Settlements - the view from Jerusalem


By Stephen Pollard
December 3, 2012
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I’ve been trying to find out the thinking behind the Israeli government’s announcement that it intends to build a settlement of 3000 units in E1.Speaking to various Israeli government sources, here’s my take.

The feeling in Jerusalem is that, no matter what agreements are signed between Israel and the Palestinians, the international community refuses to acknowledge Palestinian infractions.

Instead, the argument goes, no sooner has Israel thwarted attempts to perpetrate a third intifada mounted by the Palestinians, than the United Nations rewards the Palestinian president with the new 'non-observer' status, and potential access to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

What the international community has done, my sources say, is effectively to open the door to any decision Jerusalem wants to take — particularly in the run-up to the elections on January 22.

Because even those in Israel who are unhappy about their government's settlement policy feel that the entire nation is being punished by the international community — over breaches of agreements perpetrated by the Palestinians. And, they say, it is not the first time: Palestinian suicide bombers, during the second intifada, were eventually stopped by the construction of Israel's wall. Yet the wall, which saved Israeli lives when nothing else did, was greeted with international outrage and condemnation.

In this latest such situation, Israel successfully protected its citizens from Palestinian rocket attacks, via Iron Dome and other missile defence systems. But the result was that when Abu Mazen went to New York, instead of being pilloried by the world for the rocket attacks, he was received with rapture and rewarded.

Thus Israel's response in announcing the housing units is born of a bitter reaction to the
wholesale international swallowing of the Palestinian narrative.

It is difficult to see how such a stance can be cooled down. Certainly the mood in Jerusalem is one of white-hot fury.

COMMENTS

happygoldfish

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 16:02

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2 points

why are all the media saying that the E1 construction would divide the west bank in two?

a similar gap has never been any problem to israel (not even before 1967)

the 10 mile (15 km) gap that would join the north and south west bank

is the same as the 10 mile (15 km) gap that has always joined north and south israel (between the mediterranean and tulkarm, on the west bank)


Ben F

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 16:56

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0 points

Is Mr. Pollard a bit nervous?


Real Real Zionist

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 17:49

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-2 points

"why are all the media saying that the E1 construction would divide the west bank in two?"

Maybe because the media you have in mind are more reputable than Robespierre's Committee of Public Safety, sorry, I mean Honest Reporting.

The mood is one of white hot fury in Europe as well. And sensible Israelis know that in a face off between Israel and Europe.....well it's a slam dunk.Is there a bookie in the house ? The timing for Bibi, just before an election, is terrible. The Europeans have put him between a rock and a hard place. He either backs off and is seen for the untrustworthy wriggler that he is, or he doesn't back off and is seen as a crazy man driving Israel over the cliff.

The people I feel most sorry for in all of this are are Matthew Gould and Daniel Taub, particularly Daniel who is a man of peace and genuine goodwill.How he would just love to represent an Israel that was divested of all this nonsense. I bet he just wants to....


Mary in Brighton

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 18:47

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-2 points

My difficulty is that the Israeli government tell us that the UN vote was meaningless, as of nothing. Nothing is changed and nothing will be changed, " on the ground ".

Then I am told that the mood " in Jerusalem " is one of " white hot fury ".

Getting into a mood of white hot fury over nothing seems a bit neurotic at the very least.

And if Israel is so desperately in need of 3000 homes and at the same time serious about peace and two states it surely would find a less provocative place to build them.


Real Real Zionist

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 18:55

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-2 points

Building them elsewhere wouldn't do. It's about competing chutzpah. Israel has an overriding emotional need to punish the world. However much it hurts itself in the process is not an issue for today.


happygoldfish

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 10:34

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2 points
the original statement (29/11/2012) can be found at the prime minister's office website

"This is a meaningless decision that will not change anything on the ground.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it clear that there will be no establishment of a Palestinian state without a settlement that ensures the security of Israel's citizens.
He will not allow a base for Iranian terrorism to be established in Judea and Samaria, in addition to those that have [already] been established in Gaza and Lebanon.
The way to peace between Jerusalem and Ramallah is in direct negotiations, without preconditions, and not in one-sided UN decisions.
By going to the UN, the Palestinians have violated the agreements with Israel and Israel will act accordingly."

and in response to mahmoud abbas's speech (29/11/2012), it adds …

"The world watched a defamatory and venomous speech that was full of mendacious propaganda against the IDF and the citizens of Israel.
Someone who wants peace does not talk in such a manner."

