Saturday, January 26, 2008

Treat Arab and Jewish Construction Equally

The following press release from Uri Ariel brings to mind the artificial evenhandedness in the roadmap as well as the absurdity of the demands to restrict Jews from residing in portions of the disputed territories and the pandering to those demands.

If the Arabs were interested in peace, there would be no reason why Jews couldn't live in the portions of the currently disputed territories that were given to the Palestinian Arabs, just as Arabs have been living as citizens of Israel.

It's often falsely claimed that settlements are an impediment to peace; the truth is it is those very claims which are impediments to peace.

Until that apparently far-off time when the Arabs choose peace, Israel should neither apply nor be held to a double standard. Just as it regulates building by Jews in the portions of the disputed territories it administers, it should regulate building by Arabs. It should not be forced to restrict building by Jews while building by Arabs is proceeding on a large scale.

House for House; Law for Law

Press Release - MK Uri Ariel

22 January 2008

[Translation by IMRA]

MK Uri Ariel, Chairman of the National Union-NRP Knesset faction, recently submitted a parliamentary question to Minister of Defense Ehud Barak which included detailed aerial photographs of scores of illegal building erected by Arabs in the area of Judea and Samaria. All the buildings were erected in Area C under full Israeli authority such that all construction there required a permit from the authorities. All the Palestinian structures identified in the parliamentary question are adjacent to Israeli outposts against which demolition orders have been issued.

The information reached Ariel from the Movement to Preserve National Lands that deals in monitoring threatening takeovers of State land in the entire country. The movement has coordinators in the Galilee, Samaria, Sharon, Judea and Negev who carry out ongoing monitoring via sophisticated equipment and matching information with official state authorities regarding the take over of public lands by private elements.

MK Ariel emphasized that the fact in the very same area demolition orders were issued against building by Jews, for which permits had not yet completed, while almost completely ignoring Palestinian construction that is certainly illegal is revolting. "There is not even a fa├žade of law and justice on the part of the prime minster in the matter of the outposts. The clear and broad discrimination that he carries out against the residents of the outposts is invalid from a legal, moral and human standpoint. Law and Order are not his concern but instead political and narrow self interests. The real contempt is the ignoring of tens of illegal thousands of Arab and Bedouin homes and the failure of the authorities to deal with them," notes MK Ariel.

The Movement for the Preservation of National Land recently issued a detailed file of the extent of illegal Arab construction in Judea and Samaria with an emphasis on those that are near the outposts - against which demolition orders have been issued. It turns out that the Civil Authority has opened files against less than 20 percent of the illegal Arab construction in Area C at the same time that there are more than 40 thousand illegal buildings.

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