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Israel Planning 50,000 Housing Units Beyond the Green Line in East Jerusalem - Haaretz - Israel News

World  (tags: palestine, HumanRights, freedoms, corruption, israelgovernment, ethics )

- 3266 days ago -
Some 50,000 new housing units in Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the Green Line are in various stages of planning and approval, planning officials told Haaretz. They said Jerusalem's construction plans for the next few years, even decades, are expected to


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Elainna Crowell (174)
Thursday March 11, 2010, 1:33 am
I strongly suspect that This is the beginning of the end for a 2 state solution and wonder if the USA will be able to continue the sad pretense that it can broker a real peace. Such a tragedy for all.

Elainna Crowell (174)
Thursday March 11, 2010, 2:48 am
Care2 isn't counting my comments, so I have to repeat them!

Cheryl B (375)
Thursday March 11, 2010, 3:22 am
there never was one, zionists have planned to have all of palestine since the 1800's Hertzel he considered Argentina as well, not for long "In his article "Deutche Tsytung newspaper" Hertzel writes: "The Jews make countries fight each other and when they want, make peace. But whatever happens, they get rich from this." (Hitler said this also) ". the world would have to force israel who already has broken international law long list of offenses and most of the world and international courts does nothing, war crimes, israel does what it wants and so far gets away with it (like Bush, Cheney et al) their government officials some of them need to be tried on war crimes, they are too powerful with much, not all of the Jewish community supporting them as well as Canada I regret to say Harpers conservatives, the USA billions, and the EU.

Bruce C D (89)
Thursday March 11, 2010, 6:54 pm
This statement wraps it up most succinctly: "This is a global message of American weakness and Israeli arrogance," said Palestinian lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi.

Even prior to its inception, Israel has disregarded or disdained international law, and the intransigence displayed currently is only what we have come to expect.

What most people don't understand about this conflict is the murky beginnings. If they knew that creation of an Israeli state on over half of Palestinian land came at a time when just 6% of that land was owned by Jews (according to the British in 1947, who had a mandate to administer the territory and protect its indigenous population--a task they failed spectacularly at, partially for racist reasons), and that much of the Jewish population that created a parity with the native Palestinians were illegal immigrants or were part of what was intended to be temporary refugee camps, they might well take a different perspective. Creation of Palestinian and Israeli states was to be negotiated by the U.N., but Israel unilaterally declared statehood, naturally prompting an attack by Arab states, which were, as one might expect, very much opposed to what they rightfully perceived as the theft of their lands. Statehood would have likely never happened without the instrumental involvement of Jewish terrorist groups like Irgun and the Stern Gang, many of whose members went on to end up in key or leadership government postings.

It was long understood by Zionists that Palestine did not belong to them. When Hertzel sent two rabbis to Palestine, they returned with the verdict: "She is very beautiful, but, alas, the bride is taken." It is also known that Palestinians had national aspirations since the before the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. The question without any acceptable answer for those supporting creation or maintenance of a Zionist state in Palestine is this: How can you justify mending one people's oppression by creating and transferring oppression to another people? Especially when the persecution causing Jews to flee to Palestine was European? How do you justify punishing Palestinians for the evil perpetrated by others?

Although the British warned us of the conflict that would ensue, the U.S. disregarded their warnings, and signed off on Israeli statehood in a matter of scant minutes. The British went along, as did most of the other developed nations at the time. They should rightfully be viewed as actively complicit in one of the greatest injustices of modern times. The U.S. continues to provide billions in military and other aid that is used to repress Palestinians, adding to our guilt.

I don't believe it would be right after this much time to force Jews to leave Palestine, but I do believe the only just solution is not two states, but one, with full compensation for Palestinians, including the lawful right of return. The government would not be Jewish or Muslim, but secular, to reflect and serve the diversity of religions of its inhabitants. It should be obvious by now that any Palestinian state Israel deigns to permit will be fractured, weak and unviable. Creation of one state involves significant compromise from both sides, but it strives for a fair solution, and it does not let the stronger party (Israel) dictate favorable terms for peace.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Friday March 12, 2010, 1:25 am
It is simply amazing: In one headline, I read of Joe Biden's 'anger' with Israel over new housing in East Jerusalem; in the next I read of his declaration -or pledging?- of “unbreakable” ties between Israel and the United States.

