Tag Archives: West Bank

Shame Of West Bank Housing

Forty years ago, Israel forces swept into the West Bank and drove out its Jordanian defenders. The assumption of Israel leaders was for negotiation to begin with Arab nations for some sort of permanent peace which would include return of the West Bank to an Arab government. Forty years later the West Bank is home to hundreds of thousands of Israelis who occupy the territory in violation of international law. Prime Minister Netanyahu insists there must be housing construction in order to meet the housing needs of an expanding population. He recently announced that further construction would halt after the current hundreds of houses go up in order to prove to President Obama that he was willing to compromise.

Neither Benjamin Netanyahu nor any other current Israel leaders have the moral courage to compromise on West Bank housing. Chaim Levinson, writing in Haaretz, noted that housing construction has been going on for years, sometimes with permission, sometimes without. In
Ariel he discovered a children’s adventure park that was built prior to any official sanction, but within the past week, the Israel government gave such permission. He found hundreds of houses going up on condition they be completed within two months.

Each house that rises makes peace agreements with Palestinians that much more difficult. There is no “freeze” on housing and when Netanyahu claims it will go into effect in a few months, he can not be trusted. Housing is going on without official permission as it has for years. He will not crack down on those illegal houses.

Israelis–Obama Is The Best Friend You Have!

I am frequently shocked by the inability of Israelis to grasp the meaning of having a friend in another society. Latest polls indicate only about 4% of Israelis believe Obama is pro-Israel and 51% think he is more pro-Palestine than Israel. I assume this means Israelis prefer the administration of George Bush. Well, let’s look at the FACTS.!

1. Prior to Bush, Israel had Iran as a major enemy. Thanks to Bush, Iran’s major enemy, Iraq was wiped out which provided Iran an opportunity to be more receptive to encouraging violence in the Middle East.
2. Prior to Bush, Osama bin Laden was a minor figure and there was no central place where those seeking violence could gather. Along came the Iraq war, and good old Bush created more terrorists than had ever existed in the Middle East.
3. It was the ineptness of Bush which allowed the Taliban to regroup and become a center for terrorists to practice their skills at killing.

Which Israelis believe their nation was safer under Bush than before he took office?

Barack Obama cares about Israel and knows it must have peace in the Middle East. This can only be achieved through negotiation and compromise. The West Bank settlements violate international law and no American president can support actions which go against the UN charter. Israelis created the mess that is known as the West Bank. Obama is attempting to persuade an Israel government to engage in compromise. Negotiations will result in major changes in who settles in the West Bank, but through compromise SOME SETTLEMENTS could be retained. That is the goal of Obama. That is NOT anti-Israel. That goal is aimed at securing peace in the Middle East, establishing Israel-Arab economic, social, and political relations. How can such goals be construed as “anti-Israel?”

It is time for Israelis to remember they are Jews. We Jews historically have been at the forefront of seeking social justice FOR ALL PEOPLE, INCLUDING MUSLIMS! Get out of the cellar of ignorance and join with Muslims who seek peace unless you believe individuals like Avigdor Lieberman represent the best in Jewish values of social justice.

Israel Professor Blasted For Writing Truth

Israel’s Education Minister sharply denounced an op-ed article by Dr. Neve Gordon, a political science lecturer from Ben-Gurion university. In the article which appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Professor Gordon described Israel as an “apartheid state” and pointed out 3.5 million Palestinians and half a million Jews live in occupied land which has two sets of laws, one for the occupier and one for the occupied. Guess which group is which. He pointed out that “while these two groups live in the same area, they are subject to totally different legal systems.” Professor Gordon is upset that words from the UN or the US have failed to end the occupation and denial of basic rights for Palestinians.

Most probably many people support the Israel occupation of the West Bank and construction of settlements, but how can they deny there are two different legal systems governing the area? Israel’s Consul-General in Los Angeles, Yaakov Dayan termed Professor Gordon as possessing “anti-Zionist” attitudes. Professor Gordon is certainly expressing a Zionist view although many might disagree with his ideas.

When will it be possible to express a view that challenges the current Israel government without being denounced as an anti-semite or anti-Israel?

“Not For Distribution” About Israel

Frank Lutz, a prominent Republican pollster is working for a group named “The Israel Project” which contains members from both sides of the aisle in Congress. A recent report from Lutz argued the need to smear opponents of Prime Minister Netanyahu. “The idea that anywhere that you have Palestinians, there can’t be Jews, that some areas have to be Jew-free, is a racist idea. We don’t say that we have to cleanse out Arabs from Israel. They are citizens of Israel. They enjoy equal rights. We cannot see why it is that peace requires that any palestinian area would require a kind of ethnic cleansing to remove Jews.”

Wow!! Where does one begin to deal with this misinformation and blatant lying? The West Bank, according to the UN Partition Plan was reserved for an Arab state. Israel seized the area during the 1967 war and it became occupied territory. According to international law a nation can not colonize with its own citizens land that belongs to another nation. Please inform Israel Arabs they now possess “equal rights!!”

Those who care about Israel understand the best security for Jews and Arabs is peace, not war, no land aggression, not spreading lies. Arab nations for the first time in history are prepared to negotiate for peace with Israel. Groups like The Israel Project” would best be termed: “The Anti-Israel Project.”

To Build Or Not To Build In Israel?

To build or not to build in Israel is the question, particularly if the building occurs in areas that once contained a large Arab population. The Israel government announced it had agreed to cease issuing lenders for West Bank settlement housing, at least until next year. An official explained the action thus: “we believe there is no reason to strain relations with the United States, and as a gesture we decided to temporarily suspend the issuing of new lenders for construction in the West Bank.” Sounds reasonable, or is it?

