The New York Times
June 2, 2009
Israel and U.S. Can’t Close Split on Settlements
By ISABEL KERSHNER
KFAR TAPUAH, West Bank — Thirty Israeli couples are on a waiting list to move into the Kfar Tapuah settlement, which teems with children on the hilltops south of Nablus. Some on the list grew up here. But there is not an apartment available for sale or rent, or even a stifling trailer to be had.
If Israel built all the housing units already approved in the nation’s overall master plan for settlements, it would almost double the number of settler homes in the West Bank, according to unpublished official data provided to The New York Times. [NOW THERE'S A WAY TO CURE THE SO-CALLED DEMOGRAPHIC PROBLEM. WHENEVER ANYONE NAIVELY REPEATS THE FABRICATED FEAR THAT THERE WOULD SOON BE AN ARAB MAJORITY WITHIN ISRAEL UNLESS IT CARVES ITSELF INTO SMALLER PIECES AND GIVE CHUNKS OF ITSELF TO BLOODTHIRSTY TERRORISTS, EXPLAIN THAT SO LONG AS ISRAEL RETAINS ITS LEGAL AND BIBLICAL LAND - WHICH MEANS INCLUDING THE POPULATION OF THE CURRENTLY DISPUTED TERRITORIES, THE JEWISH POPULATION WILL BE JUST FINE THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THIS IS IN ADDITION TO THE FULLY-RESEARCHED AND DOCUMENTED EXPLANATION BY YORAM ETTINGER, MIKE WISE, ROBERTA SEID AND BENNET ZIMMERMAN CONCERNING THE WILDLY PADDED CENSUS OF THE PALARBS. FOR A THOROUGH DISCUSSION OF THE COMPETING DEMOGRAPHIC THEORIES, SEE http://www.azure.org.il/
The decision of whether to build, and how much, goes to the heart of the tensions between the administrations of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Obama, an unaccustomed and no-budge conflict between Israel and the United States. Washington is standing firm against any additional settlement construction in the West Bank, including what Israel argues is necessary to accommodate what it terms “natural growth.” [LET'S PLAY THE NEW MULTIPLE CHOICE GAME, QUESTION #1 : WHICH IS WORSE, (A) A CULTURE OF TERRORISM AND DEATH OR (B) A CULTURE OF LIVING AND MULTIPLYING? IT'S CLEAR WHAT THE NYT THINKS IS THE ANSWER. LLM]
That term has been defined vaguely by Israeli officials, meaning for some that settlements should expand to accommodate only their own children. But Mr. Netanyahu, of the conservative Likud Party, made his own wider position clear . He said that while Israel would not allow new settlements and that some small outposts would be removed, building within the confines of established settlements should go on.
Israel “cannot freeze life in the settlements,” he said, describing the American call as an “unreasonable” demand.
And in fact, whatever the American demands and Israeli definitions, the reality is that no full freeze seems likely.
The issue is, in part, political: Mr. Netanyahu is trying to hold together a fractious coalition, including parties that favor settlement building and oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state. He must contend with an aggressive settler movement, emboldened by support from Israeli governments for decades and determined to continue building, if necessary through unofficial means.
“It is important for the world to know we won’t stop,” said Doron Hillel, 29, the settlement council head and one of the first children born here after it was founded about 30 years ago. “These decrees make things difficult, but they strengthen us. We will continue to build and grow.”