Mary in Brighton: Getting into a mood of white hot fury over nothing seems a bit neurotic at the very least.

it is "meaningless" because the un general assembly has no powers over the peace process or over palestinian independence

it is "meaningless" also because it will not help the peace process at all

it has caused fury because (as stephen pollard says) "no matter what agreements are signed between Israel and the Palestinians, the international community refuses to acknowledge Palestinian infractions"

it has caused fury because it shows an intention to abandon the present peace process based on security council resolution 242 and security for israel …

mahmoud abbas's speech to the general assembly (full official text at http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=17480 ) makes it clear he now intends to proceed based on general assembly resolution 194 and the 'return' of five million 'refugees'

his speech actually starts (after congratulating the president and the secretary-general, and new member south sudan) by mentioning only the rights of the arab 1948 refugees, and by rejecting the present quartet involvement and calling for a greater role for the un itself …

The Question Palestine is intricately linked with the United Nations via the resolutions adopted by its various organs and agencies and via the essential and lauded role of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East - UNRWA - which embodies the international responsibility towards the plight of Palestine refugees, who are the victims of Al-Nakba (Catastrophe) that occurred in 1948.
We aspire for and seek a greater and more effective role for the United Nations in working to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in our region that ensures the inalienable, legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people as defined by the resolutions of international legitimacy of the United Nations.

the palestinian intention to rely on 194 is repeated here in a clear refusal to continue with the 242 track …

3. … Here, I declare that the Palestine Liberation Organization is ready to return immediately to the negotiating table on the basis of the adopted terms of reference based on international legitimacy and a complete cessation of settlement activities.

it has caused fury because abbas's language is the opposite of that of someone who wants peace

it has caused fury because the general assembly is seen to be rewarding the palestinians for their war crimes for their recent abandonment of the peace process and for their "defamatory and venemous" language and "mendacious [ie, lying] propaganda"


Real Real Zionist

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 10:45

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-2 points

I am sure that staying up so many nights composing your first thing in the morning rants can't be good for your health.

But anyway....you fail to address Mary's point that responding to meaninglessness with " white hot rage " does seem rather schizophrenic.

The major point is that Israel's response is craziness at its most naked.It merely caused Europe and now Australia to make it clear where the red line is.France has already started using the S word. Opinions about the settlements are varied. But only rabids deny that they are a " problem " if not a barrier. To deliberately compound an acknowledged serious problem is surely a clear sign that the present Israel govt is not interested in a deal. For " the present Israeli govt " you can read Israel, because by the time Bibi is gone it will be too late. One European diplomat opined that the thing has a year,18 months maximum, to run.

Time is not on Israel's side. Ask who needs a Palestine state and the honest answer is Israel and the wannabe apparatchiks of the PA. The Palestinian people don't need one as such. In fact there are respectable arguments to the effect that they would be better off without one.They need an end to this status quo which is almost unbearably stressful but if there is not to be a state then the quicker that is acknowledged the better, then the thinking anew can start.

Eventually the PA will tire and take Erekats advice and hand the keys back. Then the de facto one state will be there for all to see. Those that dream this one state can be run on apartheid lines with Jewish sovereignty over the non Jewish inhabitants,are, well, dreamers.


Advis3r

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 11:56

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1 point

Fake Zionist I don't care who you want to rely on - tell me what would happen if one day you are walking along the road and unseen by you a 16 ton truck comes hurtling towards you and a member of the IDF Spokesman's office who just happens to be walking towards you tells you to watch out because there is a vehicle approaching. Would you pay him no heed because of course you can't trust anything he says can you?

I live opposite E1 there is a four lane highway which separates it from Ma'ale Adumim on which Palestinians are free to travel and do so. So tell me please who do you trust someone who lives there or newspapers who have a penchant for it getting wrong - always!?!


happygoldfish

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 11:57

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1 point

Real Real Zionist: … you fail to address Mary's point that responding to meaninglessness with " white hot rage " …

("fury", not "rage")
i did little other than to address her claim that there was a contradiction
6 of my paragraphs begin with either "it is "meaningless" " or "it has caused fury"

you and your friends have the unfortunate habit of not bothering to answer whatever you don't like, and instead making personal attacks on the writer, disparaging any source that puts the israeli side, or (in this case) claiming that it hasn't answered the previous question

here you ignored the media lies about "dividing" the north and south west bank by dismissing a perfectly good map on the grounds of its source ("honest reporting") …

Real Real Zionist: "why are all the media saying that the E1 construction would divide the west bank in two?"

