Israel Pushes Forward With West Bank Construction Despite US Disapproval

 

Israel

The Jerusalem Local Planning Committee granted permits Wednesday for 144 housing units in the long contested neighborhood of Har Homa, and for 40 others in Pisgat Ze’ev, also across the Green Line.  As Israel pushes forward with West Bank construction despite US disapproval, opposition member of the Jerusalem municipal council, Yosef Allo, suggests that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has abandoned hope for an agreement with the Palestinians before the April 29 deadline.  The announcement is timed, according to Allo, while the Americans and the EU, the “big boys” are occupied with Crimea.

The deadline for Israel and Palestine to reach an agreement appears unlikely given the impasse between Netanyahu and  Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas over the issue of Palestinian recognition of Israel.  Abbas argues that Palestine recognized Israel in 1988, and as part of the Oslo process in 1993. Netanyahu insists on a status that is somewhere outside of the realm of normal designations of sovereignty: recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews.  Abbas categorically refuses.  The chance of Israel conceding to East Jerusalem being the capital of a Palestinian state seems a distant fantasy.

Abbas assesses the situation in terms characteristically schematic for this type of negotiation, which is largely public posturing; he suggests that given the choice of settlements or peace, Israel is choosing settlements.   With a Likud negotiation partner as deft at participating in the peace process while working towards its ultimate failure, Abbas seems, after his visit to Washington to be the one who is more trustworthy. Despite the ongoing progress of Israel’s negotiated release of Palestinian prisoners, territorial actions and hostile rhetoric towards the US speak differently. Israel has a strategy of eminently skillful negotiating within the process.  However, as Israel pushes forward with West Bank construction despite US disapproval, the appearance is of trying to run out the process before having to make ultimate concessions.

The development of the Har Homa area has garnered attention through the course of two decades.  Granting permits at this stage in the peace process appears a symbolic and triumphant gesture for Likud supporters.  In 1997 Har Homa came before the UN General Assembly which sought to block construction underway.  At the time, the US played the role of unwavering supporter of an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.  Against unanimous approval in the Security Council, the US vetoed a similar measure to halt construction. The terms of the Oslo process exclude development in the West Bank pending final status agreement.

Research in Israeli government financial documents by the leftist group Peace Now documents the significant funds devoted to financial support encouraging West Bank settlement.  A line item in the 2012 budget for construction of  Har Homa settlement allocated over $200 million.  In addition Peace Now research finds money passed through to West Bank Israeli communities at a rate approximately double that for other communities in Israel.   In mid-February 2014 Israel added 35 settlements in isolated areas of the West Bank to a list of favored communities on a new “national priorities” map.  Communities within one kilometer of a hostile border will be given tax benefits as well as government support for infrastructure construction, education, culture and, not unexpectedly, housing.

In distinction from the granting of building permits now in Har Homa, Israel has used the announcement of tender issues for development of housing units in the West Bank— a process similar to making a call for bids or proposals— to resist the peace process and thumb its nose at the United States.  In March 2013 Israel issued tenders for 1889 units in the West Bank and Jerusalem just before a visit by John Kerry.  In many cases progression from the stage of tenders being issued to units being constructed is interrupted and contested.  A tender issued in 2008 for 130 units of housing for the elderly, known as Har Homa B, resulted in no contracts at that time, nor when it was issued again in 2011 and in 2012.

In November 2010 a US State Department spokesman expressed deep disappointment over the announcement of plans to build 1025 units in Har Homa.  The spokesman suggested the action undermined trust and called it counterproductive to resumption of then stalled peace talks.  An Israeli Interior Ministry spokesperson denied allegations at the time that the announcement was related to Netanyahu’s visit later that week to meet then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York.  Earlier that year, a similar announcement timed to Joe Biden’s Israel visit in March 2010 produced complaint by the US, and Israeli protest of coincidence of a merely procedural rather than symbolic announcement.

Jewish settlements once established in the West Bank will not be given up.  Formulations of the territory of a Palestinian state are based on the boundaries of the West Bank with the exclusion of Jewish settlements already established.  As Israel pushes forward with West Bank construction despite US disapproval, Likud can count on the fervor of religiously ideological settlers, and territorial actions clearly play to them.  The scenario of Israeli settler families being forced out of their homes in the West bank with bulldozers, military forces and tear gas— from Israel or Palestine— could simply never come to pass.

Opinion by Lawrence M. Shapiro

Sources:

New York Times

Peace Now

Peace Now

Jerusalem Post

5 Responses to "Israel Pushes Forward With West Bank Construction Despite US Disapproval"

  1. Ace DeLightfull   March 23, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    THIS WILL NO LONGER WORK, NOT WITH THE INTERNET TODAY. CONTROLLING HOLLYWOOD AND THE MEDIA IS ONE THING TRY CONTROLLING THE INTERNET.

