We are in the Midwest today after a hastily planned trip. Your prayers for my mother will surely be appreciated. It seems that she is better now, but still faces some health challenges. Thanks.
We don’t often get to watch TV news but noted this week that the airwaves are filled with advertisements touting both sides of the healthcare legislation that King Obie wants to foist upon us all in the States.
Here’s an interesting piece from the Washington Times:
“A world-renowned clinic that President Obama held up as an example of good medicine said Monday that the American people would be "losers" under the House''s health care proposal, joining the growing chorus of critics the Obama administration is trying to fend off as the debate intensifies from Capitol Hill to Main Street.
“Minnesota''s not-for-profit Mayo Clinic, which Mr. Obama has repeatedly hailed as offering top quality care at affordable costs, blasted the House Democrats'' version of the health care plan as lawmakers continue to grapple with several bills from each chamber and multiple committees.
“The Mayo Clinic said there are some positive elements of the bill, but overall "the proposed legislation misses the opportunity to help create higher quality, more affordable health care for patients."
"In fact, it will do the opposite," clinic officials said, because the proposals aren''t patient-focused or results-oriented. "The real losers will be the citizens of the United States." (Washington Times website)
7/22/2009 - Bad Government, Poor Legislators and Ordering Israel Around!
This proposed legislation – which Obama admitted this week he is unfamiliar with, but wants passed nonetheless – runs about 1,000 PAGES and which most if not all legislators have yet to read.
I, too, have no real idea what is in the proposal, with a couple of exceptions. One is that on page 16, according to the Wall Street Journal, private insurance will be outlawed for anyone who doesn’t have their policy grandfathered in when the law is passed. The end of new enrollment for private coverage.
Also, we are told that everyone will be forced to have health insurance. Smacks of the good ole USSR to me!
Oh, and then there is this thought…
The US Postal System
Congress’ professionalism and integrity
LEGISLATIONS IN JUST THE PAST SIX MONTHS!
All right, considering the above five lines, WHAT ON EARTH WOULD MAKE ANYONE THINK THAT THE GOVERNMENT CAN BE TRUSTED WITH TAKING OVER AMERICA’S HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT?!?!?!?!?!?!
BLOOD IN THE WATER?
According to a number of sources that track these things, King Obie has fallen from Messiah status to regular politician. Oh, how the mighty have fallen, have fallen!
His job approval positive ratings are dripping like an anvil from the top floor and his negative ratings are climbing at the same time. Rasmussen polls compute that by adding these together he is actually in negative numbers.
Consider this… Wednesday is the day the Prez wanted to present a national address (propaganda statement) on all the major networks. Fox refused, NBC said to re-set the time and the others squirmed. What?! Not the usual bowing and scraping. After ABC found their news program from the White House didn’t get such great viewing numbers, and with the nation’s newsies seeing that their large salaries could be taxed at almost 60% punitive rates, the glow is fading faster than drapes in the desert.
The USA Today newspaper had this to say:
More people disapprove than approve of Obama on four domestic issues: the economy, taxes, health care and the federal budget deficit. He scores majority approval on handling Iraq, Afghanistan and foreign affairs.
The biggest drop has been on his handling of the economy, down 12 points since February; his disapproval is up 19 points. The most erosion has come not from Republicans or independents but among his own Democrats. Support from conservative and moderate Democrats is down by 18 points. Another group in the party's political base — those earning $20,000 to $50,000 a year — had a drop of 15 percentage points, to 47%.
Oh, and then there’s this: both houses of Congress are learning that they will have to face the voters sooner or later. This recent practice of voting on Obama’s socialist agenda without reading the bills is not popular!
THE RELIGIOUS UN-RELIGIOUS
Although secular society is supposed to be free from religion it doesn't take much examination to see evidence of much religious thought and sentiment. Consider the reactions of secular news reporters and broadcasters concerning the president.
"Barack's appeal is actually messianic... he... communicates God-like energy... What if God decided to incarnate as men preaching 'hope and change.' And what if we... let them slip away, not availing ourselves... to be led by God!" (Barack's appeal is actually messianic, Steve Davis, March 31, 2008, Journal Gazette).
"This is bigger than Kennedy. . . . This is the New Testament! I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often. No, seriously. It's a dramatic event" (Chris Matthews, MSNBC, February 12, 2008).
"Does it not feel as if some special hand is guiding Obama on his journey, I mean, as he has said, the utter improbability of it all?" (Daily Kos, Sat Apr 26, 2008).
