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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Livni agrees to give away Jerusalem's airport

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

For those wondering why this week's Sabbath break was longer than usual, it's because we went away for the Sabbath. I'm going to tell you where we went to encourage those of you in Israel to give these people some business. It was really a lovely weekend.

Every year, my inlaws take all of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren away for the Sabbath before Passover starts. This year we went to a guest house run by a place called the Medrasha in the town of Ofra. Ofra is in Samaria, and without traffic it's probably about 25 minutes from the Hizme checkpoint at the Pisgat Zev entrance to Jerusalem. We were one of four groups there for the Sabbath, so obviously there is a lot of room. They have dormitory style accommodations (Mrs. Carl and I had the three youngest kids in our room), and the food was strictly Kosher and tasty. If anyone needs details, you can drop me an email and I will get them for you.

In the news tonight, foreign minister Tzippi Feigele Livni has agreed to give the 'Palestinians' Jerusalem's only airport, Atarot, which is on the northeastern edge of the city according to a story in one of the local newspapers yesterday. The paper - Kol Hazman (All the Time) cited 'foreign ministry sources,' but seems credible because it's not unlike many other stories we have heard recently. The goal of giving the 'Palestinians' Atarot is to strengthen the 'good terrorists' of Fatah who are supposed to be more moderate than the 'bad terrorists' of Hamas.
Israel apparently recognizes Hamas control in Gaza as permanent, and therefore wishes to strengthen Fatah - perceived as more moderate - in Judea and Samaria.

Fatah terrorists, members of the organization's Al Aqsa Brigades, have carried out many murderous attacks against Israeli civilians in recent weeks, months and years. One of the most active terrorist forces in the area, it has been designated terrorist organization by the U.S., the European Union, Canada, and Japan.

Alternatively, it is not clear that the Hamas-takeover scenario will not repeat itself in Judea and Samaria, thus leaving the Atarot Airport in Hamas hands - if Israel in fact relinquishes it.


Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski is strongly against the loss of Atarot to the terrorists. His aides said he was "astonished" to hear of the secret agreement, and feels it will be a grave security failure and a significant concession on Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.

"It is inconceivable," the mayor reportedly said, "that while Israeli flights from Atarot have been stopped because of security fears, the threat will now become even more severe, with control of the entire area being given over to the PA." He warned of the dangers of "hostile airplanes" in the skies of Jerusalem.

Lupoliansky promises he will work even harder to advance his plan to build 10,000 housing units for Jews in Atarot, hoping to thus thwart the plan to give it to the PA.

Jerusalem Municipality officials said the agreement to give away Atarot represents a de-facto recognition of the division of Jerusalem.


Staffers in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said, "These are talks being handled by the Foreign Minister, and therefore answers must be received from her." Livni's press secretary said that the contents of the talks are not meant to be publicized.
Is Olmert seeking 'plausible deniability' so that he can blame it all on Livni later? For those of you who have forgotten about Lupolianski's project in Atarot, here's a little background.

Atarot's land was owned by Jews since the early 1900s.

The new neighborhood will consist of 10,000-15,000 housing units – constituting the largest neighborhood built in Jerusalem’s eastern side since it was liberated in 1967. It is adjacent to the Atarot Industrial Zone, Jerusalem’s largest industrial park, with 160 factories and businesses.

In 1914, the site was settled by Zionist youth of the Second Aliyah, including Levi Eshkol, who later served as Prime Minister. They erected a communal farm called Moshav Atarot, which was destroyed by the Jordanians during the 1948 War of Independence and the land occupied for the next 19 years.

Following the 1967 Six Day War, Atarot was returned to Jewish hands. A British air strip built atop the Jewish farmland during the British Mandate became the Atarot Airport, Jerusalem’s only civilian air strip.

After Yitzhak Rabin's government created the Palestinian Authority and granted it tens of thousands of assault rifles, sniper fire forced the airport to close down at the start of the Oslo War in 2000.

The master plan for the neighborhood reportedly includes a tunnel linking it to the Binyamin community of Tel Zion.
And for those of you waiting for Shas to leave the government, please don't hold your breaths. Shas doesn't believe they're negotiating over Jerusalem yet.
Relating to a new American initiative to give the PA partial control of Jerusalem for five years, Shas spokesman Ro'i Lachmanovitch told Arutz-7's Hebrew newsmagazine on Thursday that Shas was going nowhere: "We continue to stand behind the stance set by [the party's spiritual leader] Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, which is that the moment Jerusalem is placed on the agenda of the diplomatic talks, Shas will quit the coalition."

A late-breaking development in another sphere may move Shas, however: The sudden decision by the Cabinet secretariat not to discuss the non-enforced chametz [leavened bread prohibited to Jews on Passover CiJ] law in this Sunday's agenda. Shas had hoped for quick government action to legislate a change in the law that would enable its enforcement, in light of a recent court ruling allowing chametz to be sold in stores. Shas MKs are reportedly angered by the decision, and political analysts estimate that Shas may threaten to quit the coalition over it - though this has not yet happened.

And don't expect them to quit over that either. They will reach some kind of compromise. The judge who decided the case (the law says that you can't publicly display chametz for sale on Passover - the judge said if you close the door to the restaurant it's not public) made a stupid mistake that has implications way beyond chametz (think about the anti-smoking law).


At 5:20 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The current Israeli government is full of chametz. Cleaning out its house would not get rid of all the leaven within it that corrupts the land.

At 12:30 AM, Blogger Debbie said...

Carl, what is going on in Israel? Why haven't the Israelis demanded early elections to rid the country of Olmert? Do most Israelis seriously think giving land will bring them peace?

I can't take it - it's so disturbing to watch Israelis sit by and do nothing while Olmert and Livni and Peres destroy the possibility of Israel's survival bit by bit.

I agree with normanf - Israel's current government is one big yeast infection.


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