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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Zionist answer to Obama

Earlier, I reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu had surprisingly pushed back against Obama administration objections to Jewish construction in Jerusalem. It turns out that he did even more: The government announced on Tuesday that it will build between 800 and 1,000 new homes in Ariel.
The plan for a new neighborhood in the western part of Ariel has been all but completed after years of litigation. Only the approval of the local planning and building committee is needed for the work to begin. The municipality supports the initiative.

The construction in Ariel has been the center of controversy between Israel and the United States. While Israel sees Ariel as part of a large settlement bloc, the United States sees it as a panhandle sticking into the West Bank, intended to prevent Palestinian territorial contiguity.

Last month Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman met with Netanyahu in Tel Aviv to discuss resuming construction in the city. "You don't know what efforts I'm making to keep Ariel," Netanyahu reportedly told him. "The whole world is against Ariel."

The area earmarked for Ariel's new neighborhood is next to the Palestinian town Salfit. The compound is divided in two - state-owned land and land privately owned by businessman Avraham Shamai. Shamai sold the land a few years ago, but the buyers did not keep up their end of the agreement and the land reverted back to Shamai after prolonged litigation.

Since this is privately owned land, the developer may put up fences and forge paths in preparation for construction with the approval of the municipal planning committee; he does not need the Defense Ministry's approval. Once the committee approves the plan, the construction may begin.

Nachman told the city council last month that "they approved a development contract. It's a very big thing."

He also spoke about building in other parts of Ariel. "We've resumed construction in the industrial area in Ariel west," Nachman said. "Plants that were frozen are being built now .... In the Moriah neighborhood we've begun construction. There are 100 homes there by [construction company] Netzarim and 195 others by another company; together that's 295."

Referring to the construction approval, Ariel council member Yaakov Emanuel told Haaretz that "the city is thriving. This means Ariel will stay part of Israel."
This is good news, of course. But I'm still waiting to hear of approvals for Jewish construction in places that aren't part of the 'settlement blocs.' Then we'll know that the game is over.

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At 3:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right baby. Israel is for us not our enemies. And we need safe neighborhoods to raise our families. And that means getting rid of the crazy people with bombs duct-taped to their junk. Thank you Netanyahu. It is a beginning.

At 5:56 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The world is going to get more upset. Get it all out so it can blow off steam!



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