"Obama, to me, must be not just an ordinary human being but indeed an Advanced Soul, come to lead America out of this mess" (Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun Times, March 21, 2008).
"He is not operating on the same plane as ordinary politicians...the agent of transformation in an age of revolution, as a figure uniquely qualified to open the door to the 21st century" ([Former U.S. Senator] Gary Hart, Huffington Post February 13, 2008).
"He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh...Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves" ("Obama's Gift", by Ezra Klein. January 3, 2008).
"Obama has the capacity to summon heroic forces from the spiritual depths of ordinary citizens and to unleash there from a symphonic chorus of unique creative acts whose common purpose is to tame the soul and alleviate the great challenges facing mankind" ("Obama: On Toughness and Success in Politics by Gerald Campbell. First Things First, December 22, 2007).
Apparently the Ruskies beg to differ:
Watch the most popular man in the world be absolutely snubbed by Russian leaders in Moscow.
While you are watching it you might note that President Medvedev is assisting in the snub of Obama by reaching out to take the hands of his henchmen.
Personally, I don’t like Obama at all, but I like the Russians snubbing our President even less!
Now the media is saying that Obama was introducing these men to the Russian President. That’s interesting since they are all Russians and not Americans.
KKK MAN HIDING IN TEL AVIV?
BUSTED BECAUSE HIS GIRL FRIEND TURNED HIM IN TO ISRAELI AUTHORITIES.
That was the news last week. One of our pals has a son on the Steelton, Pennsylvania Police Department, but we have yet to catch up to him. Still it’s an interesting idea. Hide the wolf among the sheep. Problem is that these sheep have sharp teeth.
WHAT AL’S THINKING NOW…
The man who got rich promoting global warming, Al Gore, now says that the “Cap and Trade [tax]” Bill will help bring about Global Governance. For those of you not up on your double talk, what he’s saying is that the one-world government, nanny socialism is just around the corner and one of the first steps is to get the Carbon bill passed. We told you two weeks ago about how Gore stands to only get richer and richer as this legislation moves ahead.
SENATOR JIM INHOFE, OF OKLAHOMA, SAYS THE BILL IS DOA!
We hope he’s right. Americans had better get in gear and start contacting their legislators. We suggest a polite, respectful letter telling them that you are watching their voting and that you too vote.
AL-QAIDA TERRORISTS BUSTED IN EGYPT
25 al-Qaida terrorists were busted recently by the Egypt’s intelligence forces. They were learning how to make car bombs, use cell phones to detonate explosives against ships crossing the Suez Canal and other nefarious activities.
This is interesting on two fronts. First is the fact that for years Egypt hasn’t been able to slow down the smuggling of TNT, fertilizer and parts needed to build rockets used by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others to hit Israel.
Then there is the fact that Israel has been moving warships up and down the Suez Canal recently in a bid to let Iran know that they don’t have to use jets from Israel to the nuke facilities in Iran.
Hopefully Egypt is getting the message that terrorists are not just interested in taking over Jordan, Iraq and Israel.
We’ve heard the terrible sob stories about all the Palestinian refugees who live in sordid camps, piteous culture which makes terrorist recruiting possible and on and on. Some is true, but then, the Arab nations could easily have brought them into their nations just as Israel did the over 800,000 refugees from Arab countries over the years, not to mention all the Russian Jews who have emigrated.
Now comes news that the US is bringing over 1300 Palestinians from Iraq to the US to live! Amazing.
WHILE THE US TAKES THEM, JORDAN KICKS SOME OUT!
It’s true. This week Amman announced that it is revoking the citizenship of thousands of Palestinians. Read the following.
Amman revoking Palestinians' citizenship
Jul. 20, 2009
Khaled Abu Toameh , THE JERUSALEM POST
Jordanian authorities have started revoking the citizenship of thousands of Palestinians living in Jordan to avoid a situation in which they would be "resettled" permanently in the kingdom, Jordanian and Palestinian officials revealed on Monday.
The new measure has increased tensions between Jordanians and Palestinians, who make up around 70 percent of the kingdom's population.
The tensions reached their peak over the weekend when tens of thousands of fans of Jordan's Al-Faisali soccer team chanted slogans condemning Palestinians as traitors and collaborators with Israel. Al-Faisali was playing the rival Wihdat soccer team, made up of Jordanian-Palestinians, in the Jordanian town of Zarqa. …
Tarek Khoury, chairman of the Wihdat team, instructed his players to abandon the field as soon as the Jordanian fans started hurling abuse against Palestinians and the Aksa Mosque.
Palestinians said that the confrontation with the Jordanians was yet another indication of increased tensions between the two sides.
