Netanyahu’s 5,524 ‘Concessions.’ Or, ‘All your onions chopped to perfection without shedding a single tear!’

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 43 Comments

The most tangible gain an Israeli protester can hope to win from the housing protests in Israel, is, well, a house (leave aside “intangibles” like political clout and minority rights, ok?). And the Israeli government is making concessions!

No, really! Don’t change the channel!

Has Netanyahu got a deal for you!

You want houses? Well, then, they’ll give you houses! 

We have the 930 housing units (“they’re just the thing you need!”) in Har Homa I reported on earlier in the week, plus the 1,600 announced homes in Ramat Shlomo and 2,700 more pending in Givat Hamatos (2,000) and Pisgat Zeev (700) that Adam mentioned in his post earlier today (“we’re practically giving them away!”). And don’t forget the 294 new homes announced for Beitar Illit and Karnei Shomron at the very end of July.

And it’s all Israel’s for just three easy payments of US$185.33 million annually!

That’s 5,524 “concessions”* to the demonstrators in less than two weeks! These are tangible gains we are talking about here (the fine print: assuming you want to live in East Jerusalem – otherwise, you’ll have to put your name and a deposit down on a waiting list for that Haifa co-op you’ve been eying).

“But wait, there’s more!” Netanyahu will also negotiate with the protesters over the cost of living in Israel! Such beneficence! And don’t think for a second that 5,524 is the limit. Oh no, at a minimum, we have at least 1,500 more in stock for this season!

Will the protesters soon have guns or butter moment and say to themselves “Hey, you know what? The cost of the Occupation is an indirect tax digging into our pocketbooks, and it’s a moral tax on Israel’s image, too. Maybe these 5,524concessions* are actually symptomatic of the problem! This isn’t a solution! This is a cop-out!” Is Bibi on the ropes?

No.

Netanyahu, like an American infomercial host, knows exactly what kind of snake oil he’s selling. Beyond Tent 1948 and its environs, several hundred thousand pigeons are either happily snapping up the crumbs the PM is tossing them, or are too skittish to shy away from him and disrupt the flock.

*This figure does not include indirect concessions, such as the roughly 400 home demolitions that have taken place just this year in the West Bank.

About Paul Mutter

Paul Mutter is a contributor to Mondoweiss, Foreign Policy in Focus and the Arabist.

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43 Responses

  1. Dan Crowther
    August 11, 2011, 3:50 pm

    ONLY 19.95!!!!

    It’s a Deal. It’s a Steal.

    Call NOW!!

  2. DICKERSON3870
    August 11, 2011, 4:00 pm

    RE: “And it’s all Israel’s for just three easy payments of US$185.33 million annually!” ~ Paul Mutter

    MY REPLY: It’s a deal, but only if you’ll throw in a lifetime supply of OxiClean® and kilo of blow!
    oxi clean parody, wilson brothers (VIDEO, 02:02) – link to youtube.com

    P.S. “You sho do talk funny.”
    Linda Wheatley: I’m gonna make some coffee. Karl, you want some coffee?
    Karl: Coffee makes me nervous when I drink it. Mmm.

  3. Richard Witty
    August 11, 2011, 4:13 pm

    What happens if an Arab Israeli citizen purchases homes in the settlements?

    Are they precluded? Has it happened?

    • annie
      August 11, 2011, 4:44 pm

      neighborhood committees. not gonna happen.

    • Woody Tanaka
      August 11, 2011, 4:56 pm

      What would happen? The same thing that happened when black folks tried buying in white neighborhoods in the 1940s and 1950s in the US.

    • Shmuel
      August 11, 2011, 5:09 pm

      Angels on the head of a pin, Richard (or thread-jacking, if you prefer). The very essence of the settlement policy is Judaisation and Jewish privilege. The methods are legion, but the end result is always the same – your “she’elat tam” (“innocent” question) notwithstanding.

