Category Archives: Jerusalem
Even given that we live in an insane world, the following story beggars belief. Apparently Yahoo! and Apple have decided that they get to decide the fate of Jerusalem.
Yep. Never mind that Jerusalem had a Jewish majority long before Islam even existed.
Never mind that Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel both legally, and morally.
Never mind that when Jordan controlled Jerusalem, it turned holy Jewish sites into horse stables.
Never mind any of that. Apparently Yahoo! and Apple feel that they - not international law, not the Israeli government, and certainly not Jews – get to determine what is part of the Jewish capital of the Jewish nation, and what is not.
Read it and weep, folks:
YAHOO! AND APPLE DIVIDE JERUSALEM ON IPHONE
by Hana Levi Julian
Internet giant Yahoo! and the Apple computer firm have apparently decided to pre-empt those pesky Israel-Palestinian Authority negotiations and divide the holy city of Jerusalem on their own.
Yahoo! — which runs the weather software application for the slick Apple iPhone — last month removed Israel’s capital city from its list of international locations from which to view weather conditions.
Instead, one must now choose between East Jerusalem or West Jerusalem in order to figure out what the weather is going to be in the city.
The latitude and longitude coordinates for both locations are exactly the same, as is the temperature and other weather details.
On the Yahoo! weather page, which is linked to The Weather Channel, one is offered two Middle East options when requesting weather information for Jerusalem – Jerusalem, Yerushalayim (IL), Jerusalem, and Palestinian Occupied Territories > West Bank, Jerusalem (PS).
Clearly Yahoo! and Apple executives have decided to recognize the Palestinian State long before direct negotiations have even been contemplated by the parties themselves, let alone conducted to determine actual borders.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, expressed his disappointment with the fact that “Jerusalem, which has been united for 43 years, has been divided by the computer giant and the popular search engine.”
Oren sent a letter of protest to both Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz and Apple CEO Steve Jobbs. He added that he and the rest of the Israel Embassy staff use the iPhone.
Readers may write to both to protest as well at the following emails: to Yahoo!’s Carol Bartz, care of: firstname.lastname@example.org and to Apple’s Steve Jobbs through filling out the customer feedback form by clicking here.
White House sources have this morning confirmed that Barack Obama is receiving psychiatric care. The problems apparently started a week ago, after the President’s closest aides observed his behaviour becoming increasingly erratic.
But it was after Obama became delusional that alarm grew among his staff. Specifically, one aide has confirmed: ‘It’s all rather embarrassing, actually. The President clearly believed himself to be in charge of, well, planning permission – in Jerusalem.’
It was then that White House staff had to face the fact that Obama was seriously ill.
‘At first I thought he was just stressed,’ states one source who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, ’But then he got on to the phone to the Israeli Ambassador to America and began issuing bizarre instructions’.
Specifically, confirms the aide, Obama ordered the Israeli government to halt work on an apartment building near Sheikh Jarrah.
‘It was embarrassing, to say the least’, confides another aide, ‘There we are with people being killed on the streets of Iran, and there’s Obama marching around the Oval office, screaming down the phone to Tel Aviv about this new block of flats and demanding that it not go ahead!
And the aide continues: ‘It was apparent to everyone there that Obama was delusional. We had no choice but to organise the appropriate help for him.’
Rumours suggest that Obama has been assessed by a consultant psychiatrist, at the White House, and that a medication regime is being set up. Although details of the diagnosis remain under wraps, it’s rumoured that Obama is experiencing some form of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Specifically, his staff are hoping that the treatment will help to reduce the American President’s apparent fixation on Israel.
‘His behaviour is troubling, no doubt about it, ‘ stated a member of the secret service, ‘Sometimes, in the early hours of the morning, our boys will come across the President wandering around, muttering and mumbling about ‘that bloody Bibi’. We sure hope he gets better soon.’
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, has conveyed his ‘heartfelt wishes for Obama’s speedy recovery’ during a phone call with the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.
He is reported to have said: ‘I am truly sorry to hear of Obama’s difficulties. We will of course disregard his irrational demands over what Israelis can and can’t do in the Israeli capital, Jerusalem. As far as I am concerned, it never happened and I won’t mention it ever again. Our thoughts are with Obama and his family at this time.’
We will update this news story as soon as we get more details – watch this space!
Jeff Jacoby, writing in the Boston Globe, offers some historical context:
Late last week, the Obama Administration demanded that the Israeli government pull the plug on a planned housing development near the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem.
The project, a 20-unit apartment complex, is indisputably legal. The property to be developed – a defunct hotel – was purchased in 1985 and the developer has obtained all the necessary municipal permits.
Why, then, does the administration want the development killed? Because Sheikh Jarrah is in a largely Arab section of Jerusalem and the developers of the planned apartments are Jews. Think about that for a moment. Six months after Barack Obama became the first Black man to move into the previously all-White residential facility at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, he is fighting to prevent integration in Jerusalem.
It is impossible to imagine the opposite scenario. The administration would never demand that Israel prevent Arabs from moving into a Jewish neighborhood. And the Obama Justice Department would unleash seven kinds of hell on anyone who tried to impose racial, ethnic or religious redlining in an American city. In the 21st century, segregation is unthinkable – except, it seems, when it comes to housing Jews in Jerusalem.
It is not easy for Israel’s government to refuse any demand from the United States, which is the Jewish State’s foremost ally. To their credit, Israeli leaders spoke truth to power, and said “no”.
“Jerusalem residents can purchase apartments anywhere in the city,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday. “This has been the policy of all Israeli governments. There is no ban on Arabs buying apartments in the west of the city, and there is no ban on Jews building or buying in the city’s east. This is the policy of an open city.”
There was a time not so long ago when Jerusalem was anything but an open city. During Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, the Jordanian Arab Legion invaded eastern Jerusalem, occupied the Old City, and expelled all its Jews – many from families that had lived in the city for centuries.
“As they left,” the acclaimed historian Sir Martin Gilbert later wrote in his 1998 book, Jerusalem in the Twentieth Century, “they could see columns of smoke rising from the quarter behind them. The Hadassah welfare station had been set on fire and… the looting and burning of Jewish property was in full swing.”
For the next 19 years, eastern Jerusalem was barred to Jews, brutally divided from the western part of the city with barbed wire and military fortifications. Dozens of Jewish holy places, including synagogues hundreds of years old, were desecrated or destroyed. Gravestones from the ancient Mount of Olives cemetery were uprooted by the Jordanian army and used to pave latrines. Jerusalem’s most sacred Jewish shrine, the Western Wall, became a slum.
It wasn’t until 1967, after Jordan was routed in the Six-Day War, that Jerusalem was reunited under Israeli sovereignty and religious freedom restored to all. Israelis have vowed ever since that Jerusalem would never again be divided.
And not only Israelis. US policy, laid out in the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, recognizes Jerusalem as “a united city administered by Israel” and formally declares that “Jerusalem must remain an undivided city.”
US presidents, Republican and Democratic alike, have agreed. In former President Bill Clinton’s words, “Jerusalem should be an open and undivided city, with assured freedom of access and worship for all.”
As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama said much the same thing. To a 2008 candidate questionnaire that asked about “the likely final status Jerusalem,” Obama replied: “The United States cannot dictate the terms of a final status agreement…. Jerusalem will remain Israel’s capital, and no one should want or expect it to be re-divided.”
In a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Council, he repeated the point: “Let me be clear… Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”
Palestinian irredentists claim that eastern Jerusalem is historically Arab territory and should be the capital of a future Palestinian state. In reality, Jews have always lived in eastern Jerusalem – it is the location of the Old City and its famous Jewish Quarter, after all, not to mention Hebrew University, which was founded in 1918.
The apartment complex that Obama opposes is going up in what was once Shimon Hatzadik, a Jewish neighborhood established in 1891. Only from 1948 to 1967 – during the Jordanian occupation – was the eastern part of Israel’s capital “Arab territory”. Palestinians have no more claim to sovereignty there than Russia does in formerly occupied eastern Berlin.