"Many Palestinians living in Jordan are convinced that the Jordanian authorities are trying to squeeze them out," said Ismail Jaber, a West Bank lawyer who has been living in the kingdom for nearly 20 years. "There is growing discontent and uncertainty among Palestinians here."
He and other Palestinians said that Jordanians' "hostile" attitude toward them had escalated after the rise to power of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu earlier this year.
SEVERAL JORDANIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, THEY SAID, ARE CONVINCED THAT NETANYAHU AND FOREIGN MINISTER AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN ARE SECRETLY WORKING TOWARD TURNING JORDAN INTO A PALESTINIAN STATE.
AS A PREEMPTIVE MEASURE, THE JORDANIAN AUTHORITIES RECENTLY BEGAN REVOKING THE CITIZENSHIP OF THOUSANDS OF PALESTINIANS, LEAVING MANY OF THEM IN A STATE OF PANIC AND UNCERTAINTY REGARDING THE FUTURE. [Caps are mine-EDM]
The Jordanians have justified the latest measure by arguing that it's aimed at avoiding a situation in which the Palestinians would ever be prevented from returning to their original homes inside Israel.
Since 1988, when the late King Hussein cut off his country's administrative and legal ties with the West Bank, the Jordanian authorities have been working toward "disengaging" from the Palestinians under the pretext of preserving their national identity.
That decision, said Jordan's Interior Minister Nayef al-Kadi, was taken at the request of the PLO and the Arab world to consolidate the status of the PLO as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
"Our goal is to prevent Israel from emptying the Palestinian territories of their original inhabitants," the minister explained, confirming that the kingdom had begun revoking the citizenship of Palestinians.
"We should be thanked for taking this measure," he said. "We are fulfilling our national duty because Israel wants to expel the Palestinians from their homeland."
Kadi said that, despite the new policy, Palestinians would be permitted to retain their status as residents of the kingdom by holding "yellow ID cards" that are issued to those who have families and homes in the West Bank.
He said that Palestinians working for the Palestinian Authority or the PLO were among those who have had their Jordanian passports taken from them, in addition to anyone who did not serve in the Jordanian army. …
A PA official in Ramallah expressed deep concern over Jordan's latest move and said that it would only worsen the conditions of Palestinians living in the kingdom. The official said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas raised the issue with King Abdullah II on a number of occasions, but the Jordanians have refused to retract.
Asked by the London-based Al-Hayat daily where the Palestinians should go after they lose their Jordanian passports, the minister replied: "We're not expelling anyone, nor are we revoking the citizenship of Jordanian nationals. We are only correcting the mistake that was created after Jordan's disengagement from the West Bank [in 1988]. We want to highlight the true identity and nationality of every person."
Kadi claimed that the kingdom was seeking, through the new measure, to thwart an Israeli "plot" to transfer more Palestinians to Jordan with the hope of replacing it with a Palestinian state.
"We insist that Jordan is not Palestine, just as Palestine is not Jordan," he stressed. "We will continue to help the Palestinians hold on to their Palestinian identity by pursuing the implementation of the 1988 disengagement plan from the West Bank."
BRAVO! Route 6 lengthened
For those of us who drive from the south to the north there is good news. Route Six, Israel’s turnpike (expensive, but worth it) used to end at Iron, due east of Caesarea. Now it runs further by about 18 miles to just south east of Haifa. The road provides so much better access to the Galilee.
One can now drive west to Zichron Yakov and the coastline or east to Nazareth and all the Galilee. It allows us to bypass Um el Fahm, Nain and the Jezreel Valley highways on the way to Tiberias. Those roads pass through beautiful areas, but take time, are often two lane, and dangerous. This way we make better time and are safer.
How about the following for a strange story? Hamas nabs men preparing to fire mortars into Israel!!? Read on:
Hamas nabs two Islamic Jihad men preparing to fire mortars at Israel
Two militants preparing to fire mortars into Israel were detained Saturday by interior security officials of the Islamic Hamas movement, reported a group to which the militants claim membership.
The statement, from the Saraya al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, announced the arrest of their members Saturday, reporting that the two men had been arrested as they engaged an Israel Defense Forces unit along the border of Israel and the eastern Gaza Strip.
Hamas, which has held de facto control of the Gaza Strip since June 2007, has stopped rocket attacks on Israel, in an unofficial, unannounced and fragile ceasefire with Israel that was reached January 18 at the end of the last Israeli military offensive into Gaza.
