Why is this Israeli planning decision different from others for the BBC?

Whenever an Israeli planning body makes an announcement concerning some stage or other of the construction of apartments and houses in certain neighbourhoods of Jerusalem or towns and villages in Judea and Samaria, the BBC is usually very quick off the mark in producing a report which typically includes condemnation from PA officials, comment from at least one political NGO and the standard BBC insert designed to impress upon audiences that “settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this”.

Last week, however, the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee approved the construction of 2,200 new apartments in a neighbourhood on the ‘wrong’ side of the 1949 Armistice Lines and yet not a word on that decision appeared on the BBC News website.SONY DSC

“The Interior Ministry’s District Planning and Building Committee on Monday invited the submission of a master plan for the construction of 2,200 new housing units for the Arab sector in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber. As part of the plan, several hundreds of housing units built illegally will also be retroactively approved. […]

The plan allocates an area of some 1,500 dunman [sic- dunams] between Jabel Mukaber and Abu Dis for the construction of housing units. The project also includes areas allocated for commercial and employment centers, public buildings, schools, new roads and new parks. The “American road” will also be developed as part of the plan, a central traffic artery for east and south-east Jerusalem, along which commercial and employment centers will be developed.”

The BBC’s cognitive dissonance concerning Arab Jerusalemites who live in what it persistently describes as “settlements” has been noted here in the past. Now we see another example of the disturbing fact that the BBC’s issues with Israeli construction actually do not depend on the project’s location – or even on the topic of building itself – but upon the faith and ethnicity of the people it assumes will be moving into newly built apartments and houses in specific areas.

There’s a word for that. 

20 comments on “Why is this Israeli planning decision different from others for the BBC?

    • It’s not: Yasser Arafat refused to sign the 2000 Peace treaty proposed by Israel which would have made that part of Jerusalem, as well as 98% of Judea-Samaria, a Palestinian state. As it is, not even Gaza is legally Palestinian and it, Judea-Samaria, and East Jerusalem remain disputed territories according to international law. Don’t let the media fool you with the EU-US-UN wishful thinking, Israel -unlike the UK, France, USA, China, Spain, and Russia, is not occupying any foreign country since it vacated the Sinai and Southern Lebanon.

      • “a Palestinian state”? under what conditions? When Arafat arrived at the talks he discovered that Israel has reneaged on a recent agreement concerning villages. From that point he lost all faith in Israeli promises and left.

  1. Well, Michael Farmer, if you don’t approve of ethnic cleansing, then you don’t approve of East Jerusalem and Judea-Samaria becoming Palestinian.
    Israel has 1.8Million Arab-Israeli citizens, but the PA administered territories are forbidden to Jews, on pain of death, and Christians are being forcibly converted or forced to move to Israel administered areas. The PA and Hamas are co-signers of a chart which will make any future Palestine jüdenrein, the way the Mufti of Jerusalem and his nephew, Yasser Arafat, decided it in 1919 and 1964**. The Eastern part of Jerusalem was nearly totally devoid of Arabs until 1948 (too poor, too medieval, too unsanitary), they preferred living in the newer ottoman and occidental areas. It is the invading Jordanian army which ethnically cleansed Judea-Samaria and East Jerusalem of its Jewish population and replaced it with Jordanian nationals who were unwanted back home. When, in 1967, the Israeli army took back those areas (which by the way had been rules as Jewish land by the Ottomans in 1884, then by League of Nations* in 1920 at the San Remo Convention.) it did not send the Jordanians back home, but on the contrary, gave them the choice of becoming Israeli citizens or remaining foreign legal residents. It is the majority who chose to remain legal foreign residents who are now called “Palestinians” and are clamoring for exclusive use of land which wasn’t their in the first place. The UN ruled that the territories regained by Israel were now -due to their new Arab population- disputed territories and no longer actual part of Israel. I’d advise you to consult the public archives of the League of Nations and UN which, unlike the -sometimes state run- media aren’t biased. I’d especially advise you to doubt the BBC, as the UK has a horse in that race: it deliberately used the mandate it was given by the League of Nation to foster the independence of the Levantine ethnies (Jews included) on their ancestral land, to try and create a pan-Arabic empire in direct contradiction with the terms of its mandate.
    * unlike the UN resolutions, the League of Nations mandates were internationally legally binding. Do read the constitutions of both international bodies and you’ll be enlightened.
    ** at that time they meant all of Palestine, that is to say Israel, Gaza, Judea-Samaria, and Jordan.

    • ” the PA administered territories are forbidden to Jews”
      You shouldn’t take any notice .I think Israel should build settlements there and plant immigrants in them 😉 … oh, wait a minute.

    • It’s called SAMARIA you ignoramus. It’s not about ancient history: It’s was called Samaria (that’s the Roman translation – it’s Shomron in Hebrew, and Assamira in Arabic) by everyone, Jews and Arabs alike, right up until Jordan invaded it in 1948, just as Judea (the Roman translation – it’s Yehuda in Hebrew and Yahudia in Arabic) was used by both Jews and Arabs until 1948.