    • Shmuel
      August 11, 2011, 5:21 pm

      On another thread you say you are “not an apologist for theft”. This comment is a sneaky attempt to do precisely that, leaving just enough room to play the innocent victim when you are called on it. Israeli settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem are pure theft from Palestinians for the sole benefit of Jews. Cast aspersions on this truth, seek hypothetical exceptions, make baseless conjectures, to somehow defend or mitigate these long-standing and ongoing policies of dispossession, and you become an apologist for theft. You do it all the time with your ramblings about “perfect title” and “colour blind courts” and other such nonsense detached from fact and reality.

    • James North
      August 11, 2011, 5:57 pm

      Richard Witty said, ‘Just hours ago I was whining that I don’t thread-jack — yet watch me try and do it right here!!! I’ve already made 10,200 comments on Mondoweiss, so you might think I know something about Israel’s illegal settlement/colonies in the West Bank. Yet here I’m faking innocence to slyly insinuate that Palestinian Israelis might also just walk into Har Homa and buy an apartment.
      ‘Unfortunately for me, that pesky Shmuel is alert. Doesn’t he ever sleep? Just imagine what I could get away with if he went on vacation for awhile.’

      • Richard Witty
        August 11, 2011, 7:05 pm

        So does anyone actually know, or are you just going to suspect and rant?

      • Sumud
        August 11, 2011, 7:26 pm

        So does anyone actually know, or are you just going to suspect and rant?

        Since you asked a question I just *know* you’re going to be reading this thread again Richard.

        I want to know conclusively. Are you liar and a fraud? I repeat:

        And by the way, have you managed to find that link yet? You know, the one you claim to have been quoting over a month ago when you stated that the BDS Movement had “revised” their 2005 BDS call in the past year to include “militant warring language”?

        I thought I’d leave it for a few weeks before asking you again, that way you would have plenty of time to locate this mysterious link and prove that you are not so desperate to discredit BDS that you actually resort to fabricating entire texts.

        Ready to apologise to Omar Barghouti of the Palestinian BNC yet for defaming him and his colleagues? Ready to apologise to Phil and Adam for using their blog as a platform to spout information you know to be false? Or have you found that elusive link…?

      • Richard Witty
        August 11, 2011, 8:46 pm

        So does anyone know?

        Sumud,
        What I stated was that different proponents of BDS argue for very different things, and that in that case the demands are vague to the point of impossible for a non-converted to readily adopt or be guided by.

        You escalated that to some strange accusation of deception. “Gotcha”.

        Content is more important than gotcha.

      • Sumud
        August 11, 2011, 11:45 pm

        Come now Richard, you’re engaging in easily disprovable revisionism.

        Let’s start from the beginning. In response to a comment i made specifically referring to the BDS Movement’s 2005 BDS call, you quoted two alternate texts claiming one was the text as presented “a year ago” and then another, as the text “today”.

        I asked if you were “actually accusing the BDS Movement of falsifying their own 2005 statement in the last year?”

        You responded: “Falsifying? No. Revising. Revising to a “bigger tent” ambiguity” and in your comment before to Shmuel stated that you thought the BDS call had been revised to include “militant warring language” because you seem to think that the “international Arab and Muslim audience” needs that, “regarding jew as interlopers” (you’re racism is disgusting), as opposed to the “liberal principled solidarity audience”.

        Shmuel also explained to you very carefully and thoroughly that there is no ambiguity in the phrase ‘”all arab lands” if you read the BDS call in it’s entirety. At no stage was the discussion about anything other than the text of the official 2005 BDS call. It was never about what different proponents of BDS argue.

        Now, I’ll ask again, for probably the 15th or 20th time, are you going to supply some evidence to back up your accusation?

      • Hostage
        August 12, 2011, 12:54 am

        Richard you’ve been portraying the possible removal of the settlements as an example of ethnic cleansing for as long as I can remember. Now you seem to be admitting that you didn’t know what you were talking about in all of those earlier comments.

