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Friday, April 18, 2008

The carrot and the stick?

Israel is apparently trying to treat the 'Palestinian Authority' with the carrot and the stick today. The carrot is allowing the PA to open twenty new 'police stations' in rural areas of Judea and Samaria. The 'stick' - if it can be called one - is granting permission to construct 100 new homes (count 'em) in two Jewish towns in Samaria. But is it really much of a stick? Is it intended to change the PA's behavior? The short answer is that it's not a stick and it's not intended to change PA behavior.

The 48 units to be built in Ariel are intended to house homeless refugees from Gush Katif. That's a cruel joke. There are several thousand homeless refugees from Gush Katif and they have been homeless for nearly three years now. Construction in Israel takes 2-3 years. Where will these people live in the meantime? And what about all the rest of the refugees?

The 52 units being built in Elkana are meant to replace existing units - presumably caravans (mobile homes. Yes, Israelis get to live like trailer trash too, but they are much higher class people than their homes would indicate). The new units won't allow a single new resident to move in to Elkana or to buy a home. The biggest problem faced by the Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria today is that they have no room for growth. Children of current residents who marry have no option to live in their home towns. And people from within the green line have no option to move to towns in Judea and Samaria. No option. For any amount of money.

I won't believe that even this small number of apartments will be built until I see it happen. For starters, Condi Rice hasn't had her say yet (remember Har Homa and Atarot) and for seconds, the Labor party may precipitate a coalition crisis over the new units:
Labor MK Ephraim Sneh demanded that Labor faction chairman Eitan Cabel convene the faction for an urgent discussion as a result of the tenders. He said that the announcement damages the chances of peace with the Palestinians. He emphasized that "the Labor faction decided only this past week on its commitment to the success of the peace process."
Peace with the 'Palestinians'? The only thing that has a chance in hell of bringing about peace with the 'Palestinians' would be for Israel to annex more land and settle more Jews in Judea and Samaria every time there's a terror attack. Eventually the 'Palestinians' will get the idea that if they don't stop the terror, there won't be any land left for them. But no Israeli government - especially not this one - has been willing to use a real stick like that. Ever.


At 9:49 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Yep. No one questions illegal Palestinian construction but let a couple of dozen units be built for a few Jewish families and watch all hell break loose. There's something immoral about equating Palestinian terror with peaceful Jewish life in Judea and Samaria.

Israel would be a lot closer to peace today if this absurd canard stopped guiding Israeli settlement policy.


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