Friday, January 20, 2006

 

From Israel: Arlene Kushner, January 20, 2006

Arlene Kushner akushner@netvision.net.il

January 20, 2006

[] I wrote yesterday about the emphasis Olmert is putting on challenging "illegal" Jews, who are residing where they don't have permission, while ignoring illegal Arab building in Jerusalem. But there is more, and now is not a time to remain silent about these matters:

Gush Etzion (Etzion bloc) is a group of Jewish communities south of Jerusalem, off route 60 in Judea. It is in a region that has Biblical significance, and it has played a distinguished part in modern Israel's history. Decades before the founding of Israel, small communities were established within the bloc; repeatedly they were destroyed by Arabs, and repeatedly they were re-established. (Remember that this was Mandate land, and "close settlement" by Jews was supposed to be encouraged.) With the War of Independence, the communities played a critical role in defending the southern gateway to Jerusalem; but then they were destroyed and 240 people massacred.; the land was in Jordanian hands. In 1967, when Israel gained it back, children of those massacred returned to again build the communities. They have flourished, and it has been a given, within Israeli politics, even among people to the left, that this bloc would remain in Israeli hands in any agreement with the Palestinians.

It was a given, that is, until now. An investigative report by Erez Tadmor, of the Hebrew weekly Makor Rishon, has exposed the massive unauthorized Arab building projects, which are going on all over Gush Etzion. This is ILLEGAL. The building is being done on Israeli state land (originally purchased by the Jewish National Fund), without official permission.

"In the full light of day and with the knowledge of the relevant authorities, intensive works have been underway during the past months to seize control of thousands of [acres] of uncultivated lands between the settlements of western Gush Etzion and the Green Line. The goal is to prevent any possibility of creating territorial contiguity in the direction of Jerusalem..." Gush Etzion is being deliberately cut off.

Says this report: "...official vehicles of the Palestinian Authority, manned by paid PA employees, are supervising the work and traveling freely in the areas between Gush Etzion's Jewish towns. The areas are worked day in and day out using heavy equipment such as bulldozers, tractors, dump trucks, and large teams of workers." It takes my breath away.

Ehud Barak, who was willing to negotiate with Arafat over a state, stopped a similar effort when he was prime minister. But Ehud Olmert, who is real tough with a few Jewish families in Hebron, allows this to continue.

Time is short for voices to be raised to stop this!

[] I have been of late expressing concern about the leftward tilt of Likud because of the agenda set by Kadima. But I have now learned that the tilt is not quite as far left as I had, with alarm, begun to imagine. This, too, is important to share: In The Jerusalem Post I had read that Uzi Landau had said a plank in the Likud platform endorsing a Palestinian State was OK with him. Uzi Landau? Had he caved? This man of integrity. Well... I have now communicated directly with an aide to Uzi, who was present when he made his statement to the press. This is what he REALLY said:

"I am against a Palestinian state; we have to do everything we can to make sure no Palestinian state is established; while the Israeli govt is committed to the road map, we must stand strong in the first stage and demand compliance – dismantle terrorist infrastructure, cease encitement – and then no Palestinian state will be able to be established either."

A lesson in how the media work. Shouldn't be surprised, but it's important to stay vigilant always on such things.

[] If you look visibly Jewish in terms of clothing, beard, etc. do not expect to be able to do any touring in Jordan. The Jordan government is blocking all those with kippot and similar items that identify Jewish observance from entering the country. They say it's because this will stimulate terrorism. NOT a good sign. I had thought our peace with Jordan was far warmer than that with Egypt. It HAS been warmer. But now I'm learning about the enormous amount of anti-Semitism in Jordan and a good deal else that is unsettling.

[] Mofaz has ordered intensified operations in the Nablus area following yesterday's suicide bombing. Thirteen of the wounded remain in the hospital.

[] Two mentions here of films that humanize Palestinian terrorists and tell their stories. This is a very disturbing sign of where American/western culture is going. One I mentioned before. That is Spielberg's "Munich." I mention it again because of the attention it is receiving and suggest you read Charles Krauthammer's comments on this , written just a week ago:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/12/AR2006011201541.html

Then there is the award winning "Paradise Now," which glorifies suicide bombers. See what Michael Freund has to say about this:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/special.php?id=freund

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