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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Netanyahu visits Obama while flipping off the U.S. yet again
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Netanyahu visits Obama while flipping off the U.S. yet again

you can't tell me israel's timing isn't carefully calculated...
Israel Approves Controversial New Building Plan As Netanyahu Visits Obama

The Jerusalem municipality has approved 20 new apartments for Jews in east Jerusalem, the city said Wednesday. The move could stir a new diplomatic crisis with the United States just as Israel's leader is in Washington on a fence-mending visit.

The Obama administration views Israeli building in east Jerusalem, the part of the city claimed by Palestinians as their future capital, as disruptive to Mideast peacemaking efforts. Israel, which captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war, insists the city cannot be divided and says it has the right to build anywhere.

The differences over east Jerusalem erupted into a crisis earlier this month when Israel announced during a visit by Vice President Joe Biden that it plans to build 1,600 new apartments for Jews in east Jerusalem.

Israel has apologized for the poor timing of the announcement but rejected calls to cancel the project. In Washington this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a pro-Israel audience that Israel was determined to keep building in all of Jerusalem -- a statement quickly rejected by the White House.

Netanyahu met twice with President Barack Obama on Tuesday in an attempt to defuse what has become the countries' worst spat in decades. But Wednesday's announcement by Jerusalem city officials threatened to derail any progress.

The new project -- funded by Jewish American millionaire Irving Moskowitz, a longtime patron of Jewish settler groups -- calls for tearing down part of an old hotel, the Shepherd, and building 20 apartments and a three-level underground parking lot instead.

Word of the approval was leaked to an Israeli Web site minutes before Netanyahu met with Obama at the White House on Tuesday.

a bit more on the settlements...
The building and populating of Jewish settlements within Palestinian inhabited areas of East Jerusalem, as well as the construction of the Separation Wall that divides Palestinians residing in Jerusalem from those living outside the city, in the West Bank, are integral elements of Israel's attempt to fragment the Palestinian population in Jerusalem.

Israeli non-profit associations, such as Elad and the Ateret Cohanim, have been responsible for the settlement construction on lands confiscated by the Israeli government, with the substantial financial support of foreign tycoons, including, most notably, American millionaire Irving Moskowitz.

a little bit more on irving moskowitz...
Dr. Irving I. Moskowitz (born 1928, New York City) is a Florida-based businessman and philanthropist, who built a fortune running hospitals and legal gambling in California. He is the founder of the eponymous "Moskowitz Foundation" which claims to help victims of natural disasters. The foundation raises funds for contentious Israeli settlements in the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem projects through its "charity" bingo hall in Hawaiian Gardens, California.


Among notable Zionist activities, is the foundation help to Shinlung immigration to Israel. The family also established the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism in 2008.

meanwhile, all the movers and shakers as well as the mover and shaker wannabes in the middle east both in and out of the region should really stop and consider how fortunes in that part of the world have shifted over the centuries...

here's a youtube clip, courtesy of juan cole, that shows the amazing number of empires that have come and gone in the middle east over the past 5,000 years...

let's hope that the pair obama seems to have grown over the health care debate carries over to netanyahu and israel...

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