5 Shevat 5778
21 January 2018
The Quote of the Day
“Trump could have chosen Jews from J Street, but he chose to surround himself with the supporters of the settlements.”
Ahmed Tibi, ultra-left wing Israeli-Arab legislator explaining in an interview on Israeli TV yesterday why he detests Trump.
Doesn’t this quotation completely frame the difference between President Obama and President Trump when it comes to Israel?
When President Obama became President, he immediately elevated ultra-left wing J Street to the position of his “Jewish cabinet.” In the process, he dumped such long-time Israel stalwarts as AIPAC and the Zionist Organization of America.
When President Trump took over the reins of government, J Street disappeared from the White House scene in favor of Jews who fervently support Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem.
For the Palestinians and those who support them, there is no better American Jewish organization than the abominable J Street.
The News on the Israel Street
Palestinian terror in the last 24 hours . . .
There were “rock” and Molotov attacks on the Gush Etzion Road between Hevron and Beit Ummar, the Karmi Tzur Junction, Betar, El Khader, Efrat, Dura, Mt. Hevron, Azzun, the Zif Junction, the Ma’aleh Junction, Sinjil, Ma’ale Levona, the Avraham Hasno Junction, Brentis, the Husan Bypass Road, Azzun, the Eyal Crossing, Bil’in, Jenin, the Mount of Olives, Ariel, Nebi Saleh, Mayer, Neve Tzuf, Luban Al-Sharqiya, Jayyus, Qalqilya, Ras al-Amud, Deir Nizam, Hawara, Anatot, Hizma, Al Bireh, and Tekoa among other places.
Residents of Judea and Samaria reported more than 40 terror attacks to hakolhayehudi, rotter, and Rescue Judea and Samaria yesterday.
Good news and bad news in Judea and Samaria . . .
First the good news: in statistics released by the Yesha Council today, it was revealed that at the end of 2017, the total Jewish population of Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley was 435,708 residents. This represents an annual growth rate of 3.4%.
Second the bad news: that growth rate is lower than the 3.9% growth rate in 2016. And while there were 15,765 new residents in 2016, there were only 14,299 in 2017.
The reason for the low growth rate and lower number of new residents is obvious: the policies of Benjamin Netanyahu which have effectively frozen all construction in the area.
Ashdod becomes ground zero in the resistance . . .
Your humble servant’s home city of Ashdod is now leading the charge against the newly passed “Supermarkets Law” which empowers the Minister of the Interior to close businesses on Shabbat.
Ashdod has a population defined by three distinct groups: the original residents from North Africa who settled in Ashdod in the 1950s and 60s; Russians who immigrated to Israel in the late 1980s and early 90s; and the orthodox religious who began moving into a part of Ashdod a decade ago.
The orthodox have their own supermarkets and businesses in their section of the city, but they are intent on closing all those businesses frequented by the other groups on Shabbat in the other sections of the city.
This weekend featured political leaders from all over Israel such as Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid and Avigdor Liberman of Yisrael Beiteinu descending on Ashdod to support the demonstrators against the Law.
More on your humble servant’s opinion about this will appear in tomorrow’s blog.
The Bearer of Bad Tidings:
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has arrived in Israel to fanfare equivalent to that of a conquering hero. Well known for his unwavering support of Israel, Pence is basking in the afterglow of President Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration.
Having said that, Pence apparently has come to Israel with a decidedly sour message. When he speaks to the Knesset, he will undoubtedly include everything he said yesterday in Jordan:
*that the U.S. recognizes Jordan as the custodian of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem
*that the U.S. believes that the boundaries of Jerusalem are subject to change in any final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians
*that the U.S. will commit to the two-state solution if that is what Israelis and Palestinians want
*that Israel will be forced to make “painful concessions” for peace with the Palestinians
As we have always said here on israelstreet, Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration came with strings attached. Trump is going to expect huge concessions from Israel if and when so-called “peace talks” with the Palestinians continue.
We can only hope that they never do under these conditions.