Monday, February 09, 2015

Arlene Kushner on Illegal Palestinian Building by EU -- And Netanyahu's Order To Have Them Torn Down

From Arlene Kushner:
February 8, 2015

Hypocrisy Writ Large

Hypocrisy is all around us, but I will focus today on the very significant information that the Israeli NGO Regavim has uncovered regarding the EU:

The Europeans protest long and loud about “illegal Israeli building” in Judea and Samaria. But what it turns out is that they have been supporting illegal Arab building in Area C.  The Oslo Accords assigned full control (civil and military) of Area C to Israel.  This is apparently irrelevant to the EU, in spite of the fact that the EU was a witness to (and according to international lawyer Alan Baker) a guarantor of the Oslo Accords.


The building is being done in Ma’aleh Adumim and near E1 (a region that stretches between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem).  Clearly, this is intended to establish facts on the ground, by way of supporting a Palestinian state.

As the JPost reported last week (emphasis added):
“According to Regavim, European Union support for the Palestinians has in recent years moved from ‘passive diplomatic and financial assistance to a situation of active cooperation in illegal building which the Palestinian Authority has been advancing unilaterally since 2000, as part of its strategic plan to create a Palestinian state de facto, while avoiding the need for negotiations with Israel.’

”This week, prior to the release of its latest report, Regavim took journalists to look at a number of Beduin encampments straddling E1 as well as the Jerusalem-Jericho road. They are not temporary tent encampments as they were in years past, but rather clusters that – in addition to tents and tin shacks – also include modular structures with cement floors bearing the EU logo.

”According to Ari Briggs, Regavim’s international relations director, the EU logo is placed on the structures in the belief that this will prevent Israel from demolishing them. Israel is not likely to take down a building with an EU logo, due to concerns over both public relations damage and the harm it could cause to relations with the EU, he said...

“The EU-funded structures, according to Meir Deutsch, the director of Regavim’s policy and government relations department, are being placed illegally on state land, and in some cases in restricted nature reserves.

“When Regavim appealed to the High Court in 2008 to compel the state to demolish illegal buildings in the area, it ruled that this could not be done until an alternative living arrangement was found for the Bedouin living there. Israel then began planning a city – called Ramat Nueima – north of Jericho for some 12,000 people, a plan now adamantly opposed by the Palestinians and the EU.

“In November, a meeting of EU foreign ministers issued a statement that, in addition to their usual condemnations of land expropriation and settlement construction, also slammed plans to ‘displace Bedouin in the West Bank and the continued demolitions, including of EU and member states funded projects.’”

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Report-EU-building-hundreds-of-illegal-structures-for-Palestinians-in-Area-C-of-West-Bank-390184

Charges Briggs:

“This is great hypocrisy.  Any time a building goes up for Jews, they raise an outcry, call it illegal and say it endangers peace. They are building illegal houses for Arabs.”

According to Deutsch, from 2012 to 2014, the EU spent millions of euros in putting up more than 499 structures.
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An excellent story on the Regavim report, complete with a large collection of Regavim photos and maps, has also been put out by the Daily Mail (emphasis added).

Official EU documentation reveals that the building project is intended to ‘pave the way for development and more authority of the PA over Area C’... “Locally, the villages are known as the ‘EU Settlements’, and can be found in 17 locations around the West Bank.”

Because the Daily Mail is in the UK, it has an emphasis that is different from that of the JPost: Concern is expressed about European tax money being spent on this illegal venture.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2874883/EU-funding-illegal-building-West-Bank-says-report.html

Notable among the pictures is one of a man in an EU uniform threatening Israeli soldiers with a rock.

A structure in Area C bearing an EU flag:

photo
Credit: Regavim

And the full Regavim Report here:

http://regavim.org.il/en/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Position-Paper-European-Building-in-Area-C-US.pdf

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The staff of Regavim has worked hard to produce this scrupulously researched material.  Now, as always, it falls to us to spread this information as broadly as possibly. Truth must be exposed.

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Already we have seen one positive outcome to this report.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to move forward with a plan to demolish some 400 Palestinian structures built in the West Bank with European funding, Israeli media reported Friday. “
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.  

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