    
AS AMERICANS WE FIND IT INSULTING TO BE CALLED ANTI SEMITE AFTER OUR ANCESTORS FOUGHT AND DIED FOR YOUR FREEDOM . WE CANNOT HAVE A CONSTRUCTIVE CONVERSATION ABOUT THE DANGERS OF ZIONISM / TO EQUATE RELIGION WITH NATIONALISM. THAT IS WHY WE ARE IN THE SITUATION WE ARE IN NOW. IMAGINE PEACE ON EARTH WITHOUT THIS EVIL. I SUPPOSE ALBERT EINSTEIN WAS ALSO ANTI SEMITE !!!!!!!!
    ( control manipulative zionist jews way of shutting us up so they can implement their control , domination freakery ) / COMMUNISM–
    NOTHING BUT ARROGANT STUPIDITY ” GODS CHOSEN ONES ” THAT SURE DID NOT BOLD WELL WITH ANOTHER ARROGANT EVIL / HITLER http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_did_Adolf_Hitler_kill_the_Jews

    DO NOT EVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE AMERICAN PEOPLES INTELLIGENCE. AMERICA BECAME THE GREATEST COUNTRY ON EARTH FOR AMERICAS MORAL, ETHICAL VALUES AND INTEGRITY.
    .

    Reply
  2. Ace DeLightfull   March 23, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    WARNING AMERICA ZIONISM IS NOTHING BUT ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS CLEANSING . JESUS WAS ALSO A JEW / JEWISH RELIGION AND BRANCHED OUT OF THIS RELIGION AND WAS CRUCIFIED, FOR OUR FREEDOM,  WE IN AMERICA ARE MOSTLY THE DECEDENTS / FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST / CHRISTIANS . ZIONISM AFTER THEIR DONE USING AMERICA THEY WILL DO WHAT THEY DID TO JESUS CHRIST. ZIONISM’S ULTIMATE ETHNIC, RELIGIOUS CLEANSING WILL BE OF CHRISTIANS.  THEY ARE CONTROL, MANIPULATIVE, DOMINATION FREAKS

    ZIONISM TO EQUATE RELIGION WITH NATIONALISM . LIKE ASKING WHAT IS YOUR ETHNICITY/ NATIONALITY AND  SAYING I AM CATHOLIC, BAPTIST , EVANGELICAL, JEWISH OR MORMON. ( JEW / JEWISH IS A RELIGION NOT A NATIONALITY ) / communism

    THE BIGGEST THREAT TO DEMOCRACY, ( OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE , SAFETY AND FREDOM ) AND THE FREE WORLD IS ZIONIST ISRAEL. IT TOOK US CENTURIES TO FREE OURSELVES FROM  THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND NOW IN THIS CENTURY EVIL IS SETTING UP THEIR VATICAN CITY.  THEY ARE CONTROL, MANIPULATIVE, DOMINATION FREAKS / COMMUNISTIC MENTALITY . OUR FOUNDING FATHERS WARNED US OF THIS DANGEROUS CULT.

    Reply
  3. Ace DeLightfull   March 23, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    ALBERT EINSTEIN AN AMERICAN GENIUS ALSO A JEW / JEWISH RELIGION

    Albert Einstein’s 1948 Letter to the New York Times

    Albert Einstein, who was a great humanitarian and peace activist in addition to being one of the greatest scientists of all time. In his landmark letter to the New York Times in 1948, Einstein clearly and candidly explained why the leaders of Israel were not to be trusted and did not deserve money or support from Americans, including American Jews who believe in equality and democracy for all human beings. You can see a scanned image of the Einstein Letter by clicking the hyperlink. The letter was written by Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, Sidney Hook and more than 20 other prominent Jewish intellectuals, to alert Americans and the larger world to the dangers represented by the emergence of racism, fascism, terrorism and religious fanaticism among the Zionist leadership of the newly-formed state of Israel. The letter accurately predicted some of the terrible results we see today. I have annotated the letter with [bracketed comments] to help readers understand how the “Einstein Letter” relates to the present situation.
    http://www.thehypertexts.com/Albert%20Einstein%201948%20Letter%20New%20York%20Times%20Nakba.htm. . . 

    Reply
  4. Ace DeLightfull   March 23, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    
THIS IS THE BIGGEST MOST CUNNING DANGEROUS TERRORIST ORGANIZATION GROUP IN THE WORLD AND IN OUR TIME.
    Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the “Freedom Party” (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.The current visit of Menachem Begin, leader of this party, to the United States is obviously calculated to give the impression of American support for his party in the coming Israeli elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist elements in the United States. Several Americans of national repute have lent their names to welcome his visit. It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world, if correctly informed as to Mr Begin’s political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents.
    http://www.thehypertexts.com/Albert%20Einstein%201948%20Letter%20New%20York%20Times%20Nakba.htm. . . 

    Reply
  5. Ariely Shein   March 22, 2014 at 1:26 am

    Settlement freeze was invented by the naive Obama and not part of Oslo agreement.

    1: Settlement freezing was not part of the Oslo Palestinian- Israel agreement..

    “”Future negotiations will cover remaining issues, including; Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Israeli settlements…..””
    refer to : Wikipedia wikiOslo

    2: Settlements freeze was just one of the many faulty ideas of the president Obama.
    The Palestinians are using naïve Obama statement to divert the international attention from the main peace obstacle.

    Arabs refusal to recognize Israel, the Jewish state, in their 3500 years old homeland.
    It was in 1947 and is valid as well today.
    (This divert tactics works quite successfully)

    The world wide troubles caused by his international obscure policy will take at least one generation to be fixed.
    Leaders worldwide understood that as long as Obama administration is leading they should follow the advice given by one of real great Americans:
    Benjamin Franklin:
    “”God helps them that help themselves””

    Reply

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