Vatican denies deal with Israel on security barrier

October 24, 2012

Local church leaders deny report IDF planning to build fence on its land in Cremisan Valley so that it could remain on Israeli territory.

Local church leaders on Tuesday denied reports that the Vatican has allowed the IDF to build the security fence on its land in the Cremisan Valley, so that the property could remain on the Israeli side of the barrier.
The valley is situated between the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo and the West Bank settlement of Har Gilo in the Gush Etzion region.

It borders the Walaja village which is battling Israeli plans to build additional sections of the barrier there.
The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land on Tuesday issued a statement to the press in which it condemned construction of the barrier in the valley.
The statement was signed by 22 church leaders region including Waldemar Sommertag, the charge d’Affairs of the Apostolic Delegation in Jerusalem and Palestine.
“The Catholic Ordinaries deny the existence of any explicit or implicit agreement between the Vatican, the local church and Israeli authorities regarding the construction of this illegal wall,” the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land wrote in a statement to the press.
A spokesman for the group said it issued its statement in response to a fact sheet for the non-governmental group The Israel Project on the barrier.
The Israel Project stated, “The barrier in the Beit Jala area was constructed on Church lands, based on an explicit agreement reached between Israel and the Vatican.
“The route of the barrier in this segment was constructed at the request of the Vatican, and with consent (at that time) with local priests, in a way that leaves the Cremisan Monastery, along with most of its lands, on the Israeli side of the fence,” it said.
This statement is not true, a spokesman for the Catholic Ordinaries said.
The Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry have yet to comment on the issue.
The Israel Project said it received its information from a former colonel in the IDF’s Central Command, Danny Tirza, who was in charge of designing the route of the entire barrier in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Israel is building the barrier to prevent suicide bombings.
Tirza said that he had personally gone to the Vatican to negotiate the details of the agreement while he was in the IDF.
Israel cannot use church land without its agreement unless there are security issues involved, Tirza said.
In this case, the church allowed Israel to use its land in places where it wanted the property to remain on the Israeli side of the barrier. This included in the Cremisan Valley and a monastery for the Emmanuel sisters near Bethlehem.
The only way to honor that request was to use church land for the barrier, Tirza said.
“So we tried to put all their land on one side and to take the minimum land that is needed,” he said.
“I met with the deputy of the secretary of state of the Vatican. I showed him all the planes and he signed on some of the planes,” said Tirza.
Most of the fence in that area is inside the municipal area of Jerusalem, Tirza said.
Once the route leaves Jerusalem, it enters the Cremisan Valley, he added.
The church leaders said in their press statement that plans for further building of the barrier affect the Al-Walaja village and 58 Christian families from Beit Jala, whose depend on that land for their livelihood. It also impacts two local Salesian congregations located there as well as a school with 450 children.
If the barrier is construction the church leaders said, “the local community will lose one of its last big agricultural and recreational areas as well as a crucial water sources for farmers.
The Tel Aviv Magistrates Court is in the midst of hearing a case against the barrier in that area that was filed by the St. Yves Society, the Catholic Center for Human Rights.

…and now the truth trickles out. The church is scared of the Muslims, but not officially


Palestinian Husseini family loses Shepherd Hotel court fight or shall I say they didn’t steal it

April 3, 2012

(MFS Other) Palestinian Husseini family loses Shepherd Hotel court fight. (JPost). The High Court of Justice ruled Monday that a prominent Palestinian family could not claim ownership of a landmark and now derelict building in east Jerusalem – paving the way for a Jewish settlement project. The Husseini family said the Shepherd Hotel, now partially demolished, is a symbol of the Palestinian rights to their land and to east Jerusalem, and criticized the court ruling.
The Shepherd Hotel was built in the 1930s and served as the home of Jerusalem grand mufti Haj Amin Husseini, who fought the British and Zionists. It was declared “absentee property” by Israel after it was captured and annexed to east Jerusalem in 1967. The title was transferred to an Israeli firm, which sold it in 1985 to Irving Moskowitz, a Florida businessman and patron of Jewish settlers. In 2009, the Jerusalem city hall approved a project to replace the building with a block of 20 apartments. Israeli officials said Washington had voiced its opposition to the plan to Israel’s ambassador in the United States. “This property, which is legitimately ours, represents the Palestinians’ rights to their land and to Jerusalem,” Mona Husseini, heir to the property and Husseini’s granddaughter, said on Monday. In dismissing the family’s case, the court said too much time had passed since Israeli authorities had transferred the property to private developers for a legal challenge to be brought, a lawyer for the petitioners said. The family said it had been unaware at the time that the site had been sold off.”The court clearly sided with the other party, and this proves that the Israeli courts have never been fair to Palestinians,” said Adnan Husseini, the Palestinian Authority-appointed mayor of Jerusalem and a member of the extended family. The family said, however, they would continue to seek legal action “against the odds.”Read the full story here.

