IMRA Weekly Commentary..
01 September '16..
"Jews have been in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria for thousands of years and their presence there is not an obstacle to peace. ...The claim that Jewish construction in Jerusalem is illegal is as absurd as the claim that American construction in Washington or French construction in Paris is illegal."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Media Adviser - Tuesday, August 30, 2016
But in practice we have just enough paperwork moving to get condemned by the White House.
For the most part there's been a freeze for years.
I would like to think that this freeze will end the day Mr. Obama ends his term.
But my sense is that the temptation will be great to continue the freeze indefinitely.
After all, there is always a justification for a freeze.
If relations are bad with Washington we don't want to exacerbate the situation.
And if relations are good - why spoil things?
How can we get out of this rut?
How about a bold program to improve the lives of everyone:
1. Every Palestinian who Israeli security doesn't object to getting a work permit can work in Israel. Ditto for entry permits for Palestinian businessmen.
2. Extended operating hours for commercial crossing points and passages.
3. Accelerated approval and subsidized infrastructure for joint Israeli-Palestinian industrial zones.
4. Quick approval of both Jewish and Arab building plans in Jerusalem.
5. Complete end to freeze for Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria.
The surge in economic activity would benefit everyone.
People would be optimistic about both the future and the present.
To be clear: none of this is going to necessarily change the aspirations of the Palestinians.
But that's not the purpose of the exercise.
The goal here and now should be to improve people's lives until that far off day that pigs can fly.
Because only when pigs can fly will there be a grand schemes for a final agreement that guarantees peace and stability that actually works. ________________________________________
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis - Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on Arab-Israeli relations
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