Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

11.15  The long read:  The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]

11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.14 Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested in Pelosi's Office Demanding Democrats Embrace 'Green New Deal'

11.13 What would a smog-free city look like?

11.13 Global report highlights Australia’s renewables potential amid mixed signals for coal

11.13 Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

11.12  This Land is Your Land:  The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.12 Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health

11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.09 Rainforest destruction from gold mining hits all-time high in Peru

11.09 A new way to make steel could cut 5% of CO2 emissions at a stroke

11.08 Medicaid’s stunning victory

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]

11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]

11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]

11.15 Big Oil v the planet is the fight of our lives. Democrats must choose a side

11.14 The Real Florida Recount Fraud

11.14 Telling NRA #ThisIsOurLane, Doctors' Photos Show Blood-Soaked Reality of America's Gun Madness

11.14 At Freshman Orientation, Young and Growing Progressive Caucus Makes Clear It Will 'Fight Like Hell' for Bold Democratic Agenda

11.13 'You Sound Nervous': Gillum Mocks Trump as President Demands End to Florida Recount

11.13 Kyrsten Sinema wins Arizona Senate race in breakthrough for Democrats

Justice Matters

11.09 Trump administration blocks asylum claims by those crossing border illegally [Making America Less Great Again...]

High Crimes?

11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

11.10 US stops refuelling of Saudi-led coalition aircraft in Yemen war [But there are a few children still alive. It's too soon!]

Economics, Crony Capitalism

11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]

11.14 Brexit: May tells her cabinet, this is the deal – now back me

11.11 Tax reform: down with the ‘stepped-up basis’

International & Futurism

11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]

11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]

11.14 Israel and Hamas launch hundreds of attacks in Gaza clash

11.14 Mueller seeking more details on Nigel Farage, key Russia inquiry target says

11.13 Austin's Fix for Homelessness: Tiny Houses, and Lots of Neighbors

11.13 Portugal Dared to Cast Aside Austerity. It’s Having a Major Revival.

11.13 Caravan marks one month on the road: ‘We keep on going, laughing or crying’

11.13 Letter Shows Einstein’s Prescient Concerns About ‘Dark Times’ in Germany

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Print view: Israel's Jerusalem Master Plan 2020
COMMENTARY:

Israel's Jerusalem Master Plan 2020

by Stephen Lendman
Thursday, 16 December 2010

A November 10 Qatar News Agency article headlined, "Israel Plans to Rebuild Old Jerusalem - Palestinian Official," saying:

Attorney Ahmed Al-Ruwaidi, "responsible for the Jerusalem unit in the Palestinian Authority (PA), said Israel plan(s) to build new settlement homes in old Jerusalem where the ancient walls of the city will be overshadowed by modern bridges, synagogues and gardens spreading from the Arab neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah to Wdi Al Joze and Suwaneh."

Israel is ruthlessly transforming Jerusalem from a multi-cultural, multi-religious city into a predominantly Jewish one.

The scheme involves home demolitions, dispossessions, and new settlement construction to solidify "the capital and spiritual center of Israel and the Jewish people (by creating) a world city which attracts the souls of millions of believers across the globe."

Projects completed so far are part of the plan, to completely transform Jerusalem's Old City, Al-Ruwaidi adding:

"All the settlement projects in Jerusalem during the past three years, some of which have been practically implemented, fall under the (plan's) framework, including a decision to erect a thousand new settlement units in Jebel Abu Ghunaim aimed at completing the isolation of the city with a wall of settlements."

"Israel announced previously it will build 50,000 new units in the city. The implementation of 20,000 of (them) has been initiated practically under projects that have been approved from time to time for political objectives linked to political and international action."

So far, 20,000 Palestinian housing units face demolition, to accommodate new settlements, Old City excavation projects, and other Jews only development. As a result, Palestinians will be dispossessed and excluded.

East Jerusalem Home Demolitions

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) tracks them as they happen, its East Jerusalem data showing that:

"Since 1967, around 2,000 homes have been demolished," 670 from 2000 - 2008 with about 20,000 outstanding demolition orders.

Currently, Palestinians comprise about one-third of the city's population, confined to 7% of its land "in mostly inadequate housing." Prior Israeli master plans aimed at maintaining a 70 - 30% split favoring Jews, a policy to widen going forward.

Already, discriminatory measures exist, including encircling densely populated Palestinian neighborhoods by "green space" or "unzoned land" where building is prohibited. Applications to rezone, increase density, or build in small areas designated for residential construction are denied. As a result, new housing can't accommodate Palestinian population increases.