Maybe because the media you have in mind are more reputable than Robespierre's Committee of Public Safety, sorry, I mean Honest Reporting.

here's a different map, this time showing the whole area

… i suppose again you're going to attack the source, instead of actually commenting on the media lie?


Real Real Zionist

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 12:41

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-2 points

I didn't say it was a contradiction I said I agreed that it was somewhat schizophrenic.

To be honest ( unlike honest reporting ) I don't really care about your maps. But they are not just media lies thay are FO lies and European lies.

It hardly matters. The point is if there is to be a deal EVERYONE knows what it will look like.

ie

Two states roughly along the pre @67 frontiers.

Israel keeps the existing major settlement blocs with compensatory land swaps.

A shared capital ie Jerusalem.

That is the only possible deal because there is nothing else that any Palestinian negotiator could possibly agree to. If it is impossible for Israel to agree to that then agreement is impossible. If that is the case lets acknowledge it and quit with the bs.

Virtually nothing makes two states absolutely and physically impossible. But building new settlements particularly in such an important area decreases the chances of an agreement when we are already close to the tipping point into impossibility. The Europeans see that that is the Israeli motivation ( apart from having an emotional need to have a hissy fit ) But to repeat the bleedin blindin obvious for there to be a deal there has to be agreement. If facts are created such that the only deal available is one(s) that can't be agreed to it is time to move on and let the thinking anew begin. Israel's loss.

And I am extremely gratified to learn that I have friends.

correction: the thinking anew has already begun. Let it be brought centre stage.


joemillis1959

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 12:57

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-2 points

Happy, unfortunately, your maps tell only part of the story. Although Maaleh Adumim is indeed a town 15 kilometres from the Jordan River, its municipal boundaries stretch almost to Jericho.

By building in E1 (not Whitechapel, although who knows with this Israeli government ;-)), Israel would in effect be creating an expansion to the River Jordan, thus bisecting any possible Palestinian state. And for what? Hubris?

Unfortunately, the current - and probably the next - Israeli government seem to be doing the dastardly delegitimisers job for them. And that, I hope you will agree, is very short-sighted indeed.


Real Real Zionist

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 13:31

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-3 points

"So tell me please who do you trust someone who lives there or newspapers who have a penchant for it getting wrong - always!?!"

Jose if by " someone who lives there " you mean you, I have to say if you told me it was Tuesday I wouldn't act upon it without getting it independently checked out.


happygoldfish

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 14:08

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2 points

Real Real Zionist: I didn't say it was a contradiction I said I agreed that it was somewhat schizophrenic.

isn't that the same?

"schizophrenia: (in general use) a mentality or approach characterized by inconsistent or contradictory elements"

Real Real Zionist: … they are not just media lies thay are FO lies and European lies.

It hardly matters.

lies do matter, even if they are about israel

and you certainly shouldn't criticise those who point out such lies

Real Real Zionist: Virtually nothing makes two states absolutely and physically impossible. But building new settlements particularly in such an important area decreases the chances of an agreement when we are already close to the tipping point into impossibility. The Europeans see that that is the Israeli motivation ( apart from having an emotional need to have a hissy fit )

agreed

but if the palestinians won't return to negotiations on the basis of the 242 track, i see nothing wrong with israel proceeding with it so far as they can (i particularly mean the land swap part)

after all, the settlements don't actually do any harm (unlike the palestinians' breaches of international law, eg the rockets against civilian areas) …

and they're reversible (yes they are … look at gaza!)

Real Real Zionist: If facts are created such that the only deal available is one(s) that can't be agreed to it is time to move on and let the thinking anew begin …
correction: the thinking anew has already begun.

now who's being schrizophrenic?!

i agree … the vote, and abbas's speech have begun a new line of thought …

they have created a two-track peace process

the israelis will be following the security council resolution 242 track, requiring the arabs to give israel secure and recognised borders, free from threat of force, and with israel withdrawing to the 1967 borders, with adjustments

(that track has the backing of the united states and europe)

the palestinians will be following the general assembly resolution 194 track, requiring israel to allow about 5 million palestinian refugees the "right of return" into israel itself

(that track has the backing of the vast majority of the general assembly)

oh well … at least, with two tracks, there's no chance of a collision!


