tensions are counterproductive to peace.”

To conclude: building Jewish homes in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem without legal authorization is “corrosive to peace,” while building illegal Arab homes in the same territory is not only a good thing, demolishing them is also corrosive to peace.

Spoken like an honest broker.

David Israel

Amona ‘Regulation Law’ Passed Unanimously by Ministerial Committee for Legislation

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Despite an effort by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to prevent its passage, members of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation unanimously voted to approve the ‘Regulation Law’ on Sunday evening.

Passage of the bill in committee means the law now goes to the Knesset, where it still must pass three readings in order to make it into law.

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit has said there are legal problems with the law, which may be in conflict with international norms. He has told the committee he is not willing to defend the measure in Supreme Court on behalf of the government, should it be challenged.

The law calls for the government to financially compensate Palestinian Authority Arabs who claim private ownership of land on which Jewish towns have been built.

The law would retroactively legalize the status of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and would prevent the demolition of the town of Amona. It would also stop the destruction of nine homes in the town of Ofra.

The proposed bill was sponsored by Likud Knesset member Yoav Kish, along with two Bayit Yehudi Knesset members, Shuli Muaelem Refaeli and Bezalel Smotrich.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked praised the decision. This government will normalize the settlements in Judea and Samaria, even against efforts by the far-left to engage in ‘lawfare’. The way to influence [policy] on the settlement map of Judea and Samaria is through elections, not through the improper means utilize by these groups today,” she said.

Hana Levi Julian

Terrorist Ambush Thwarted in Hebron

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Security forces conducted extensive sweeps in Hebron following intelligence information received Friday evening regarding an explosive device that had been placed in an undisclosed location in the city.

Eventually a suspect was located, hiding in a local hotel, and during his interrogation he revealed the location of the explosive device – a gas tank connected to explosives and a mobile phone.

In his interrogation, the terrorist, reportedly a Jordanian national who arrived in Israel as a tourist, confessed that he had planned to throw a Molotov cocktail in order to attract the attention of security forces, and once they arrived at the place of ambush to turn on the explosive charge via the phone.

Following the 1995 Oslo Agreement and subsequent 1997 Hebron Agreement, Arab cities in Judea and Samaria were placed under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, with the exception of Hebron, which was split into two sectors: H1 is controlled by the Palestinian Authority and H2 controlled by Israel.

David Israel

Stoning Attacks Continue in Binyamin Region

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Arab terrorists hurled stones at an Israeli public bus Thursday evening as it traveled in the Binyamin region, between the Arab towns of Hizme and Anatot.

No physical injuries were reported by Hatzolah of the Binyamin region in any of the attacks, but there were no details regarding damage to the vehicles.

About two hours earlier, a group of 10 Arab terrorists hurled rocks at Israeli security forces, stationed in an outpost at Neve Ta’alach. No injuries were reported in the attack. The troops used routine mob dispersal methods to deal with the attackers.

At around the same time, a separate group of attackers threw stones at IDF soldiers at an observation outpost north of the Jewish community of Ofra. No injuries were reported in that attack, which took place close to the site where a 23-year-old terrorist attempted to knife soldiers earlier in the day. He failed in his attempt to murder Israelis, and instead was himself shot and killed.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Forces Thwart Knifing, Eliminate Terrorist at Ofra Junction [video]

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Israeli security personnel thwarted an Arab terrorist who tried to carry out a stabbing attack on Thursday afternoon at the Ofra junction bus stop and hitchhiking post in the Binyamin region.

Forces at the scene shot and “neutralized” the terrorist, according to Hatzolah of Judea and Samaria. The IDF confirmed in a statement that the attacker is dead.

“Palestinian assailant armed with a knife attempted to stab an IDF soldier guarding a bus stop near the community of Ofra,” said an IDF spokesperson. “Responding to the immediate threat, forces at the scene shot the assailant, resulting in his death.”

Soldiers removed a knife during a subsequent search of the terrorist’s body as forces sought to ensure there were no other weapons or explosive devices on his person.

No Israeli at the site was injured in the attack.

