Beyond the Cusp

June 20, 2013

Netanyahu’s Stealth Building Freeze

When is a building freeze not officially a building freeze? When it is kept unannounced and enforced simply through not signing permits allowing for any building to take place. This is what has apparently been imposed upon Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and has been the case since soon after United States Secretary of State Kerry’s second visit when he first began the latest push to press Israel to make concessions which were presumed necessary to bring Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas around to allowing resumed peace talks. From as near as can be assessed, Secretary Kerry has likely promised to force Netanyahu and Israel to meet Abbas’s precondition of applying a building freeze on all lands claimed by the Palestinian Authority. Kerry probably allowed for this building freeze to be an unannounced building freeze so as to allow Prime Minister Netanyahu to deny its existence at least for long enough to persuade Abbas to return to negotiations. Secretary Kerry likely believed that once it became obvious that there was in fact a de facto building freeze that Abbas would proceed with negotiations and forgo his other preconditions. Unfortunately for Secretary Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu this scheme was doomed to fail as Abbas cannot agree to rejoin peace talks and remain in power which is the real purpose behind the preconditions.


This became evident when thinking that there was no possibility that Prime Minister Netanyahu could convince his newly formed government to allow a building freeze that Abbas implied to Secretary Kerry that if there were to be a building freeze he would consider rejoining the peace talks and forgive his remaining preconditions. Well, Secretary Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu came up with an idea that they could put a building freeze in place without announcing one and that they could get Abbas back to the negotiating table before Netanyahu was forced to admit the freeze and pay a political price for imposing a stealth building freeze. The whole plan fell apart when after about a week of the stealth building freeze being imposed President Abbas demanded his preconditions of a wholesale prisoner release, Netanyahu provide a map of his proposed borders, making the Green Line the basis for borders, and hinted at adding the removal of IDF and Israeli security personnel from all area of the West Bank. This was basically the end of any attempt of bringing the two sides together to reconvene the peace process. Unfortunately, this has placed Prime Minister Netanyahu in a very uncomfortable position along with Secretary Kerry. For Kerry to have any credibility or possibility to ply Abbas to return to the peace talks then this stealthy building freeze would have to be kept in place indefinitely and knowing he has Kerry leaning on Netanyahu making the latter’s political life in a sensitive and untenable place, Abbas will just play the old place an offer forwards then alter it as soon as it is met and continuing collecting as many different concession and then pocketing them assuming that having forced these concessions once means that they are things Israel will always be forced to surrender. This is an even more sinister and deceitful scheme than the usual tactic of joining talks playing for juicier offers to pocket for the next round before walking out, otherwise known as the Arafat Bribe Me Ploy.


Now it has become evident that there is a stealth building freeze imposed on Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Jewish residents in these areas are losing their patience and have slowly been rising to a point of royally upset. Even a stealth building freeze eventually becomes visible as the cranes, trucks, bulldozers, backhoes, and supply trucks can remain motionless only so long before people start to ask pointed questions which in turn are picked up and asked by Knesset Members, especially the nationalists in the coalition. Eventually this could threaten the viability of the Netanyahu government which would hopefully bring the stealth building freeze to a building frenzy termination. The only real pressure that would have even the slightest possibility of forcing Abbas to return to the peace talks is for Israel to proceed with building on a broad front all across Area C. Then announce that Israel has annexed all of Area C as necessary for the future viability, security and a first step towards establishing defensible borders of the State of Israel. Follow this announcement by requiring any Palestinian Authority residents within Area C to either agree to take compensation for their lands or sign an application for Israeli citizenship along with a loyalty oath in order to remain within the Area C boundaries. Once this needful announcement has been declared, all of the Israeli leadership must stand behind this as an irrevocable truth and established fact. This move should be made immediately after informing Secretary of State Kerry of Israeli intent to take this necessary step as it is beyond any reasonable expectation to force Israel not to act in their basic interests which are valid and permissible under United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. Then, while Secretary Kerry is calling the White House the announcing statement must be released followed immediately by an announcement made before the Knesset with as many Ministers attending as can be persuaded to be supportive and televised to all of Israel. After the announcement there must be no concessions or backtracking from the new borders. Then it should be made evident that all future negotiations with the Palestinians will use these borders as established fact and future discussions will be over the division of Area A and B. Israel should follow this with a concerted and strong campaign claiming their right and the rights of every Jew to be allowed free and safe access to every single holy site within the contested areas and if it should become necessary to extend Israeli jurisdiction and sovereignty over these sights to assure such rights, Israel is prepared and ready to enforce whatever is required to assure these rights. The time of Israel forced to accept the submissive role in the state of affairs between them and the Palestinians has proceeded far too long and needs to be terminated. Israel has the superior legal claim to these lands and need not apologize for her existence or over being the stronger militarily any longer. No other nation or people throughout history have been anywhere near as understanding and quiescent or shown respect in the face of such insult and denigration as has Israel. The times of Israeli timidity need to end and end with a firm resolve and an exclamation of Israeli absolute rights and integral dignity. No more excuses, apologies, regrets or marginalization should be accepted from the Palestinians period. Afterwards, whatever the world decides, the world decides and let them learn to live with Israel which is proud and assertive, no more apologies for Jewish existence, and no more compromise on Jewish rights, and no more surrender of ancestral Jewish lands.


