5 Av 5777
28 July 2017
The News on the Israel Street
The humiliation of Israel . . .
All of Israel remains in shock over the events at the Temple Mount. Yesterday, one group published this “funeral notice”:
It reads in part: “With sorrow, we announce the death of our national honor brought about by seven ministers of the Likud Party.”
The group that posted the above notice, the Jewish Power Party, then staged a funeral procession from downtown Jerusalem to PM Netanyahu’s residence. Along the way, they carried a flag draped coffin containing the remains of our honor and dignity.
Utterly humiliated and angry is the way that most Israelis feel.
The laughing stock of the Arab world . . .
Meanwhile, we have become the laughing stock of the Arab world with numerous cartoons portraying our impotence:
The status quo returns . . .
The one thing that Netanyahu loves more than anything else in the world (other than remaining in power) has returned: the status quo.
But not really.
Now the situation is even worse than before our two policemen were murdered. Not only do the Wakf and the Palestinians have more power over the Mount, but also they are working to extend that power throughout the rest of the Old City.
Yesterday saw thousands of Palestinians on the Mount waving Palestinian flags and throwing “rocks” on Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall below.
Not only did they throw “rocks”, Palestinian women shouted praises over the Wall for the terrorists who killed our policemen, and chanted: “Khaybar Ya Yahud; We are Muhammad’s Army!” at the Jews below.
It is not enough that there is no security presence at the Muslim-access gates to the Mount anymore; now, the Palestinians want to make it impossible for Jews to worship in the Jewish Quarter.
As noted yesterday on this blog . . .
All of the specious reasons that Netanyahu gave for removing the metal detectors and the security cameras are happening anyway.
Remember how these devices had to be removed because Shin Bet and the IDF were fearful of a Palestinian intifada–and removal was the only way to get the Palestinians to “calm down”? Well guess what. Not only have they not calmed down, they have increased the violence of their protests.
The Israel Police have set up checkpoints around Jerusalem today because they are afraid that the Palestinians will show up en masse to the Temple Mount for Friday prayers.
Fear. Fear. Fear. Our government is afraid of its own shadow.
Netanyahu’s Grand Peace Strategy in Jerusalem?
Yesterday, your humble servant wrote that suddenly two days ago, Netanyahu announced that he supports a proposed law, “The Greater Jerusalem Bill”, which would annex Gush Etzion, Efrat, Betar Illit, Givat Ze’ev and Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem–and thereby to Israel.
I also noted that the same law would turn all the Arab villages that are currently part of municipal Jerusalem, but are on the other side of the security fence, into an independent municipality which would for the time being remain a part of municipal Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty.
Finally I noted: “Of course, one never knows whether to believe Netanyahu or not. He could just as easily withdraw that support this afternoon or stall consideration of the law indefinitely when the expected international outcry comes. But it fits in exactly with what appears to be Netanyahu’s plan in future negotiations with the Palestinians. He wants to create independent Arab municipalities that can be turned over to the PLO when the time is right.”
Today we present the following map to illustrate what is being talked about–and, judging from a White House tweet this morning–is being seriously advanced:
As you can see, the map of Jerusalem is unbelievably complicated, but if you look closely, you can see the areas that the proposed law would annex. The Etzion bloc is to the south of the city; the Ma’aleh Adumim bloc is to the east; and the Givat Ze’ev area is to the north.
As you will note from the map, Israel has long considered these neighborhoods as part of Metropolitan Jerusalem, but they were never officially annexed.
You will also note as an example the Shawawra Palestinian settlement slightly to the southeast of the city. Shawawra is also considered part of Metropolitan Jerusalem, but it is on the other side of the security fence. This one of the Palestinian settlements that Netanyahu foresees as being consolidated into an independent municipality which would remain for the moment under Israeli sovereignty.
In a final peace agreement, you can be sure it would be handed over to the Palestinians.
And that would appear to be Netanyahu’s overall strategy. The Palestinians will, obviously, not agree to any of this, and when the world goes crazy with outrage over the proposed annexations, you can be sure that Netanyahu will withdraw his support and deep-freeze the proposal.
Having said that however, the idea is not without merit–especially the part that features the annexation of the communities of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Betar Illit, Givat Ze’ev and Ma’aleh Adumim with their some 150,000 residents.