While no information on the outcome of the meeting is yet available, there is only a slight chance that such an idea could be actually translated into action with the Israeli Foreign Ministry reportedly warning of repercussions.
“The professional opinion that will be presented is that Israel is signatory to an agreement with the UN and other international conventions under which the UN headquarters is granted diplomatic immunity,” a senior Foreign ministry source said ahead of the meeting, as cited by Haaretz.
The unnamed official added that the Foreign Ministry would remind Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, who has been a driving force behind the initiative, and the like-minded ministerial officials, of the necessity to heed international treaties.
The adverse consequences can be avoided in only one case, he said, which, however, appears to be highly unlikely.
“The only way to expel the UN headquarters from the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood is if the UN decides to vacate it on its own accord,” the ministry was expected to warn, according to the official.
The controversial proposal from within Israel’s power circles was triggered by an Arab-sponsored resolution passed by the UN culture body, the UNESCO, last week, provoking massive backlash in Israel.
UN report will compare ‘cost of Israeli occupation’ with slavery in US https://on.rt.com/87eg
UN report will compare ‘cost of Israeli occupation’ with slavery in US — RT News
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) has announced an upcoming report attempting to estimate the financial impact of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, looking at the…
The resolution, introduced by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan and passed by UNESCO on Tuesday saw 22 countries casting their votes for the motion versus 10 against. Three countries did not attend the vote while a majority, 23 representatives, declared their abstention.
The document chastised Israel for its rampant construction activity in East Jerusalem, in particular, calling out “Israeli occupying authorities” for their failure to “cease the persistent excavations, tunneling, works and projects in East Jerusalem, particularly in the Old City of Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law.”
It went on to stress that all steps by the Israeli authorities that “have altered or purport to alter the character and status” Jerusalem should be deemed “null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.”
The resolution and its wording immediately drew ire from the Israeli officials, with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu blasting it as a “delusional resolution” and a “harassment” which “has a price.”
Following up his menacing words with a deed, Netanyahu announced that he had tasked the Foreign Ministry to cut $1 million form the Israeli funds bound to the UN.
Israel is no stranger to such penalties in response to what it perceives as hostile actions on the part of the UN. Back in March, the Israeli government already employed a similar measure, slashing $2 million from its annual UN contribution, citing “hostile resolutions” by UN’s Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
The Israeli Foreign Ministry, which was later the one calling for restraint, also took aim at the resolution, referring to it as an “unnecessary politicization of UNESCO.”
Regev then went even further, saying that there is no point of harboring a UN compound in East Jerusalem, claiming that Israeli authorities “have been sovereign in the city for 50 years, so there is no need for UN monitors.”
“They were given use of the compound to oversee the ceasefire agreement from the Six-Day War. It’s an agreement that is no longer relevant. This saga has to end,” the minister said last week in an interview to Israel’s Channel 2, as cited by The Jerusalem Post.
Contrary to the outrage voiced by Tel Aviv, Palestine hailed the resolution. In a statement, following the vote, Palestine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs commended the organization for not caving in to “the campaign of intimidation, political bullying, and misinformation” it said Israel was waging to undermine the discussion and deflect attention “from the real and important issues addressed in the resolution.”
The UN headquarters is in Armon Hanatzv, a neighborhood in southern East Jerusalem, hosting officers of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), those of UNESCO and the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process.
JEWS CRY OVER UNESCO RESOLUTION DECLARING THE WESTERN WALL A MOSLEM HOLY SITE
This is quite humorous. Jews are in tears due to a UNESCO resolution that would declare the Western Wall a Moslem holy site.
I honestly don’t care a whole lot about this, but anything that causes Jewish tears puts a big grin on my face.
From Times of Israel:
Amid an angry outcry from Jewish organizations worldwide as well as from Israeli officials over a UNESCO resolution that would declare the Western Wall a Muslim holy site, two members of Congress called Monday evening on the US envoy to the UN body to quash the resolution.
Democratic Representatives Nita M. Lowey and Ted Deutch sent a letter Monday urging US ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Crystal Nix-Hines, to block the draft resolution that Jewish groups had castigated for asserting that the Western Wall is part of al-Aqsa Mosque.
Six Arab states on UNESCO’s Executive Board – Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates are expected to introduce the resolution for a vote as early as Tuesday.
“As members of the United States Congress committed to promoting peace in Israel and the Palestinian territories through direct, bilateral negotiations aimed at achieving a two-state solution, we urge you to use the voice and vote of the United States to prevent this draft resolution from advancing,” the two wrote to Nix-Hines.
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Unveiled: New Master Plan For Greater Jerusalem in 2040
HAARETZ – A daring new master plan for Jerusalem envisions a giant international airport near Jericho, a railway line from Ramallah, a huge commercial and employment area near Qalandiya, a Biblical park in the Refa’im nature reserve, ring roads and dozens of new hotels.
The project, dubbed Jerusalem 5800 (after the Hebrew calendar year), is destined for the year 2040. The plan has recently been completed as a private initiative of Australian Jewish philanthropist and businessman Kevin Bermeister.
The planners say it doesn’t deal with the city’s political problems, but many see it as the right wing’s attempt to draft a future vision of the city, as an alternative to dividing it between two states.