"Biden slams Jerusalem housing plan"; "Israeli Jerusalem building plan angers visiting Biden"; "Israel bids to soothe anger of East Jerusalem plan amid Biden visit"; "Israel angers visiting Biden with plans for new housing" ...and THEN, Biden swallows his anger (& his pride??), and, tail between his legs, pledges undying support for Israel? Cum'on!

The Israeli press didn't miss the point either:
“Netanyahu embarrasses Biden,” “Failed visit is ongoing crisis,” were prime time TV news headlines, one Israeli observer relayed Wednesday. “When Israelis degrade Israel by humiliating Joe Biden,” read a headline in the daily Haaretz.

As reported on 'Democracy Now!',
In the midst of Joe Biden’s first visit to Israel as vice president, the Israeli government EMBARRASSED the Obama administration by announcing plans to add 1,600 more homes to a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem. (imho: What a provocation !!)

Biden is quoted in the press as saying that Israel’s move “undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I’ve had here in Israel,” but EarthTimes reports that "Biden...
instructed White House staff to issue (the) unusual statement in the midst of his visit, sharply condemning the move."

His comments were released Tuesday after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where he reiterated the “unbreakable” ties between Israel and the United States." I read elsewhere that the 'unbreakable ties" line came in a speech at Tel Aviv University.

EarthTimes reports: '... Interior Minister Eli Yishai said Wednesday that it should be "clear to everyone" that East Jerusalem was not included in the 10-month moratorium of Israeli construction in West Bank settlements announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late November. ...The Planning and District Committee was a local body that was not obliged to update the central government about "technical" and "procedural" matters. "Jerusalem is not included in the freeze, and that is clear to everyone," Yishai told Israel Radio. "There is no place for a freeze in Jerusalem. I do think we must show sensitivity to the visit of a senior American figure, and had we known about this in advance, ... we would have postponed it two weeks, three," he added.

Washington's envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, had announced on Biden's arrival late Monday, after a freeze in the peace process of more than one year, that both sides had agreed to hold indirect negotiations. The Palestine Liberation Organization led by Fatah had formally endorsed U.S.-brokered talks on Sunday.
-------Well, who has put the kibosh on that now? If this doesn't stink! ------------------------------

How gracious! The Israeli govt would have postponed the announcement (had they known) to preserve US Vice-Presidents Biden. --They make a total farce, a total mockery, out of the pledges made to the Obama adm; make total fools out of Obama, George Mitchell, & Biden, and then they make lame excuses !! ...and change the rules once the game has already started: housing freeze, yes / in Jerusalem, no !
Well, ever since Obama's visit, there have NEVER stopped being announcements of new housing.
Israel can get away with this shameless toying with the US, without risk to damaging that 'unbreakeable' bond:
that is the true embarrassment. Haaretz TV headline: "Biden embraces Israel after embarrassment"

Veteran Middle East peace negotiator Aaron David Miller said on Politico, "… Still Obama must find some way to restore his reputation on the street.”

This certainly takes the focus off the Palestinians, too, and their long wait for resolution, retribution, & justice.

I read on the Haaretz site: "Jerusalem Police (on Thursday March 11) agreed to let dozens of far-rightists march through (the) Arab village (of) Silwan in East Jerusalem. .. to protest illegal Palestinian construction in the area. ...Police are also concerned that Muslim protesters will turn to violence in their demonstrations against Israel's decision to approve the construction of 1,600 new houses in East Jerusalem."

Past Member (0)
Friday March 12, 2010, 8:59 am
It is politics and what was Biden actually doing was complaining and being mad at Israel and then remembering that since the US signed a blood pact with Israel, that they must uphold it. Really, what does Israel give the US?

Terry B (649)
Friday March 12, 2010, 2:24 pm
Bruce quotes a "palestinian lawmaker" -- now there's an oxymoron for you.

