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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Netanyahu v. Biden

David Hazony apparently agrees with me that the timing of the announcement of new construction in Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo neighborhood was not coincidental.
What Netanyahu knows, and Biden apparently does not, is that the vast majority of Israelis, including those who favor a land-for-peace deal with the Palestinians, do not, and will never, look at Jerusalem as a settlement or at residents of its neighborhoods as “settlers.” We can fully understand why Biden might have thought the move to be “precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now.” At a time when he’s trying to show the American public that he and the president are capable of bringing a new era of peace in the region, such an announcement certainly does not make his job easier. But unlike the U.S., Israel is an actual party to the negotiations and has a right to draw red lines. One such line that must not be crossed is undoing the unification of Jerusalem that happened in 1967 and that still captures the imagination and commitment of both the great majority of Israelis and a very large number of Diaspora Jews. Jerusalem is home to more than 700,000 citizens, of whom two-thirds are Jews. It has granted far greater and more liberal access to non-Jews worshiping at its shrines than the Palestinians have ever done with regard to Jewish (and Christian) freedom in the territories it controls. This is a great deal to ask in time of ongoing war.

One of the worst things about the Oslo Accords was the logic that said, “Let’s take care of the easy things first, and wait on the hard issues until later.” And so, while the Palestinians were allowed to create a heavily armed, ideologically belligerent, terror-supporting government in the territories Israel vacated, Israel gained nothing in terms of security, while the “hard issues” like Jerusalem and the repatriation of millions of Palestinians remained up in the air, not as questions to be resolved, but as threats hanging over Israelis’ heads: You can give us these, and face demographic and symbolic decimation; or you can refuse, and face a renewal of violence. When it became clear to Arafat that Israel had no intention of giving in on these core issues, all the “trust” that had been built was suddenly meaningless. He launched the second intifada, and the rest is too well known.

In making the move on Jerusalem, the Israeli government is trying to avoid the ambiguities that were the undoing of Oslo. Anyone hoping for a successful negotiation leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, they are saying, had better forget about the division of Jerusalem. Sometimes, it’s the timing that drives the point home.
Indeed. Jennifer Rubin adds an insider's look at the language used by Biden regarding the decision to build in Ramat Shlomo. It's frightening to see the list of items to which the Obama administration compares 1,600 apartments in Ramat Shlomo:
And notice the language Biden employed: “condemn.” A Capitol Hill Republican leadership adviser sends this keen observation:
What kind of language is this? Isn’t “condemn” reserved for things like beating dissidents, or even terror attacks? Whatever you think of the decision, the Obama administration couldn’t have said they felt it undermined the peace process, were “very disappointed,” saw it as “a step backward” or something like that?
A quick search of the White House website shows that in June, Gibbs said Obama “condemned the violence” in Iran.

In May, Obama released a statement on Aung San Suu Kyi, saying, “I strongly condemn her house arrest and detention, which have also been condemned around the world.”
The same month, Obama “strongly condemn[ed]” a North Korean nuclear test and missile launch.

In July, Obama said, “I strongly condemn the attacks that occurred this morning in Jakarta.”

The October bombings in Baghdad prompted Obama to say, “I strongly condemn these outrageous attacks on the Iraqi people…”
Last month, we had this: “The United States and the European Union condemn the continuing human rights violations in Iran since the June 12 election.”
The adviser wonders whether Obama and company really think a housing complex is ”on the same plane as all these things that rightly deserved condemnation.” In Obama’s skewed vision, it seems so. For this crowd, allies are fair game for vitriol, but diplomatic niceties take priority over criticism of despots.
I'd love to know who the Republican adviser was (Jennifer, if you tell me, I won't post it). But if any of you are still wondering why the US no longer has power over influence on Israel, the word 'condemn' ought to make it clear.


At 11:53 AM, Blogger Ashan said...

It's very clear to me that one, Hussein and his administration are inarticulate and diplomatically stunted, and two, they are bigoted, anti-Israel, terror-supporting thugs.

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Demography, Geopolitics and the Future of Israel’s Capital: Jerusalem’s Proposed Plan
By Nadav Shragai

The Jewish majority in Jerusalem is declining due to the mass migration of the Jewish population from Jerusalem together with the migration of an additional Arab population in to Jerusalem. According to the proposed master plan for the city, the planned inventory of Jewish housing does not meet expected needs for 2020, while the planned inventory of Arab housing will suffice until at least 2030. In addition, the proposed master plan will create urban contiguity between eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods and Palestinian neighborhoods outside the city, reinforcing the Palestinian demand to recognize the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem as a single political entity.

For the entire Article go to: http://jcpa.org/text/Jerusalem-Master-Plan.pdf

For more on Jerusalem please see articles at: http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=112&FID=568&PID=0&IID=429


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