Monday, March 10, 2008

Israel Builds West Bank Housing
by Nadene Goldfoot
I imagine that people are groaning in America over the fact that Israel announced that it's going to allow some 330 units to be built in Givat Zeev. This settlement already has about 10,000 Israelis living there.
I thought about why Olmert is allowing this to happen. The announcement is causing the Palestinians to be furious. An senior official said the project was "another slap in the face of the peace process."
I had to laugh at that. What does he think constant shelling from the Gaza Palestinian terrorists is doing? Are they missiles of love? The Palestinians are lucky that I am not Prime Minister. For every rocket they shoot at Israel, I would take 10 feet or a mile, some quantity more of land that we had set aside for a future Palestinian state. Perhaps they would learn by the cause and effect principle not to be terrorists to Israel, but to actually sit down and negotiate honestly and fairly.
We lived in Safed, Israel for over five years in an Israeli government building. Our rent was $8 per month. We were poor immigrants. I was an English teacher. You don't get rich in Israel very easily. In my building were Israelis and Arabs and us Americans. One day a water pipe broke and water gushed down to our level and into my apartment. While I started to sweep out the water, an Israeli and Palestinian woman came to my rescue. The three of us fought the oncoming water until it was gone. We laughed while we worked trying to speak to each other. We settled on Hebrew as the language to use, and mine was very minimal. The chore became fun with my newly found friends. If only the rest of that area could get along with each other.
The West Bank became part of Israel once again when Israel won it in the War of 1967 when Israel was again attacked by the surrounding Arab countries, and Israel won. So the land they want to build on has been empty for 41 years. The Palestinians were offered the opportunity to have their own state in 1948, but had turned it down as they have ever since then, opting instead to fight Israel and hoping to gain the state of Israel itself.
Israel has Palestinians living in it. Some are Christians. Some are Muslims. Palestinians are even in the Knesset. They lived in my building and went to the school where I taught English. I saw junior high children helping each other to study Hebrew and Arabic. I even had Circassian Arabs in my English class. This living experience will not happen in the future Palestine, I'm afraid. It will be free of Jews. It's like the fact that Jordan's people come to Israel for work, but I haven't heard of Israelis going into Jordan for any reason. We're probably not allowed there. We can go as tourists to Egypt, though.
The area Olmert is allowing for building was not part of the West Bank that is to be the future Palestinian State. The building was to start in 1999, nine years ago, but was put off by an uprising of Palestinians. The land does belong to Israel. For 60 years the Palestinians have not created a state. In the meantime, part of Olmert's cabinet said they would pull out their support of him if he didn't allow it. This could cause his fall.
Building some type of living units is not as provocative as shooting rockets at people. It shows the desire to go forward with life and take care of the needs of your people. Why wait any longer? After 60 years, things haven't changed. Arabs still hate Israel for being there and show it with shootings, attacks on children, and wars. They're hated for being Jewish.
In the meantime, America is sending over a Lt. General who is an envoy for Bush for joint meetings to see who is fulfilling their obligations under the road map agreement. I know he'll jump on Israel for building. Imagine, America is all excited over our contractors building homes which is a big no-no according to the road map. Has anyone flown over quickly while Israel is being attacked with rockets trying to stop the Palestinians? I guess that's allowed. Will this general be brave enough to jump on the Palestinians for shooting rockets at Israel?
Reference: Oregonian Newspaper page A8, 3/10/08
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