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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Do we intend to 'keep' Jerusalem?

I doubt that any of you will be too surprised at this, but US Secretary of State John FN Kerry's 'framework agreement' includes an Israeli 'settlement freeze.' But what's puzzling about this report is what it says about Jerusalem.
Officials in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office have yet to officially respond to the request, Army Radio reported. While there has been no official response from Jerusalem, government officials have resigned themselves to the fact that Israeli gestures are necessary in order to entice Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas back to the negotiating table.

According to Army Radio, Israel would declare an "unofficial" freeze  to all construction in the isolated Jewish settlements that lie outside of the major population centers under Israeli control in the West Bank.

While an official freeze on construction requires a government edict, an unofficial freeze could be implemented by placing bureaucratic obstacles and red tape on building plans or having the defense minister order the Civil Administration, which is charged with approving construction plans in the territories, to cease deliberating on such plans. In addition, the interior minister could instruct the Jerusalem Building and Planning Council to halt all plans in sensitive areas of the city, and the prime minister could order the housing minister to cease publishing tenders.

An unofficial freeze would enable government officials to deny its existence while in practice halting all construction, according to Army Radio.
Emphasis added is mine. Two questions here: First, there are 'Jewish settlements' that are not isolated but that lie outside of the major population centers under Israeli control in the 'West Bank.' For example, anything in the Jordan Valley. Or the Beit El - Shilo - Ofra area (which was not originally considered a 'major settlement bloc' but Netanyahu has hinted that it might be considered one). Or the Hebron area.

Second, if the only place in which we are being asked to freeze 'settlement construction' is in 'Jewish settlements' that lie outside of the major population centers under Israeli control in the 'West Bank,' why would we have to halt construction anywhere in Jerusalem? Is it not under our control? Is Jerusalem not an area that Israel intends to keep (another criterion given earlier in the same article)?


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At 7:37 PM, Blogger Barbara2 said...

It is very true that Israel could be hurt....real bad. But only if God permits that. History right up to our time has proven that God holds all things in his hands and Israel is no exception. Considering how we behave, God's patience is truly wonderful.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger greencamping-il said...

Red hot tip:
BBC iPlayer - HARDtalk: Naftali Bennett - Minister for Economy, Israel
► 30:00► 30:00
7 hours ago
Stephen Sackur speaks to Naftali Bennett, leader of Israel's Zionist party, Jewish Home.
Hardtalk, Minister for Economy, Israel - Naftali Bennett - BBC
Just how stable and sustainable is Israel's coalition government?


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