UPDATES 9 am Israel time, Friday, June 6 2014:
**The U.S. continued its defense yesterday of its decision to “work with and support” the new PLO-Hamas government seated in Ramallah and Gaza. U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro offered this piece of unadulterated nonsense:
“Jerusalem understands if [the] union breaks, it will have to assume responsibility for Palestinians in the West Bank.”*
What in the world was Shapiro talking about? Israel did not have responsibility for the Palestinians before there was a union, so why should Israel have responsibility for the Palestinians if the PLO-Hamas union falls apart?
More than this, what is totally flabbergasting and pathetic is the American and European assumption that the Palestinians are so infantile that they must have someone to look after them. Whatever happened to the idea that people have responsibility for themselves?
Just as Israel has no responsibility whatsoever for the Palestinians living in Gaza, Israel should not have one whit of responsibility for the Palestinians living in Areas A and B of Judea and Samaria.
**The long-overdue announcement yesterday that Israel is now moving forward with 1000 or 1500 or 1800 or 3000 new residences (you can take your pick from various news sources) for Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem as well as Jewish communities in Area C has evoked the usual outrage and threats from both the Americans and the European Union.
At the very least, 400 homes were approved for Ramat Shlomo in Jerusalem, 484 in Betar Illit, 223 in Efrat, 155 in Givat Ze’ev, 78 in Alfei Menashe, 76 in Ariel and 38 in Adam. Again, these homes are for Israelis living in eastern Jerusalem and Area C–an area under complete Israeli control for the last 47 years and an area that should be immediately annexed to Israel.
The criticism of the Americans and Europeans was ridiculous enough, but read this crackpot criticism of the announcement from Meir Margalit, the Meretz councilman who represents the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem:
“I think that the prime minister is losing his mind to make such a provocation now, which goes against the Americans more than against the Palestinians.”
Here’s a new flash for Margalit: the building of Jewish homes in Jerusalem and in Area C of Judea and Samaria is neither against the Americans nor the Palestinians. And it is not a provocation. Israel has every right to build in both places and every responsibility to its Israeli citizens to do so.
**It is beginning to look like two pieces of important legislation will soon be making their way to the Knesset floor for their first, second, and third readings.
Following this past Sunday’s Cabinet fiasco in which PM Netanyahu suddenly kowtowed to Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Israel Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, the prime minister announced yesterday his full support for the “life in prison with no possibility of parole” bill for convicted terrorists. It is a proposed law that under very limited circumstances would take away the President’s right to pardon. The law will be reconsidered and voted on at this coming Sunday’s Cabinet meeting.
Also on Sunday, and also in opposition to Livni and Weinstein, the proposed basic “nationality” law will come before the requisite Knesset Ministerial Committee. It states: “The state of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, where they may realize their aspiration for self-determination according to their cultural and historical legacy.”
The proposed law goes on to declare that Israel is a “Jewish and democratic state” that is “based on the foundations of liberty, justice, and peace according to the visions of the prophets of Israel, and is committed to the personal rights of all of its citizens as detailed in every Basic Law.”
Both proposed laws are long overdue and hopefully will sail through the Knesset quickly now that Netanyahu has declared his support.
Yesterday was a good day for Israel supporters everywhere.
First came the news that the Australian government would no longer refer to the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem as “occupied” territory. The official statement which emanated from Australian Attorney General George Brandis and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop read:
“The description of east Jerusalem as ‘Occupied East Jerusalem’ is a term freighted with pejorative implications, which is neither appropriate nor useful. It should not and will not be the practice of the Australian government to describe areas of negotiations in such judgmental language.”
It should be remembered that while in Israel in January of this year, FM Bishop caused an uproar among the Palestinians, Americans, and Europeans by declaring that she did not believe that the Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem or the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are illegal.
Australia’s announcement came despite the strident opposition of Palestinians and BDSers everywhere.
But there was much more good news yesterday–and here is just a sprinkling:
*The Rolling Stones gave an amazing concert in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night after being bombarded with thousands of BDS messages “urging” them not to come to Israel. Mick Jagger responded by speaking Hebrew numerous times during the performance to the audience of about 50,000.
*Elbit Systems, an Israeli company that works closely with the IDF to provide unmanned aerial security for the Israel, has been chosen as supplier for Switzerland’s Armawuisse Procurement Agency. Specifically, the Swiss have chosen the Hermes 900 as the newest addition to their Air Force. This decision came in the face of a massive BDS protest against Elbit.
*A BDS proposed Israel-boycott resolution failed at the annual Modern Language Association meeting in New York.
The list goes on, but this is all the space we have for today’s blog.
Yesterday was a good day.
*As reported in the Jerusalem Post today