I don’t get it either. The place was vacant… right? and like usual they wanted it after the Jews did something with it.

500 New Apartments to be Built in the Eastern Portion of Jerusalem For…

June 21, 2011


For the first time since 1967, the Jerusalem Local Building and Planning Committee discussed a large housing project and master plan for infrastructure for east Jerusalem’s Arab residents, located in Arab e-Sawahra, between Jebl Mukaber and Abu Dis.
The project included 500 new apartments on 1,530 dunams (153 hectares) as well as a school, country club, and new highway. Also included in the project was a plan to retroactively legalize 2,000 apartments in the neighborhood.
Due to infighting in the coalition, a vote on the project was postponed for two weeks to a month.
Despite the fact that the master plan was initiated by the municipality, it faced nearly universal opposition by the coalition. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is facing challenges from the haredi factions, who are furious over his pick of City Councilor Rachel Azaria (Jerusalemites Movement) to be an additional deputy mayor.
City Councilor Meir Margalit (Meretz) hailed the project as the first time the municipality had taken meaningful steps to solving some of east Jerusalem’s persistent problems.
He said the project was expected to win initial approval, but that at the last minute the vote was delayed, ostensibly to give Barkat time to smooth over the coalition crisis and bring the haredim on board with his project.
“This is all dependent on internal politics in the municipality and the relationship of the mayor with the haredim,” said Margalit, who said the atmosphere at the meeting was “very tense.”
If it doesn’t pass, “Arabs are going to come out of this very frustrated,” said Margalit. “If they start to build illegally no one can blame them.”

Will the world call this illegal?

East Jerusalem Residents Prefer being part of Israel then in Palestine

May 6, 2011

In what seems like a weekly event, yet another poll has come out of Jerusalem in which east Jerusalem Palestinians are polled about their residency status if a Palestinian state was created and east Jerusalem was part of it. The highest percentage of those surveyed indicated that they would not want to be in east Jerusalem if the Palestinians are given control over it:

“A recent survey conducted by Pechter Middle East Polls, in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations, ahead of the possible Palestinian bid for statehood in September, revealed that given a choice, the majority of east Jerusalem residents would prefer to remain Israelis.

The survey sampled 1,039 Palestinians living in all 19 neighborhoods of east Jerusalem, and was supervised by Dr. David Pollock.

Perhaps the most striking finding regarded the residents’ citizenship preference, after a two-state solution is reached: When asked if they preferred to become citizens of Palestine or remain citizens of Israel, only 30% chose Palestinian citizenship.

Thirty five percent chose Israeli citizenship and 35% declined to answer or said they didn’t know.

When asked if they would move to a different home inside Israel if their neighborhood became part of Palestine,40% said they were “likely to move to Israel” and 27% said they were “likely to move to Palestine” if their neighborhood became part of Israel…Also, 44% of east Jerusalem’s residents seem content with their standard of living, while 31% said they were not content with it. “

Interesting findings, once again it seems like Israel isn’t exactly the apartheid state the haters pretend it is.

Fatah, Hamas sign reconciliation accord in Cairo
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas delivers a speech in the Egyptian capital Cairo on May 4, 2011. The rival factions, Fatah and Hamas, signed a reconciliation accord in Cairo after reaching common ground against Israeli occupation and peace efforts. Mashaal said they had a ‘common goal; a Palestinian state with full sovereignty on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital’. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the reconciliation between the factions as a ‘blow to peace’, but the US declined to make any comment. UPI\ Mohammed Hosam 

