Bibi demolishes J-Street and Peace Now’s central claims
At Binyamin Netanyahu’s appearance at the Center for American Progress, he said that the settlements were not an obstacle to peace.
He answered that “There have been no new settlements built in the past 20 years.The additions have been in existing communities. The map has not materially changed.”
I’m not sure if that is 100% true; I know of three formerly illegal outposts that became legal, and I cannot imagine that there haven’t been more illegal outposts in 20 years that have escaped being demolished. But the larger point is true – there has been essentially no new settlements, as opposed to how they are characterized. and Netanyahu said this:
By the way, Google this. Because this is just repeated, ad nauseum, so it assumes the cachet of self-evident truth, that we’re ‘gobbling up land’ and so on. We’re not gobbling up land….I mean the total amount of built up land is just a few percent. And the addition, if you look at it over time, it’s got to be a fraction – maybe one tenth of one percent? Maybe I’m off, maybe it’s 3/10ths of one percent. That’s the land that’s being “gobbled up.” That’s a factual question. That is not something that should be debated. And yet it’s become an axiom, that we are gobbling up land. We’re not.
This statement is driving the “progressives” like J-Street crazy. Because their entire existence, and their entire funding, is dependent on the lie of the ever-expanding settlements that make a two-state solution impossible.
So J-Street tweeted
Netanyahu at @amprog: Settlements are < 1% of West Bank. Truth: 40% of West Bank is under control of settlements. https://t.co/FgLj7c9jk3
— J Street (@jstreetdotorg) November 10, 2015
The link goes to Peace Now, which writes:
The “one percent argument” is a classic example of how supporters of the status-quo use a fraction of the truth to misrepresent the truth on the ground in the West Bank. Yes, the actual built-up area of West Bank settlements takes up only a little more than 1% of the West Bank. But the settlements’ built-up area is just the tip of the settlements iceberg. The impact of the settlements goes far beyond this 1%.
Almost 10% of the West Bank is included in the “municipal area,” or the jurisdictional borders of the settlements. These borders are so large that they allow settlements to expand many times over onto land that is completely off-limits to Palestinians.
In addition, almost 34% of the West Bank has been placed under the jurisdiction of the settlements’ “Regional Councils.” That is, more than an additional 1/3 of the West Bank has been placed under the control of the settlers, off-limits to Palestinians.
In total, more than 40% of the West Bank is under the direct control of settlers or settlements and off-limits to Palestinians, regardless of the fact that only a small portion of this land has been built on by settlers.
Let’s say that this is 100% true. Then this means that Peace Now agrees that there has been no fundamental change in the West Bank map since the PLO rejected Israeli peace offers of 93%-95% of the land in 2001 and 2008!
Somehow, the 40% Israel controls didn’t stop Barak and Olmert from offering nearly the entire West Bank for a Palestinian state. If they could offer it, so could the current Israeli government. So the 40% figure is a red herring, meant to obscure the fact that the intransigent party is the Palestinian side.
And according to Israeli media, Netanyahu was ready to offer nearly the same amount! (Netanyahu’s office denied it, saying it was a US proposal.)
Peace Now and J-Street know this. If you read their literature you can see that they try very hard to distract their readers from these facts by mentioning things that aren’t relevant. Their central claim to raise cash, that Israel – and especially the reviled Likud government of Netanyahu – is gobbling up land is shown to be a lie.
Yet this Peace Now and J-Street lie of Israel “gobbling up land” is repeated without any shame by the White House, by the New York Times, and by many other sources who don’t even bother to read Peace Now reports with a critical eye. Because their own documentation proves their public lies!
I challenged J-Street with this tweet:
OK @jstreetdotorg, tell me EXACTLY how the ~1.7% of settlement land today makes peace so much harder than ~1.6% 20 years ago? @amprog
— ElderOfZiyon (@elderofziyon) November 10, 2015
Because they can’t.
Because the truth exposes their anti-Israel campaigns against Israel are based on provable, checkable lies.
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