Since the end of the Israeli military offensive in Gaza, Hamas has arrested several militants from other factions trying to launch homemade rockets from Gaza at southern Israel. …(Haaretz.com)
PALESTINIAN ELECTIONS DELAYED BY A YEAR (stunning news)
It wasn’t exactly a shocker, but there won’t be any Palestinian elections in the West Bank until at least early 2010. This means that Mahmoud Abbas is 1) aware that he faces a very real possibility of losing control of the cash cow that is the Palestinian Authority. This is a de facto dictatorship that is ignored by the West as long as there is not a war.
It also means 2) that Hamas would probably take over if the elections were held today. That would give them control of both Gaza and the West Bank.
Security and Defense: Northern exposure
Jul. 9, 2009
Yaakov Katz , THE JERUSALEM POST
Three years ago, Eitan Oren could not work in his nectarine orchard just north of Kibbutz Malkiya along the Lebanese border. On Wednesday, like every other day over the past three years, Oren was out driving a tractor through the fields as UNIFIL troops watched just a few meters away from the other side of the electronic border fence.
"The Second Lebanon War changed the reality along the northern border," he says. "Until the war, Hizbullah used to stand directly on the other side of the border. Today they are no longer there."
While Oren is correct that Hizbullah does not operate overtly along the border as it did before the war, the IDF believes that the group has restored most of its military capabilities and has based them inside villages, where they cannot be seen.
Hizbullah makes no secret of its presence in the villages. Just north of Malkiya sits Maroun A-Ras, perched atop a hill providing the villagers with a commanding view of the Israeli communities, like Malkiya, below.
From an observation post near Malkiya, the naked eye can make out the Hizbullah flag flying on top of the hill. The same is true north of Metulla, where another Hizbullah flag flies proudly not far from a UNIFIL position.
Oren says that he often sees fancy German cars - Mercedes, BMWs and Audis - drive up to the border. The men who get out of them, he says, are not your average Lebanese farmer.
"As a farmer I can tell whether someone is a farmer," he says. "The people I see are dressed well, are large and muscular and carry a pair of binoculars in their pocket."
Three years after the month-long war began with the kidnapping of reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, the northern border is quiet but tense.
As one security officer in a nearby kibbutz said this week: "The IDF tells us that we need to be prepared for the possibility that war will break out any day."
There is the possibility that Hizbullah will decide to attack without being provoked as it did on July 12, 2006. A second option is that an IDF operation in the Gaza Strip, for example, would spark a Hizbullah response. This possibility appears slim, considering that during Operation Cast Lead earlier this year, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah decided to ignore Iranian pressure to join the fray.
The possibility that a soldier will be kidnapped appears slim to Oren, who recently participated in an IDF-directed drill aimed at preparing residents of border communities for a possible terror infiltration.
The IDF appears to have learned the lessons from the 2006 kidnapping. Aware that kidnapping a soldier is an attack of a "strategic nature," Brig.-Gen. Imad Fares, commander of the Galilee Division, put thwarting such an attack at the top of his list of priorities when he assumed command more than two years ago.
The changes are most apparent along the border - in the deployment of cameras, the repositioning of troops and the way border patrols are conducted. Changes have also been made in the way the top command would handle itself in the event of a kidnapping with regard to response time and the activation of the air force.
Goldwasser and Regev were part of a patrol that consisted of two Hummers. Near Moshav Zarit, each was hit with anti-tank missiles and heavy machine gun fire. Now, each patrol consists of more than two vehicles, with extra reinforced steel armor to protect against anti-tank missile attacks.
The use of larger patrols will force Hizbullah to use a larger force if it decides to try to kidnap a soldier. A larger Hizbullah force makes more noise and can more easily be detected than a smaller force.
Lt.-Col. (res.) Shlomi Felix, from Kibbutz Yaron, says he doesn't see Hizbullah along the border but believes it is still there. On a tour of the kibbutz, he points to what looks like a soccer field in Maroun A-Ras. Even though it is the middle of the day, large spotlights facing Israel are turned on. Next to the lights is a Hizbullah flag.
"We don't know what is there, but we assume the reason they have the lights on during the day is to blind the security cameras on the Israeli side," he says.
Felix then points to various buildings inside the village and claims that many of them have been built since the war.
"Dozens of homes were also built in the southern Lebanese villages before the war," he says. "What we found during the war was that the top floors of the homes were where the families lived, but the ground levels and the basements were where Hizbullah had set up its listening stations and weapons storehouses." …
WANT TO TRAVEL?
