by Stephen Leavitt
For the first time in many years, the White House released a statement regarding Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria without the adjectives “illegal” or “illegitimate” next to the word “settlements.”
(Is PM of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu ready to implement Zionist ideals and start the process of reunification of Jewish land, including freeing Eretz-Israel from enemy occupation? The White House statement offers Israel a lot of leg room. Let's see if Bibi makes use of it.)
“The American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years. While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal. As the President has expressed many times, he hopes to achieve peace throughout the Middle East region. The Trump administration has not taken an official position on settlement activity and looks forward to continuing discussions, including with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he visits with President Trump later this month.” - The White House Office of the Press Secretary, February 02, 2017.
First of all, the statement gives implicit approval to construction within existing settlements, and not just to communities within the settlement blocs (i.e. Gush Etzion, Ariel, etc), but rather to all settlements. This is a much wider definition, and includes many smaller Jewish communities that exist outside of the blocs, representing some 80,000 Jews.
Not to name names, but that’s more settlement legitimacy than what even some members of Netanyahu’s cabinet recognize.
Furthermore, it doesn’t actually forbid or rebuke Israel if it does build a new settlement or expand beyond the borders of an existing one. The White House statement merely questions if it is helpful to achieving peace, and leaves that question open for further discussion...
Rumor has it that the White House statement was released not so much as a response to Netanyahu’s recent settlement construction announcements, but in response to an unauthorized leak from within the Administration to the Jerusalem Post...
The official White House statement thoroughly rejects the JPost’s quote, craftily eliminating both concerns: Trump is not committed to a two-state solution, and he does not consider the settlements an obstacle to peace...
Food for Thought by Steven Shamrak
Israel must adopt a law which would completely shield members of police force, army and public from prosecution and 'witch hunt' investigations if they kill enemies during military operations or terrorist threats!
Supreme Court Justice Yoram Danziger who rejected the government outline by which the Amona residents would be evacuated peacefully in return for alternative housing nearby, on the same day ruled against the evacuation of Arabs from their illegal houses built on private land belonging to Jews in Beit Hanina, in Eastern Jerusalem.
Last week Iran has again violated a United Nations resolution with another ballistic missile test. The Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile was test-launched at a site about 140 miles east of Tehran. According to the report, the test was not entirely successful, with the missile exploding upon re-entry after it flew 600 miles. It was the second such test since July, despite a clear mandate imposed by UN Resolution 2231.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday evening announced the construction of more than 3,000 new housing units in Judea and Samaria. Of the new units, 2,000 will be marketed immediately.
In some Israeli schools, fourth-graders learn computer programming while gifted 10th-graders take after-school classes in encryption tactics, coding and how to stop malicious hacking. The country even has two new kindergartens that teach computer skills and robotics. The training programs – something of a boot camp for cyber defense – are part of Israel’s quest to become a world leader in cybersecurity and cyber technology by placing its hopes in the country’s youth.
Quote of the Week:
"...you can move the embassy by taking the plaque off the wall at our consulate building in Jerusalem and putting up a sign that says ‘U.S. Embassy.’ You can build a bigger embassy, the full-scope embassy, obviously over a longer period of time, but you could make the dramatic move quickly...” - Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.
Amona is a community of some 40 Jewish families in Samaria, slated by the Supreme Court for demolition on Dec. 25. There are eight most important and least known facts about the Amona case:
1. Jordan had no right to parcel out lands... the location was a bald and abandoned mountaintop, there existed documented parcels of land which had been registered by the Jordanian government as belonging to area sheiks and clans. However, as an invading and occupying power, Jordan had no right to award these lands. Jordan’s rule over the “West Bank” was not recognized by the vast majority of UN member states save for the UK and Pakistan, and so this local Arab “ownership” is based on a lie.
2. Only 0.5% of the Amona land is registered to private Arab owners... it was discovered that out of the nine Arab petitioners, seven own land that is entirely outside the Amona perimeter, and have had no problem working their land had they been so inclined. The remaining two owned only a sliver – about half an acre altogether, out of the 125 acres of the Amona territory – less than .5%...
“Five million non-Jews died in the Holocaust.” This statement shows up regularly in declarations about the Nazi era. It was even was used by the Israel Defense Forces spokesperson’s unit, marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. And it was asserted in an article shared by the Trump White House in defense of its controversial Holocaust statement the same day omitting references to the 6 million Jewish victims.
It is, however, a number without any scholarly basis. While as many as 35 million people were killed overall because of Nazi aggression, the number of non-Jews who died in the concentration camps is no more than half a million. The mass murder of the Poles, Roma and others should not come under the rubric “Holocaust”! (By internationalising and trivialising the memory of over 6 million Jews, killed during WW2 by Nazis and eager European collaborators, international anti-Semites are attempting to absolve themselves from guilt of participation in the deliberate attempt of extermination of the entire Jewish population, in which almost all countries of the world participated!)