        *I’ve pointed out before that Foreign Minister Lieberman’s settlement bars Russian-Israeli families from buying in Nokdim.
        link to haaretz.com
        *I’ve also pointed out that the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) panel of experts have said that the status of the Jewish only settlements is clearly inconsistent with the prohibition of apartheid and similar policies of racial segregation contained in Article 3 of the Convention. Hint: That means they don’t allow Arabs. The Committee noted General Recommendation XIX, prohibited all forms of racial segregation in all countries; and that there is a consensus among publicists that the prohibition of racial discrimination, irrespective of territories, is an imperative norm of international law. See CERD/C/SR.1250, 9 March 1998.
        *The original Nahal settlements, like the IDF itself, were never really meant for Israeli Arabs.
        *The US has never demanded that Israel allow for “natural growth” to accommodate the so-called “Arab sector”. The JPost reports that a tone deaf Steny Hoyer, the House of Representative’s Democratic Whip, responded to the decision to approve 1,600 units in Ramat Shlomo saying “I am not surprised that additional housing units are provided for.” Hoyer said that while this complicated “to some degree the continuing attempts to resolve the differences, over 44 years populations grow.”

      • Richard Witty
        August 12, 2011, 6:49 am

        So you also don’t know, but won’t just humbly say, “I don’t know”.

        The components of the question are:
        1. Does it occur at all?
        2. If it doesn’t occur, is it illegal by whatever law rules the settlements and annexed suburbs? (They could be under different Israeli law regimens.)
        3. If it doesn’t occur, and if legal by Israeli law (say in the annexed/contested suburbs), why doesn’t it occur? Is is Palestinian Israelis that are reluctant, or is there some bureaucratic or inter-personal pressure?

        Ranting at the question doesn’t answer it. Answering it is informative. If there are violations of equal due process in that question, then that is a legal point that can be questioned, and publicly so.

        You guys have no imagination on organizing. You think that any word that comes from an identified “enemy”, is a threat. You sound like likud.

      • James North
        August 12, 2011, 8:53 am

        Richard Witty said, ‘Sumud, go away. I’m busy threadjacking elsewhere.’

      • Chaos4700
        August 12, 2011, 9:03 am

        So are you just going to pretend Eva didn’t reply to you, Witty? Why do you think feigning senility helps your cause? Or are you feigning?

      • Hostage
        August 12, 2011, 9:05 am

        So you also don’t know, but won’t just humbly say, “I don’t know”.

        So, you couldn’t comprehend the terms “Jewish-only settlement”, “illegal”, “racial segregation” and “racial discrimination” in the comment above about the UN CERD report – and you’ve never heard of the Admission Committees in the Occupied Territories like the one in Nokdim or the Admission Committees of Community Settlements bill? Here is an excerpt from an article which explains that the idea was imported to Israel proper from the West Bank

        Take, for example, the Admission Committees of Community Settlements bill, presently before the Knesset. A “community settlement” is a kind of membership-only exurb invented by West Bank settlers. The community is managed by an association responsible for “preserving the character of the settlement,” in the words of a late 1970s report from the Gush Emunim settler movement. New residents have to be approved by an admissions committee, to ensure a shared “ideological-social background,” the report states. Residents enjoy “single-family homes, quiet streets, fresh air” in a community limited to a few hundred families—an “island” of a “selected population.”
        .
        The design made it possible to enforce ideological conformity and social snobbery at the same time. It was assiduously implemented in settlements across the West Bank, then imported to sovereign Israel. In particular, the government has used the community-settlement model in efforts to “Judaize the Galilee”—to draw Jews to northern Israel, which has a large Arab population. The policy applies the concept of the West Bank settlement enterprise to part of Israel: The land is treated as an arena where two ethnic groups struggle for control, acre by acre; the Arabs are seen as a hostile population rather than as citizens.

        link to prospect.org

        The State was given 60 days, on June 20, 2011, to defend the ‘vetting’ law which allows communities to bar potential applicants who ‘do not suit the lifestyle’ of the village.
        link to haaretz.com
        link to ynetnews.com

        Believe me, the minute the government responds, the folks here at Mondoweiss will be among the first to know whether the Knesset has nullified the Court’s Kaadan rulings or not.

