Monday, November 30, 2009

My Back Porch: So Much for Human Rights and the Obama Jive

The news is full of Netanyahu's decision to capitulate to Obama, and freeze construction in Judea and Samaria. This move is, ostensibly, in order to give the Palestinians an opportunity to return to the negotiating table. Everyone know this is a non-started, which the Palestinians rejected even before it was announced. The reasons for this rejection are beautifully laid out here. So the only thing that Bibi's freeze will do is to deny tens of thusands of people, most of whom voted for Bibi, their rights to live where they choose and to do as they wish with their homes. In addition, Obama and Bibi have now denied thousands of Israelis and Palestinian workers their ability to earn a living, since if there's no construction, there are no jobs.

Now that's alot of people, a number that's hard to comprehend. So, I'll make it easier. I'll provide a human interest example, mine.

We moved to Gush Etzion thirteen years ago. For years, we had hoped to renovate it. The trouble was that the zoning laws allowed for very limited expansion, certainly not enough for a family of seven, very tall people. Finally, the zoning laws were changed and we got the legal ok to add on in the back, so that we'd have room for our family. Now come Obama and Bibi and inform us that we can't fix our home, which is fully paid for, sits on land that was never owned by Arabs, and lies in the heart of a settlement bloc that everyone knows will always be part of Israel (even Jimmy Carter said as much). In addition, the Arab and Jewish craftsmen, suppliers, and builders will be out of work. this, in a bad economy, to boot.

My outrage at this move, more than the personal inconvenience, is my native outrage (bred in me as a Bostonian) at anyone telling me what I can or can't do with my house (as long as I comply with building ordinances). How comes Jews have no right to build legally, while Arabs build illegally on both sides of the 1949 border? What right does a foreign potentate have to interfere with the internal affairs of a sovereign state and ally? (Except that he knows that he can bully us but not righteous states like Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Korea.)

Bibi, unfortunately, will pay the electoral price of bowing low to Obama (as Obama will be haunted in 2012 by the picture of him bowing to the Saudi King). In the meantime, I feel violated. As well I should.

[UPDATE: Jameel confirms the above and adds some trenchent thoughts.]


Dov said...

I don't know why you think Bibi will pay any electoral price, and no doubt this was part of his thinking in making his decision. Ichud Leumi is not in the coalition, everyone else in the coalition is desperate to avoid an election for fear of the outcome, and the only electorally feasible alternative to Bibi is Kadima or those to his left. Just as with the Disengagement, the Right is unfortunately on its own while the right of Jews to live and build in their land is trampled upon. Chaval.

Anonymous said...

1. im more or less with dov. mafdal/ichud leumi will pretty much keep their positions regardless of what bibi does. and where else are so many of the likud voters going to go? a split within likud a la labor/kadima? i really wonder if that would be productive...
2. you dont think obama is bullying afganistan, iran, etc.? he is waging war on them, or is verbally bullying them, just as he is israel! perhaps a key difference between israel and iran: the former capitulates while the latter will tough it out, in all likelihood to its benefit and the wests detriment.
a question: there has been a building freeze for months. has bibi just used a standing condition to make obama happy? if this is the case, it is a brilliant political move.

Ben Bayit said...

Bibi won't pay an electoral price - precisely because of people like you (and BenChroin) who insisted that we vote for Likud - even when it was patently obvious BEFORE the election what Bibi's direction was. Once bitten, twice shy...........

also, you can build on your house. the new order only affects residential properties for which no foundation has been laid.