Real Real Zionist

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 14:34

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-2 points

Inconsistency is not the same as contradictory. When two propositions cannot be true together or two or more implications in ( seemingly ) one proposition ( eg Pegasus doesn't exist ) cannot be true together then we have a contradiction.

Contrariness and contradictory are entirely different logical categories.

To declare something meaningless and then get into a white hot rage about it is contrary, but not contradictory. A schizophrenic typically exhibits cotrary behaviour not contradictory behaviour.

" oh well … at least, with two tracks, there's no chance of a collision! "

Or any kind of meeting. Oh well one state it would seem to be then. I am not going to waste energy discussing who's fault it is. It won't matter. Israel will cease to be as a Jewish state. Hardly matters whose fault it is.


Advis3r

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 14:48

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3 points

Fake - the feeling is mutual but there again I know what I write is the truth you on the other hand wouldn't know the truth if it bit you.

Millis - Ma’aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel has issued an open invitation to all the European ambassadors to visit E1 and see for themselves that building on that tract of state land within Ma'ale Adumim's municipal boundaries won’t harm the creation of a Palestinian state.

So why don't you go and see what I see every day of the week instead of soaking up Arab lies. At least four/five years ago when this first surfaced the media were truthful enough to state that "the Palestinians claim..." now they are stating it as "fact". The good old tell a lie make it a big one keep repeating it and it soon takes on the appearance of truth.


suzanna

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 16:28

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-2 points

'Thus Israel's response in announcing the housing units is born of a bitter reaction to the
wholesale international swallowing of the Palestinian narrative'

So, of course, your narrative is correct and just but the democratic opnion of all the nations that voted for (or abstained) is due to their being deluded and unable to make rational decisions based on objective fact?

You are all democrats - so you claim, so respect the democratic vote of the UN. You all claim to want a two state solution so accept the two states that the world has endorsed. It's the way forward.


Advis3r

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 17:32

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2 points

suzanna since when was the UN a democracy.
As Abba Eban famously remarked if Algeria proposed a resolution condemning Israel because the earth was flat because Israel had made it so 113 nations would vote for the resolution 33 would abstain and 9 would vote against it.
The Palestinians do not want a two state solution if so why are they insisting that millions of their citizens should not live in their own State but live in another State - Israel i.e. the so-called "right of return"?
The whole thing is a myth and the sooner the world wakes up and gets wise the better.


Real Real Zionist

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 17:58

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-1 points

Interesting that Hague has said economic sanctions against Israel are not,at this time, on the table.

Think about that one. Something that would never have entered anyones head a couple of days ago, that was unthinkable is now being thought about. And the French also are now using the S word. Next stop where ?

Well done Bibi !!!!! I want to be in your lifeboat !!!!


Michael Gottlieb

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 15:02

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0 points

Israel's Legal Right to Judea and Samaria is enshrined in International Law!

A cold, hard look at the law reveals an undeniable if inconvenient (for some) truth: Israel and the Jewish People have full sovereign rights to Judea and Samaria.

http://shomroncentral.blogspot.co.il/p/5-legal-rights-to-samaria.html


happygoldfish

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:40

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1 point
(this blog is about settlements, not about sovereignty)

Michael Gottlieb: … the law reveals an undeniable if inconvenient (for some) truth: Israel and the Jewish People have full sovereign rights to Judea and Samaria.

sovereignty over judea and samaria cannot be deduced from the mandate

even if we assume that "national home for the jewish people" means a state and sovereignty, the mandate still does not specify that it covers the whole of palestine:

Whereas … the Mandatory should be responsible for … the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non­Jewish communities in Palestine …
ARTICLE 2. The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self­governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.

however, a right of jews to settlement in judea and samaria was granted by the mandate …

ARTICLE 6. The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co­operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.

(though whether that right continued after the mandate ended is open to question)


Michael Gottlieb

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:23

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0 points

Gimmie a break...precisely because Israel has full and exclusive sovereign rights to the land means that the settlements - all of them - are 100% legal. The issue of settlement and sovereignty go hand in hand.