Bruce C D (89)
Friday March 12, 2010, 2:25 pm
Good question. It has been calculated that our support of Israel costs us far more than any benefits we may have recieved, which was already kind of obvious. I don't have a problem with helping folks out, but I must object when what we are doing is perpetrating and furthering injustice, while aiding in the persecution of a people. Besides, if Israel is so self-sufficient and successful, why do they need our support or protection, and why should they recieve more aid than any others, particularly those far more needy? If the excuse is that the aid is designed to positively influence Israeli policy, well, clearly that strategy has been a bust.

Peasent Diva--
Good post. I understand the reasons for successive administration's coddling of Israel all too well, even while I find those reasons insufficient. It's primarily about politics, which, unfortunately, too often transcends what is in our own best national interest. It starts with the Israeli propaganda that has permeated our mainstream media, and is further fueled by the power of Jewish lobbyist groups like AIPAC, leaving much of our citizenry woefully misinformed or under-informed and unduly influencing our elected officials. Then, too, we have Christian religious fundamentalists here who will side with Israel no matter what in the hopes of fulfilling their delusional prophecy of Armageddon. It used to be Republicans were far more critical of Israel and willing to act, but that has changed, too (partly due to those religious fundamentalists who now make up much of their core base and partly due to imperialistic neo-con aims). Now they are another obstacle to more realistic and clear-eyed policy. The Jewish voting bloc is often courted by both sides, but it appears the Muslim voting bloc, while not wielding nearly the same level of clout, is approaching parity in the U.S., and may hopefully someday soon begin to cause a shift towards more equitable and fair policy concerning Palestinians.

To prevent any misconceptions, I detest prejudices and stereotypes of all types, and do not believe in ridiculous Jewish conspiracies. I am also concerned with what creation of a Jewish state in Palestine has done to many Jewish people, besides the terrible injustice and oppression it has inflicted upon Palestinians. My only bias is for doing the right thing, which I feel certain will in the end also best benefit everybody, including those of the Jewish faith and the U.S.

Terry B (649)
Friday March 12, 2010, 2:29 pm
These units are all within the Jerusalem City Limits and therefore within Israel, not the so-called wset bank. the meaningless green line notwithstanding.

BTW, thanks for your quotation from Adolf Hitler, Cheryl. He is always one that we should look up to,

Past Member (0)
Friday March 12, 2010, 2:29 pm
John, Israel gives US: their technology - lots of it; non-competing on lucrative defense contracts with other countries - worth of billions; dirty jobs done on US requests; safe haven for US fleet - and just sincere friendship of majority of Israelis to the American people.

In comparison, what do the Arab states give back to the US in return to the huge US Aid given by to them, and for protection from terrorist overruns that US provides? Plots and hate? "Death to America" sounds as often as "Death to Israel", "Big Satan" is worse than the "Small Satan"! And the same number of flags gets burned on those picnics.


Bruce C D (89)
Friday March 12, 2010, 4:54 pm
Nigel S.--
What dirty jobs does the U.S. need done by Israel? And if we are contracting out dirty jobs to other countries (like the illegal renditions enabling torture of terrorism suspects), it is to our own shame and not something another country should be proud of, either. Besides, I think your defensiveness of Israel is causing you to bend the truth. Would you care to cite all (or even some of) those dirty jobs Israel has performed at the U.S. request?

The same thing for technology--Israel isn't giving the U.S. technology for gratis, they profit enormously from surveillance technology sold to Homeland Security. Again, it's easy to make such absurd assertions, but perhaps you'd care to show us how the U.S. has saved billions because of discounted Israeli technology? I don't think that's possible.