Beyond the Cusp


June 4, 2013

A Vital Question for Netanyahu

At a recent Knesset Finance Committee hearing addressing the housing crisis in Israel and possible solutions a prescient question was posed by Committee Chairman Nissan Slomiansky. He inquired of Housing Minister Uri Ariel why there appeared to be no construction in Jerusalem. Ariel replied that Slomiansky needed to direct his question to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. To quote him directly, Housing Minister Ariel had responded, “Why is there no building in Jerusalem? I suggest you ask the Prime Minister.” What a novel and, may I add, brilliant idea. Truth be told, the questions addressing the very obvious lack of building in Jerusalem as well as Judea and Samaria have been popping up ever since President Obama visited Israel introducing Secretary of State Kerry and his peace process revival. Perhaps the Prime Minister should take on the denial of the existence of a silent, unannounced, stealth building freeze by having a groundbreaking for new housing and may we suggest this event take place deep into Samaria, say somewhere like Itamar. Such a serious and in your face dedication to Israel’s righteous right to build on lands guaranteed as indivisible in countless agreements through modern history would set the argument going forward that Israel will declare and implement their proper and legal sovereignty over all the lands.


The reasons why many might suspect that there is a building freeze being applied but just not announced are obvious. Secretary of State Kerry has been quoted expressing how such actions would be a helpful contribution by Israel to his efforts to jumpstart the lifeless peace negotiations. If it should eventually come out that Prime Minister Netanyahu has imposed a building freeze to please Secretary Kerry and President Obama, such news would not bode well for other possibilities in the near future. Secretary Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have been heard also agreeing that it would be preferable for Israel to release some of the Palestinians they are holding in prisons on various charges. From the apparent attitude shown by Secretary Kerry, both past and presently, it would not be too much of a reach to believe that he intends to convince Abbas to drop his preconditions for returning to the peace negotiations due to Kerry guaranteeing compliance by Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu to many of these demands voluntarily. Such an eventuality is something that the members of the ruling coalition and the entire Knesset should force from the shadows and into the light of public review. This would allow for public input and hopefully push the Prime Minister to truly represent the Israeli people and not the machinations of President Obama and Secretary Kerry who are more receptive to Mahmoud Abbas than they are to the rights and safety of the Israeli people.


Should it prove out that there are such backroom dealings being carried out by the Prime Minister’s office, it should be revealed to the public as Israel is supposed to be a representative government and not the private playground for any political group or government cabal. The people are the real makers of policy and the government is not empowered to make backroom deals which counter the will of the majority. One would hope that Prime Minister Netanyahu has not decided that he alone should be the arbiter of Israeli policy free from the input or even informing of the Knesset or even his Cabinet. The idea of democratic governance is that no one person is an island and that the government represents the will of the people. So, the time has come for the media, the people, and the Knesset as the representatives of the people to call out the Prime Minister and demand the truth be revealed. Prime Minister Netanyahu must be made to actually permit actual building of new homes and apartments in Judea, Samaria and most importantly in Jerusalem or reveal the deceptive freeze that is feared. Should the freeze be validated by the Prime Minister it will be up to his coalition partners to take the correct measures and be faithful to those who placed them in power even if it becomes necessary to force new elections. The government must represent the people and not the designs of a powerful few who have their own policies.


Beyond the Cusp


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