North America remains the largest source country of incoming tourism to Israel. In 2008, roughly 700,000 tourists visited from the USA (16 percent more than 2007). From January to May 2009, 235,000 tourists have visited from North America (10 percent less than the same period last year, which saw 291,000.
EAST JERUSALEM PROJECT
This week’s TWI Radio was about an apartment project in what is called East Jerusalem.
For the average American that sounds like the Arab Quarter of the Old City or the areas just to the north, east or south of the walls of the Old City.
That’s not exactly so. The Arabs in the PLO take it to mean all the real estate that King Hussein of Jordan lost in the Six Day War of 1967.
Let me take you on a verbal tour. The line includes the area north from the Walls on that side and up to Pisgat Zeev just on the Green line. On the South it means not only the City of David, the valley there, but also all the areas of Arnona and its environs (which is where we formerly lived before moving downtown), Talpiot, Katamon, and other locales. It is a weaving, turning and twisting line. All those areas but the one north of the Old City wall, the eastern areas including the Mt. of Olives, and the valley to the southeast of the Old city walls are Arab neighborhoods. Then, too, there are Arab villages which have become encircled by Jewish neighborhoods in what is thought to be today West Jerusalem. This is actually too general to be exact, but hopefully you get the idea.
NOW TO MY POINT…
I did the radio broadcast on the fact that the US State Department called Israel Ambassador Michael Oren on the carpet to tell him to pass the word not to build in East Jerusalem. Too late.
There are all kinds of buildings going up. I don’t know where this specific one is to be located, but the Israelis are NOT LISTENING! Here’s the radio script:
TWI RADIO SCRIPT 7.21.09
Over the weekend Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren was called on the US State Department carpet. We don’t know exactly who spoke to him, but whoever it was told him to pass the word on that Israel WAS NOT TO ALLOW A BUILDING PROJECT IN EAST JERUSALEM!
An American millionaire wants to build twenty apartments and a three story underground parking facility.
Already about 180,000 Israelis live in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, though most of these are not located close to the Temple Mount or Old City. One area just to the south east the Temple Mount known as Silwan, is almost all Arab-populated, and was also almost totally built illegally – no permits, and atop a cemetery!
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat approved the apartment project, and on Sunday Prime Minister Netanyahu told his cabinet that no one would limit construction anywhere in “unified Jerusalem.”
We cannot accept the fact that Jews wouldn't be entitled to live and buy anywhere in Jerusalem," Netanyahu declared, calling Israeli sovereignty over the entire city "indisputable."
"I can only imagine what would happen if someone suggested Jews could not live in certain neighborhoods in New York, London, Paris or Rome. There would certainly be a major international outcry," Netanyahu said.
East Jerusalem is an especially volatile issue because it is the site of key Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy sites. The Palestinians want the traditionally Arab sector of the city to be the capital of their future state. It might interest you to know that when Jordan controlled what is now called East Jerusalem, the religious sites of Christians and Jews were off limits.
SOME OTHER INTERESTING FACTS:
Unified in 1967 – taken from the nation of Jordan after they joined Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and other nations against Israel.
East Jerusalem is today populated by thousands of Arabs – “Palestinians” – who are entering Israel from the West Bank, filing for Israeli citizenship, and wanting to stay in Israel because of the benefits of living there, rather than in the West Bank - or any future Palestinian nation! 35,000 in one two month period last year.
There is one group – consisting of Palestinian politicians - who discuss making this area of Jerusalem, Palestine’s capital and then there are the citizens of the place – a vast majority of whom, in our opinion – want to belong inside Israel even if there ever is a Palestinian State, which I personally doubt. There is the political rhetoric and the human reality. They are as far apart as the east is from the west.
Israel’s position is that Jerusalem – east and west – is the capital city of the nation of Israel, and not the West Bank’s capital, as the Arabs, and apparently President Obama, believe.
THEN THERE’S THIS:
The head of Israel's Shin Bet internal security service, Yuval Diskin, told ministers at Sunday's meeting of the Israeli Cabinet that both the Western-backed administration of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the militant Islamic Hamas were carrying out "covert activity" in east Jerusalem to stop Jews acquiring property there.
An official present at the meeting, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with Cabinet rules, did not elaborate on what the activity entailed but quoted Diskin as saying that a hard-line Egyptian cleric had earmarked $25 million to be funneled to Hamas activists in Jerusalem.
You might be interested to know that President Shimon Peres has sent word to President Obama that no further American construction should be allowed on Miami’s South Beach because Cesar Chavez has claimed it for Venezuela. Just kidding!