The planners envision Jerusalem as a thriving world city inhabiting 5 million people and visited by 12 million tourists a year. It will be full of tourist attractions, hotels and advanced means of transportation and adhere to rigid environmental principles.
The plan’s most outstanding aspect, according to its critics, is its denial of Jerusalem’s political situation. The plan sees Jerusalem as a metropolis whose boundaries extend far beyond the existing municipal lines. The boundaries of Jerusalem 5800 include Modi’in and the Etzion bloc, Bethlehem, Jericho and Ramallah.
“The idea was to view Jerusalem in the way it should be,” says project manager Udi Regunas, a former member of the rightist Elad NGO and former CEO of the newspaper Makor Rishon and deputy CEO of Maariv.
The plan doesn’t address the Palestinian residents’ needs or the development of the Arab neighborhoods that constitute the capital’s most difficult planning problem. Nor does it entertain the possibility that Jerusalem in 2050 will include Palestinian government institutions, or that Palestinians would be partners in its planning.
The plan starts out with six basic principles, all of them dealing with Jerusalem’s Jewish character. “Israel is the Jewish nation’s core and Jerusalem is Israel and the Jewish nation’s core,” says the first principle. The second states that the city’s Jewish population increase will not be based merely on natural growth but on increased migration to the city. The third says the plan’s goal was to “create a process to increase the chance of Israel and the Jewish nation to prosper.”
The remaining principles deal with the need for demographic planning to conserve the city’s Jewish majority.
The brochure says, “We didn’t go into the question of how the conflict will be solved, which is of course outside the plan’s jurisdiction. But we assumed that for considerations that are not political the Jerusalem metropolis will not be divisible, so we see it as a territorial continuity enabling free traffic of people and merchandise.”
An entire chapter is dedicated to the “demographic problem.” The government is called to adopt a demographic policy to ensure the ratio of Arab residents does not exceed 40 percent. Otherwise, it says, “The increase in the Muslims’ rate compared to the Jews’ is likely to continue in the future as well.”
The planners say Jerusalem is sacred to the three religions, but hardly deals with any religion but Judaism. The word “Palestinians” doesn’t appear in the brochure at all. The word “Muslims” appears 11 times, eight of them in the chapter dealing with the demographic threat.
Most of the projects in the plan are sketched generally. One relatively detailed one deals with renovating several mikves (ritual bath houses) in the area between City of David and the Temple Mount, where “the Temple King Solomon built was located.” Bermeister contributed money to this enterprise. “It will be possible to hold gatherings and performances for hundreds of people on the background of the City of David and the Temple Mount,” it says.
Two other projects consist of intensively developing the Refa’im National Park as a huge tourist area with “challenging family attractions associated with the Bible,” an ancient agriculture reconstruction site and hotels. At least one of the sites is planned in the West Bank village of Walaja, near Bethlehem.
Another huge hotel is located in Jabal Mukkaber, on areas owned by Bermeister in Nof Zion. Bermeister, who made the bulk of his fortune investing in Skype when it was starting out, is close to rightist officials in Jerusalem and especially to rightist activist and council member Aryeh King, who was one of the project’s initiators.
Bermeister purchased the land on which the Jewish settlement Nof Zion was built, in the Palestinian village Jabal Mukkaber in East Jerusalem. He also purchased other lands from Palestinians for settling Jews on and invested money in hotels and lands in the western part of the city.
So far some 5 million shekels have been invested in the ambitious Jerusalem 5800 project since it was launched five years ago. Its planners’ team was headed by architect Shlomo Gertner and included transportation, tourist and conservation experts.
The project was completed about four months ago. A brochure outlining it opens with congratulations by Tourist Minister Yariv Levin and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin. Last week the plan’s English-language version was completed and has been submitted to leading municipal and government officials.
King promises to present it to the new U.S. administration officials, in the hope it will influence the United States’ policy toward Jerusalem. Officials in the Jerusalem municipality denied the possibility that the plan or parts of it would be used by the authorities as policy papers. But the planners have already presented parts of the project at municipal meetings and ministries. Officials in the Jerusalem Affairs Ministry say parts of the plan correspond to government policy in Jerusalem anyway. “Large parts of the proposed policy in the brochure are applied by the government, but the government doesn’t set its policy on the basis of some brochure or other,” an official said.
The plan suggests building a large international airport (accommodating up to 35 million passengers a year) in the Hyrcania Valley between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, not far from Jericho.
“No other site in Israel is suitable for another airport, it’s as though God’s finger created that valley,” says Gertner. “After we started the planning we found that the Palestinians were also planning an airport there. It can certainly be a joint airport with one entrance for Israelis and another for Palestinians. All the Judea and Samaria residents will be able to fly from there to all over the world.”
The plan also calls for a railway line from Ramallah, via Jerusalem and Hebron to Be’er Sheva. Parts of the plan deals with protecting open spaces, using renewable energy, ecological passages and so on.
“There are two nations here, but we’re not dealing with the administrative, political solutions. We say this space must remain open, it’s the only way for real prosperity,” says Gertner.
“It’s not a bad plan if you’re in a system that ignores reality. It’s completely cut off from the urban Jerusalem reality,” says architect Yehuda Greenfield, who drafted the highly detailed partition plan of Jerusalem for the Geneva initiative.
“It creates a totally fictitious situation that there’s one Jewish narrative here … but there are other narratives that must be addressed,” he says.