A partial freeze has been in place for several years, but settlers have found ways around the strictures. [NOW WHY IS THERE NO DISCUSSION ABOUT THE BAN ON TERRORISM WHICH THE TERRORIST PAL ARABS HAVE FOUND THEIR WAY AROUND FOR YEARS? MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION #2 WHICH IS WORSE: (A) TRAILER HOMES OR (B) TERRORISM? LLM] Twenty trailer homes have been assembled in Kiryat Arba, near Hebron, for young families over the past year. The Samaria Council, which represents settlers in the northern West Bank, has brought in 150 trailers. Thousands of permanent houses have been illegally constructed within existing settlements, and settlers have recently bulldozed new roads through fields to link up the outposts. [HOUSES AND FAMILIES AND ROADS, OH MY! LLM]
Critics argue that successive Israeli governments have turned a blind eye to this construction and that they have contributed more broadly to settlement growth. [AND WHAT OF THE "BLIND EYE" TO ILLEGAL ARAB CONSTRUCTION? NARY A WORD. LLM]
The settlers’ annual population growth, at 5.6 percent, far outstrips the Israeli average of 1.8 percent. But official data from the Central Bureau of Statistics of Israel shows that while about two-thirds of that is a “natural” increase, as defined by settler births in relation to deaths, one-third stems from migration. There is also a disproportionately high level of state-supported building in the settlements compared with most regions of Israel. [AND AN ENTIRELY STATE AND GLOBAL-FUNDING OF PALARAB TERRORISM. MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION #3: WHICH IS WORSE, (A) BUILDINGS OR (B) BOMBS? LLM]
And many critics of the settlement movement dispute the notion that settlers’ children have an absolute right to continue living in their parents’ settlement.
“A newborn does not need a house,” said Dror Etkes of Yesh Din, an Israeli group that fights for the rights of Palestinians in the occupied territories. “It is a game the Israeli government is playing” to justify construction, he said. [ YESH DIN IS FUNDED BY THE USUAL BAND OF IGNORANT-OF-ISRAEL EURO BLEEDING HEARTS, ANTI-ISRAEL ORGANIZATIONS AND PRIVATE ANTI-ISRAEL DONORS. "AS WITH OTHER EUROPEAN-FUNDED POLITICAL NGOs BASED IN ISRAEL, YESH DIN IS ONE-SIDED, AND IGNORES PALESTINIAN VIOLATIONS OF ISRAELI HUMAN RIGHTS, INCLUDING TERRORISM" ACCORDING TO NGO MONITOR. FOR MORE INFO ABOUT YESH DIN, GO TO http://www.ngo-monitor.org/
Underlining the competing pressures on Mr. Netanyahu, extremist settlers rioted on Monday in various parts of the northern West Bank, stoning Arab vehicles, burning tires and setting fields alight, according to a witness and the police. They were protesting the government’s recent actions against some tiny outposts ["TINY OUTPOST"? INTERESTING THAT THEY ARE NEVER DESCRIBED THAT WAY EXCEPT WHEN IT IS TO SUGGEST THAT THE FOAMING-AT-THE-MOUTN, DROOLING ZIONISTS ARE OVERREACTING TO A SLAP ON THE WRIST. LLM] Several Palestinians were wounded. Six Israeli settlers and a rightist member of Parliament were arrested and later released.
