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Friday, May 05, 2006

Olmert to divide Jerusalem?

Ehud Olmert began his term as Prime Minister today by telling the Knesset that 'isolated settlements' 'endanger' Israel. The real question is what Olmert considers an 'isolated settlement.' According to Pamela at Atlas Shrugs, Olmert considers parts of Jerusalem to be 'isolated settlements.' He plans to divide the city.

Pamela cites a series of Associated Press interviews with one Otniel Schneller, a Member of Knesset from the Kadima Achora party. I had to google the name to find out who he is. The name was familiar but not familiar enough. Most of you from Yehuda and Shomron probably know who he is.

Otniel Schneller is a former member of the "Yesha Council" from Ma'ale Michmash, a Jewish town in Binyamin. In some circles he might be called a turncoat or a traitor. He is also Ehud Olmert's mapmaker.

Those of you who stayed home on March 28 and did not come out to vote cannot say that you weren't warned. On March 23, five days before the election, Schneller was quoted as saying:
"The Old City, Mount Scopus, the Mount of Olives, the City of David, Sheikh Jarra will remain in our hands, but [regarding] Kafr Akeb, Abu-Ram, Shuafat, Hizma, Abu-Zaim, Abu-Tur, Abu Dis, in the future, when the Palestinian state is established, they will become its capital."
For the record, Abu Dis is within shooting range of the Mount of Olives. Shuafat borders French Hill, Ramat Shlomo, Pisgat Zev and Neve Yaakov. Hizma is a few meters from Pisgat Zev. Abu-Tur is quite close to Talpiyot. All but two of the areas he mentioned—At-Tur [the same as Abu Tur - CiJ] and Az-Zaayem [the same as Abu Zaim - CiJ] — are already on the West Bank side of the planned route of the 'security fence.'

Today, Schneller told the Associated Press, "We will not divide Jerusalem, we will share it." The Associated Press adds:

A plan to divide Jerusalem was first brought up in 2000 peace talks but failed to materialize. Schneller _ a Kadima lawmaker _ is reviving that plan with his blueprint. But he cautioned that the ideas are still in the planning stages, require international backing and that there's no clear timetable for carrying them out.

Under the plan, which would be executed unilaterally if efforts to resume peace talks fail, Jerusalem's Old City, its holy shrines and the adjacent neighborhoods, would become a "special region with special understandings," but remain under Israeli sovereignty, said Schneller.

The Old City and the adjacent "holy basin," which includes the predominantly Arab neighborhoods of Silwan and Sheik Jarrah, would fall on the Israeli side of the separation barrier Israel is building in the West Bank, another Israeli official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because plans have not been finalized.

The plan also calls for moving the barrier westward. That means much of East Jerusalem would no longer be cut off from the West Bank and most Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem could become part of a future Palestinian state on the eastern side of the barrier, the official said.

This does sound like the Barak plan. In the late spring and early summer of 2000, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak actually wanted to give the 'Palestinians' all of the Arab-populated neighborhoods of 'East Jerusalem' before Camp David as a 'concession' in the hope that it would soften them up for Camp David. The shocking extent of the Israeli government's willingness to return almost to the borders of 1949 forced Shas, Yisrael B'Aliya and the National Religious party to quit Mr. Barak's government even before the Camp David Summit could begin. Foreign Minister David Levy, from Barak's own One Israel party, refused to attend the summit due to his opposition to the concessions. There was also a massive demonstration against the concessions in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on July 16, 2000. The demonstration was one of the biggest in Israel's history.

In the case of Shas in particular, it was the plan to give away Abu Dis that forced them to leave the government. In a Friday meeting at Rav Ovadia Yosef's home, other Rabbis (particularly the Bostonner Rebbe) showed Rav Yosef that the 'Palestinians' could reach the Mount of Olives with ordinary handguns from Abu Dis.

Had Barak succeeded in giving away the Arab-populated neighborhoods of Jerusalem, what happened to Gilo during the Oslo War could have happened to Neve Yaakov, Pisgat Zev, Ramot, Ramat Shlomo, Talpiyot Mizrach and many other Jewish neighborhoods. We all would have been sitting ducks.

The plan to divide Jerusalem is extremely dangerous, both to our national psyche and for the security of Jerusalem's Jewish residents. Given that our national psyche will not play well with the NIMBY-afflicted center of the country, those of us who love Israel and Jerusalem have to concentrate on security arguments and how the Olmert-Schneller plan endangers Jerusalem, its Jewish residents and the Jewish residents of surrounding communities.

1 Comments:

At 2:57 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I was just introduced to your site, and couldn't agree with you more. Not even the Muslims want the Palestinian people, but they are thrilled to use them to get to beloved Israel. The fact that their 30 years of animal behavior has now been rewarded by the UN is the greatest evil of this new century. I for one will fight it until I die.

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