"...even if we assume that "national home for the jewish people" means a state and sovereignty, the mandate still does not specify that it covers the whole of palestine" - actually, the original intent WAS the whole of Palestine, which included what is today the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, but Winston Churchill unilaterally and illegaly lopped off eastern Palestine and gave it to the Hashemites, leaving the Jews with Western Palestine only. Western Palestine is the land from the Med to the Jordan River,which is what everyone is fighting about.

If it unclear to you why Israel has exclusive sovereignty over the "West Bank", read this link in its entirety:

http://shomroncentral.blogspot.co.il/p/5-legal-rights-to-samaria.html

If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to address them.


Real Real Zionist

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:47

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0 points

Sorry Michael, the Mandate went no further than to mandate the Mandatory to implement the Balfour Declaration.

The Zionists pressed for the wording " the establishment OF Palestine AS the Jewish National Home. "

This was SPECIFICALLY rejected by the cabinet in favour of
" the establishment IN Palestine of a JNH."
So WHERE in Palestine was never specified.

Further whatever the British meant by JNF it is clear that it didn't mean a Jewish State.

Nor did it envisage Jewish sovereigny over, and subjugation of, another people ( that's why I'm a REAL Zionist. Geddit ? )

PS The Mandate ended in 1948.


happygoldfish

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:00

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1 point

Michael Gottlieb: … Israel has full and exclusive sovereign rights to the land …

this is fantasy

Michael Gottlieb: If it unclear to you why Israel has exclusive sovereignty over the "West Bank", read this link in its entirety …

i've done a word-search for "sover", and i can confidently say that the article gets no further than "… ever since the end of WWI, no Arab entity has ever had any legal sovereign rights to Western Palestine"

Advis3r

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:35

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0 points

The Fake Zionist obfuscates again and like all liars he is so good at it.
The establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine why not in all of it? - was any of it to be excluded? Thought not.
it is clear that it didn't mean a Jewish State Only clear to you. But that's history isn't it? There is a sovereign state and it's called Israel and it is the State of the Jewish People and as such is the Jewish homeland. In the same way that Germany is the homeland of the Germans and Denmark is the homeland of the Danes etc etc. Ah but I was forgetting the Fake doesn't accept the existence of an entity called the Jewish people. Pity for him Am Yisroel Chai.


Advis3r

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:40

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0 points

Oh and as for subjugating another "people" what "people" are you talking about? The only mention of a people in any of the UN resolutions passed in 1947/8 was the Arabs - so what "people" are you talking about? Also in 1947 the Arabs were given the opportunity to create an Arab State (it was never to be called Palestine was it) in most of the land that was supposed to have been set aside for a Jewish Homeland? They rejected it. The Arabs who remained in Israel are not subjugated are they?


Real Real Zionist

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:41

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0 points

"There is a sovereign state and it's called Israel and it is the State of the Jewish People and as such is the Jewish homeland."

Jose you are 70 per cent correct. Except it is the state of whoever is citizens of it. And it has internationally recognised borders. If it only would stick to them we could all move on and argue about Hull City's chances of promotion..


Real Real Zionist

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:44

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-1 points

Not all liars are good at it. Some have their lies smeared all over their faces like ice cream over the face of a child. Oh sorry Hoff I didn't see you there.


Advis3r

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:56

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0 points

Only Israel's borders with Egypt and Jordan have now been formally recognised.
The borders with Syria and Judea and Samaria are still in dispute. The State of Israel's has no borders with the territories of Judea and Samaria (an integral part of the Jewish Homeland) and the Gaza Strip other than the 1949 Armistice Line, and the ceasefire line with Syria which runs along the UN-monitored boundary between the Golan Heights and Syrian controlled territory. So another obfuscation from the Fake Zionist.


happygoldfish

Fri, 02/08/2013 - 18:04

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1 point

joemillis1959: … your maps tell only part of the story. Although Maaleh Adumim is indeed a town 15 kilometres from the Jordan River, its municipal boundaries stretch almost to Jericho.

the closest its boundaries get to jericho is alon, about 10 km south-west of the centre of jericho and over 15 km from the jordan or the dead sea …

joemillis1959: By building in E1 … Israel would in effect be creating an expansion to the River Jordan, thus bisecting any possible Palestinian state.

that's absolute rubbish!

there's 15 km in between alon and the jordan (the same as the gap between north and south israel) …

with (as you say!!) the whole of jericho in the way!!

it obviously does not "bisect" the west bank, anymore than the west bank "bisects" israel!

why are you repeating this media lie?

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