This is Ernie Moore
ON THE OTHER HAND:
Encountering Peace: Oh no, Jerusalem
Jul. 20, 2009
Gershon Baskin , THE JERUSALEM POST
Israel Radio reported that the Obama administration has demanded an immediate halt to the construction of a Jewish housing project in an east Jerusalem neighborhood. The report said that Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren was summoned to the State Department and told that the project, which is being developed by an American citizen, must stop. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is at odds with the White House over the issue of building in post-1967 communities, but successive governments have held that land inside of Jerusalem's municipal boundaries does not fall within the discussion of other post-1967 lands.
"I read the newspaper headlines today about the construction of a neighborhood in Jerusalem and I would like to reemphasize that the united Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people and of the State of Israel. Our sovereignty over it is cannot be challenged..." That is Netanyahu's response. But he is quite mistaken. Israel's declaration of sovereignty over east Jerusalem has never been accepted by the world. In fact, the international community has not even officially recognized west Jerusalem as the capital. Not one government has its embassy in Jerusalem today. Netanyahu's statement of our sovereignty in Jerusalem not being challenged is at best wishful thinking.
JERUSALEM IS not a united, undivided city. It is, in fact, very divided. Jerusalem is almost two separate cities. Perhaps the division is not east and west - those old divides have been changed by 42 years of massive Israeli construction in what was once the part of Jerusalem controlled by Jordan. It is true that there is a Jewish majority, not only in west Jerusalem but also in what is called east Jerusalem. The divide in Jerusalem is clearly on national-ethnic lines - there is an Israeli Jerusalem and there is a Palestinian Jerusalem.
The State of Israel officially controls both Jerusalems and claims sovereignty over both, but in reality, other than using its power to demolish Palestinian homes, collect municipal taxes and provide the most minimal municipal services, Palestinian Jerusalem is not part of Israel. The State of Israel can continue to use its power to build homes for Jews in Palestinian Jerusalem, but it is highly unlikely that Ras el-Amud will ever be Israeli, just as Gilo will never be Palestinian.
Even after 42 years of control over east Jerusalem, Jerusalem remains one of the most segregated cities in the world. There are almost no integrated spaces in Jerusalem. Israelis and Palestinian live in separate areas. Oddly, the lack of planning for Palestinians in east Jerusalem has led to many Palestinians renting and even purchasing flats in some Israeli areas, such as Neveh Ya'acov and Pisgat Ze'ev. This is the law of unintended consequences at work. That law had the same results with the construction of the Jerusalem separation walls that have largely separated Palestinians from other Palestinians.
For years the Israeli policy was aimed at creating conditions that would encourage Palestinian Jerusalemites to move outside of the municipal boundaries. Satellite towns such as A-Ram, Samiramis, and Daharit al-Barid in the north part of Jerusalem boomed with dense buildings providing large and relatively cheap apartments for thousands of Palestinians from Jerusalem. They could move freely between Ramallah and Jerusalem and, as east Jerusalem became increasingly cut off from the Palestinian Authority areas and as a result of the permit regime preventing Palestinians from entering Jerusalem, Ramallah increasingly became the business and political interim capital. With the construction of the walls around Jerusalem, however, tens of thousands of Palestinians moved back into Jerusalem. Some unofficial statistics suggest that there are now almost 300,000 Palestinians in east Jerusalem while the satellite towns in the north have been turned into ghost towns.
ISRAEL'S LACK of real governance in the Palestinian parts of Jerusalem has created a huge slum with inner-city problems of poverty, crime, drugs, school delinquency, filth, untreated sewage and human despair. Ten minutes from the center of Israel's capital are parts of the city that look like the Third World. There is an immediate need for 1,700 classrooms to be built for Palestinian children. The rising crime rate has not increased a willingness of the police to address the need to provide protection to the citizens of east Jerusalem, even though that crime creeps across the divide into Jewish neighborhoods.
There is a real void of governmental authority in Palestinian Jerusalem. Before the second intifada, Israel allowed the PA's Preventive Security Service to unofficially function there. Today there is no authority and the void is being filled by Hamas and Hizb al-Tahrir. Once again the law of unintended consequences at work.
When Israel and the Palestinians signed the Declaration of Principles in September 1993, they agreed that the future of Jerusalem would be negotiated. When they signed the interim agreement two years later, they restated that they would negotiate the future of Jerusalem. In the Wye River agreement of October 1998, Netanyahu agreed not to take any unilateral action that would change the status of the territories to be negotiated.