        I figured that documentary proof might go right over your head, that’s why I explicitly pointed out that they don’t accept Arabs in the West Bank settlements.

      • Richard Witty
        August 12, 2011, 9:19 am

        Who is Eva?

        I see now, below.

      • Richard Witty
        August 12, 2011, 9:21 am

        Is that all settlements including the suburbs of Jerusalem?

        Or, is that some, that choose to?

        Speaking loudly does not cover the questions.

        “To evade that decision, Katzir’s admissions committee claimed that the Ka’adans were “unsuited” to “fit in socially” and again denied their application. It took another round before the Supreme Court until the couple could start building their house in Katzir.”

        From the Gorenberg article. Thanks for the reference Hostage.

        So, that answered my question, at least the first part, that there are Palestinian Israelis that do live in those exurbs. Thank you Ka’adans for pressing the issue, for actually fighting Jim Crow, rather than just opportunistically ranting about it.

      • annie
        August 12, 2011, 9:47 am

        Speaking loudly does not cover the questions.

        don’t expect respect when you address people like this. no one here is screaming at you nor are we here to fulfill your assignments. don’t you know how to do your own research? are you just here to order people around and then shit on them after they supply you with the info you request?

      • Richard Witty
        August 12, 2011, 9:49 am

        Annie,
        Read the number of times I said thank you when people helped me get informed.

        There is a lot of screaming going on, Annie. Perhaps you should walk in my shoes, or the prospective lurker’s.

        It is easy to appreciate my interest, and respectfully refer to an effort, or a website.

        It is important to ask and answer the questions. Even sincerely going through that process, can open areas of effective dissent, whereas the blanket “it doesn’t happen, Israel is only fucked”, doesn’t communicate much.

        Hostage at least pointed to some of the instances, rather than blaming me for asking the questions. He/she inferred that there were none, while referring me to an article describing the successful effort of at least one Palestinian Israeli, to live in the exurban settlements.

      • Hostage
        August 12, 2011, 9:50 am

        So, that answered my question, at least the first part, that there are Palestinian Israelis that do live in those exurbs.

        No, Katzir-Harish is on the Israeli side of the Green Line. The JNF doesn’t own land it can tender in the Occupied Territories. The Admission Committees of Community Settlements bill is an Israeli municipal law that does not apply to the West Bank, because it hasn’t been annexed like Jerusalem. The bill was adopted with the specific intent of overturning the Kaadan precedent. Article 8 of the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty says that there is no violation by a Knesset statute befitting the values of the State of Israel, enacted for a proper purpose. Equality has never been a legally entrenched right, so I expect the state to defend the legality of the law.

      • Richard Witty
        August 12, 2011, 10:02 am

        I wanted to thank a poster on facebook that referred to an interview that Phil gave to “antiwar.com” a month ago.

        He said something that I think was very important.

        That is that he asks liberal Zionist sympathizers and not liberal Zionist sympathizers if there is some action that Israel would do that would be too far, that would turn their sympathy to criticism, and further to opposition, or rejection. (Those weren’t his words.)

        Its a good question.

        I personally don’t have an answer. I feel an unconditional kinship to other Jews currently, dissenters and Zionists, and of all stripes, that we are all Jews.

        But, that is like being a brother. And, one can severely disagree and even actively oppose or even harm one’s brother, and still be a brother.

        I wonder if Phil holds the view that that kinship should be severed, broken, eliminated.

        I don’t see it happening, ever really, and thankfully.

        So, I also ask of dissent, solidarity, is there some action that Palestine or Palestinian solidarity could do that would be too far, that would turn their sympathy to criticism, and further to opposition, or rejection.

        I don’t believe that the Palestinian people should ever be forgotten, nor the Israeli people. #AND#

      • annie
        August 12, 2011, 10:03 am

        who is speaking loudly at you? answer humbly.

      • Bumblebye
        August 12, 2011, 10:07 am

        So Richard Witty believes that this one exception vindicates his mindless support for all things Israeli.

      • Richard Witty
        August 12, 2011, 10:07 am

        Thanks for responding.

