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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

American objections to Jerusalem hotel may deny 'Palestinians' economic opportunity

Haaretz reported on Tuesday that the United States demanded that Israel stop construction (so said the headline) of a 200-room hotel and shopping center near the Rockefeller Museum (pictured) just outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City.
Washington is furious over the Interior Ministry's anticipated approval of a plan to build a new hotel in East Jerusalem, just 100 meters from the Old City's walls. The plan, which would see the demolition of a wholesale market and kindergarten, is slated to be approved today.

In conversations with Israeli officials, senior American officials have made it clear that they want Israel to freeze all plans for expanding the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem, and especially in the Holy Basin - the area adjacent to the Old City.

The regional planning and building committee for Jerusalem will discuss the plan Tuesday. It was submitted by the Jerusalem municipality, which owns the land on which the hotel is slated to be built, and the state-owned Jerusalem Development Authority, which will actually construct it.


The plan calls for a 200-room hotel that will be nine stories tall on its eastern face (where the ground is lower). It will also include a commercial building, which will be five stories tall on its eastern face, plus another three stories underground.

The plan will require the existing wholesale market to be demolished, along with a Palestinian kindergarten.
I highlighted the 'wholesale market' and the Kindergarten for a reason - you'll see why in a minute. But note that the land is owned by the Jerusalem municipality, it's about as in Jerusalem as you can get and that the Obama administration is 'furious.' If any of you had any doubts as to whether the Obama administration regards the 200,000 or so Jewish Jerusalemites who live over the 1949 armistice lines as 'settlers,' they should now be resolved.

I can proudly tell you that I am a 'settler.'

The Interior Ministry recommended that the plan be approved and JPost reports on Tuesday night that the plan was approved. I'm going to highlight in the JPost article the answer to the line in the Haaretz article about the 'wholesale market' (I've never been in it, but I'd bet it's just rundown outdoor stalls) and the Kindergarten.
The construction of the hotel on city-owned land, which has been 12 years in the planning, would see the demolition and rebuilding of 14 derelict Arab-owned stores in a wholesale market as well as a local kindergarten, officials said.
That sure puts things in a different light, doesn't it?
The building proposal, which was originally put forward by the municipality, will improve the economy of city residents in general and east Jerusalem residents in particular, Jerusalem municipality spokesman Gidi Schmerlng said in a written response.

The planned new east Jerusalem commercial center would include the new stores, two kindergartens and a welfare office, said Dalit Zilber, district planner for the Interior Ministry.
You mean we wouldn't want to give that away to the 'Palestinians'? Of course we wouldn't. But it sure sounds like they're going to benefit from it anyway - if the Obama administration doesn't kill the project.


At 3:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 5:15 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I said on The Muqata in jest that Israel should hang out a No Jews Allowed sign during the hotel's construction. If its not to the benefit of Jews, why in the world would the US be "furious" about it?


At 5:15 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I said on The Muqata in jest that Israel should hang out a No Jews Allowed sign during the hotel's construction. If its not to the benefit of Jews, why in the world would the US be "furious" about it?


At 5:41 AM, Blogger mrzee said...

I'd love to see Netanyahu tell Obama that this is a municipal matter and the PM's office has no jurisdiction. Obama doesn't tell the mayor of New York how to run his city (yet).

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Eliyahu in Shilo said...

"I can proudly tell you that I am a 'settler.'"

Welcome to the club. Are you going to get a gun?

12 years ago... What that still Kollek or was Olmert Mayor? He (Olmert) was an AWESOME right wing mayor. But when push comes to shove, Israeli right wingers who don't believe in G-d are never really right wingers.

At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eliyahu in Shilo said...

He (Olmert) was an AWESOME right wing mayor.


Anything pleasant he mumbled was to advance his career opportunities.

As for his performance as mayor, the quality of everything in Jerusalem declined drastically during Olmert's tenure - except for the new municipal offices he moved into at Safra Square, where he could puff away on his cigars and put his feet up on the table.


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