The great obstacle to Middle East peace is not that Jews insist on living among Arabs. It is that Arabs insist that Jews not live among them. If Obama doesn’t yet grasp that, then he has a lot to learn.
This article first appeared in the Boston Globe on July 22, 2009.
My, how easily the world condones the notion of this new, racist Palestinian state as championed by Obama.
The plan supported by his administration will lead to a new Palestinian Arab nation – in which Jews and maybe also Christians are banned from living.
At the same time, of course, Israel is being told she must kick out Jews in Judea and Samaria, to make way for this new, ‘Judenfrei’ Palestinian Arab state.
The world either doesn’t care, or doesn’t recall, that 80% of what was Palestine is already taken up by Jordan – which is already Judenfrei, as no Jews are permitted to live there.
Has anyone, ever, read any pieces in the international press condemning Jordan for this racism…?
I know I haven’t.
Thus while the world yells in rage the second Israel lifts a finger to respond to Palestinian terrorism, Israel is held to a far higher standard than either Jordan, or any Muslim country, or the new Palestinian state which is being carved out of Israel by the Arabs and Obama.
In other words, land is being taken from Jews, to form part of a Palestinian Arab, Judenfrei state.
And the world nods and smiles and mutters ‘about time’ as it sits back and watches this happen.
So when a few of my regular readers and even blogger friends chastise me for claiming that Obama is less than fair to Israel, well, they can chastise all they want.
What – am I as a Jew now meant to praise an American leader who seeks to turn the only middle eastern democracy into the size of a postage stamp?
Am I expected to cheer the idea of a Palestinian Arab state alongside Israel that will serve as a base for yet more terrorism?
The world is, again, either forgetting or ignoring what happened when Israel left Gaza. Israel gave the Palestinian Arabs what they were demanding – and what happened? Increased terrorism.
A new Palestinian Arab state beside Israel will just be Gaza redux. So excuse me if I’m not throwing a party and cracking open the champagne at the prospect.
And just to illustrate how Palestinian Arabs truly feel on these issues, here’s a fascinating glimpse into their hopes for this new state, courtesy of Arutz Sheva:
A survey conducted by the Arab World for Research and Development among 1,200 Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, found that many felt Jerusalem should not be shared with Jews and Christians.
When asked to what extent they agreed with a statement made by Barack Obama that Jerusalem should be “a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims,” less than 17% said they agree, while 20 percent said they “somewhat agree.” More than 42 percent said they disagree with the statement, while 17 percent “somewhat disagree.”
More than 45 percent of those surveyed disagreed with a second statement of Obama’s in which the president called on the Arab world to reject violence and killing as a means of struggle.
Twenty-two percent did not give an answer, while the remainder said they “agree” or “somewhat agree” with the statement.
Roughly 300,000 Jews reside in Judea and Samaria, and approximately 250,000 more live in Jerusalem neighborhoods now being demanded by the Palestinian Authority.
The PA demands that any future Arab state in Judea and Samaria be rid of the current Jewish minority.
Jews are currently allowed full access only to the latter site, while the Tomb of the Patriarchs is split into Jewish and Muslim sections, and Jews are allowed to visit Joseph’s Tomb only intermittently.
I think we can all envisage the rage and the threats 0f violence if Muslims were not allowed total access to their holy sites! Yet many of them would ideally ban Jews and Christians from Jerusalem. Talk about rank hypocrisy.
Jerusalem was holy to Jews and Christians before Islam even existed.
So to those who complain when Jews dare to use words like ‘Judenfrei’ and ‘Judenrein’ in connection with Obama’s plans for a new Palestinian Arab state, I say: tough.
It’s the ugly policy that you should be protesting – not the accurate words Jews use to describe it.
The excellent Elder Of Ziyon blog offers this information about Jordan’s bans on both Jews and Israelis:
In 1933, a number of prominent Arabs in Transjordan asked Great Britain to allow Jews to settle there, to help its ailing economy, and Zionists were enthusiastic about the idea. But since the British saw the riots that were happening in Palestine at the time they didn’t want to worry about more problems of that type, so they created a law banning Jews from living there.
This policy was ratified — after the emirate became a kingdom — by Jordan’s law no. 6, sect. 3, on April 3, 1954, and reactivated in law no. 7, sect. 2, on April 1, 1963.
It states that any person may become a citizen of Jordan unless he is a Jew. King Hussein made peace with Israel in 1994, but the Judenrein legislation remains valid today.
So, yes, Jordan really has a law banning Jews – not Zionists, but Jews – from becoming citizens. And the original source of this law was none other than Great Britain.
Here’s the law: (h/t british18)
The following shall be deemed to be Jordanian nationals:
(1)Any person who has acquired Jordanian nationality or a Jordanian passport under the Jordanian Nationality Law, 1928, as amended, Law No. 6 of 1954 or this Law;
(2)Any person who, not being Jewish, possessed Palestinian nationality before 15 May 1948 and was a regular resident in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan between 20 December 1949 and 16 February 1954;
(3)Any person whose father holds Jordanian nationality;
(4)Any person born in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan of a mother holding Jordanian nationality and of a father of unknown nationality or of a Stateless father or whose filiation is not established;
(5)Any person born in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan of unknown parents, as a foundling in the Kingdom shall be considered born in the Kingdom pending evidence to the contrary;
(6)All members of the Bedouin tribes of the North mentioned in paragraph (j) of article 25 of the Provisional Election Law, No. 24 of 1960, who were effectively living in the territories annexed to the Kingdom in 1930.
But what if a Jew wants to become a naturalized citizen? Well…
Any Arab who has resided continuously in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for not less than 15 years may acquire Jordanian nationality, by decision of the Council of Ministers taken on a proposal by the Minister of Internal Affairs, if he renounces his nationality of origin and the law of his country permits him to do so..
‘Judenfrei‘ and ‘Judenrein’
Nazi terms used to designate an area free of Jewish presence. The words bear slightly different connotations; while Judenfrei merely refers to “freeing” an area of all of its Jewish citizens, Judenrein (literally “clean of Jews”) demands that any trace of Jewish blood be removed as an impurity.
Some of the locations declared Judenfrei
Establishments, villages, cities, and regions were declared Judenfrei after they were ethnically cleansed of Jews.
- Gelnhausen, Germany – reported Judenfrei on November 1, 1938 by propaganda newspaper Kinzigwacht after its synagogue was closed and remaining local Jews forced to leave the town.
- German-occupied Luxembourg – reported Judenfrei by the press on October 17, 1941.
- German-occupied Estonia – December, 1941 . Reported as Judenfrei at Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942
- German-occupied Belgrade, Serbia – August, 1942
- Vienna – reported Judenfrei by Alois Brunner on October 9, 1942
- Berlin, Germany – July 16, 1943
Check out also ‘Jordan’s Identity Crisis’ over at Elder Of Ziyon:
(hat tip EMET NEWS )
So now we’re told by George Mitchell, Middle East envoy to Obama, that America will be ‘closely monitoring’ Israeli birth statistics… So much for Obama ‘not meddling’ in what other nations do.
Mitchell has apparently suggested that Jewish births in Judea and Samaria would be violations of Obama’s prohibition on ‘natural growth’. Let’s translate, shall we? If any Jewish parents dare to have more Jewish children in Judea and Samaria, Obama will be angry.
Since when is it acceptable for America to mandate how many children parents living in a sovereign nation can have…?
And why isn’t Obama cracking down on the truly illegal Palestinian Arab settlements in east Jerusalem…? You know – the ones built on land purchased fairly and owned legally by Israelis…?
I think the obscenely unfair nature of Obama’s stance on Israel is best summed up thus:
“Something must be wrong with a man who is far more concerned with a Jew building a house in Israel than with Muslims building a nuclear bomb in Iran“ — Bert Perlutsky.
I urge you to read this article; what are your thoughts…?
Obama’s ‘Jewish Experts’
by Jack Engelhard
This is getting uncomfortable.
A few days ago, George Mitchell once again expressed his position, and opposition, even to “natural growth” in Judea and Samaria. Both Mitchell and Hillary Clinton speak for themselves and for President Barack Obama, who’s made this – Jewish life in the “settlements” – his priority above all other international disputes.