JERUSALEM, May 5 (UPI) — A survey found more East Jerusalem residents said they would prefer to keep their Israeli citizenship and live in Israel when Palestinian statehood is declared.
The survey was conducted earlier this year by the Pechter Middle East Polls together with the Council on Foreign Relations.
When asked after a two-state solution is reached would they prefer to become citizens of Palestine with all the rights and privileges of other Palestinian citizens or maintain their Israel citizenship with the same rights as other Israelis, 35 percent of East Jerusalem residents said they would keep Israeli citizenship and 30 percent said they would take Palestinian citizenship, the survey found.
When asked if they would move to a different home inside Israel if their neighborhood became part of Palestine, 40 percent said they would likely move to Israel and 27 percent said they would move to Palestine if their neighborhood remains part of Israel.
When asked the likelihood of a new intifada erupting in East Jerusalem if peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians collapse, 27 percent said it was “very likely,” 37 percent said somewhat likely, 20 percent said such a scenario was “not very likely” and 14 percent said “very unlikely.”
Asked if resistance groups would continue the armed struggle even if a peace agreement is signed between Israel and the Palestinians to end the conflict and Jerusalem is divided, 41 percent said yes, 31 percent said no and 28 percent said they did not know what would happen.
The survey took place in 19 East Jerusalem neighborhoods and 1,039 Palestinians participated. The error of margin was 3 percentage points.

If only Europe could experience life in an Arab state

Jewish Refugees From Jerusalem’s Old City, 1936

March 14, 2011

As a result of Arab violence during 1936-1939, the Jewish population within the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, in the Muslim and Jewish Quarters, significantly decreased as the Jews were forced to leave their homes, here being escorted out through Jaffa Gate.

Moshe Dayan Gave the Keys Of Temple Mount To The Waqf, Will A Goat Get Them Back?

March 8, 2011

In 1967, shortly after the Six Day War, Moshe Dayan ordered the Israeli flag removed from Temple Mount, and handed over administrative control, effectively he gave over the keys, of Temple Mount, to the Waqf.

The poor, innocent goat

Last year, in 2010, before Pesach, Yehuda Glick, of The Temple Institute, went to the Old City of Jerusalem with a goat in tow. He says his purpose was completely educational, as he was planning a demonstration of the korban pesach ceremony. As he was near the Temple Mount, the police got nervous, suspecting him of nefarious intentions that might possibly lead to a riot by the Arabs on Temple Mount, arrested Glick and the goat, and confiscated the goat transferring it to officials form the Ministry of Agriculture.
Glick decided to sue the police, the City of Jerusalem, and the Ministry of Agriculture, for $25,000 for wrongful arrest, as he had no such plans of inciting riots.
if that is not funny enough, the report on the case is even funnier.
The court asked the police representative about Glick’s activities and why they were concerned he might do something provocative. They then asked the rep about the goat. They asked if they had gotten a court order to confiscate the goat, or a restraining order against the goat from being in the area, to which the police rep admitted they had not.
The court then asked if they tried to prevent the goat from going up to the Temple Mount complex, to which the rep replied that the goat had not come alone.
The court then asked why they bothered arresting Glick once they had removed the goat. The response to this was that they arrested Glick with the goat for the purpose of investigating the act he planned to commit.
According to Mynet, the court criticized the police for their behavior in the Old City, and for their preventing Glick’s activities on har Habayit. The court asked the police representative why they prevent Glick’s legitimate activities just because they think it could be interpreted as provocative. the police response was that their goal is simply to prevent riots and bloodshed.
The court closed off ordering the police to submit detailed information regarding similar slaughtering ceremonies that have happened in recent years in the vicinity of Har HaBayit.

The modern day liberator of Jerusalem

I don’t know how many Jews are slaughtering anything nowadays in the vicinity of Har Habayit, so they probably won’t have much data to bring to the courts to show that slaughtering the goat would have necessarily led to Arab violence. And they probably have more data on Arabs slaughtering in the vicinity, and it not leading to violence and bloodshed. This might work in Glick’s favor.
This sounds like it could have been a case perfect for court tv. It does not get any funnier than this.
And to close on a more serious note, will a goat bring about the liberation of Har HaBayit?

Ramallah, The De Facto Capital Of Palestine

December 2, 2010
Palestinian construction workers at a building site in Ramallah, 29 April 2008
Palestinian builders labour on a construction site in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Instead of East Jerusalem, Ramallah is beginning to look like the de facto capital of Palestine:

A building frenzy that is transforming Ramallah’s skyline is also consolidating its position as the de facto Palestinian capital.
Once a village outside Jerusalem, the West Bank city increasingly appears to be assuming the role marked out for East Jerusalem in the Palestinians’ statehood plans.

Smart hotels and apartment blocks are rising from the hilly terrain, a new presidential palace is under construction and the Palestinians are building new ministries for their government rather than continuing to rent out office space.