/* Google Analytics Code asynchronous */

Monday, March 15, 2010

Netanyahu: No one has nothing to complain about

The ultra-orthodox jewish only neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo,
high on the hillside, like so many others.

No one can complain, according to Netanyahu:

"In the past 40 years, there was no government that limited construction in any Jerusalem area or neighborhood," Netanyahu said. "Establishing Jewish neighborhoods did not hurt Jerusalem's Arab residents and was not at their expense."

One doesn't even know where to start with such a eye-popping statement. Historically, metaphysically? What is a "Jewish neighborhood", exactly? How did the barrier wall affect the most arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem? Building without permits? The "Absentee Property Law"? The less than random placement of "neighborhoods", such that those that encircle other neighborhoods? None of this perturbed Arabs, near or far?

For intent, I think one can probably find eye-popping statements from almost every Israeli tourism minister in recent memory - last one that I recall he was telling people to hurry up because time was short.

Olmert, former mayor of Jerusalem, approved a record number of building projects.

Here's something even more current:

"Now that I have been appointed responsible for the Interior Ministry I plan to go for the City of David with full force," Yishai told the Jewish land-owners. "Every [!!!] construction plan that comes must include Jewish settlement and an extensive tourism venture."

He added, "The City of David is the bedrock of our existence, the land of our sovereignty, and Jewish settlement there is our right.

The U.N. tried to find the truth in numbers, amidst a lopsided demolition derby (demolition of illegal jewish building seldom seems to make headlines):

OCHA said that at least 28% of Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem have been built without the Israeli permits, which residents say are nearly impossible to obtain.
It said planners have earmarked only 13% of annexed east Jerusalem for Palestinian construction, while one third has been expropriated for settlement housing projects.

Anyway, if Obama-Biden learn anything it should be that his treatment is just symptomatic of a larger settlement activity, possible purpose and intent. Efforts to downplay it as 'just one neighborhood' and 'nothing to focus on' should fall short.

p.s. number of U.S. media outlets containing (a) picture of any settlements or (b) interviews with any people in affected neighborhoods = zero, so far.