Even the language is disturbing. Mitchell – top Middle East envoy along with Clinton – explained that the controversy centered on “the number of Jewish births.”
Where have we heard this before? To my mind, as someone who was born under similar conditions, in France under Vichy, where Jews were kept within “restricted zones,” this sounds too much like Verboten!
When I hear American diplomats, and Obama himself, count the number of children allotted per Jewish family, at the same time measuring Jewish growth by the inch, the images that come to mind, to my mind, are of an earlier time, though not so long ago, when the Third Reich confronted the “Jewish Problem” by way of the Nuremberg Laws and the Wannsee Conference.
I picture Reinhard Heydrich and Adolf Eichmann. They, too, were “Jewish Experts.”
I hear echoes of “none is too many.” That was the response from Canada’s Mackenzie King’s government on the question of how many Jews were to be allowed inside the country following the Holocaust. Those words still ring throughout Canada, especially among survivors, but how did “none is too many” become an American position so fast and furious?
On top of that, there’s The New York Times’ Blood Libel of the Day. Today, it’s Tony Judt’s turn for his “expertise.”
I’m not saying that Mitchell and Clinton are Heydrich and Eichmann – but I am watching too many scenes that feature (in my imagination) long speeches amplified by radio, round-ups, sealed trains, enclosures, ghettos, quotas. This takes me back to all that and it is unpleasant. We were supposed to allow this never again.
The past has returned, as my eyes see it, and we’re watching it unfold with diplomacy that’s too familiar.
When our ship came in – into Philadelphia – we were greeted, but not with brotherly love, back in April 1944. This boat was the Serpa Pinto (one of the few Jewish refugee voyages that were successful) and, as my sister Sarah recalls in her memoirs:
“The city arranged planks upon the docking area and had us under armed guards lest we step on American soil.”
We were, paradoxically, en route to Canada. America wouldn’t have us. (Finally and thankfully, yes.)
Here we go again – but now in Israel? None is too many?
Mitchell and Clinton, and certainly Obama – do they know the Jewish Experience and what it means to restrict Jews and place them into “zones”? I’m not talking politics and policy. That’s too complicated for this trip.
I’m talking about the sound, the roar of approval this brings to mind, from the beer halls in Bavaria on to the rallies in Berlin when the chancellor spoke.
I hear those sirens, still, and when they – Mitchell and Clinton – prohibit Jewish children, so diplomatically but emphatically, I can’t help myself. I find my father packing our bags to prepare for an escape, and when the language gets to “the number of Jewish births,” I’m not hearing Mitchell, but watching Leini Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will.
Those who’ve been there before, like me, are on alert for slippery talk like “peace process” when we know the merchandise being sold is the yellow badge.
“They make smooth their tongue,” wrote King David, “against Your anointed…. Save Your people and bless Your inheritance, Your children.”
(italics etc were mine; to read the original article, go to Arutz Sheva by clicking HERE
Next time someone tries to hoodwink you into believing that Islam ‘respects all faiths’, ask them about Mecca and Medina. Specifically, ask them why the two holiest Muslim cities are off limits to all non Muslims.
Yep, that’s right. Mecca and Medina are no go areas unless you’re a Quran-brandishing member of the ‘religion of peace’. And there are no exceptions, no apologies and certainly no concern over whether this might be a tad hypocritical.
In fact, just to make it clear to any naughty infidels who may try and sneak into Mecca, the Saudi authorities have put up these helpful signs:
Now let’s compare what happens in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. This is the holiest Jewish city. And where the second temple once stood, there now remains a solitary wall; the Kotel, or ‘Wailing Wall’, where Jews come to pray. Non Jews are also welcome there, and perfectly at liberty to visit the Kotel and pray there, should they desire.
And then there is the Al Aqsa Mosque - slapbang where the Jewish temple used to stand.
From what you read in the international media, you’d never know that Israel - being democratic to a fault - has given control of this vital area to the Muslims. So even as Muslims across the globe support, sponsor and carry out terrorism against the Jewish state, it is the Muslim Waqf, part of the Palestinian Authority, which has jurisdiction over the Temple Mount area.
And what happens when any non Muslim dares to go there…?
Ask Israeli cabinet Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch. Today he paid a visit to the Temple Mount. Result? Total hysteria and threats of violence from Palestinian Muslims. Aharonovitch spent a mere ninety minutes in the area, and was there purely to check police deployments in this volatile area of Jerusalem.
“The intention of the visit was to see how the police would deploy in case of an emergency,” Aharonovitch’s spokesman Tal Harel said. And he added: “We went everywhere. We were accompanied by the Waqf, who were fully aware of our presence, and this was planned in coordination with them well ahead of the visit.”
Nine years ago, of course, a similar visit by Ariel Sharon triggered a bloody and protracted ‘intifada’ by the Palestinians. I mean, just think about it: a Jewish Israeli has the sheer chutzpah to visit a holy Jewish area in Israel, the Jewish homeland! Whatever next?!
And these are far from being isolated events. Back in 2005, on Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), a small Jewish group ascended the Temple Mount only to be attacked by a mob of Palestinian Muslims, who emerged from the Al Aqsa Mosque. The police had to be called, so intense was the violence directed at the Jews.
But Jerusalem was a holy place for Jews before Islam even existed, I hear the historians among you cry indignantly!
Yet here is the Palestinian-appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Hussein, insisting that today’s visit by Israeli Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch was not coordinated in advance and, wait for it:
“He does not have the right to visit al-Aqsa because it is an Islamic site and not a Jewish site, and it could ignite violence because the visit provokes the feelings of Muslims. It is an assault on an Islamic place,” Hussein said.
And there, in that one line, you have it. The sheer hypocrisy of the demands made by Muslims in non Muslim nations. Let’s read it again, just to marvel at the utter arrogance involved:
‘…it could ignite violence because the visit provokes the feelings of Muslims…’
Ah yes, Muslim feelings…
The same Muslim feelings that are ‘provoked’ by cartoons and teddy bears and piggy banks and democracy and Geert Wilders and books about Mohammed and freedom for women and alcohol and Jews and Christians and Hindus and Buddhists and Sikhs and Atheists and Gays and every single thing on the planet that does not comply with Islam!
It is these Muslim feelings that Barack Obama, the great Dhimmi in the White House, is busy bending over backwards to appease.
It is these Muslim feelings that got Dutch Politician Geert Wilders banned from Britain and also have him living in fear, under 24/7 police guard.
It is these Muslim feelings that ensure women throughout the Islamic world have about the same rights as a house plant; none, in other words.
It is these Muslim feelings that enable Muslim men in Saudi Arabia to rape women with impunity; women who are then publicly flogged and imprisoned as ‘punishment’.
It is these Muslim feelings that ensured the novel ‘The Jewel Of Medina’ was dropped by two publishers, after angry Muslims threatened the first one, and then firebombed the London home of the second who took it on.
It is Muslim feelings that result in Muslim terrorists stealing the lives of innocent civilians in Israel on a regular basis.
It is Muslim feelings that in 2005 brought horror to the heart of London and left corpses buried underground on burning tube trains.
It is Muslim feelings that brought down the Twin Towers in New York and that have caused another 13,459 deaths since.
Frankly, I don’t give a damn about Muslim sensibilities any more, given that in order to keep Muslims happy, the rest of us have to sacrifice every value we hold dear.
I recommend that next time the followers of Islam start burning flags, rioting, issuing fatwas, and banging on about their feelings, we tell them where to shove’em!
One of the most astute commentators on the Israeli/Arab conflict has to be Steven Plaut. Here is an extract from one of his latest posts, see the links at the end of this post for more details.
Today to promote “Two States for Two Peoples” requires a bit of
cognitive dissonance. After all, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, turning
it over to the “Palestinian Authority,” and the whole world saw the
consequences. They included 8000 rocket missiles aimed at Jewish civilians
So those who insist that the Palestinian will desire to live in
peace once they have their own state are about as consistent and credible as
are people who argue that North Korea and Iran will seek genuine peace once
they get nuclear weapons, or those that once insisted that Hitler would be
satisfied once he got the Sudetenland.