A 15-year-old, Mordechai Tzadok, from Beit El witnessed the attack and told TPS what happened:

“I arrived at the bus stop with a friend to hitchhike back home. We saw an Arab coming out of the village and advance towards us, seeing that there were too many people, he turned back to another station. He entered the station wearing a sweater, and we realized there was a knife in his sleeves. He entered the station and shouted a few words, the soldiers shouted back at him a few words, we heard gunshots, we ran and we saw towards the terrorist was dead.”

Hana Levi Julian

State Dept. Condemns Jerusalem Housing Construction Amid Hints of Obama ‘November Surprise’

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Israeli diplomats are expecting President Barack Obama to force a diplomatic resolution for Israel and the Palestinians at the UN (Obama’s Israel Surprise?). “The White House has been unusually tight-lipped about what, if anything, it might have in mind,” the WSJ noted, “but our sources say the White House has asked the State Department to develop an options menu for the President’s final weeks.”

The Netanyahu cabinet has been extra careful not to provoke the ire of the retiring emperor on the eve of that portion of his term when he no longer needs to worry about the Jewish vote and will be free to follow his heart’s desire on the future of Jewish life in the Middle East. But it’s hard not to provoke Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry when their threshold for irritation seems to be so low. Such as the building permits for 181 new homes in Gilo, in the 1967 liberated territories, approved by the Jerusalem municipality back in 2012 (the permit was merely updated on Wednesday this week).

When asked during his daily briefing about the Israeli most recent 181 violations of mankind’s hope for peace, State Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby said, “We’re deeply concerned by those reports that the local planning and construction committee in Jerusalem approved permits for … 181 housing units and five community center infrastructure projects in Gilo, which is in East Jerusalem. Our policy on settlements, as I said before, is very clear. We strongly oppose settlement activity, which we believe is corrosive to the cause of peace.”

See? On John Kirby’s planet, which he shares with Kerry and Obama, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his entourage were already on their way to the Knesset in Jerusalem to sign a peace treaty recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State and maintain good neighborly relations with the Palestinian State next door, when suddenly a text message appeared on his smart phone telling him the Jews had decided to force a mass invasion of 181 Jewish families into Gilo — so the entourage turned back and returned to Ramallah.

“These decisions by Israeli authorities are just the latest examples of what appear to be a steady and systemic acceleration of Israeli settlement activity,” Kirby announced, lamenting that “in just the past few weeks, we have seen reports of an entirely new settlement near Shiloh, a potentially new settlement outpost in the North Jordan Valley, and over 80 Palestinian structures demolished in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”

To provide much-needed context to the spokesperson’s wailing: the new homes in Shiloh will house the anticipated evacuees from Amona, uprooted by decree of a Supreme Court gone insane. And those illegal structures were an attempt by the Arabs to build without a permit in Area C, governed exclusively by Israel — a clear and intentional attempt by the EU, the US and local Arabs to violate the Oslo agreements.

When Kirby suggested that the above moves “raise serious questions about Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians,” he was asked if the Administration might be planning to “draw a line in the sand where it comes to actions that you say or you believe hurt the environment for negotiations for a two-state solution.” He answered: “I think [it] shouldn’t surprise anybody that, as an administration … we routinely talk about the situation in the Middle East and in Israel, and that, obviously, is something I think you know Secretary Kerry’s very focused on, so of course we have discussions about this. But I don’t want to get ahead of those discussions.”

There you have it: the most an Administration official has allowed himself to say regarding his bosses’ post-election plans for Israel.

The WSJ suggested on Monday that the Obama Administration might “sponsor, or at least allow, a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction, perhaps alongside new IRS regulations revoking the tax-exempt status of people or entities involved in settlement building.”

Back in 2011, the Administration vetoed precisely this kind of resolution.

A vindictive President Obama could initiate or at least not vote against the formal recognition of a Palestinian state at the Security Council. It would cause Congress to erupt in a storm of rage, especially if the president uses an executive order to do the wicked deed. Which means the next president could revoke such an order with the stroke of a pen.

Which must make one wonder if a President Hillary Clinton would dare to reverse an executive order recognizing the Palestinian State. What do you think?

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/state-dept-condemns-jerusalem-housing-construction-amid-hints-of-obama-november-surprise/2016/11/03/

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