In the trilateral (US, Israeli, Palestinian) statement at the end of the Camp David summit in July 2000, the parties stated: "The two sides understand the importance of avoiding unilateral actions that prejudge the outcome of negotiations and that their differences will be resolved only by good-faith negotiations." The US backed road map from 2003 explicitly stated that Jerusalem was part of the deal that had to be negotiated: "final, permanent status resolution, including on borders, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements..."
In November 2007 in the joint statement of the Annapolis conference, both sides agreed that "in furtherance of the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, we agree to immediately launch good faith bilateral negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty resolving all outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements."
Netanyahu can declare from today till eternity that Jerusalem is the eternal undivided capital of Israel, but that will not make it so. Almost the entire world would like to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but that will not happen until they also recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine. Israel's sovereignty over all of Jerusalem is only unchallenged by the government of Israel, not by anyone else.
The writer is the co-CEO of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (www.ipcri.org). He was also a member of prime minister Ehud Barak's expert committee on Jerusalem prior to the Taba negotiations of January 2001.
By now you may be totally confused. Fear not. You are among friends. Virtually everyone is confounded by this mess.
Allow me to shed a tiny bit of light. What the preceding article says is correct for the most part. The Arab areas are a mess. And Israel has agreed in writing to negotiate. Most of those agreements were before Arafat came back from Camp David in 2000 and started a literal terror war against Israel. That, for Israel’s part eliminated any agreements.
Also, there is the fact that one MAJOR point in every agreement is that the Palestinians were to rein in terrorism directed against Israel. Not only have they not done that, but both Fatah and Hamas are to this day, terrorist entities. The idea that they have a militant wing and a political wing is utter nonsense.
The reality is that they just trot out the terrorist activity when it suits them, then when Israel pounds on them, they usher in the “politicians.” It is a charade, which all except Western minds know.
Western governments seem too dense to understand – or more likely – don’t want to face the facts on the ground. The Palestine society is so ill prepared for any kind of government that they will be a welfare state until they denounce terrorism and change their educational structure so that it ceases to glorify martyrdom – the homicide of Israelis by the mentally ill or socially challenged who are sent out with bombs.
A viable society cannot at the same time discuss peace and promote the murder of civilians. It doesn’t work. The psychotic mind of their society is so damaged that they cannot even have a rule of law that applies to their own people. Note such things as the continued honor killings, the public murder of even teens who are accused – not convicted – of collaborating with Israel. These are but two examples of a society that is morally corrupt.
Then there is the corruption. Granted the Arabs are only marginally better in this area than some aspects of Israel. Or the United States Congress, for that matter. Where such outlandish corruption is a cottage industry it is very difficult to convince citizens to be honest in their daily lives.
The bottom line is that Israel has the power and the moral high ground regardless of what some like the previous writer may believe. They have a functioning society. The Palestinians have had 16 years to prove that they can build a government that does little more than blot up billions of dollars in foreign aid and see it go into the pockets of their despotic rulers.
Would I like to see most of the West Bank go to the Palestinians? Yes and no. I am a “greater Israel” fan, but simultaneously I am a realist and know it isn’t going to happen.
I also understand that much of the West Bank was inhabited by Arabs before the Six Day War and they need a place to live. If they can build a government that is peaceful, first of all, and can function relatively well, then let them. But I maintain that Arab petro dollars should be funding it not American and European tax dollars.
Baskin dismisses Israel’s security needs. That is disingenuous. Israel for the most part has ignored the citizens of Arab areas – inside and outside Israel – and that is wrong as well. But in defense of this, just when cooperation was getting better, Arafat attacked and murdered ruthlessly, beginning the second Intifada.
Summarizing it all, look for a continuation of life as it has been. Nobody likes it, but the Arabs in many ways have themselves to blame.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE WEST BANK, LOOK ON WIKIPEDIA. It isn’t all accurate, but will give you some pretty good details.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TO AMERIKA?
Yes, I spelled it as it deserves, according to the legislators we have.
Here are some heartfelt points from me to you:
1. There are no longer Democrats on the left and Republicans on the right. There are conservatives and liberals and socialists. Three groups.
Conservatives believe that free enterprise is the answer to most of society’s problems, that businesses can provide jobs, help build a middle class, and meet most people’s needs the best ways.
That used to be true. The problem from my perspective is that there are just as many crooked conservatives as dishonest democratic. Socialists are always crooked because they believe in taking from those who earned it and giving it to many who are unwilling to work.
It is difficult for me to defend many politicians today. I see too many who are liars, regardless of the party. And most laws are written to promote the general welfare of the ruling class – politicians. They just want to retain power.
I am more and more for a ONE TERM POLITICAL SITUATION.