But more generally, the whole “Two States for Two Peoples” campaign is
nothing more than a special case of the “Then Maybe they Will” doctrine.
For the past 30 years the Israeli political establishment has been prisoner to
the “Then Maybe They Will” doctrine.
Every major policy decision made by the
government has reflected the power of wishful thinking and faith in the
make-pretend. Here is a brief recapitulation of the doctrine:
If Israel gives Sinai back to the Egyptians, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL stop the
Nazi-like anti-Semitic propaganda in their state-run media.
If Israel agrees to limited autonomy for Palestinians, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL
stop seeking Israel’s destruction and the world will not try to set up an
independent Palestinian Arab terror state.
If Israel provides the Palestinian Authority with arms and funds, THEN
MAYBE THEY WILL not be used for terrorist atrocities against Israel.
If Israel grants its Arab citizens affirmative action preferences, THEN
MAYBE THEY WILL stop cheering terrorists and seeking the annihilation of Israel
and its Jewish population.
If Israel frees thousands of jailed Palestinian terrorists, THEN MAYBE THEY
WILL renounce violence and not murder any more Jews.
If Israel agrees to hold talks with representatives of the PLO, THEN MAYBE
THEY WILL put a stop to Palestinian terrorism.
If Israel allows the Palestinians to hold elections, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL
not elect Hamas.
If the Palestinians elect Hamas, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL not pursue a program
of aggression and terrorism against Israel.
If Israel holds talks with terrorists, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL renounce their
genocidal ambitions and seek peace.
If Israel conducts a unilateral withdrawal from all of southern Lebanon and
allows Hezb’allah terrorists to station rockets on the border, THEN MAYBE
THEY WILL not launch any of them.
If Israel sits back while the Syrians exert their hegemony over Lebanon,
THEN MAYBE THEY WILL rein in Hezb’allah and stop border attacks on Israel.
If Israel refrains from retaliating against Hezb’allah terrorists after
they murder captive Israeli soldiers in cold blood, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL not
seek to kidnap any more soldiers.
If Israel agrees to one cease-fire after another with the Arabs, THEN MAYBE
THE ARABS WILL eventually comply with one.
If Israel allows Arabs in Israel to build illegally, including on public
lands, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL become pro-Israel and moderate.
If Israel agrees to the stationing of UN troops in Lebanon, THEN MAYBE
THEY WILL actually do something to stop terror attacks on Israel.
If Israel ignores Hezb’allah border violations, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL come
to an end.
If Israel lets the Muslims control the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, THEN
MAYBE THEY WILL respond with friendship and moderation.
If Israel expels all Jews from Gaza as a gesture of friendship to the
Palestinians, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL reciprocate with friendship toward the Jews.
If Israel turns the Gaza Strip over to the Palestinians, THEN MAYBE THEY
WILL not use it as a base for terror attacks against Israel.
If Israel turns the other cheek after Qassam rocket attacks from Gaza, THEN
MAYBE THEY WILL stop being fired.
If Israel allows the Palestinian Authority to control parts of the West
Bank, THEN MAYBE THE PALESTINIANS WILL not fire rockets at Jews the same way
they do from Gaza.
If Israel returns the Golan Heights to Syria THEN MAYBE THE SYRIANS WILL
seek peace and reject the idea of using the Heights to attack Israel again.
If Israel agrees to place its neck in the Oslo/Road Map/Saudi Plan noose,
THEN MAYBE THE ARABS WILL not pull the rope.
If Israel officially agrees in principle to let the Palestinians have a
state, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL abandon their agenda of annihilating Israel.
Steven Plaut’s site,
Here’s the transcript of Bibi Netanyahu’s speech. As you’ll see, he made the vital and perfectly reasonable demand that any Palestinian state be fully demilitiarised, so as to ensure Israel’s security.
“Honored guests, citizens of Israel.
Peace has always been our people’s most ardent desire. Our prophets gave the world the vision of peace, we greet one another with wishes of peace, and our prayers conclude with the word peace.
We are gathered this evening in an institution named for two pioneers of peace, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, and we share in their vision.
Two and half months ago, I took the oath of office as the Prime Minister of Israel. I pledged to establish a national unity government – and I did. I believed and I still believe that unity was essential for us now more than ever as we face three immense challenges – the Iranian threat, the economic crisis, and the advancement of peace.
The Iranian threat looms large before us, as was further demonstrated yesterday. The greatest danger confronting Israel, the Middle East, the entire world and human race, is the nexus between radical Islam and nuclear weapons. I discussed this issue with President Obama during my recent visit to Washington, and I will raise it again in my meetings next week with European leaders. For years, I have been working tirelessly to forge an international alliance to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Confronting a global economic crisis, the government acted swiftly to stabilize Israel’s economy. We passed a two year budget in the government – and the Knesset will soon approve it.
And the third challenge, so exceedingly important, is the advancement of peace. I also spoke about this with President Obama, and I fully support the idea of a regional peace that he is leading.
I share the President’s desire to bring about a new era of reconciliation in our region. To this end, I met with President Mubarak in Egypt, and King Abdullah in Jordan, to elicit the support of these leaders in expanding the circle of peace in our region.
I turn to all Arab leaders tonight and I say: “Let us meet. Let us speak of peace and let us make peace. I am ready to meet with you at any time. I am willing to go to Damascus, to Riyadh, to Beirut, to any place- including Jerusalem.
I call on the Arab countries to cooperate with the Palestinians and with us to advance an economic peace. An economic peace is not a substitute for a political peace, but an important element to achieving it. Together, we can undertake projects to overcome the scarcities of our region, like water desalination or to maximize its advantages, like developing solar energy, or laying gas and petroleum lines, and transportation links between Asia, Africa and Europe.
The economic success of the Gulf States has impressed us all and it has impressed me. I call on the talented entrepreneurs of the Arab world to come and invest here and to assist the Palestinians – and us – in spurring the economy.
Together, we can develop industrial areas that will generate thousands of jobs and create tourist sites that will attract millions of visitors eager to walk in the footsteps of history – in Nazareth and in Bethlehem, around the walls of Jericho and the walls of Jerusalem, on the banks of the Sea of Galilee and the baptismal site of the Jordan.
There is an enormous potential for archeological tourism, if we can only learn to cooperate and to develop it.
I turn to you, our Palestinian neighbors, led by the Palestinian Authority, and I say: Let’s begin negotiations immediately without preconditions.
Israel is obligated by its international commitments and expects all parties to keep their commitments.
We want to live with you in peace, as good neighbors. We want our children and your children to never again experience war: that parents, brothers and sisters will never again know the agony of losing loved ones in battle; that our children will be able to dream of a better future and realize that dream; and that together we will invest our energies in plowshares and pruning hooks, not swords and spears.
I know the face of war. I have experienced battle. I lost close friends, I lost a brother. I have seen the pain of bereaved families. I do not want war. No one in Israel wants war.
If we join hands and work together for peace, there is no limit to the development and prosperity we can achieve for our two peoples – in the economy, agriculture, trade, tourism and education – most importantly, in providing our youth a better world in which to live, a life full of tranquility, creativity, opportunity and hope.
If the advantages of peace are so evident, we must ask ourselves why peace remains so remote, even as our hand remains outstretched to peace? Why has this conflict continued for more than sixty years?
In order to bring an end to the conflict, we must give an honest and forthright answer to the question: What is the root of the conflict?
In his speech to the first Zionist Conference in Basel, the founder of the Zionist movement, Theodore Herzl, said about the Jewish national home “This idea is so big that we must speak of it only in the simplest terms.” Today, I will speak about the immense challenge of peace in the simplest words possible.
Even as we look toward the horizon, we must be firmly connected to reality, to the truth. And the simple truth is that the root of the conflict was, and remains, the refusal to recognize the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own, in their historic homeland.
In 1947, when the United Nations proposed the partition plan of a Jewish state and an Arab state, the entire Arab world rejected the resolution. The Jewish community, by contrast, welcomed it by dancing and rejoicing.