Moreover, their public services are restricted, including for education, healthcare, and vital infrastructure needs for roads, sewage and water connections. East Jerusalem Palestinians contribute around 40% of city taxes, yet get 8% of Municipal spending in return.

Since 1967, Jewish settlements have proliferated in East Jerusalem, to expand its Jewish character, and one day Judaize the entire city as Israel's exclusive capital. "Settlements built on the (city's) outskirts....also dissect the continuity between the northern and southern West Bank, jeopardizing the feasibility of a future Palestinian State."

East Jerusalem Palestinians hold city IDs, revokable for anyone residing outside its boundaries or assuming another citizenship, even temporarily. As second class residents, their rights keep eroding, including to their own homes.

From 1967 - 2003, 90,000 Jewish housing units were completed, most with government subsidies. "None were built for Palestinians with public funding." Israel's Master Plan 2020, discussed below, "purports to plan for the long term fate of East Jerusalem, yet it has been prepared with no consultation of any kind with the Palestinian community." Why? Because exclusion is eventually planned, though not explicitly stated in 2020's language.

Under international law, however, settlement construction is illegal. So are home demolitions, Fourth Geneva prohibiting "any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons," except when "absolutely necessary by military operations." Forced displacement is also banned, yet Israel continues it relentlessly, a discriminatory policy to delegitimize the Palestinian presence in the city as well as claim it as their rightful capital.

Israel's Jerusalem Master Plan 2020

Titled, "Demography, Geopolitics, and the Future of Israel's Capital: Jerusalem's Proposed Master Plan pdf graphic," it stresses assuring a Jewish majority, continuing Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion's judicial writ that:

"We must bring Jews to eastern Jerusalem at any cost. We must settle tens of thousands of Jews in a brief time. Jews will agree to settle in eastern Jerusalem even in shacks. We cannot await the construction of orderly neighborhoods. The essential thing is that Jews will be there."

As a result, after the 1967 Six Day War, 70,000 dunams (a dunam is about 900 square meters) were annexed to the north, south, and east of the old municipal boundaries. The plan was to control large areas "with a minimal Arab population and to prevent the possibility of the city's partition in the future." Thus, Jewish settlements proliferated and keep growing, Palestinians displaced to accommodate them.

Previous master plans called for accelerated Jewish population growth. It's still current policy, new settlement construction continuing to accommodate it. The latest plan calls for expanding Jewish neighborhoods, saying expropriating Arab land isn't "plausible" as in the past, when, in fact, that's precisely what's happening through tens of thousands of new housing units, ones for Jews only on Palestinian land.

According to Khalil Tofakji, head of the Arab Studies Society in Occupied East Jerusalem's Mapping Department: between now and 2020, Israel will complete its "Judaism plan."

Mustafa Barghouti, an MP and Palestinian National Initiative's Secretary General, said plans are underway to "impose a new reality on the ground," around $1.5 billion allocated this year alone to Judaize the city. Besides settlement expansions and new ones, projects include a $500 million light rail line, luxury hotels, synagogues, commercial and other development - on expropriated Palestinian land.

Barghouti said Israel is doing to East Jerusalem "what they did in Jaffa, Haifa and Acre, (incrementally) taking (it) over (to) then declare their demands" - total Judaization.

Despite softer Master Plan 2020 language, at issue is increasing Jewish presence in the city, dispossessing Palestinians to accommodate them. Jamal Juma, head of the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, says that:

Israelis "are occupying the Palestinian houses inside the old town, which was historically divided to four quarters, Muslim, Christian, Armenian and Jewish. (They're) slowly infiltrating the other quarters (as well by) taking over Palestinian properties."

A Final Comment

A previous article explained that Jerusalem is politically important for Jews as its historic capital, national and religious center, and symbol of Judaism's revival and prominence. For Christians, it's where Jesus lived and died, and for Muslims it's their third holiest site (the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque) after Mecca's Sacred Mosque and the Mosque of the Prophet in Madina.

Israel, however, transformed Jerusalem from a multi-cultural, multi-religious city into a predominantly Jewish one toward eventually Judaizing it entirely. For decades, incremental progress continued. The goal remained constant, to establish irreversible "facts on the ground," making Jerusalem Israel's capital with an exclusive Jewish presence, despite Palestinians rightfully claiming it for their own.

Therein lies the heart of the conflict, along with ending the occupation, achieving peace and self-determination, as well as granting Palestinian refugees their right to return. Justice will be denied until those issues are equitably resolved, what so far is nowhere in sight.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published in the Baltimore Chronicle on December 16, 2010.

 

Public Service Ads: