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Wednesday, August 31, 2005 

Netanyahu: Jerusalem is under siege

In his announcement for candidacy for prime minister yesterday, Benjamin Netanyahu rightfully argued that Ariel Sharon has caved in to American pressure by not building the E-1 area meant to help join Ma'aleh Adumim with Jerusalem:
Netanyahu made E-1 his first stop on the campaign trail on Wednesday morning, touring the area with former minister Natan Sharansky, Ma'aleh Adumim mayor Benny Kashriel, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, and Likud MKs Michael Ratzon, Ehud Yatom, Michael Gorlovsky, and Ayoub Kara.

Standing on a barren desert hilltop north of Jerusalem, Netanyahu told reporters that if he is elected prime minister, he will build 15,000 housing units in the area, in an effort to connect Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim and prevent illegal Palestinian construction from cutting off Ma'aleh Adumim from the capital.

"We have to break the siege on Jerusalem," Netanyahu said. "There is a battle for Jerusalem. Sharon has frozen the building here and prevented the creation of a greater Jerusalem. Instead, he is enabling the creation of a greater Palestine."

Netanyahu used the occasion to remind the Likud's 150,000 members that despite American pressure, he approved building in E-1 and prevented the Palestinians from separating Jerusalem from Bethlehem by settling the Har Homa neighborhood at the southern end of Jerusalem.

Responding to Sharon's charges that he "caves in under pressure," Netanyahu turned the tables on Sharon by accusing him of succumbing to American pressure. He said that he would not allow Washington to dictate whether Israel will build in the Jerusalem area.

"So [the Americans] object, so what? It's Jerusalem!" Netanyahu said. "I withstood American pressure, but Sharon surrendered in a shameful way. There can be no limitation on building in our eternal capital."

Netanyahu's bureau chief Yehiel Leiter said that as prime minister, Netanyahu would explain to American officials that it is necessary to build in E-1 to defend Jerusalem. Noting that Har Homa is never mentioned in Washington anymore, the adviser said that the Americans might object at first, but they will eventually understand.
Absolutely correct. We cannot permit ourselves to be made into slaves of other countries by letting them dictate our steps for us, which is dangerous for democracy and also for the future of our country as well. The PLO's "prime minister" has already said that war for Jerusalem, a city which was never considered holy to Islam, and in whose direction Islamists don't even pray in; it's towards Mecca that they do, has started. And oh, what's this, Mahmoud Abbas is also trying to come up with names for the areas that Sharon shamelessly expelled Jews from in Gaza! Quite distasteful indeed.

Thanks to One Jerusalem for providing a link to this. See also this one for more.

Others on the subject include: Israel National News, Thus Saith the Fly, Menorah.

Semi-related: The ultra-establishment NY Times tries turning Jerusalem into a geopolitical dispute:
The suspected deed hardly seems the stuff of an international dispute: the Greek Orthodox Church, a major landowner here, reportedly sold two modest, Palestinian-run hotels in Jerusalem's Old City to Jewish investors from abroad.
Nor should it have to be. But the trouble is of course, that the anti-Israelist movement would rather it be a world dispute.
The Greek patriarch, Eirinaios, has repeatedly denied the report. But his claims have met with deep skepticism, and the episode has touched some of the most sensitive nerves in the Holy Land, igniting a controversy that stretches far beyond the ancient stone streets of the Old City.
With whom have they met with skepticism? And why shouldn't the church be allowed to decide what they'll do with their property?

But here's where it lapses into the newspaper's typical propaganda position:
Palestinian politicians accuse the Greek Orthodox Church of selling prime real estate and assisting Israel in the ceaseless battle over the city that both sides claim as a capital. Palestinians in the Greek Orthodox Church have renewed charges that the Greek clerics are out of touch with the Arab clergy and worshipers.
Unsurprisingly, this was edited to be oblivious to whomever Jerusalem belongs to by national claim and nationality. And nor does it provide any actual viewpoint or statement by any Jewish representative either. Though at the same time, they make it sound as if Israel was supposed to have said something:
As the dispute unfolds, Israel has been conspicuously silent, the mystery investors remain unidentified, and the status of the hotels is not clear.
Now let's be clear here: is the state really supposed to be saying anything about this? Simply put, this should not have to be politically enmeshed.

Now here's where it gets really absurd:
Palestinian leaders, meanwhile, says the episode could further inflame passions over Jerusalem. The Palestinian prime minister, Ahmed Qurei, called it "a most dangerous affair." "Israel is mistaken if she thinks she can change the Arab and Christian character of the Holy City by such measures," Mr. Qurei said.
Inflame passions? It would only be if they themselves wanted it to, and to say the least, what's happening is that Qurei is only looking for an excuse to start as much stupid trouble as he and the rest of the PLO can.

The really funny part here is how Qurei refers to Israel as a female. Isn't it just "they"? Or is that his way of coming up with an "inferior description" of the country?

Update: earlier item from April: The ZOA reports that Druze Arab Likud party member Ayoob Kara has been interviewed by WorldNetDaily, and has told them that:
“This Gaza withdrawal is going to be terrible for Israel security. Hamas is going to become dominant as soon as Israel leaves Gaza, and they will use the land they’re receiving to stage more attacks against Israel.” Mr. Kara is the first non-Jewish Likud Knesset member and has become a staunch opponent of the Gaza withdrawal deportation plan.

He also said that “Hamas is already telling their supporters that Israel leaving Gaza is because of their terrorism, so they are thinking terrorism works.”
As Morton Klein discussed and revealed in response to the interview:
“Kara is right. On Thursday Mohammad al-Zahar, a senior leader of Hamas said, ‘Very simply, nobody can deny that if Israel is going to leave the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank, that it was because of the intifada, because of the armed struggle, because of the great sacrifices of Hamas for this goal. It was not because of negotiations, or the goodwill of Israel, or Americans or the Europeans. This is an important achievement for the armed struggle and confirms the willingness, correctness and usefulness of employing the armed struggle and its ability of obtaining political objectives.’”
Here is the complete interview from WorldNetDaily's website.

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