The Arabs rejected any Jewish state, in any borders.
Those who think that the continued enmity toward Israel is a product of our presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, is confusing cause and consequence.
The attacks against us began in the 1920s, escalated into a comprehensive attack in 1948 with the declaration of Israel’s independence, continued with the fedayeen attacks in the 1950s, and climaxed in 1967, on the eve of the six-day war, in an attempt to tighten a noose around the neck of the State of Israel.
All this occurred during the fifty years before a single Israeli soldier ever set foot in Judea and Samaria.
Fortunately, Egypt and Jordan left this circle of enmity. The signing of peace treaties have brought about an end to their claims against Israel, an end to the conflict. But to our regret, this is not the case with the Palestinians. The closer we get to an agreement with them, the further they retreat and raise demands that are inconsistent with a true desire to end the conflict.
Many good people have told us that withdrawal from territories is the key to peace with the Palestinians. Well, we withdrew. But the fact is that every withdrawal was met with massive waves of terror, by suicide bombers and thousands of missiles.
We tried to withdraw with an agreement and without an agreement. We tried a partial withdrawal and a full withdrawal. In 2000 and again last year, Israel proposed an almost total withdrawal in exchange for an end to the conflict, and twice our offers were rejected.
We evacuated every last inch of the Gaza strip, we uprooted tens of settlements and evicted thousands of Israelis from their homes, and in response, we received a hail of missiles on our cities, towns and children.
The claim that territorial withdrawals will bring peace with the Palestinians, or at least advance peace, has up till now not stood the test of reality.
In addition to this, Hamas in the south, like Hezbollah in the north, repeatedly proclaims their commitment to “liberate” the Israeli cities of Ashkelon, Beersheba, Acre and Haifa.
Territorial withdrawals have not lessened the hatred, and to our regret, Palestinian moderates are not yet ready to say the simple words: Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, and it will stay that way.
Achieving peace will require courage and candor from both sides, and not only from the Israeli side.
The Palestinian leadership must arise and say: “Enough of this conflict. We recognize the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own in this land, and we are prepared to live beside you in true peace.”
I am yearning for that moment, for when Palestinian leaders say those words to our people and to their people, then a path will be opened to resolving all the problems between our peoples, no matter how complex they may be.
Therefore, a fundamental prerequisite for ending the conflict is a public, binding and unequivocal Palestinian recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
To vest this declaration with practical meaning, there must also be a clear understanding that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside Israel’s borders. For it is clear that any demand for resettling Palestinian refugees within Israel undermines Israel’s continued existence as the state of the Jewish people.
The Palestinian refugee problem must be solved, and it can be solved, as we ourselves proved in a similar situation. Tiny Israel successfully absorbed tens of thousands of Jewish refugees who left their homes and belongings in Arab countries.
Therefore, justice and logic demand that the Palestinian refugee problem be solved outside Israel’s borders. On this point, there is a broad national consensus. I believe that with goodwill and international investment, this humanitarian problem can be permanently resolved.
So far I have spoken about the need for Palestinians to recognize our rights. In a moment, I will speak openly about our need to recognize their rights.
But let me first say that the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel has lasted for more than 3500 years. Judea and Samaria, the places where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, David and Solomon, and Isaiah and Jeremiah lived, are not alien to us. This is the land of our forefathers.
The right of the Jewish people to a state in the land of Israel does not derive from the catastrophes that have plagued our people. True, for 2000 years the Jewish people suffered expulsions, pogroms, blood libels, and massacres which culminated in a Holocaust – a suffering which has no parallel in human history.
There are those who say that if the Holocaust had not occurred, the state of Israel would never have been established. But I say that if the state of Israel would have been established earlier, the Holocaust would not have occured.
- This tragic history of powerlessness explains why the Jewish people need a sovereign power of self-defense. But our right to build our sovereign state here, in the land of Israel, arises from one simple fact: this is the homeland of the Jewish people, this is where our identity was forged.
As Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion proclaimed in Israel’s Declaration of Independence: “The Jewish people arose in the land of Israel and it was here that its spiritual, religious and political character was shaped. Here they attained their sovereignty, and here they bequeathed to the world their national and cultural treasures, and the most eternal of books.”
But we must also tell the truth in its entirety: within this homeland lives a large Palestinian community. We do not want to rule over them, we do not want to govern their lives, we do not want to impose either our flag or our culture on them.
In my vision of peace, in this small land of ours, two peoples live freely, side-by-side, in amity and mutual respect. Each will have its own flag, its own national anthem, its own government. Neither will threaten the security or survival of the other.
These two realities – our connection to the land of Israel, and the Palestinian population living within it – have created deep divisions in Israeli society. But the truth is that we have much more that unites us than divides us.
I have come tonight to give expression to that unity, and to the principles of peace and security on which there is broad agreement within Israeli society. These are the principles that guide our policy.
This policy must take into account the international situation that has recently developed. We must recognize this reality and at the same time stand firmly on those principles essential for Israel.
I have already stressed the first principle – recognition. Palestinians must clearly and unambiguously recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. The second principle is: demilitarization. The territory under Palestinian control must be demilitarized with ironclad security provisions for Israel.
Without these two conditions, there is a real danger that an armed Palestinian state would emerge that would become another terrorist base against the Jewish state, such as the one in Gaza.
We don’t want Kassam rockets on Petach Tikva, Grad rockets on Tel Aviv, or missiles on Ben-Gurion airport. We want peace.
In order to achieve peace, we must ensure that Palestinians will not be able to import missiles into their territory, to field an army, to close their airspace to us, or to make pacts with the likes of Hezbollah and Iran. On this point as well, there is wide consensus within Israel.
It is impossible to expect us to agree in advance to the principle of a Palestinian state without assurances that this state will be demilitarized.
On a matter so critical to the existence of Israel, we must first have our security needs addressed.
Therefore, today we ask our friends in the international community, led by the United States, for what is critical to the security of Israel: Clear commitments that in a future peace agreement, the territory controlled by the Palestinians will be demilitarized: namely, without an army, without control of its airspace, and with effective security measures to prevent weapons smuggling into the territory – real monitoring, and not what occurs in Gaza today. And obviously, the Palestinians will not be able to forge military pacts.
Without this, sooner or later, these territories will become another Hamastan. And that we cannot accept.
I told President Obama when I was in Washington that if we could agree on the substance, then the terminology would not pose a problem.
And here is the substance that I now state clearly:
If we receive this guarantee regarding demilitirization and Israel’s security needs, and if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the State of the Jewish people, then we will be ready in a future peace agreement to reach a solution where a demilitarized Palestinian state exists alongside the Jewish state.
Regarding the remaining important issues that will be discussed as part of the final settlement, my positions are known: Israel needs defensible borders, and Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel with continued religious freedom for all faiths.
The territorial question will be discussed as part of the final peace agreement. In the meantime, we have no intention of building new settlements or of expropriating additional land for existing settlements.
But there is a need to enable the residents to live normal lives, to allow mothers and fathers to raise their children like families elsewhere. The settlers are neither the enemies of the people nor the enemies of peace. Rather, they are an integral part of our people, a principled, pioneering and Zionist public.
Unity among us is essential and will help us achieve reconciliation with our neighbors. That reconciliation must already begin by altering existing realities. I believe that a strong Palestinian economy will strengthen peace.
If the Palestinians turn toward peace – in fighting terror, in strengthening governance and the rule of law, in educating their children for peace and in stopping incitement against Israel – we will do our part in making every effort to facilitate freedom of movement and access, and to enable them to develop their economy. All of this will help us advance a peace treaty between us.
Above all else, the Palestinians must decide between the path of peace and the path of Hamas. The Palestinian Authority will have to establish the rule of law in Gaza and overcome Hamas. Israel will not sit at the negotiating table with terrorists who seek their destruction.
Hamas will not even allow the Red Cross to visit our kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, who has spent three years in captivity, cut off from his parents, his family and his people. We are committed to bringing him home, healthy and safe.
