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Can Obama tell Jews where and when to stop building homes in Israel?

Henk Kamsteeg Monday 27 July 2009

Barack Obama has ordered Israel to freeze all settlement activity, while refusing to endorse a deal made by President Bush to allow for natural growth.
The Bush-deal was confirmed by Ariel Sharon’s aide, Doc Weinglass, in 2005, and by Elliott Abrams, former deputy national security advisor to Bush who reportedly negotiated the arrangement. The deal was in line with an official letter from Bush which stated Israel cannot be expected to withdraw from the entire West Bank and that the Jewish state would retain major settlement blocs there.

By blaming Israel and picking a fight over ‘natural growth’, President Obama plays in the hand of the Arabs. So now Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refuses to resume negotiations with the Jewish state unless all settlement building – including natural growth – construction is stopped.
“What’s the issue? “ No ‘natural growth’ means strangling to death the thriving towns close to the 1949 armistice line, many suburbs of Jerusalem, that every negotiation over the past decade has envisioned Israel retaining,” says Charles Krauthammer in the WashingtonPost. Obama has called settlements “illegitimate.” However, other U.S. presidents have disagreed, for instance President Ronald Reagan. His administration issued a declaration that Israeli settlements were not illegal. Former president of the International Court of Justice, Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, agrees with him and determined that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria did not constitute “occupation.”

As you all probably know, when we talk about the so-called” West Bank”, we are talking about Judea and Samaria, the biblical heartland.
Marc Prowisor (Israelnationalnews.com) reported that there are nearly 300,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria; that is not just a number, that is a reality. These people do not live in shacks, they live in houses, and they have their livelihoods there and are raising their families there. There is no way that 300,000 people are going to just get up and leave. How the world can expect this is beyond me. Imagine if this was asked of any other people besides the Jews how it would be looked upon. This people have come to be the crop of the Israel, they represent the strongest Zionist entity that has been in this region since Joshua’s time; and that is the reason the Arabs want us out; and that is why the world wants us out. It has nothing to do with land, it has to do with people – and that people is the Jewish people.

The villages of the biblical heartland are mentioned throughout the Torah:
The book of Genesis says Abraham entered Israel at Shechem (Nablus) and received God’s promise of land for his offspring. He later was buried in Hebron.
The nearby town of Beit El, anciently called Bethel, meaning “house of God,” is where Scripture says the patriarch Jacob slept on a stony pillow and dreamed of angels ascending and descending a stairway to heaven. In that dream, God spoke directly to Jacob and reaffirmed the promise of territory.
And in Exodus, the holy tabernacle rested in Shiloh, believed to be the first area the ancient Israelites settled after fleeing Egypt. Shiloh is less than 30 miles north of Jerusalem.

Judea and Samaria is the story of every Jew. If you are a Jew, then this land is part of you, and no one, including U.S. President Barack Obama, can presume to tell the Jewish people that they cannot live in the biblical heartland. There can be nothing illegal about a Jew living where Judaism was born.
It is fascinating and an absolute tragedy that even in their own homeland Jews should not be allowed to build housing to accommodate their growing population. Any suggestions, then, of “freezing” and halting “natural growth” are themselves not only illegal but also quite immoral.
Let me finish with an interesting quote from the conservative Republican columnist Burt Prelutsky:

“I sincerely hope that when the president (Obama – ed.) goes in for his annual check-up, the doctors at Bethesda will do a brain scan. Surely something must be terribly wrong with a man who seems to be far more concerned with a Jew building a house in Israel than with Muslims building a nuclear bomb in Iran.”