Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 And The Settlers

With exquisite and arrogant timing, Mr. Netanyahu has chosen the anniversary of the attacks on 9/11 to announce that Israel will keep right on building houses on the West Bank. He has the brass to remind us, or rather taunt us on this day with the fact that the United States has paid, and will continue to pay, in both blood and treasure, the true cost of those houses and those settlements; and he knows he can get away with it: President Obama cannot afford to do or say anything right now that might screw up health-care reform.


  1. What is your source, Piers? I haven't read this elsewhere.

  2. I heard it on the radio, George. Also, AP filed the following item at 3:54 pm yesterday:

    JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given the green light for hundreds of new homes in a Palestinian-claimed area of Jerusalem, officials confirmed Wednesday, part of a gamble to mollify his restive coalition without sparking a major confrontation with the U.S. [And there's more.]

  3. The words "a Palestine-claimed area of Jerusalem" explains the story and why it didn't make the headlines. The cease-fire agreement between Israel and Jordan (then Trans-Jordan) signed in 1948 said that the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University would be an Israeli island in Jordan with free access from Israel. Jordan violated the agreement, since Arab sttes never quite stick to the letter of deals they have made with the Zionist entity. Israel built a new campus, but after 1967, the Mount Scopus campus was re-opened and the empty area between Mount Scopus and Israel was filled with construction. Today one can't tell where the city of Jerusalem used to end. American presidents before Obama said that the neighborhood in question shouldn't be considered a settlement. Obama is redefining what is a settlement and what isn't.
    Netanyahu has been surprisingly open about giving up settlements as part of a deal. And of course, Israel forced all the Jewish settlers out of Gaza in 2005, giving the Gazans an independent state. Hatred of Israel zoomed up, in Gaza and all over the world, which is what happens when Israel makes concessions. Rockets began falling on Sderot almost immediately, and Israel responded by closing Gaza's borders, an act considered unforgiveable by most of the world.
    I visited Israel in July and August. I saw women with headscarves speaking Arabic to their children walking on Ben Yehuda Street, which is lined with cafes. I saw gay-pride flags and a vigil taking place after reports of murders at a gay counseling center in Tel Aviv. I saw Hare Krishnas chanting and dancing, as well as members of Falun Gong meditating. The Falun Gong newspaper, Epoch Times, is available every day in a Hebrew-language edition. I saw lots of Israelis who had come from Ethiopia speaking in Amharic while their children spoke Hebrew. And then I saw refugees from Sudan, including some from Darfur, who have found safety in Israel but nowhere else in the world.
    Israel has an annual gay-pride parade and has drafted open homosexual men and women into its army since the day it was created. Israel's Golda Meir was the first woman head of government in history who was neither the daughter (like Indira Gandhi) nor the wife (like Sirimavo Bandaranaike) of a previous head of government. Nevertheless, feminists and gay-rights activists hate Israel. They are unaware of the honor murders of gays and women committed everywhere in the Arab world.