Peace Now groups in Israel point out the gesture is “temporary,” not permanent. A real gesture would entail halting ALL housing, right now! Palestinians need something more than a “gesture.” They need assurances that major sections of the West Bank will be evacuated as part of the peace process. Any takers for that gesture?

We Can Have Peace In Middle East!

At the recently concluded Fatah convention, younger members were insistent on the importance of negotiations with Israel in order to achieve peace and an independent Palestine. President Abbas made clear he wants to enter into negotiations but insists Israel must abide by the road map and cease further construction of settlements on the West Bank. For the first time in decades a host of Arab nations want peace and recognition of Israel, but what hold up further negotiation?

Four Ministers in the Cabinet of Benjamin Netanyahu urged the Prime Minister to ignore Israel’s previous commitment to the United States to remove 26 unauthorized outposts and urged that those together with a host of other illegal outposts should be termed to be legal. In other words, Israel for years has complained that Arab nations fail to keep agreements, but four Cabinet Ministers are arguing their nation does not have to abide by any agreement!

As Shakespeare put it so well, “the fault lies not in the stars but in yourselves.” The Israelis have met the enemy and he is them!

Israel Will Disband “Illegal”Settlements

The Israel government informed the United States it would demolish 23 “illegal” settlements that were built after 2001. Dan Meridor, a deputy prime minister said the Obama administration was bound by “tacit” understandings on settlement construction that Israel had reached with former President Bush. The so-called “illegal” settlements never received planning permission. However, under international law, all settlements built on occupied territory are illegal. Prime Minister Netanyahu insists his government will proceed with further construction of housing that meets “natural growth” regardless of what the outside world desires. French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, told Israel’s ambassador to France “these activities must be stopped” referring to construction of housing in the West Bank. The British and the EU both have urged an end to settlement construction.

It is time for the Israel government to understand the American people voted out George Bush in order to end his idiotic foreign policy. Most American polls reveal a large majority of American Jews support the Obama administration ideas on ending settlement construction. Israel has the option to stand apart from the world. In so doing, it loses any chance to be recognized as a moral government.

Wake up Israel, the world is passing you by.

The Torah Is At Fault, Claim Rabbis!

Scratch a clergyman and you will discover he can cite something in the Bible, the Koran, the Torah or whatever in order to justify a specific action. During the Inquisition, as priests tortured people, they justified their actions on grounds they simply were carrying out God’s will. Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar informed the world that seizing land on the West Bank was simply a command from God. He urged American Jews to put pressure on their government to have them halt exerting pressure on the Israel government to end settlement construction on the west bank and in East Jerusalem. The Rabbi argued the attempt to prevent Jews from living in the west bank “is being done at a time when every person is allowed to live wherever he wishes, to live in every area of the world, while here in Israel(Americans)want to create a (Palestinian) state in which it will be prohibited for Jews to live.”

Perhaps, the Torah ordered Jews to assume control over the West Bank, but the Torah is somewhat out of date regarding people going wherever they desire. Every nation has immigration restrictions which prevent strangers from entering their land. The West Bank came under control of Israel as a result of warfare. International law precludes a conquering nation from taking control of land and building settlements for its own inhabitants by ejecting those living in the area.

Jewish Rabbis are as much filled with their own self importance and arrogance as their brothers in religion –Muslim, Christian and you name it clerics. Israel Jews violated international law, not the Torah!

Netanyahu–America-Stay Out Of Our Playground!

The Israeli government is now infuriated because the Obama administration has mad clear a ban on settlement construction also includes East Jerusalem. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet that “Israel will not agree to edicts of this kind in East Jerusalem.” He made clear his government’s view that a “united Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people in the State of Israel, and our sovereignty over the city is not subject to appeal.” He then made a ridiculous comparison between forbidding Jews in New York or London from purchasing a home in certain parts of those cities. Obviously, the prime minister did not know until the 1960s, it was quite legal to forbid Jews from purchasing homes in many sections of American cities.

The issue is simple– will Israel abide by international law? According to international law an occupying army can not build homes for its citizens in occupied territory. Israel conquered Jordan in the 1967 war and seized control of east Jerusalem and the West Bank. Netanyahu can continue his ridiculous comparisons by he continually ignores that Israel does not own the land on which housing for its citizens is being constructed.

The prime minister and many Israelis who were dumb enough to vote for this man still do not realize that a majority of American Jews support the ideas of President Barack Obama and they are not “self-hating Jews.” Unlike, Israel Jews, they are intelligent and sophisticated Jews who seek peace and prosperity for the state of Israel and understand it can not come by use of guns.

Olmert Blasts US Stance On West Bank Settlements

Former Israel prime minister Ehud Olmert sharply criticized the Obama administration for insisting on a complete halt to housing on the West Bank. Although he agrees the construction of this housing “commands the agenda between the United States and Israel,” he regards it as a mistake because it is “impossible to completely enforce” and will only embitter the situation within Israel and between his country and the United States. He believes Palestinian needs to create an effective government and provide security have no connection to the issue of West Bank housing. Olmert also blamed Palestinian leaders for rejecting his proposal a year ago which dealt with many of their concerns.

Olmert is absolutely correct that Palestinian leaders have lacked a sense of vision and been unable to take risks in order to achieve peace. However, no Palestinian leader today can enter negotiations with Israel if they must accept West Bank settlements as they currently exist. Barack Obama is correct housing must cease and the Israel government has to become realistic of their chance to retain only a small portion of the West Bank. What could have happened last year or ten years ago has no relevance to what must occur today.