With a Palestinian leadership committed to peace, with the active participation of the Arab world, and the support of the United States and the international community, there is no reason why we cannot achieve a breakthrough to peace.
Our people have already proven that we can do the impossible. Over the past 61 years, while constantly defending our existence, we have performed wonders.
Our microchips are powering the world’s computers. Our medicines are treating diseases once considered incurable. Our drip irrigation is bringing arid lands back to life across the globe. And Israeli scientists are expanding the boundaries of human knowledge.
If only our neighbors would respond to our call – peace too will be in our reach.
I call on the leaders of the Arab world and on the Palestinian leadership, let us continue together on the path of Menahem Begin and Anwar Sadat, Yitzhak Rabin and King Hussein. Let us realize the vision of the prophet Isaiah, who in Jerusalem 2700 years ago said: “nations shall not lift up sword against nation, and they shall learn war no more.”
With G-d’s help, we will know no more war. We will know peace.
I don’t know about you, but I’m still feeling queasy following the Prince Of Appeasement’s love letter to Islam yesterday. So I thought that to counter the blatant misinformation that Obama offered about Israel, I’d post a sure fire antidote. I refer to the brilliant Joseph Farah. Farah is an Arab American journalist who has spent considerable time in the Middle East. His articles are always a joy to read – concise, clear, accurate and fair.
You will notice that one or two of them were written several years back. You’ll also note that they are every bit as relevant today as they were then.
Obama tells Jews where they can live
by Joseph Farah, World Net Daily, 2009
Barack Obama is taking what he and his administration refer to as “a more balanced approach to Middle East policy.”
Let me explain what that literally means in real terms.
It means the U.S. government is now using its clout with Israel to insist Jews, not Israelis, mind you, but Jews, be disallowed from living in East Jerusalem and the historically Jewish lands of Judea and Samaria, often referred to as the West Bank.
I want you to try to imagine the outrage, the horror, the outcry, the clamoring, the gnashing of teeth that would ensue if Arabs or Muslims were told they could no longer live in certain parts of Israel – let alone their own country.
Of course, that would never happen with “a more balanced approach to the Middle East.”
It’s the 1930s all over again. This time, it’s the enlightened liberal voices of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama who are telling Jews where they can live, how they can live and how far they must bend if they want to live at all.
I know you haven’t heard it put like this before. I don’t really understand why. There is simply no other accurate way to explain the machinations behind the latest demands on Israel from the West and the rest of the world.
Israel is being reduced to “Auschwitz borders.” Jews have already been told they can no longer live in the Gaza Strip. Now they are being told they can no longer choose to live in any of the areas being set aside by international elites for a future Palestinian state.
Again, I ask, “Why would internationalists seek to create, by definition, a racist, anti-Jewish state that doesn’t even tolerate the mere presence of Jews?”
Can anyone answer that question for me?
Obama and Clinton – and, thus, by definition, you and me, the taxpayers of the United States – have determined they will yield to the racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic demands of the Palestinian Authority that no Jews be allowed to live in their new state.
I like to think that in any other part of the world, this kind of effort at ethnically cleansing a region would be roundly condemned by all civilized people. Yet, because most people simply don’t understand the clear, official plan by the Arab leaders to force out all Jews from the new Palestinian state, the policies of capitulation retain a degree of sympathy, even political support, from much of the world.
Think about what I am saying: It is the official policy of the Palestinian Authority that all Jews must get off the land! Why is the United States supporting the creation of a new, racist, anti-Semitic hate state? Why is the civilized world viewing this as a prescription for peace in the region? Why is this considered an acceptable idea?
Is there any other place in the world where that kind of official policy of racism and ethnic cleansing is tolerated – even condoned?
Why are the rules different in the Middle East? Why are the rules different for Arabs? Why are the rules different for Muslims?
Why are U.S. tax dollars supporting the racist, anti-Semitic entity known as the Palestinian Authority?
That’s what we do when we forbid “settlement construction,” repairs, natural growth, additions to existing communities.
This is “balance”? Are there any impositions upon the Arabs and Muslims suggesting they can no longer move to Israel? No. Are there any impositions on Arabs and Muslims suggesting they cannot buy homes in Israel? No. Are there any impositions on Arabs and Muslim suggesting they cannot repair their existing homes in Israel? No. Are there any impositions on Arabs or Muslims suggesting the cannot build settlements anywhere they like? No.
Now, keep in mind, there are already quite a few Arab and Muslim states in the Middle East. Many of them already forbid Jews to live in them. Some prohibit Christians as well. But now, the only Jewish state in the world, and one that has a claim on the land dating back to the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is being told Jews must keep off land currently under their own control, but destined for transfer to people who hate them, despise them, want to see them dead and will not even accept living peacefully with them as neighbors.
All the while, Israel continues to hold out its naïve hand of friendship to the Arabs and the Muslims – welcoming them in their own tiny nation surrounded by hateful neighbors. Arabs and Muslims are offered full citizenship rights – and even serve in elected office. They publish newspapers and broadcast on radio and television freely.
But, conversely, Jews are one step away from eviction from homes they have sometimes occupied for generations. Gaza is about to happen all over again.
I hope my Jewish friends remember this well. Many of them voted for Barack Obama. Many of them voted for Hillary Clinton. These are not your friends. These are the same kinds of people who turned away ships of Jewish refugees from Germany in the 1940s. These are the same kinds of people who appeased Adolf Hitler at Munich. These are the same kinds of people who made the reformation of the modern state of Israel so difficult.
I say, “No more ethnic cleansing. No more official anti-Semitism accepted. No more Jew-bashing. No more telling Jews where they can live, how they can – and if they can live.”
More on Obama’s apparent promises to deliver Israel to the Muslim world. Claims are now appearing that Obama has shown support for an end to Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.
This just in, from World Net Daily
President Obama and his administration told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during a meeting last week the U.S. foresees the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, according to a top PA official speaking to WND.
“The American administration was very friendly to the position of the PA,” said Nimer Hamad, Abbas’ senior political adviser.
“Abu Mazen (Abbas) heard from Obama and his administration in a very categorical way that a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital is in the American national and security interest,” Hamad said.
Another PA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told WND today that Obama informed Abbas he would not let Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “get in the way” of ‘normalizing’ U.S. relations with the Arab and greater Muslim world.
Also in Cairo today, Abbas met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, where the Palestinian leader briefed Egypt’s president on his recent trip to Washington, saying the U.S. was committed to bringing about an end to Israeli construction in the West Bank.
Hamad’s comments about Jerusalem today come as controversy abounded regarding the U.S. position on Israel’s capital city.
Last week, the State Department refuted a speech in which Netanyahu said Jerusalem never will be divided.
“Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” Netanyahu said at an event marking Jerusalem’s reunification. “Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours. It will never again be partitioned and divided.”
In response, the State Department released a statement that Jerusalem “is a final status issue.”
“Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to resolve its status during negotiations. We will support their efforts to reach agreements on all final status issues,” the statement said.
Also last week, a top Palestinian Authority official claimed in a WND interview that the Obama administration told the PA that Jerusalem will never be united under Israeli sovereignty.
“Americans said an open Jerusalem – yes. But a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty – no,” Hatem Abdel Khader, the PA’s minister for Jerusalem affairs, said in comments to both WND and Israel’s Ynetnews website.
“(The Obama administration) has made clear that Jerusalem must be accessible to everyone – but not united under Israel’s rule,” Khader said.
Khader told WND, “The Americans are very present on the ground, and they are making pressure over Israeli authorities and even municipalities.”
“They are acting according to the concept that the failure to establish a Palestinian state would jeopardize U.S. national security interests – and without Jerusalem there is no Palestinian state,” he said.
Khader’s claim the U.S. is helping the Palestinians gain a foothold in Jerusalem is accurate. In April, WND reported that under intense American pressure and following a nearly unprecedented behind-the-scenes U.S. campaign, the Netanyahu government has decided not to bulldoze Palestinian homes built illegally on Jewish-owned property in Jerusalem.