Syria gave us more useful intelligence on al-Qaeada than Israel (at least until an ungrateful Bush took to continuously bashing them). Saudi Arabia has often worked to hold oil prices stable for our benefit, which has saved the U.S. billions. There are other examples, but they are beside the point--you are disingenuously looking to deflect the topic away from Israel. And, as I'm sure you must realize, much of the Arab/Muslim anger at U.S. comes from our one-sided support of Israel. How do we protect Arab governments from "terrorist overruns"? Isn't it more the truth that we prop up totalitarian regimes in the Middle East to serve our own ends? It isn't "terrorist overruns" we fear, but democracy and popular will. Again, though, it is dishonest and myopic to twist the debate into an either/or for Israel and Arab countries. There are many other countries around the world more deserving or more in need of our aid.

Perhaps you'd also care to explain why Israel needs to spy on the U.S., or the deliberate slaying and wounding of so many on the USS Liberty, which was in international waters at the time of the Israeli attack? As for the sincere friendship of a majority of Israeli's, that isn't the feeling one gets when spending tourist dollars in Israel, as I'm sure many others could also attest. There are many other countries where Americans recieve a much warmer welcome than Israel, despite all the vital aid it receives from both our government and its citizens.

Bruce C D (89)
Saturday March 13, 2010, 10:31 am
Terry B.-
You said, “Bruce quotes a "palestinian lawmaker" -- now there's an oxymoron for you.”

Your first comment is offensive for a few reasons. First, this is just a red herring designed to cast aspersion on or detract from the relevant points made.

Second, it doesn’t actually respond to the Palestinian’s comment; it instead seeks to dismiss it out of hand. It is a pathetic defense that reveals the weakness of your counter-arguments, since you don’t even bother to present them for any of the points made, his or mine.

Third, it displays and fosters ignorance. The insinuation is that all Palestinian elected officials are criminals or terrorists. That is malicious stereotyping, which is usually associated with prejudice. Isn’t that the same kind of thing that has led to Jewish persecution? If you’re defending Jewish interests, this is a very short-sighted and poor strategy. You should be attempting to eliminate stereotypes and prejudices, instead of spreading them. Moreover, it would be easy for one to make similar stereotyping remarks about any Jewish politician when mentioned—given the rampant corruption in Israeli government, the past ties between elected officials and Israeli terrorist acts, and Israel’s continual blatant disregard for international law—(people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones) but it would be just as wrong as your snide, unthinking remark.

Your second comment states, “These units are all within the Jerusalem City Limits and therefore within Israel, not the so-called wset bank. the meaningless green line notwithstanding.”

You are taking the Israeli line, which isn’t shared by the U.S. or anyone else in the international community. As you must surely be aware, East Jerusalem is designated the capital of any future Palestinian state, so Israel’s insidious attempts—past and current—to change the demographic makeup or geographic boundaries are deliberate provocations that make a mockery of claims to desire and promote peace. This is likewise true for settlements outside of Jerusalem in the rest of the Occupied Territories. It is well recognized that Israel’s intransigence on settlements amounts to land grabs; creates facts on the ground that can later be used advantageously against Palestinians in negotiations; is illegal; fuels the conflict; and is a major obstacle to conducting good-faith negotiations and achieving lasting peace.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday March 14, 2010, 1:59 pm
I'm not the only one to have picked up on the 'poorly timed' (or was it?) announcement of more housing in E Jerusalem during Biden's ill-fated visit to Israel: Haaretz resident dissident, Gideon Levy, has written a great opinion piece, Thank You, Eli Yishai (Israeli Interior Minister) For Exposing the Peace Process Masquerade!

Here's someone new to blame for everything: Eli Yishai. After all, Benjamin Netanyahu wanted it so much, Ehud Barak pressed so hard, Shimon Peres wielded so much influence - and along came the interior minister and ruined everything.

There we were, on the brink of another historic upheaval (almost). Proximity talks with the Palestinians were in the air, peace was knocking on the door, the occupation was nearing its end - and then a Shas rogue, who knows nothing about timing and diplomacy, came and shuffled all the proximity and peace cards.

The scoundrel appeared in the midst of the smile- and hug-fest with the vice president of the United States and disrupted the celebration. Joe Biden's white-toothed smiles froze abruptly, the great friendship was about to disintegrate, and even the dinner with the prime minister and his wife was almost canceled, along with the entire "peace process." And all because of Yishai.