      When Transjordan invaded the region in 1948, they dropped their country’s ‘Trans-‘ prefix so it wouldn’t be quite so embarrassingly obvious that their real (previously very well defined) border was actually the Jordan river – and that they belonged on the right-hand (Trans -) side of it – to become just ‘Jordan’, and called Judea & Samaria ‘the West Bank’ (i.e. of Jordan)

      Similarly, after 1967, when Israel recaptured the region, it would have been a bit embarrassing for the Fakestinians to resume using the names Assamira and Yahudia, since these names clearly equate to Judea and Samaria, which are well documented as originating from Jewish ownership of the region some 1500 years or more before the 7th century Arab invasion of the area – which really wouldn’t have fit in too well with all their ‘ancient Palestinian homeland’ claim. So they and their supporters continued using ‘West Bank’, and later, just ‘Palestine’.

      This doesn’t alter the fact that, despite the Fakestinians’ relatively recent political attempts to obliterate them and the history behind them, the real names are Judea and Samaria, and have been for rising 3000 years, and so the Jews will obviously continue to call them by those names – why wouldn’t they- any more than the residents of your home town of Hull would think of or call the city ‘West Holland’ if the Dutch suddenly took it into their heads to capture it and rename it. Hell, you lot won’t even compromise about the name of your football team with the man who saved it from bankruptcy.

      And while we’re on football, the word ‘arsnel’ (sic) you used in a previous post to denote a collection of weapons is actually spelled ‘arsenal’ – ring any bells? I had thought every red-blooded English male would be quite familiar with that one. Perhaps you need a new spellchecker.

      • ” It’s was called Samaria” you ignoro! (ignoramus is plural, ignoro is singular …. ask one of your Romans)

        “Jewish ownership of the region” …..they may have lived there …. they ‘owned’ very little of it in ’48.

        • “[The names,] Judea and Samaria… are well documented as originating from Jewish ownership of the region some 1500 years or more before the 7th century Arab invasion of the area…”

          “they may have lived there …. they ‘owned’ very little of it in ’48.”

          Not so. Ever since the turn of the 19th century, the Jewish National Fund [formerly named the “Palestine National Fund”] had been buying up whatever land was available for sale — often from wealthy absentee Arab & Turkish landowners who lived in Beirut, Cairo, or Damascus. Often it was unworkable land when they bought it — malarial marshlands, parched, barren deserts, rocky hillsides, etc — and often at outrageously inflated prices (quadruple market value was not unheard of).

          In the late 1800’s, when Jews began pioneering the land in earnest, less than one-tenth of all the land was even under cultivation! (That’s right; it’s not a typo — ten percent.) The place was, for the most part, empty of — and unfit for — human (or animal) habitation. The only creature that lived there in numbers of any kind was the anopheles mosquito — carrier of malaria — and the little buggers made life there impossible for anybody else.

          When Zionist engineering & agricultural projects drained the swamps, wiped out malaria, redeveloped the eroded topsoil, and began planting the place with trees, the land became fruitful & hospitable — which reclamations, in turn, drew large numbers of Arabs seeking a better life from all over the Levant, No. Africa, the Balkans & Mideast. They were offered good jobs, w/ enormously better working and living conditions than they’d been accustomed to getting from their Arab & Turkish landlords. Arab longevity was increased by 20 years and Arab infant mortality was reduced by 50%. So Arab numbers, quite naturally. . . .exploded.

          ”…’It was called Samaria’ you ignoro! (ignoramus is plural, ignoro is singular …. ask one of your Romans).”

          Actually, since you brought it up (and FWIW), the Latin suffix “us” makes “ignoramus” masculine SINGULAR. To make it plural, you replace the “us” with an “i.” So the plural form would be “ignorami.” However, “ignoramuses” is quite acceptable in English. But do you really care about this stuff? Forget petty distractions; stick with what’s relevant. Here’s what you really need to understand:

          The Jews had lost their sovereignty for the last time in AD 136, after the Bar Kokhba Revolt. For the ensuing 1800 years Jews still lived in the Land of Israel, but without sovereignty could no longer control who entered their country. The 7th century Arab invasion entailed both the expropriation of Jewish land for the newly-Islamic, Saracen (Arab) soldiers and the imposition of the Pact of Omar — which subjugated the Jews, declared them “dhimmi” (think: Jim Crow on steroids), and forced out a great many of them. In fact, truth be told, it was the Arabs (not the Romans, as tradition would have it) who were actually responsible for the Jewish dispersion.

  2. Jews lived in Jerusalem for centuries until it was seized by the Jordanian army in 1948. Since Israeli administration, all religions have access to their holy sites unlike Jordanian administration. In Hebron, Jews were moved out after the massacre in 1929, also after living there for centuries. The Arabs have destroyed Jewish cemeteries, Jewish artifacts, and prohibited Jews from visiting their holy sites and living in an area that was promised by the League of Nations for Jewish settlement. Jews are not displacing Arabs but buying and rehabilitating unsettled land.

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