The issue is critical since the 80 homes in question are located in Silwan, an eastern Jerusalem neighborhood close to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem’s Old City that the Palestinians claim as a future capital. Jewish groups have been working to fortify the community’s Jewish presence. Silwan is adjacent to the City of David, a massive archeological dig just outside the Temple Mount that is constantly turning up Temple artifacts.
Like tens of thousands of other Arab housing projects throughout eastern Jerusalem, the Palestinian homes in Silwan were illegally constructed on property long ago purchased by Jews. The Israeli government ordered the structures’ legal demolition.
But during a visit here in early March, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton strongly protested the planned bulldozing.
“Clearly this kind of activity is unhelpful and not in keeping with the obligations entered into under the Road Map,” she said. “It is an issue that we intend to raise with the government of Israel and the government at the municipal level in Jerusalem.”
The Road Map calls for Israel to freeze Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank but does not bar Israel from dismantling illegally constructed Palestinian homes in Jerusalem.
WND learned that in the weeks since Clinton’s visit here, the U.S. mounted an intensive campaign lobbying the Israeli government against tearing down the illegal Palestinian homes in Silwan. The campaign included letters from the Middle East section of the State Department addressed to various Jerusalem municipalities, with copies of the letters sent to the offices of Israel’s prime minister and foreign minister. The letters called on Israel to allow the illegal Palestinian homes in Silwan to remain and stated any demolitions would not foster an atmosphere of peace.
Also, in a follow-up visit here, State Department officials made it clear to their Israeli counterparts the U.S. opposes the Silwan bulldozing.
According to sources in the Israeli government, including in Netanyahu’s administration, a decision has been made not to bulldoze the illegal Palestinian homes. The sources said the issue of the homes may be raised again in the future, but for the time being the houses will remain intact.
The sources attributed the decision against the bulldozing – which has not yet been announced – to the intense American campaign against the house demolitions.
Said one source in Netanyahu’s administration, “This was very frustrating to us. Can you imagine if a foreign government came in and told a city office in the U.S. not to tear down a house that was illegally constructed on someone else’s property?”
While Clinton opposed the Palestinian house demolitions, informed Israeli officials said the Obama administration is carefully monitoring Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem and has already protested to the highest levels of Israeli government about evidence of housing expansion in those areas.
The officials, who spoke on condition that their names be withheld, said that last month Obama’s Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, oversaw the establishment of an apparatus based in the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem that closely monitors eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods, incorporating regular tours on a daily basis.
The officials said that in recent meetings Mitchell strongly protested Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem. Mitchell also condemned the work of nationalist Jewish groups to purchase property in Jerusalem’s Old City, including in areas intimately tied to Judaism.
Israel recaptured eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount – Judaism’s holiest site – during the 1967 Six Day War.
The Palestinians, however, have claimed eastern Jerusalem as a future capital. About 244,000 Arabs live in Jerusalem, mostly in eastern neighborhoods, out of a total population of 724,000, the majority Jewish.
And so it begins. The slow but sure dismantling of the Jewish homeland. Note the false premise that has clearly been accepted by Obama: namely, that it is Israel which is ‘getting in the way’ of American-Arab and American-Muslim relations.
Just as Hitler convinced the German people that it was ‘only the jews’ that were preventing Germany from being great again, so now Obama is suggesting that it is ‘only Israel’ that is stopping America from having a good relationship with the Muslim world.
I mean, it’s not as though the Muslim world consists of barbaric theocracies that view America as ‘the great satan’ or anything like that, is it…?
If G-d forbid Israel vanished tomorrow, the Muslim world would still loathe America and all it stands for. Obama’s treachery would all have been for nothing. And the sole democracy in the Middle East, Israel, would have paid the ultimate price for appeasing the vile creed that is Islam, the ‘religion of peace’.
Both Jews and non Jews alike are expressing alarm over Obama’s willingness to sacrifice Israel in order to placate the Arab world.
Atlas Shrugs has been monitoring this situation closely; here is a recent post which spells out precisely what is going on:
The increasingly creepy President’s latest act of anti-semitism. From Israel Today:
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday told reporters in Cairo that he is convinced that US President Barack Obama is firmly committed to finally ejecting the Jews from Judea and Samaria.
Abbas spoke to the press after briefing Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on his visit to the White House late last week, during which Obama apparently agreed with his guest that existing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria must not even be allowed to experience “natural growth.”
“When the American administration talks about Israel’s duty to stop the settlements – including natural growth – it is a very important step,” noted Abbas.
Following their meeting last Thursday, Obama said that he also told Abbas to make a bit more of an effort to halt what he described as isolated and sporadic anti-Jewish incitement in Palestinian schools, mosques and media. Documentation by Israeli and international watchdog groups shows that the incitement is far from isolated or sporadic.
Meanwhile, Israeli officials cited by Ha’aretz decried the Obama Administration’s stiff demands that no more houses be built for Jews beyond the pre-1967 borders.
They noted that under former President George W. Bush, Israel reached understandings that the natural growth of existing towns would not subject to Israel’s commitments to halt settlement activity (commitments many Israelis see as null and void anyway since the Palestinians have failed to honor their reciprocal obligations).
But one official said those understandings are now “worth nothing,” and that the US is taking an unfair position by completely siding with Palestinian demands that go far beyond the original peace agreements.
Other officials attributed Obama’s hard line positions against Israel to his efforts to reconcile with the Arab and Muslim worlds, which will be the focus of a much anticipated speech he will give in Cairo this Thursday.
UPDATE: The Lid compares Obama to Pharaoh: “This week the President of the United States declared that the Jews living in the West Bank cannot have children, and if they do those kids cannot live with their parents. Oh, that’s not what he said, but the result is the same. What he said is that there cannot be natural growth in the West Bank settlements:”
JPost.com Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST
“The American demand to prevent natural growth is unreasonable, and brings to mind Pharaoh who said: Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river,” Science Minister and Habayit Hayehudi head Daniel Herschkowitz said Sunday, referring to US President Barack Obama’s demand to freeze all settlement activity, even that ensuing from natural growth.
Speaking ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting, mathematician Herschkowitz furthered his point with a simple equation. “If there is a family that expands from one child to four or five, what should we tell them – to ship the children off to Petah Tikva? This is an unacceptable demand, even if it comes from the Americans, and Israel should reject it decisively,” he affirmed.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai said, “The American demand to freeze construction means expulsion for young people living in large locales. I hope the US administration understands that. If not, I don’t want to be an apocalyptic prophet saying we’re facing struggle and confrontation. The concessions they’re demanding of us are a security impediment we cannot withstand.”
Information and Diaspora Minister Yuli Edelstein chose a positive perspective on the dispute threatening an Israeli-American rift.
“The recent days prove what luck we have that it is [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu’s government conducting talks on West Bank natural growth and construction in Jerusalem,” he said. “Just imagine someone else, he would have led us to an entanglement lasting generations.”
“We aren’t headed for a confrontation with the White House, but rather for understandings, and Netanyahu’s visit there proved it. President Obama is a friend of Israel, and I’m sure we can resolve the disagreements,” Edelstein added.
Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog of the Labor party stressed the importance in preventing a head-on collision with Obama.
“The current American administration sees things differently than the last two presidents did. Construction is being undertaken around Jerusalem according to understandings with previous administrations. Israel wants very much to reach understandings, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s upcoming trip to Washington proves it,” Herzog said.
There is so much nonsense in the media about Israel. Much of it revolves around the absurd idea that Jews just rocked up to the Middle East in 1948, kicked out the ‘native palestinians’, and declared a Jewish nation in a part of the world that they had no link to and no rights to.
Of course, the reality is far, far different. The very term ‘Palestinian’ always referred to the Palestinian Jews that had already been living there for the past 3500 years – continuously.
And the ‘palestinians’ as we know them today, are the descendants of Arabs. There is no ancient ‘palestinian’ people that have been stripped of their ‘home’. On the contrary, they are Arabs whose parents and grandparents moved to the region only after the Jews irrigated the land, drained the swamps, and began transforming the land into a flourishing and viable place to live. Not to mention creating numerous work opportunities.