The Israeli population of the West Bank, not including East Jerusalem, has tripled since the Israeli-Palestinian peace effort started in the early 1990s, and it now approaches 300,000. The settlers live among 2.5 million Palestinians in about 120 settlements, which much of the world considers a violation of international law, [NOT THIS CRAP AGAIN - ISRAEL ACQUIRED THE LAND IN A DEFENSIVE WAR, EXACTLY WHICH COUNTRY ON THIS PLANET HAS BEEN REQUIRE TO HAND OVER LAND TO ITS ENEMY WHEN THE ENEMY NOT ONLY LOST THE WAR, BUT STARTED IT AS WELL. PLUS, THE LAND IN QUESTION WAS NOT PREVIOUSLY SOVEREIGN TERRITORY - ON BOTH COUNTS THIS ARGUMENT IS CRAP. "MUCH OF THE WORLD CONSIDERS" ISRAELI JEWS BREATHING ON THIS LAND A VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW BECAUSE MOST OF THE WORLD EITHER DESPISES ISRAEL OR IS IGNORANT OF THE FACTS OR BOTH. LLM] as well as in dozens of outposts erected without official Israeli authorization. Israel argues that the settlement enterprise does not violate the law against transferring populations into occupied territories. [THIS IS THE SHAM OCCUPATION CRAP. SEE THE PREVIOUS SOVEREIGN TERRITORY COMMENT ABOVE. LLM]
According to the newly disclosed data, about 58,800 housing units have been built with government approval in the West Bank settlements over the past 40 years. An additional 46,500 have already obtained Defense Ministry approval within the existing master plans, awaiting nothing more than a government decision to build. [NU? BUILD! LLM]
The data began to be compiled in 2004 by a retired brigadier general, Baruch Spiegel, at the request of the defense minister at the time, Shaul Mofaz. The Defense Ministry has long refused to make the data public, but it has since been leaked and obtained by nongovernmental groups. Mr. Etkes analyzed the master plans in the Spiegel data, together with a colleague from Bimkom, an Israeli group that focuses on planning and social justice [YEAH, PLANNING AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ONLY IF IT MEANS PLANNING THE DEATH OF ISRAEL AND SOCIAL INJUSTICE. BIMKOM IS ANOTHER NEW ISRAEL FUND - A/K/A NO ISRAEL FUND - DONEE, THE PURPORTED EXPERTISE OF WHICH IS LAND PLANNING. THEY ARE ONLY ABOUT PLANNING TO TAKE LAND FROM ISRAEL AND GIVE IT TO THE PALARABS. ONE OF THEIR OFFICIAL REPORTS "PROVES" THAT THE SECURITY FENCE ROUTE IS SOLELY ABOUT LAND EXPROPRIATION BY ISRAEL AND SECURITY CONCERNS WERE NOT THE DRIVING FORCE. IF YOU MUST READ ABOUT IT, SEE http://www.almubadara.org/
Under international pressure, construction in the settlements has slowed but never stopped, continuing at an annual rate of about 1,500 to 2,000 units over the past three years. If building continues at the 2008 rate, the 46,500 units already approved will be completed in about 20 years. [BARUCH HASHEM. LLM]
In Kfar Tapuah, a group of young Israelis who grew up here decided about six years ago that when they married, they would stay. The population has more than doubled since then, to 150 families from 60. Like in other West Bank settlements, nobody counts individuals here: the rate of new births makes that impossible. [WHAT? SO MANY BABIES NO ONE CAN COUNT THEM? PLEASE TELL ME THAT WHOLE SENTENCE IS A TYPO. THEY DON'T EVEN HAVE ANY OCTOMOMS THERE. LLM]
Revitalized from within, the community also attracted young couples from other settlements and from cities in Israel who were seeking a lifestyle that combined relatively cheap suburban comfort with the national-religious ideal of settling the land.
Kfar Tapuah has a reputation as an extremist settlement, having become a base for the followers of the virulently anti-Arab Rabbi Meir Kahane after he was assassinated in 1990. [VIRULENTLY ANTI-ARAB, NOW THAT'S HORRIFYING, BUT DID HE EVER ACTUALLY KILL ANY? DID HE BLAST A HOLE THROUGH A 5 MONTH OLD BABY'S HEAD JUST BECAUSE SHE WAS A JEW? OKAY, MULTIPLE CHOISE QUESTION #4: WHICH IS WORSE: (A) BIG, BOLD SCARY WORDS OR (B) THE INTENTIONAL, PREMEDITATED MURDER OF INFANTS AND OTHER CIVILIANS? WAIT, JUST THINK, YOU'LL GET IT IN A MINUTE. OR MAYBE NOT, IF YOU WRITE FOR THE NYT. LLM] It now seems overrun by young children. A $150,000 state-of-the-art playground recently went up, a second kindergarten just opened and a third is planned.
“This is our land from the beginning of days,” said Aviva Herzlich, 67, most of whose 10 children and more than 40 grandchildren live in and around the settlement. “We do not have anywhere else.”