        So, in the exurbs, do you know if there are Palestinian Israelis that have purchased homes?

        Again, are there none? There are obviously prejudices, and institutionalized.

        I understood that equal due process before the law was an entrenched right per the basis laws.

      • Hostage
        August 12, 2011, 10:12 am

        Hostage at least pointed to some of the instances, rather than blaming me for asking the questions. He/she inferred that there were none, while referring me to an article describing the successful effort of at least one Palestinian Israeli, to live in the exurban settlements.

        I was talking about the fact that the idea was imported to Israel proper from the West Bank where it has always been a fixture of the legal regime. On the lone occasion when every human rights organization filed a series of appeals on behalf of one Arab family, the Knesset and Attorney General acted to circumvent each of the Court’s rulings by agreeing to compensate the JNF with state land anytime an Arab won a tender and by expanding and entrenching the rights of the admissions committees. So, the Kaadan’s are the only example I’ve ever heard of in Israel proper, and the rulings are inapplicable in the occupied territories.

      • eljay
        August 12, 2011, 10:30 am

        >> So Richard Witty believes that this one exception vindicates his mindless support for all things Israeli.

        It doesn’t take much to bolster his apologetics of Israel. The victim punches the violent rapist and he concludes that both parties are “aggressors”.

      • Hostage
        August 12, 2011, 10:40 am

        So, in the exurbs, do you know if there are Palestinian Israelis that have purchased homes?

        That item has neither been closed nor addressed by the government of Israel in it’s follow-ups or subsequent periodic CERD reviews. If Israeli Arabs had purchased homes in the occupied territories the government would have raised the issue, along with its comments on the Kaadan case and the separate funding of Arab and Jewish sectors.

        I understood that equal due process before the law was an entrenched right per the basis laws.

        No, see the comments from Prof. Yoram Dinstein, the former President, Rector and Dean of Law at Tel Aviv University in the Israeli Yearbook on Human Rights Law on that subject in my comment here:
        link to mondoweiss.net

      • James North
        August 12, 2011, 10:48 am

        Richard Witty said, ‘It turns out that this “exception” that I gleefully jumped at is actually behind the green line, and therefore not an “exception.” But I’m not quitting. I’ll keep irritating other Mondoweiss visitors to do research for me, and once I find a shred that I can twist I’ll use it to exonerate the entire illegal settlement/colony reality.
        ‘Meanwhile, 11 a.m. Eastern Time is approaching. I’m poised to strike when Phil and Adam put up a bunch of new posts. I’ll threadjack, and then maybe you’ll all forget that this particular effort at an alibi for Israel’s illegal colonization policy fell short.’

      • James North
        August 12, 2011, 10:51 am

        Richard Witty said, ‘Hostage: Do you really think I have the time or the inclination to follow your comprehensive, calm efforts to patiently answer my fake questions? I know countless other Mondoweiss visitors benefit from your expertise, but finding the truth is not my aim. What I’m after is wisps of evidence that I can torture into a defense of my dream castle view of Israel.’

      • Richard Witty
        August 12, 2011, 5:46 pm

        So, you are saying the periodically Arabs do successfully bid on tenders?

        Thanks for that clarification.

        I was just asking about the facts, not the political significance.

        But, thank you for helping me understand more clearly.

      • James North
        August 12, 2011, 6:01 pm

        Richard Witty said, “Look at this lie I just told:

        I was just asking about the facts, not the political significance.

        ‘As if I were helping Arab friends bid on West Bank housing, and just wanted to know more!!
        ‘In fact, I’m trying to find a single exception to the Jewish-only settlement/colonies on the West Bank. That way, I can keep hiding from my guilty conscience.
        ‘But in fact, I misunderstood Hostage — the case Hostage sited (sic) happened inside the green line. Hostage’s information actually undermines my feeble point further, although I don’t realize it yet.
        ‘Meanwhile, I’ve been ignoring all those links Shmuel offered me earlier today, into the history of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians illegally expelled from what is present-day Israel. I say I want dialog (sic), but only if it reinforces my Greater Israel prejudices.’