These are verifiable facts. Yet try and present them and I guarantee from personal experience, you will stand accused of ‘spreading zionist propaganda’. It seems that offering objective historical fact is not acceptable when it supports Israel’s right to exist, and the Jews’ right to live in peace, in safety, in Israel.
Do keep on reiterating these facts. And here are some more, most eloquently put, courtesy of Think Israel:
;“What is ironic is that Israel belongs exclusively to the Jews by International Law. So why do the Arabs insist the land is theirs? Because the Jews have been so crazy for peace, they have been willing to share, to give up pieces of their tiny country, for a piece of paper.
The Arabs created a phony people in 1964, called the “Palestinians” and blanketed the world with the mantra that they were the Palestinians and Palestine was theirs.
There has not ever been a country or a state called Palestine. There have been Palestinians. During the British Mandate from 1922 to 1948 the Jews called where they lived Palestine. They played music in the Palestine Philharmonic. They read the Palestine Post (now the Jerusalem Post.) As the Palestine Brigade, they fought in the British Army in World War 2. The Arabs also fought hard – for Hitler
(Eliezar Edwards, December, 2008.
A Palestinian State? You want that? OK. BUT not in Israel. No way. Not now. Not ever. Put this Arab state in Dubai or Kuwait or Saudi Arabia or Libya or Syria. Make it big. Fill it with the Po’ Arab “refugees”. And with the Arabs of Gaza and Samaria and Judea (AKA West Bank). And treasonous Arabs who have Israeli citizenship. Build a big fence around it. Let them learn to develop the infrastructure of a state. Or let them destroy themselves, if that’s what they prefer. If they ever become civilized, then it’s time to consider letting them join the human race. (Eliezar Edwards, August, 2008)
If you repeat a lie often enough, does it become the ‘truth’ in as much as being accepted as fact by the majority of the population?
Certainly, the Nazis believed in this premise and proved it can happen. Now, several decades later, it’s happening again. I refer specifically to the myth of the ‘occupied territories’. People use this phrase confidently when condemning Israel – either not knowing or not caring that they are talking rubbish.
Here’s an excellent piece which bursts this myth. Please read it and then share it with others.
The Myth of “Occupied” Territories
- Boris Shusteff
One of the most misused, misapplied, and misunderstood definitions in the dictionary of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the term “occupied territories.” The vast majority of people simply do not know the facts or misinterpret them, thus completely distorting the real picture of the land distribution between the Arabs and the Jews.
The truth of the matter is that, according to international law, the Jews have the complete and unquestionable right to settle the territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (collectively known as Yesha). Not a single enforceable international document exists that forbids them from settling the lands of Yesha.
On the contrary, the only existing enforceable document actually encourages Jewish settlement.
This document was created on April 24, 1920 at the San Remo Conference when the Principal Allied Powers agreed to assign the Mandate for the territory of Palestine to Great Britain.
By doing so the League of Nations “recognized the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and established “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” Article 6 of the Mandate “encouraged … close settlement by Jews on the land,” including the lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha).
There is nothing whatsoever in the Mandate that separates Yesha from the rest of the mandated territory. That means that the right of the Jews to settle the land spreads to the whole of Palestine.
As a side note it is worth mentioning that the 76% of the territory of Mandated Palestine known today as Jordan, was not permanently exempt from settlement by the Jews either. Article 25 only allowed to “postpone or withhold application of [this] provision.”
With the disbanding of the League of Nations, the rights of the Jews to settle the territories of Palestine, including Yesha, were not hurt. When in 1946 the United Nations was created in place of the League of Nations, its Charter included Article 80 specifically to allow the continuation of existing Mandates (including the British Mandate).
Article 80 stated that “nothing … shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever … of any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.”
Then in November 1947 came time for Resolution 181, which recommended the Partition of Palestine. Like all UN Resolutions pertaining to the Jewish-Arab conflict it was not enforceable. It was simply a recommendation, and the Arab countries rejected it. As the Syrian representative in the General Assembly stated:
“In the first place the recommendations of the General Asembly are not imperative on those to whom they are addressed… . The General Assembly only gives advice and the parties to whom advice is addressed accept it when it is rightful and just and when it does not impair their fundamental rights.”
If the resolution had been implemented maybe it would be possible to argue that it replaced the San Remo Conference resolution, which had legitimized the rights of the Jews to settle in any place in Palestine.
However, it was not only rejected by the Arabs, but in violation of the UN Charter they launched a military aggression against the newly reborn Jewish state thus invalidating the resolution.
By the time of the cease-fire at the end of the War of Independence there was still no other enforceable document pertaining to the rights of the Jews to settle Eretz Yisrael – they remained intact.
Now we approach the most misunderstood aspect of the scope and application of international documents. In order to resolve the puzzle of the “occupied” territories, one must clearly distinguish between the different types of resolutions passed by the United Nations.
Misconceptions about the issue led to the question of a double standard that was constantly raised by the Arabs after the Persian Gulf War. The Arabs were unable to understand why from Iraq the UN demanded compliance with the decisions of the international body, while Israel was not forced to comply with UN resolutions.
On April 3, 1998 Swedish Foreign Minister Lena Hjelm-Wallen, well known for championing the Arabs’ position, in an interview with the London al-Quds al-’Arabi, gave an explanation of this “paradox.” She was asked, “What about the double standards that the United States and Europe adopt when it comes to Arab issues?”
“I understand this view, which is common in many Arab countries. Nevertheless, the UN resolutions passed on Iraq are different, because they are binding for all nations according to Article 7 of the UN Charter. Meanwhile, the resolutions passed against Israel are not subject to Article 7 of the Charter.”
To better understand the way UN resolutions work, it is worth reading an open letter by Uri Lubrani, coordinator of Israeli activities in Lebanon, addressed to Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Faris Buwayz and published on February 27, 1998 in the Paris newspaper al Watan al-’Arabi. Although the letter was written regarding Resolution 425, it talks about all resolutions pertaining to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Uri Lubrani wrote the following:
“…There are two types of resolutions in the Security Council. The first type are resolutions passed on the basis of Chapter Six of the UN charter that relates to the settlement of disputes through peaceful means. Such resolutions are considered recommendations. They are not binding, and they do not require immediate implementation… . The second type of resolutions are based on Chapter Seven of the UN charter… . This chapter grants the UN Security Council resolutions an implementative authority and commits the international community to use force if necessary to implement these resolutions. …None of the UN Security Council resolutions pertaining to the Arab Israeli conflict, including Resolution 425, were passed on the basis of Chapter Seven. They were passed on the basis of Chapter Six of the UN charter, which is the basis also of UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.”
Since no mandatory UN Resolution exists pertaining to the Arab-Israeli conflict, we are left with the San Remo Conference decision that governs land ownership in Palestine. That means that not a single enforceable internationally valid document exists that prevents or prohibits the Jews from settling anywhere in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and all the rest of Eretz Yisrael.
Or, to put it differently, from the standpoint of international law FOR THE JEWS IT IS NOT AN OCCUPIED LAND.
This conclusion was confirmed not long ago by an unexpected (for Israel) source. It is hard to argue with the fact that James Baker, former US Secretary of State, was not the best friend of the Jewish state. However, he categorically rejected the mislabeling of the lands of Yesha.
This happened at the Middle East Insight Symposium in Washington on May 4, 1998. Hoda Tawfik, from the newspaper Al Ahram asked him, “What do you think is right? That these are occupied Arab territories and not disputed territories?” Baker replied, “They’re clearly disputed territories. That’s what Resolutions 242 and 338 are all about. They are clearly disputed territories.”
All of this means that when the Jews build settlements in Yesha, they are not building them on “occupied” territories. If one wants, one may call them “disputed” territories, as Baker did. However, this will still not change the fact that from the standpoint of international law it is the very land where the Jews were encouraged to settle.
And as a final note, it should not be surprising that the San Remo Conference plays such an important role in this particular case. The majority of the other players in the conflict: Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, etc. gained sovereignty over their territories based on the decisions of exactly the same conference. The Jews finally deserve to settle freely on their territories as well. It is time to stop labeling them “occupied”.