US gave PM green light for Givat Hamatos construction 1.5 years ago – report

T. Belman.  Time and again, Netanyahu fails to take action and blames international pressure.  To me he is a status-quo nik. and I don’t like it.

Netanyahu said international pressure prevented announcement until less than 2 weeks before elections, but report says he knew White House had already okayed controversial project

By TOI STAFF Today, 10:02 am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands at an overview of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa where he announced a new neighborhood is to be built, Feb. 20, 2020. (Debbie Hill/Pool via AP)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands at an overview of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa where he announced a new neighborhood is to be built, Feb. 20, 2020. (Debbie Hill/Pool via AP)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly received the green light from the US to lift restrictions against the construction of a controversial neighborhood in East Jerusalem more than a year and a half ago, but delayed the announcement until last week, less than two weeks before the elections.

The plan for construction in Givat Hamatos was first brought forward in 2012, earning widespread condemnation in the international community over its cutting off of the Palestinian neighborhoods of Beit Safafa and Sharafat from the West Bank, in a manner that critics said placed a nail in the coffin of a two-state solution based roughly on the pre-1967 lines.

However, Army Radio reported Tuesday, a senior unnamed US official told Israeli officials 1.5 years ago that the Trump administration would not object to the construction.

Netanyahu’s announcement last week appeared to have been the first time the prime minister publicly admitted to having placed a building freeze on the Givat Hamatos plan, explaining that he had been under immense pressure from other countries not to build there. According to the report, officials said that this included pressure from the US.



A picture taken on July 4, 2016, shows a mobile cabin in the Jewish neighborhood of Givat Hamatos, in East Jerusalem. (AFP Photo/Thomas Coex)<
>
<
>
Netanyahu announced that 3,000 homes would be built for Jewish residents in Givat Hamatos in addition to another 2,200 housing units for Jews in the nearby Har Homa neighborhood.

The significance of Netanyahu’s approval was not immediately clear, given that the final authorization for construction in Givat Hamatos had already been given by his office six years ago.

Addressing reporters in front of Har Homa along with Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, Netanyahu said that in addition to the 2,200 units he had signed off on for the neighborhood behind him and the 3,000 units for Givat Hamatos, he had also green-lit 1,000 homes for Palestinians in the neighborhood of Beit Safafa, which has long suffered from a housing crisis.

France and Germany on Friday slammed Netanyahu’s announcement, saying it was an obstacle to a future two-state solution.

“The expansion of these two settlements directly undermines the viability of a future Palestinian state, as the European Union has reiterated on several occasions,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“All forms of settlement activity are illegal under international law and challenge the two-state solution on the ground. France urges the Israeli authorities to reconsider these decisions and to refrain from any unilateral measures,” the statement read.



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, stands with Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon, left, and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, right, as he announces a new neighborhood is to be built in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa, Feb. 20, 2020. (Debbie Hill/Pool via AP)<
>
<
>
Germany said it was “deeply concerned” by the announcement, saying the construction would “undermine the prospect of viable and contiguous Palestinian state on the basis of a negotiated two-state solution.”

The left-wing Peace Now organization pointed out Netanyahu had inflated the numbers in his announcement. The Givat Hamatos plan slated to be brought before the Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee next week consists of 2,610 homes, not 3,000 and the project in Beit Safafa is for 805 homes not 1,000.

The announcement from Netanyahu came less than two weeks after the Housing Ministry began advancing a plan to build a massive Jewish neighborhood in an East Jerusalem area that appears to be earmarked in the Trump administration’s peace plan for a Palestinian tourism center.

On February 9, the ministry submitted a building plan that would see some 9,000 housing units constructed at the site of the Atarot Airport, which has been inoperative since the breakout of the Second Intifada in 2000.

Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

February 25, 2020 | 14 Comments » | 575 views

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

14 Comments / 14 Comments

  1. I don’t see what all the fuss is about here. I think it’s just dust whirled up by the media and political opponents. Netanyahu has not denied that he had “permission” (which itself is actually an insult to a REAL sovereign nation), he just says, that INTERNATIONAL pressures prevented him from converting the “permission” into actions…

    So… what the hell is wrong with that…!! Why are so many lemmings blind to the obvious?

    We KNOW that this pressure happens, and has been a crippling weapon against Israel for it’s whole existence. Jew Hate is as bad today as it ever was, but, because Netanyhu, after decades of work behind the scenes, has managed to make a few cracks in the “hate-wall”, and with vital elections looming, he feels it imperative to take the plunge and defy International Pressure…

    JUST MY OPINION………..

  2. I think this is only a “storm in a teacup”…What is all the fuss is about here. I think it’s just dust whirled up by the media and political opponents. Netanyahu has not denied that he had “permission” (which itself is actually an insult to a REAL sovereign nation), he just says, that INTERNATIONAL pressures prevented him from converting the “permission” into actions…

    So… what the hell is wrong with that…!! Why are so many lemmings blind to the obvious?

    We KNOW that this pressure happens, and has been a crippling weapon against Israel for it’s whole existence. Jew Hate is as bad today as it ever was, but, because Netanyhu, after decades of work behind the scenes, has managed to make a few cracks in the “hate-wall”, and with vital elections looming, he feels it imperative to take the plunge and defy International Pressure…

    JUST MY OPINION………..

  3. @ Edgar G.:
    The problem is that Netanyahu CONSCIOUSLY invites this pressure. He wants to have the best of both worlds: to get the votes for his announcements (which he knows will not accomplish anything other than invite more “pressure” that he will then use as an excuse for another construction freeze, and claim that he is not responsible for it, it’s the “bad guys” forcing him to do it), and to remain a “good boy” in the eyes of the US and EU who can’t wait to chop off another 50% of the remaining 22% of the remaining area of the “Jewish National Home” (with Bibi’s help) and hand it over to the Arabs.
    Meanwhile, the Arabs don’t make announcements and just build-build-build while the Jewish construction remains frozen for decades!

  4. @ Reader:

    Reader- Consciously or not…what’s the difference..The pressure is ALWAYS there, no need to invite it….. and has been for thousands of years…wherever Jews are on one end of it….. Anyway I do NOT see him inviting pressure so that he can’t do what the vast majority of his People want to have done, … that would be far to Anti-Israel and deviously unnecessary, besides being so far out, that I could infer that Netanyahu really wants Israel to be 9 miles wide and vulnerable to enemies for the short time it would exist under those circumstances..

    Even an Arab is not that crazy… I was only pointing out the facts, and realities of the matter and why he had to wait..

    It’s just a “conspiracy” theory…with apologies..that’s my opinion though.

  5. @ Edgar G.:
    I was also pointing out the facts – that every time Israel (and specifically Netanyahu) alerts the whole world about planning to build a few units (Shoot me! Shoot me!) instead of just building quietly and not drawing the whole world’s attention to the process, and then “having to freeze” their construction FOR DECADES without saying even a word of protest in response, while the Arabs keep building their settlements (funded by the EU) ILLEGALLY (a fact).

  6. @ Reader:

    Yes of course…we know this because we see it on news outlets etc. But we DO NOT know, exactly what pressures Netanyahu goes under, ALL the time. He’s a marvel. No normal man would be able to stand up to it. And we KNOW that he has these pressures and blackmailing to contend with,. and ducks and dodges, but “stays in the game”.
    He’s the only man in Israel who could have achieved what he has, all the time under enormous pressures. Half-wits like Gantz are just cardboard images of politicians as we can see.

    I see nothing to criticise here abut him. On other things I do…..like what he did to Feiglin, for instance, and a few other similar things. Well, he’s a fighter, and in politics only interests count, as you well know. Especially in Israel, dog-eat-dog tactics

  7. @ Edgar G.:
    Feiglin fizzled out as soon as he realized that he would have to pay a heavy personal price for his activities.
    That’s where “joining Likud to change it from within” came from. I was very impressed with him many years ago but I was wrong.

  8. @ Reader:

    Yes I agree that Feiglin was only a “damp squib”. But I am referring to the open antagonism that Netanyahu has always displayed towards Feigin, for unexplained reasons. Also that time when he pushed for, and got Feiglin removed from a safe Likud seat, to a poor one, causing him not to be elected That’s all.

  9. @ Edgar G.:
    I remember these events. Could it be that Netanyahu already saw Feiglin’s worth as a politician and a human being and despised him? Netanyahu IS a very experienced and masterful politician AND a statesman despite his flaws.

  10. @ Reader:

    I think it was more than that .Netanyahu has had tp smile at the most despicable creatures because they had power over him, and Israel. It always seemed to me that he had a personal spite-if not actual hatred- against Feiglin, and even if he was not a good politician…well, hw many Likudnik MKs are ? And Feiglin, as a human being, was and is a decent person, with genuine good deeds attached t his name..

  11. @ Edgar G.:
    Feiglin certainly IS a decent person and probably a talented activist, and he had great ideas (that’s why he was so popular at the time he started out) but he wasn’t made for politics. I think that being a politician is more of an aptitude than a skill, i.e., it’s something one has to be born with, like having a talent for music – if you have it, you can develop it (to an extent) but if you don’t, you don’t.
    He is also not a fanatic, he is, basically, a reasonable person, and reasonable people don’t make history (as far as I know), in other words, he is no Menachem Begin (the 1st example that came to mind, for some reason).

  12. @ Reader:

    Yes you are right and I agree. To be a successful politician you have be be ready to get down into the dirt and slug it out with all comers….it’s kill or die…. as we have seen with politicians rising and disappearing, Parties winning by landslides, and in a few years are gone etc.

  13. @ Reader:

    Yes you are right and I agree. To be a successful politician you have be be ready to get down into the dirt and slug it out with all comers….it’s kill or die…. as we have seen with politicians rising and disappearing, Parties winning by landslides, and in a few years are gone etc.

    An example is Kadema,,Israeli political records are strewn defunct parties which have mouldered into dust almost as soon as they disappeared. Like Bela Lugosi exposed to daylight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*