      • Koshiro
        August 12, 2011, 6:38 pm

        I feel an unconditional kinship to other Jews currently, dissenters and Zionists, and of all stripes, that we are all Jews.

        In other words, you are substituting tribal loyalty for a conscience. Wonderful.

        So, I also ask of dissent, solidarity, is there some action that Palestine or Palestinian solidarity could do that would be too far,

        Could do? No. Palestinian organizations and their supporters do not possess the means to commit genocide or mass murders of civilians, and I am not going to blame something like the gruesome murders of the Fogel family on Palestinians in general. So, no. As I’ve said before, anything in the same ballpark of resistance movements in WW2 would still be okay with me.

        P.S.: I finally get what you mean by your odd use of the word “dissent”. The default state, in your mind, for a Jew is to be loyal Zionist, and all others are “dissent”. Or shouldn’t that be “the dissent”? Like “the rebels”?

      • Richard Witty
        August 13, 2011, 8:54 am

        Koshiro,
        You’re misrepresenting again.

        But, in your response to what you would be willing to do in dissent, you haven’t stated any limits. No limits in words, say intentionally misrepresenting others’ words (like our man of integrity, North), no limits in action.

        Maybe there is some “maybe we’ve gone too far” (the title of Norman Finkelstein’s book, an excellent title relative to the Gaza excesses, “too far”.)

      • eljay
        August 13, 2011, 9:20 am

        >> RW: But, in your response to what you would be willing to do in dissent, you haven’t stated any limits. No limits in words … no limits in action.

        I am willing to bet that Koshiro’s limits don’t extend to ethnic cleansing, something which:
        – you have yet to rule out, as far as a future physical form of it is concerned; and
        – you actually support, as far as past physical and future bureaucratic forms of it are concerned.

    • thankgodimatheist
      August 11, 2011, 11:15 pm

      “What happens if an Arab Israeli citizen purchases homes in the settlements?”

      You can’t be that candid, can you?
      Christ!
      Did it escape your excellency that a process of intense judaisation is taking place inside and out outside of Israel for the past 62 years? If your positions on this conflict are based on such minimal understanding of basic facts like this one than why should anyone take anything you say seriously?

    • Koshiro
      August 12, 2011, 5:34 am

      What happens if an Arab Israeli citizen purchases homes in the settlements?

      They don’t, hence the question is irrelevant.

      What happens when a Jew desiring to live in the West Bank, instead of moving to an Israeli settlement, applies for Palestinian citizenship and tries to rent an appartment in Ramallah?

      • James North
        August 12, 2011, 8:48 am

        Richard Witty said, ‘Uh-oh, Koshiro. You got me. I might actually have to do some research if I want to answer your question. And I have to answer it to maintain the pretense that I want dialog (sic).
        ‘The trouble is: I don’t know how to do research. I just make things up, including direct quotations. What am I going to do?’

    • Eva Smagacz
      August 12, 2011, 7:08 am

      Richard Witty asks:

      “What happens if an Arab Israeli citizen purchases homes in the settlements?
      Are they precluded? Has it happened?”

      Arab Israeli citizen are precluded from purchasing homes in the settlements, so no, it hasn’t happened.

      • Richard Witty
        August 12, 2011, 5:46 pm

        According to the reference that Hostage provided, it indicated that periodically Israeli Arabs do successfully bid on tenders.

  4. Citizen
    August 11, 2011, 4:29 pm

    Pretty interesting how the Arab Spring is coming to Palestine, the US, England, & now Israel. No revolutionary change in world history ever came but due to a few individuals, not the sheeple–keep it up! And see: link to veteranstoday.com

  5. thankgodimatheist
    August 11, 2011, 11:13 pm

    Israel’s response to the economic protests:

    Israel to build 1,600 more settler homes
    Interior minister approves new construction in occupied East Jerusalem, linking them to country’s economic protests.
    link to english.aljazeera.net

    You wouldn’t have guessed it, would you?

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