The good news is that housing starts are up!
The bad news: in Israel!
Actually, that’s great news!
The Housing Ministry is planning to issue building tenders for projects in three large Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria, Channel 2 reports.
According to the report, the new tenders are part of a plan to allow construction of 3,000 new homes in Israeli communities in the region.
Tenders will be issued for projects in Karnei Shomron, Efrat, and Givat Zev, all of which are located in “settlement blocs” – areas with a large Israeli population that, based on past negotiations, it has been assumed will remain under Israeli sovereignty if a diplomatic agreement is reached with the Palestinian Authority.
Demand for new homes is particularly high in Judea and Samaria, where population growth is high and communities are still feeling the effects of a construction freeze.
Got that? Jewish families are moving to and growing in the regions of Judea and Samaria (West Bank my a**).
“Israeli settlements are illegal.”
Jews have lived in Judea and Samaria—the West Bank—since ancient times. The only time Jews have been prohibited from living in the territories in recent decades was during Jordan’s rule from 1948 to 1967.
“The Geneva Convention prohibits the construction of Jewish settlements in occupied territories.”
Jews are not being forced to go to the West Bank; on the contrary, they are voluntarily moving back to places where they, or their ancestors, once lived before being expelled by others.
In addition, those territories never legally belonged to either Jordan or Egypt, and certainly not to the Palestinians, who were never the sovereign authority in any part of Palestine. “The Jewish right of settlement in the area is equivalent in every way to the right of the local population to live there,” according to Professor Eugene Rostow, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs.
The Oslo Accords prohibit the expansion of Jewish settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Neither the Declaration of Principles (DOP) of September 13, 1993, nor the Interim Agreement (“Oslo 2″) of September 28, 1995, contains any provisions prohibiting or restricting the establishment or expansion of Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
When he presented the Oslo 2 accords before the Knesset on October 5, 1995, the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin stated, “I wish to remind you, we made a commitment, meaning we reached an agreement, we made a commitment to the Knesset not to uproot any settlement in the framework of the Interim Agreement, nor to freeze construction and natural growth.”
The expansion of Jewish settlements is an obstacle to peace.
Under the previous Labor government, the Jewish population of the West Bank and Gaza grew by approximately 50%, from 96,158 in June 1992 to 145,000 in June 1996. This rapid growth occurred concurrently with the signing of the September 1993 Oslo Accords and the September 1995 Oslo 2 Accords and did not forestall progress in the peace process.
Those myths (lies, libels) dispelled, please join us in blessing these new homes as Donna Reed blessed them in It’s a Wonderful Life: “Bread, that this house may never know hunger. Salt, that life may always have flavor. And wine, that joy and prosperity may reign forever.”