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judea samaria

The settlement report contains some brave words

The government commission on settlements headed by former Justice Edmund Levy was about the first official group to state that the common laws governing occupation are not applicable to the historic situation of Israeli control of Judea and Samaria, and that our settlement activity did not amount to forced population transfer. The committee stopped short of stating that this is not occupation after all.

Politically correct Knesset offers tax breaks to Arabs for settling Israel

The Knesset passed a largely symbolic bill providing tax breaks for people who donate to charities that support the settlements. The settlements can be located anywhere in Israel, including Judea and Samaria.

But the bill automatically provides tax breaks to Arab NGOs that finance the expansion of Arab villages—mostly illegally—and the settling of Jerusalem.

War of stones intensifies

According to an army report, Arabs intensified rock and firebomb attacks on Jewish cars across Judea and Samaria after they succeeded in Palmer’s murder. There is little that the army can do because such murder attempts are hard to prove, and courts sentence the Arabs to minor terms.

Netanyahu vetoes a reasonable solution to the outpost problem

On the PM’s orders, the Justice Minister rejected a draft which would legalize almost all outposts in Judea and Samaria while compensating the Palestinians for the private land taken from them.

In very few cases are outposts built on private Arab land, and in those cases ownership was established well after the construction. The bill could well pass the Knesset.

Bibi is only technically right on central committee

With two weeks left until the election of the Likud central committee, Netanyahu changed the allocation of seats to increase the power of the cities against the settlements in Judea and Samaria.

His move is theoretically correct because the allocation is indeed skewed if Likud wants proportional representation of its voters on the committee. But that misallocation has stood for twenty years, and every other Likud leader has preserved it in order to keep the party distinctly conservative. Netanyahu’s idea is to weaken opposition to the eventual withdrawal from the West Bank.

He may be mistaken, though. With all the support the withdrawal would enjoy from leftists and Arabs, he should be more concerned with maintaining a shred of support for his more conservative policies in the central committee.

Rabbis, IDF make religious soldiers hostage of their squabble

The latest round of confrontation between West Bank rabbis and the army centers around the prohibition for religious soldiers to attend live singing performances by women. The army is fond of such performances.

The issue is very old, and not particularly important compared to the many other religious transgressions occurring in the army. The brass provoked the conflict by punishing a few religious soldiers who quietly left a singing event.

The army has a problem. Most conscripts assigned to combat units come from Judea and Samaria. If they are not ultra-religious themselves, they at least sympathize with the yeshiva draftees. But the army remains institutionally leftist, which deeply offends their values.

Instead of coming to terms with growing religious sentiment, the army seeks to converting conscripts to secularism.

Cozy relationship continues

After Abbas’ UN bid Israel might have been expected to pressure her old enemy. Tax transfers, however, continued unabated. The Palestinian chieftains had no trouble transiting Israel to get to the UN, and Israel continues to supply the PA with electricity.

Now the Israeli government is contemplating ‘goodwill gestures’ toward Fatah, such as ceding larger chunks of Judea and Samaria to Arab control.

Israel sanctions pogroms

Settlers and policemenThe Chief of the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, an Israeli government official, has ordered his forces to carry out demolition orders only against Jewish homes, never against Arab structures.

This policy has been in effect for many years, but only now has it been put in writing. Tens of thousands of illegal Arab homes clutter the area, and from time to time Israeli courts order a few of them demolished. Now the Civil Administration refuses to carry out even those rare orders.

A word of truth from the Palestinians

Saeb ErekatPalestinian negotiator Erekat remarked that peace negotiations in Israel are over. It testifies to Jewish madness that he spoke at a conference in Tel Aviv. Indeed, on that same day Israel sent the PA $100 million in tax transfers.

Erekat is definitely right. Everyone knows the conditions for peace for each side, and they are irreconcilable: The Palestinians cannot forfeit their ‘right of return,’ and we Israelis cannot accept it. Everything else is settled: the Israeli government has agreed to abandon the Temple Mount and outlying settlements, and the PA agreed to leave three settlement blocs to the Jews.

Given the situation, a Palestinian declaration of statehood is the most logical course of action. It simply avoids the problem. The Palestinian government is fine with de facto abandonment of the right of return. The one problem the PA faces with statehood is that refugees would be able to move from Lebanon and Syria into the West Bank, breaking the fledgling state. The Palestinians would love for Israel to continue guarding their borders.

A de jure Palestinian state is not bad at all for Israel, the only better alternative being to expel the Arabs from Judea and Samaria.

The army of whom?

Maj-Gen Amidror was known for his right-wing views, thus his appointment as Israel’s NSC head raised some eyebrows. Amidror quickly downplayed his right-wing credentials by slamming rabbis who encourage insubordination in the army. Amidror said their actions posed an existential danger to Israel. Huh, we thought Iranian and Pakistani nukes were the existential danger.

In fact, rabbis only call for insubordination when the army is sent against its own people, to destroy Jewish houses in Judea and Samaria. And if that’s a problem for Amidror, he can always encourage Tel Aviv draft dodgers to join the army and carry out the eviction orders. But IDF cannot afford to rely on settlers for manpower and then order them to destroy their own homes.

Yaakov Amidror

Jews exhibit a bit of normality

In several incidents, angry Jews in Judea and Samaria vandalized Arab property after the Arabs murdered a Jewish family in the village of Itamar. Shamefully, Israeli police vowed to prevent these acts of retaliation. As if sentencing an Arab or two would bring the Jewish family back to life. The terrorists will serve a few years and then they will be exchanged. Wholesale retaliation is the only proper way to prevent future terrorism.

Israeli racism: Arabs have more rights

Arab MK Sarsour said that Obama can go to hell after the US vetoed the UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria.

When Lieberman uttered similar words about Mubarak, Israeli leaders rushed to apologize. This time there were no apologies, because everyone understands that Jewish and Arab MKs are not alike: the Arabs do not represent the state, despite their parliamentary status.

Sarsour also decried Obama’s loyalty to Israel. Presumably, Sarsour himself, though a member of the Israeli Knesset, is not guilty of such criminal affection.

Ibrahim Sarsour

IDF disarms Jews

Armed Jews in HebronJudea and Samaria Division Command ordered the confiscation of firearms that had been distributed among settlers during the Second Intifada.

The government knows that it cannot implement the peace accords, which would require it to evict tens of thousands Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria, and wants to disarm them so that they flee before the Palestinians.

Israel in provisional boundaries

Unable to sell their citizens the concessions necessary for a peace treaty with the Palestinians, Israeli leaders are trying to push Abu Mazen into accepting an interim agreement. According to the terms of this agreement, a Palestinian state will be established in temporary borders, with Jerusalem and the settlements not to be discussed for some time. The Palestinians rightly refuse to accept this plan: once their state is created, international pressure on Israel will wane, and they will never get Jerusalem (unless they take it over demographically).

In the meantime, Israel is falling into the same trap. Jews tread the very path of incremental concessions which Palestinians refuse. Under the 1972 Egyptian peace offer, we could have had a peace treaty with all Muslim states by abandoning the West Bank. Today, we would only have an agreement with the Palestinians. One by one, Israel surrenders her bargaining chips: we evacuated Gaza, withdrew from most of Judea and Samaria, and have unofficially agreed to abandon the Temple Mount. Israeli bargaining power diminishes while international pressure on us increases to stop squabbling over minute details.

It is not Palestine, but Israel that is being pushed into provisional borders by the settlement construction freeze. Just as the Palestinians would have sat in their provisional borders dreaming of Jerusalem, Israel holds the settlements dreaming of their expansion. Palestine’s actual borders are now firm and won’t become less so, while Israel’s borders shrink with every new initiative.

We play on ourselves exactly the trick we intended to play on the Palestinians.

Harming whom?

The settlers of Judea and Samaria are protesting the upcoming construction freeze with an odd strike: schools and municipal services are closed down.

And why would the government care that some villages in the West Bank do not remove their garbage?

Settlements: Three months to doom

The PLO has agreed to use the ninety-day construction freeze to negotiate borders with Israel. If this is true, in so many days the Jewish villagers of Judea and Samaria will learn their fate: who is to stay, and who is to be evicted.

Going public with such a border agreement will bring down Netanyahu’s current government, which will perhaps be saved by Kadima.

Just who recognizes our borders?

Clinton and NetanyahuClinton and Netanyahu held a highly unusual 7-hour-long meeting, reportedly on  Palestinian issues. Despite Bibi’s promises to the contrary, they discussed East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

What does Israel get for these concessions? Recognition of our borders, Clinton says. Never mind that these borders will be recognized only until some Arab leader decides his country is strong enough to attack us. But more importantly, we won’t even get this kind of recognition. In the 1970s, not even the most left-wing politicians imagined giving away Judea and Samaria in return for a comprehensive peace with Arab countries. Today, we’re giving away this land for a peace treaty with the Palestinian Arabs; not even with Syria and Lebanon, and certainly not with Iraq and Iran. So the only ones who will recognize our borders are the Palestinians, who are unable to challenge us in any case.

Clinton’s vagueness, which borders on outright deceit, reminds us of Olmert’s offer to the Arabs which Bush details in his memoir. Olmert offered to transfer jurisdiction of the Temple Mount to a “council of nonpolitical elders.” Now imagine just how nonpolitical would be a council which consists of three Muslims, a Vatican official, and a single Jew.

FM accuses Vatican of Jewish crimes

Pope in IsraelDeputy Foreign Minister Ayalon slammed the Vatican Synod’s resolution calling for an end to Israel’s ‘occupation’ of Judea and Samaria. But the web site of the Israeli Foreign Ministry calls those territories ‘occupied’ exactly 838 times, as a Google search reveals. And if the territories are occupied, rather than liberated and annexed, then it is only right for Vatican to ask Jews to vacate them.

Ayalon made the silly complaint that the Synod is being ‘hijacked by anti-Israeli majority.’ A majority, as we in a democracy sadly know, does not hijack, it determines the outcome by vote.

Sometimes you cannot win: the Vatican lambasted both our ‘occupation’ of Judea and Samaria and our security barrier there which ends the ‘occupation.’

The Foreign Ministry was irritated by the Vatican calling on Jews to refrain from using the Bible to justify injustices perpetrated upon Palestinian Arabs. If only that were true! Except for Menachem Begin and Meir Kahane, not a single major political leader of Israel has justified our displacement of the Arabs by quoting the clear commandments.

Not surprisingly, the Vatican eventually sided with the Muslims. They are a real trouble to Catholics; Christians suffer in nearly every Muslim country, and certainly in the West Bank and Gaza. Besides anti-Semitism, Catholics have practical reasons to appease the Muslims. Instead of complaining, the Israeli government should make life difficult for Catholics in Jerusalem. Instead, our president contemplates transferring the Temple Mount to the Vatican.

Beilin emerges as unlikely right-winger

Yossi BeilinFormer Meretz party leader, a ‘Peres poodle’ and one of the smartest scoundrels in Israeli politics, Yossi Beilin is calling for the establishment of limited Palestinian statehood.

Short of expelling the Arabs from Judea and Samaria, this is by far Israel’s best option. Let’s support Palestinian calls for unilateral statehood. Let them have a state in Ramallah, and leave the issues of Jerusalem and the settlements pending forever.

In contrast to Beilin, avowed right-wing Knesset speaker Rivlin calls for the annexation of Judea and Samaria into a binational state. What better way could there be to lose the Jewish supermajority in Israel? We, too, suggest annexation—but the state must relentlessly employ every remotely legal measure to push the Arabs out.

Defense Ministry defends surrender

Ehud BarakThe Defense Ministry has taken on an unusual role in criticizing non-defense legislation. The Knesset is voting on a bill which would require a national referendum to abandon any Israeli land to our Arab enemies.

According to Barak’s ministry, the new legislation is ‘unnecessary.’ Indeed, there is little chance that it will impedie his plans to abandon Judea, Samaria, and the Golan Heights to Muslims. And never mind that even calling for the abandonment of Israeli land to foreigners is a high crime under atheistic Israeli law.