Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Israel's Building Plans for East Jerusalem

by Nadene Goldfoot

The Oregonian had an article today titled, Israel plans new housing units on disputed land. The last time I looked, Jerusalem had not been divided. It does have its neighborhoods, just as Portland has a Chinatown. I know that the Palestinians are plotting to take over East Jerusalem, if not more, as part of their to be Palestine. Why they are holding out in peace talks about it is their decision. They've been doing it ever since Israel was declared a state in 1948, so it's nothing new. They simply can't bring themselves to accept a Jewish state in an ocean of Islam. There's no tolerance in their minds.

In the meantime, life must go on for Israel, so they have decided to build 980 new apartments in the Jewish neighborhood of Har Homa and 320 in the Ramot area. Israel's Interior Ministry says that actual construction could be years away, however. At least someone has recognized the need for more housing coming up and the plan of continuing to keep Jerusalem whole. The newspaper article by Edmund Sanders from the McClatchy Tribune hits the readers on the head with "build an additional 1,300 apartments. "

As to why the statement has come out today has been muddled over by the reporter. Danny Seidemann, a Jerusalem expert and settlement critic must be a man against Jews living in Judea-Samaria as well as East Jerusalem, keeping this free of Jews for the Arab population. He thinks that this is sending a message that self-restraint of Netanyahu's government is over, or that Netanyahu might be reacting to our USA election last week. What the article doesn't tell you is that Danny is a member of Peace Now, and speaks to groups such as Americans for Peace Now. He is an American born lawyer and peace activist who moved to Israel in 1973 right out of college. Danny is now the head of the Israeli NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem. He has chutzpa, I'll give him that. He criticized Elie Wiesel about his stand on Jerusalem. Elie referred to him as the Jerusalem guru. He evidently is also a leader of Ir Shalem, which means "unified City". It's said to be a left wing Zionist organization by the Palestinians who are advocating developing Jerusalem for the benefit of all residents, Jews and Arabs. I ask how he would plan on seeing development for Jews in this Jewish neighborhood without holding onto a hammer and a nail and some building material?

It's too bad that the reporter didn't bother to find someone else to interview regarding the announcement of future building. He sought out one of the most dissident Israelis who is against the idea. Perhaps he should have left his hotel and talked to the Jewish residents of these neighborhoods to see why they needed more housing. Wouldn't that have been more fair and unbiased reporting?

Oregonian Newspaper Tuesday, November 9, 2010 page A6.


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