Steve Kramer

Chastising the builders

Once again, the Obama administration has become disturbed about Jews building homes, neglecting to pressure Palestinian leaders to stop incitement against Jews and terror attacks on Israelis. The offense: permits were approved to construct less than 100 homes in a Jewish area of Jerusalem which happens to be beyond the Green Line (1949 armistice line).

Just the day before, on November 18, President Obama said: “The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the victims and families of all those who were killed and injured in this horrific [synagogue] attack and in other recent violence. I strongly condemn today’s terrorist attack on worshipers at a synagogue in Jerusalem, which killed four innocent people…” (Later, a Druse member of Israel’s Police Force died of his wounds.)

Speaking before a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, [Secretary of State John] Kerry characterized Tuesday’s attack as an act of “senseless brutality” that “simply has no place in human behavior. People who had come to worship God in the sanctuary of the synagogue were hatcheted and hacked and murdered in their holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality.”

Kerry called on the Palestinian leadership to “begin to take steps to restrain any kind of incitement that comes from their language or from other people’s language and exhibit the kind of leadership that is necessary to put this region on a peaceful path.” (Jerusalem Post, Nov 20)

Just one day after the barbarous attack, “The US criticized Israel following a Wednesday announcement that the Jerusalem Local Planning and Building Committee approved the construction of 78 new homes in two East Jerusalem [sic] Jewish neighborhoods. ‘We would reiterate our clear and consistent opposition to construction activity in East Jerusalem. During this sensitive time in Jerusalem, we would see such activity as inconsistent with the goal of lowering tensions and seeking a path towards peace,’ said State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke at a press briefing Wednesday.”
(Times of Israel, Nov 20) [bolding added]

Since the early 20th century, has there ever been a time that wasn’t “sensitive” in Jerusalem? If the Jews had waited for a time that wasn’t “sensitive,” the State of Israel would never have been declared. The fact is that there is no dispute about land between Arabs and Jews. Or rather, that dispute is conflated with the primary issue, the Muslim obsession to get rid of the Jewish state. (Read the PLO charter, the Hamas charter, or the daily Arab rants against Israel translated by Palestinian Media Watch.)

The West continually disregards Palestinian incitement, especially statements in Arabic from Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas. Are there no Arab translators on government payrolls? For example: “Following this morning’s murder of 4 Jewish worshippers in a Jerusalem synagogue, Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas’ advisor Sultan Abu Al-Einein immediately praised the attack [in Arabic] as a ‘heroic operation’ on his Facebook page. He posted graphic images showing pools of blood and dead Jews in prayer shawls, as well as a photo of the dead terrorists with a bloody butcher’s knife on the ground next to them. Al-Einein referred to them as ‘Martyrs.’”

We’ve often heard Prime Minister Netanyahu justify building Jewish homes in Jerusalem by saying something like, “In any possible settlement, these areas will definitely be included in Israel.” That statement begs the question, have the Palestinians EVER committed to ANY compromise with Israel, on land, refugees, border, etc.? No, the Palestinians commit to nothing because they aren’t required to, while the West pressures Israel to compromise and “give” the Palestinians a state.

Lately, many Western countries are joining the non-aligned (sic) movement to recognize Palestinian statehood. To what end? The justification is to further the peace process, but anyone can see it has the opposite effect: the Palestinians tactic of no compromise works, so no peace negotiations are necessary.

But the Palestinian strategy will fail. Israel won’t commit suicide by allowing a terrorist state to have independence just a stone’s throw (literally) from Israel’s major population areas, its capital Jerusalem, the major airport, and the north-south expressway.

Perhaps there will eventually be some sort of autonomy for the Palestinians or a “United Palestinian Emirates,” as envisioned by Mordechai Kedar ( In any case, an armed Palestinian state stretching from the Jordan River to within 8 miles of the Mediterranean is not possible.

Israel will continue to build because that is the Zionist enterprise. The Arabs and other Muslims will continue to try to destroy Israel because that is their Islamic mandate. No amount of wishing by the West will change this.

About the Author
Steve Kramer grew up in Atlantic City, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1967, adopted the hippie lifestyle until 1973, then joined the family business for 15 years. Steve moved to Israel from Margate, NJ in 1991 with his family. He has written more than 1100 articles about Israel and Jews since making Aliyah. Steve and his wife Michal live in Kfar Saba.