Saturday, April 26, 2008

Restricted Neighborhoods - No Jews Allowed

Used to be,back in the bad old days, that certain neighborhoods had 'restrictions' against renting or selling property to Jews. These restrictions were often part of actual grant deeds,with a codicil against conveying the property to 'a member of the Hebrew race'. I've seen some of these old grant deeds myself.

The more things change....

There seems to be a disagreement lately between Israel and the Bush Administration about the arrangements made between them when Israel agreed to the Road Map and later,to the retreat from Gaza.

When Ariel Sharon first agreed to the Road Map, a plan that was put together by the Bush Administration under the auspices of an Arab-American senator and the normally pro-Arab State Department,(but without the input of a single Jew or Israeli) Sharon agreed to abide by it after first attaching 14 reservations designed,in his mind at least, to keep the deal honest and provide for Israel's security while still helping the Bush Administration gain points with its Arab friends.

The Bush Administration effectively accepted those reservations when it put the Roadmap into play as policy, and both Sharon and Bush exchanged letters putting those understandings in writing.

However,it seems that there are agreements and then there are deals with Israel.

With Arik Sharon now a slowly rotting bit of protoplasm on life support, the Bush Administration is now claiming it `never made any such arrangement'.

The sticking point is those Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria (AKA,the West Bank) that were established. Or should I say,more properly, re-established in places like Gush Etzion and Hebron after the Jewish inhabitants were ethnically cleansed when the Jordanian Arab Legion invaded and illegally occupied the area in 1948.

If one looks at Bush's speech of June 24th, Bush's letter ("In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion.It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.") and Sharon's letter, it seems clear that there obviously was an implicit understanding that most of the settled Jewish communities in the West Bank would remain part of Israel.

Of course,that was before Annapolis and the Bush Administration's embrace of the Saudi Peace Ultimatum.

Now,with Condi Rice shilling as point woman, the Bush Administration is saying there never was a deal,and they're vociferously pressuring Israel over the idea of building new homes and neighborhoods in these communities. Even in Jerusalem!

To provide a little context here,let's remember two little known facts; one, that 95% of the so-called `settlements' were deliberately built on land that was vacant, land that was legally purchased by Jews from the Arabs through the Jewish National Fund(like Gush Etzion), land that was used by the Jordanian government for things like military bases, or a combination of one or more of these categories. And two, let's remember that Israel is in desperate need of housing, and that a lot of the people forcibly removed by Israel from Gaza are still living in trailers.

Of course,when you read the letter, Bush's speeches and indeed every mention of a Palestinian state by the Bush Administration until recently, there's always a reference to the fact that the US will only support a Palestinian state that recognizes Israel and repudiates terrorism and violence...funny how that all turned out.

Of course, as Soccer Dad astutely points out,the Bush Administration was likely lying to the Israelis all along:

"National security adviser Stephen J. Hadley, at a news briefing in January, suggested that Bush's 2004 letter was aimed at helping Sharon win domestic approval for the Gaza withdrawal. "The president obviously still stands by that letter of April of 2004, but you need to look at it, obviously, in the context of which it was issued," he said."

Even without the "secret agreement," it seems pretty certain that President Bush approved of Israel building in areas it intended to keep. But Steven Hadley said that we should look at "the context." What does he mean? That a President may issue a false assurance to Israel in order to further the peace process?

What it means,of course is that Sharon got shafted, just like Yitzhak Rabin before him with Oslo. There's a famous line in Animal House about that kind of stupidity..."Hey, face it. You screwed trusted us. Part of college is learning from your mistakes!"

It's part of learning as a country too.

Now countries lie to each other all the time, just like people do,and ordinarily it would just be something that could be glossed over. But it this case, we're dealing with a bunch of genocidal maniacs who not only want a state for themselves on land that the Jews have built into something worth having, they want to turn ALL of 'Palestine' into yet another restricted neighborhood where no Jews are allowed.

Just like the rest of the Middle East.

You see, it's not the communities themselves that are the's the fact that Jews live there.

Of course,the Israelis may have realized by now that Dubyah's word maybe isn't worth a whole lot, much of the time. And they may have simply decided to run out the clock, without making a major confrontation out of it.

That could explain why Arafat II Mahmoud Abbas just came back fuming from DC after meeting with the president,whining and complaining about how Bush wasn't giving him anything much, or pressuring the Israelis enough to for concessions to suit him and the rest of the Fatah mafia.

The Israelis may just not feel like being suckered again,given the consequences.Damn, stiff-necked Jooos..

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