25 Av 5776
Monday, August 29 2016
UPDATES 8 am Israel time:
…Great economic news in the second quarter of 2016…
*Israel experienced 3.7% GDP growth. By comparison Europe grew at 1.6% and the U.S. at 1.2%.
*Israeli exports increased by 3.8%. So much for the economic boycott of Israel.
*As a result of low unemployment (4.7%) and rising wages, consumer spending increased by 9.5%.
…Bad news from Iran…
Remember the S-300 missile defense system the Russians were going to sell to Iran?
Well they have sold and delivered it.
And where was the first place that Iran installed it? Right beside their plutonium nuclear center at Fordo. The same Fordo that the Iranians promised to dismantle in the Nuclear Appeasement Deal that Iran made with the Obama Administration and the P5+1.
…Palestinian terror unreported in the mainstream media…
Did you read about any of this Palestinian terror in your local news yesterday? Or see it covered on television? Of course not.
*An Israeli policeman was wounded when attacked by terrorists in Issawiya. He was evacuated to Hadassah Hospital with “moderate” wounds.
*A Palestinian terrorist armed with a knife was captured at the Shuafat Checkpoint.
*Palestinian terrorists attacked Israeli motorists in more than 20 locations including Hawara, Beit Sira, all along Road 443, Hizma, Al Khader, and Tel Hevron.
Your humble servant is always amazed at the total ignorance of the United Nations, European Union, and United States when it comes to the use of the word “settlement.”
One of the “settlements” that is often railed against is Ramot–which is in fact a suburb of northern Jerusalem. Ramot is across the so-called “green line”, but it is within the municipal boundaries Jerusalem (see map).
Yesterday I spent the whole day in Ramot. I was there to help my youngest son and his wife move from Ramot A to Ramot B (locate Ramot on the map, and notice that there are 3 irregularly shaped yellow areas–these are Ramot A closest to central Jerusalem, Ramot B, and Ramot C).
Why was my son moving? Simply because his wife is pregnant, and they need a larger apartment.
He was moving from an “attic” studio apartment on the 3rd floor of a house in Ramot A to a just below street level apartment in a home even higher in elevation in Ramot B. To say that it was difficult to haul all of his belongings out of the 3rd floor, down a winding staircase, and up the hill to where our car was parked is a gross understatement. And then to unload everything at the new location and take it downhill . . . well, you get the idea.
Which brings me to two observations about Ramot.
Observation 1: The idea that Ramot will somehow be evacuated one day and turned over to the Palestinians is sheer, unadulterated lunacy.
Perched on top of a hill, all of the homes and apartment buildings are constructed of large blocks of Jerusalem stone. Massive retaining walls have been built to eliminate erosion. The effect is that of a huge fortress built on top of a mountain.
A hugely massive fortress that contains some 60,000 people which are increasing by the minute.
Observation 2: Ramot is young and vibrant.
Back in the 1970s when Ramot first began being built about 75% of its population was secular, and 25% was orthodox. Today, the situation is almost directly reversed.
And because of the increasing number of orthodox families, the average age of the community must be around 10 years old or less. Everywhere you look there are children, very young children, and infants–almost always accompanied by their mothers who are pregnant. Every sidewalk and every play area is inundated with baby strollers.
Last night, when we ate dinner at the crowded Burgers Bar in the Food Court in the even more crowded Ramot Mall, we were surrounded by (I counted) 9 families–all orthodox. The number of children in each family ranged from 4 to 11. In the families with “only” four children, the children’s age range was from infant to about 5 years old. None of the parents in any of the families looked older than 30 years old.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if 20 or more babies were born in Ramot last night and so far this morning.
To sum up, before anyone uses the word “settlement” in regard to Jewish communities and neighborhoods, I would encourage them to visit Ramot or any one of ten other neighborhoods just like it in and around Jerusalem.
He or she might come to the realization that these communities are part and parcel of Israel and will never be given away to anyone.