You may argue that things are just too complex today to have one term politicians. That is utter nonsense.
I am not really a Sarah Palin supporter. But… she seemed to do pretty well as an inexperienced politician as Governor of Alaska; before her VP candidate days when she so polarized her enemies.
The reason so many things seem complex is that the legislators want it that way. “Don’t worry your cute little head about it. Just leave everything to me.” That’s their creed.
Well, how do you feel about that in light of what we’ve seen since King Obie took over the White House? The Congress is voting for bills crafted in moments, consisting of thousands of pages, details hidden even from them, and clauses which say “to be determined at a later date” and we are supposed to shut up and be compliant.
This is absolutely corrupt. The current Washington crowd has nothing on the Palestinians in Ramallah!!!
REPUBLICANS are mostly meek, mute and making plans for their own pork projects.
Liberals are going along with Obama because the media is telling them that his popularity is going to make things great for them, because they are bitter about Bush and want pay-back more than they care for our country, and because they are getting rich from all the special interests they are dumping billions of dollars on.
As Biden told the unions when he met with them in Miami, their turn has come. We are certainly seeing that.
A LAYER OF DEADBEATS
There is a layer of deadbeats who love what is happening. They are like hogs shoving up to the trough. The hilarious part is that so far there’s no slop for most of them. It has gone to the multi-millionaires who backed Obama. The rich libs are getting richer. Where’s the slop for the voters?
Millions are going to ACORN and their hundreds of companies in that criminal network that has been exposed. Still the Congress keeps pouring millions of dollars into their accounts.
I hate the cost of health insurance. I KNOW how much it costs. But I also know what treatment costs. For example. My wife has had 98% of her stomach removed from a cancer than nearly killed her. She received excellent treatment from professionals that left nothing to be desired. Their follow-up continues to this day. Then she had an aortic valve replaced, again by the best in the medical field. Again her follow-up has been awesome, literally. The best doctors, hospitals, nurses, etc. that anyone could ask for.
As you might know she just had three eye surgeries in the past month. Again successful.
I too went through some testing last year on my own health. Same kind of doctors, etc.
Now when we add all the medical expenses up and all the insurance bills up it is pretty much even. Except that if we had not had the coverage we would have faced likely going bankrupt. Maybe we could have weathered one illness. Not three or four.
I hate the premiums. But I am glad Blue Cross was there. And I pity the poor folks who are not blessed with the coverage. But I also know that the poorest of the poor get coverage from state programs, etc. I don’t claim to have all the answers. I know it needs fixed.
Too many high priced doctors, hospital rooms, etc.
But… I have this sneaking feeling that the cost of educating these people and the cost of research is what is driving the train. Harvard for example has more money than Midas in their vaults but their tuition rates continue to climb. Why is that? And it isn’t just Harvard. Look online and see what a little school like Elizabethtown College charges their students.
So I am irate at politicians for their dishonesty. And for the honest ones for their lack of courage to speak out against what they are witnessing. It’s time to stop covering for the crooks among you, Congressman!!!
I wonder if anyone would even know what is happening in America if it weren’t for talk radio programs. AND I HASTEN TO ADD, THAT I CANNOT STAND SOME OF THESE FOLKS!
So, now you know. I am one of the disenfranchised Americans.
THEN THERE IS THIS…
I am knocked down, but not knocked out. I am not panicked. I still believe in the sovereignty of God!!!
If America is going to have any influence in the Last Days, then there will be a recovery. If it is lost, then Christians will still have a testimony if they retain their faith, honesty and courage.
If they do not, then why not? What excuse will true believers have for panicking, for surrendering their personal values, for joining the pack and becoming anarchists or criminals or cowards?!
That is not the Bible Way. My suggestion is that we stand up for what we believe in. Speak up to our friends, neighbors and families in kind, but wise manners, and know what we are talking about.
We have little power, most of us. But as one of our Orthodox Jewish friends in Jerusalem said to me one day, “You know you have a great ability to influence people!”
So do all of us who have the Holy Spirit within us.
Let us go forward and lead by individual examples of people who are men and women of faith, firmness regarding our morals, and hope in a better future. HERE, THERE OR IN THE AIR!
Thanks, for all your friendship, support and encouragement, your prayers and notes and love. We appreciate you and keep you ever in our thoughts and prayers.
Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Psalm 25:22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.
Psalm 60:12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.
Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
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This Week In Israel is written for those with a real interest in Israel and what affects that nation. Written from a position of love and concern for the people, we want to educate, at times entertain, and keep you up to speed.