Friday, May 14, 2010

"Really Angry"

Arlene Kushner

Because of Shabbat preparations I was going to skip a post today but circumstances have motivated me to write, although it will be brief. I'm calling out the troops.

Yesterday I wrote about what Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said regarding the fact that demolition of illegal Arab housing in Jerusalem was going to proceed. The delay in carrying out these (court ordered) demolitions, he said, was the result of "diplomatic sensitivities" but that this situation no longer applies.

Not much. And this is why I am very angry. If you were with me you'd see the steam coming out of my ears.

I anticipated that the US would protest, but it's gone further than that. The US has asked for a "clarification," and now the Public Security Ministry expects Netanyahu to put a hold on the demolitions. Yesterday, the Ministry put out a statement that:

“Police do not destroy homes, but rather secure the demolitions, in line with court decisions. Police will carry out every mission given to it by the courts. The rule of law is not a vehicle for a Middle Eastern political and geostrategic discussion.” I had addressed this issue of rule of law yesterday, and this is a marvelous and appropriate statement coming from a sovereign democracy.

However, there was also a clarification in that statement:

“We are subordinate to decisions by the attorney-general and the government, and we will act according to their decisions.” Put simply, we know what is right, but cannot be responsible if the government overturns us.

Damn, damn, damn.

You read my description of one case yesterday. There are many others as well. Ahmed Sheikh not only built beyond what he had permission for, he made a commitment to stop building while the appeals were going on, but defiantly continued to build. The court ordered what he had constructed to be razed a full year ago. And the government is tying the hands of the local authorities in carrying out this court order and others. Because the PA will scream and yell if we act with full legal authority and Obama will be angry. This will be an "obstruction to peace," you see.


And so...

First, please, contact Prime Minister Netanyahu. Using your own words, please, but tell him that a sovereign state acts with independence and a democracy acts according to rule of law. Tell him that in caving to demands of Obama he is undermining our sovereignty and the underpinnings of our democracy. Demand that he stand strong.

Fax: 02-670-5369 (From the US: 011-972-2-670-5369)

E-mail: and also (underscore after pm) use both addresses

There are two phone numbers listed for his Knesset office -- not the best way to contact him, but the only working numbers I have at the moment: 02-6753-227 and 02-640-8457.


Contact Minister Aharonavitch, as well, and tell him that you appreciate his strength on the matter of illegal housing demolitions, and that you stand with him.

Phone: 02-640-8825

Fax: 02-649-6188



When calling Israel from the US: 011-972 and then drop the first zero and continue with the number.


Then messages must go out in the US. Repeat what I said above about undermining Israeli democracy and sovereignty. Point out that the demolitions were planned only for Arab homes built illegally that the courts ordered to be demolished.

Additionally, point out that there is inequity in the response of the US government. Allude to the Palestinian Media Watch report describing the most recent PA incitement on TV that denies Israel's right to exist. I reported on this recently. It can be found at:

Promises aside, Abbas is continuing to turn a blind eye to incitement, and the US is ignoring this. If you are faxing (best) or using e-mail, include this URL.


It is probably pointless to contact the president, but do so anyway. Politely but firmly express your anger.

Fax: 202-456-2461

White House Comment line: 202-456-1111

E-mail form via:


More important, contact your elected representatives in the House and Senate. Politely express your concerns, as above, and ask that Congress reign in the administration with regard to its unreasonable pressure on Israel and its inequities. Explain that this stance will not and cannot bring peace.

For your Congresspersons:

For your Senators:

This is important, and, as always, numbers count. We are immersed in a serious struggle and your active support here helps. Put this up on blogs, share with lists. Make noise because the situation stinks.


If you are not already angry, this should do it:

When Netanyahu addressed the Knesset on Yom Yerushalayim, he spoke about the numerous references to Jerusalem in the Bible (it refers to Jerusalem and Zion 850 times).

Now PA negotiator Saeb Erekat says he found these references "distasteful": “[using] religion to incite hatred and fear.”


More after Shabbat...


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