Well, the interior minister does deserve our modest thanks. The move was perfect. The timing, which everyone is complaining about, was brilliant. It was exactly the time to call a spade a spade. As always, we need Yishai (and occasionally Avigdor Lieberman) to expose our true face, without the mask and lies, and play the enfant terrible who shouts that the emperor has no clothes.

For the emperor indeed has no clothes. Thank you, Yishai, for exposing it. Thank you for ripping the disguise off the revelers in the great ongoing peace-process masquerade in which nobody means anything or believes in anything.

What do we want from Yishai? To know when the Jerusalem planning committee convenes? To postpone its meeting by two weeks? What for? Hadn't the prime minister announced to Israel, the world and the United States, in a move seen at the time as a great Israeli victory, that the construction freeze in the settlements does not include Jerusalem? Then why blame that lowly official, the interior minister, who implemented that policy?

What's the big deal? Another 1,600 apartments for ultra-Orthodox Jews on occupied, stolen land? Jerusalem won't ever be divided, Benjamin Netanyahu promised, in another applause-winning move. In that case, why not build in it? The Americans have agreed to all this, so they have no reason to pretend to be insulted.

The interior minister should not apologize for the "distress" he caused, but be proud of it. He is the government's true face. Who knows, perhaps thanks to him America will finally understand that nothing will happen unless it exerts real pressure on Israel.

What would we do without Yishai? Biden would have left Israel propelled by the momentum of success. Netanyahu would have boasted of a renewed close friendship. A few weeks later, the indirect talks would have started. Europe would have applauded, and Barack Obama, the president of big promises, would even have taken a moment away from dealing with his country's health-care issues to meet with Netanyahu. George Mitchell, who has already scored quite a few diplomatic feats here, would shuttle between Ramallah and Jerusalem, and maybe Netanyahu would eventually have met with Mahmoud Abbas. Face to face. Then everything would have been sorted out.

Without preconditions, certainly without preconditions, Israel would have continued to build in the territories in the meantime - not 1,600 but 16,000 new apartments. The IDF would have continued arresting, imprisoning, humiliating and starving - all under the auspices of the peace talks, of course. Jerusalem forever. The right of return is out of the question, and so is Hamas. And onward to peace!

Months would go by, the talks would "progress," there would be lots of photo ops, and every now and then a mini-crisis would erupt - all because of the Palestinians, who want neither peace nor a state. At the very end, there might be another plan with another timetable that no one intends to keep.

Everything was so ready, so ripe, until that scoundrel, Yishai, came and kicked it all into oblivion. It's a bit embarrassing, but not so terrible. After all, time heals all wounds. The Americans will soon forgive, the Palestinians will have no choice, and once again everyone will stand ceremoniously on the platform and the process will be "jump-started" again - despite everything that the sole enemy of peace around here, Eli Yishai, has done to us.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday March 14, 2010, 2:21 pm
I did want to add, as well, that I applaud Bruce's remarks about "malicious stereotyping, which" --YES, INDEED! "is usually associated with prejudice. Isn’t that the same kind of thing that has led to Jewish persecution? If you’re defending Jewish interests, this is a very short-sighted and poor strategy."

The stereotyping is so pervasive in Israel, the indoctrination so total, that in 1999 when Edward Said & Daniel Barenboim assembled the very first 'West-Eastern Divan Orchestra,' they had young Israeli musicians who were amazed to discover that they had young Palestinian counterparts in the orchestra: What? Palestinians with violins and cellos in skilled hands instead of bombs & stones? That is why these two men's founding of the music workshops & the orchestra with youth from both Israel & Arab Middle Eastern countries, with the aim of promoting understanding between Israelis and Palestinians is an outstanding contribution to peace.
Some might say a small drop in a sea of hatred, -- yeah, hard to compete with the massive assault on Gaza, I grant you-- but, whatever the scale, it does attempt to tackle the problem.

Learned about from Paul Smaczny's documentary about the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, "Knowledge is the Beginning," which won the Emmy Award for best documentary related to arts of 2006.
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