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Monday, April 26, 2010

De facto construction freeze for Jews in 'eastern sector' of Jerusalem

Arutz Sheva is reporting that Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama have reached a 'secret' agreement on a construction freeze in Jerusalem.
Reports in the Israeli press say that despite denials to the opposite, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barak Obama have reached a secret agreement on the issue of Jerusalem, whereby Israel will declare that it will continue construction in the Jewish capital, but in practice nothing will be allowed.

The reports also said that Netanyahu promised to stop the recently approved Ramat Shlomo project of 1,600 units.
Haaretz goes even further, reporting that 'Jerusalem officials' say that there is a de facto freeze in Jerusalem's 'eastern sector.'
Jerusalem Councilman Meir Margalit of the dovish Meretz Party said top Jerusalem officials intimately involved with construction projects told him that Netanyahu's office ordered a freeze after Washington expressed anger over the building plans.

The government ordered the Interior Ministry immediately after the Biden incident to not even talk about new construction for Jewish homes in East Jerusalem, Margalit said. It's not just that building has stopped: The committees that deal with this are not even meeting anymore.

He declined to identify the officials who informed him of the order because they had not approved the disclosure of their names. A Jerusalem municipal spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking interviews with the officials.

Another councilman, Meir Turujamen, who sits on the Interior Ministry committee that approves building plans, said his panel has not met since the Biden visit, after previously meeting once weekly.

"I wrote a letter about three weeks or a month ago asking [Interior Minister Eli] Yishai why the committee isn't convening," he said. "To this day I haven't received an answer."

Turujamen added that the last time his committee met was on March 9, when it made the provocative decision to approve the 1,600-apartment Ramat Shlomo project that riled the Americans.

He said he received no official word of a de facto freeze order, but based on the situation, those are the facts. We used to meet once a week, and now for several months we haven't met. It's clear there's an order.
Netanyahu denied that there is freeze in place in a meeting with Likud faction members on Monday.

And yes, of course this is plausible and even likely. What did you think - that Bibi didn't give anything to get the Obami to talk nicely to us?


At 8:47 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Netanyahu is lying to the Likud. Its clear there is a "freeze" in place. Otherwise construction would be proceeding as normal. The government should cease its lame attempts to hide the truth from the public. Its hard to keep it hidden in a big city like Jerusalem for long.

At 7:50 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Jennifer Rubin has more about J-Street's position on Jerusalem. Using Yossi Sarid as their mouthpiece, they say this:

"Barack Obama appears well aware of his obligations to try to resolve the world’s ills, particularly ours here. Why then undercut him and tie his hands? On the contrary, let’s allow him to use his clout to save us from ourselves, to help both bruised and battered nations and free them from their prison. Then he can push both sides to divide the city into two capitals — to give Jewish areas to the Jews and Arab areas to the Arabs – and assign the Holy Basin to an agreed on international authority."

Now, yes it appears to be true that Netanyahu has imposed a construction freeze in Jerusalem. But even he has not gone (yet) as far as J-Street has advocated, which one suspects is probably also Obama's position. And Rubin writes further: "Wow, indeed. There is no mainstream Jewish organization that takes this position, and I dare say J Street wouldn’t find 5 percent of American Jews who do. Moreover, there is zero support for such a position within Israel."

Quite true. One wonders if the Obami see the J-Street position as a stalking horse for an imposed settlement of the kind shrilly demanded this week by Abu Bluff. The rest is here: Read it all

Rubin is right about one thing though: in coming clean about Jerusalem, J-Street has revealed its neither a pro-Israel or a pro-peace organization. But we knew that already and this is simply more evidence of how it really views the Jewish State - one bereft of its capital. Which would no doubt gladden the hearts of the Obami.

Truly disturbing, indeed


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