Newspaper Archive of
Heritage Florida Jewish News
Fern Park , Florida
July 2, 2010     Heritage Florida Jewish News
PAGE 12     (12 of 32 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 12     (12 of 32 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
July 2, 2010

Newspaper Archive of Heritage Florida Jewish News produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2018. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

PAGE 12A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 2, 2010 Netanyahu to visit White House July 6 for talks with Obama By the staff of The Israel Project Israeli Prime Minister Ben- jamin Netanyahu is sched- uled to travel to Washington for talks with President Obama July 6, during which the two leaders are expected to discuss progress on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and other bilateral security issues. Netanyahu's upcoming trip will be his fifth White House visit since taking office in March 2009. Ne- tanyahu originally planned to meet with Obama June 1, but postponed it in order to deal with the aftermath of a May 31 Israeli operation to prevent an illegal flotilla from reaching Gaza. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was also in Washington June 9 for a similar visit. In May, Israel and the Palestinian Authority en- tered into indirect "proxim- ity talks," mediated by U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell. Since then, Israel made a series of goodwill gestures to the Palestinians in hopes they return to direct negotiations. Israel has undertaken numerous actions and ini- tiatives to pave the way for Palestinians and Israelis to live side by side in peace since President Obama was sworn into office in January 2009. Following is a timeline of highlights of some of the more recent efforts and ex- amples of Israel's attempts to grow the Palestinian econ- omy and improve freedom of movement for Palestinians. Roundup of recent Israeli economic peace efforts Israel dismantles 150 roadblocks in the West Bank and removes 27 checkpoints between 2008 and 2009; only 14 checkpoints remain. The West Bank's econo- my grows by 8 percent. Unemployment in the West Bank drops from 19 percent in the first quarter of 2008 to 17.7 percent in the first quarter of 2009 and from 18.2 percent in the second quarter of 2008 to 16.4 percent in the second quarter of 2009. In the West Bank, tour- ism increases 94 percent in Bethlehem and 31 percent in the Jenin area in 2008. That facilitated a 42 percent rise in hotel stays in the West Bank in the third quarter of 2009 compared with the cor- responding quarter in 2008. Timeline of Israeli efforts for peace and Israeli-Pales- tinian cooperation in 2010 May 28: Israel reopens part of an Israeli highway to Palestinians. Route 443 had previously been restricted to Palestinians after terrorists shot five Israeli motorists on the road in 2002. Israelis still fear attacks, but Israel's Supreme Court ruled that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) must grant Palestinians ac- cess to part of the highway in the West Bank. May 26: Israel authorizes construction projects in Gaza in conjunction with the Palestinian Authority, sidelining Hamas. An Israel Defense Ministry official an- nounces the government will deliver water and nine desalination systems to Gaza, and is approving supplies for construction on a hospital, 150 apartment buildings, a municipal sewage system, a flour mill and 60 classrooms at U.N. schools. All of the projects have the backing of the Palestinian Authority, as part of Israel's strategy of weakening Iran-backed Hamas and strengthening the PA in Gaza. Israel will also allow 100 Gaza businessmen to travel to the West Bank city of Bethlehem via Israel for a business conference. May 23: Israel moves forward with a series of confidence-building mea- sures toward the Palestin- ians. After meeting with Palestinian security officials, the IDF announces it plans to improve daily life for Palestinians by removing 60 checkpoints in the West Bank; granting tourists and 50 Israeli tour guides entry to Bethlehem through all crossings; opening the Da- hariya crossing near Hebron and the Keidar road near Ma'ale Adumim; facilitating travel for senior Palestinian businessmen through secu- rity crossings; and allowing Arab-Israeli civilians to visit the West Bank through all crossings along the security fence and the city of Tulka- rein on weekends through the 104 crossings. May 9: Israel and the Pal- estinian Authority complete the first round of indirect "proximity" talks. After U.S. The Hebrew Day School of Central Florida extends its sympathy to the family of Zelig Wise. The board, students, families, and professional staff at HDS thank Zelig for his vision to create a school to educate the Jewish children in the Central Florida community. His legacy will live on through our students. Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell wraps up meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the State Department issues a statement that: "If either [party] takes significant ac- tions during the proximity talks that we judge would seriously undermine trust, we will respond to hold them accountable and ensure that negotiations continue." The Palestinians pledge to take measures to curb anti-Israel incitement, while Israel agrees to postpone an East Jerusalem housing project in a Jewish neighborhood. April 22: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netan- yahu urges Palestinians to return to peace talks. In an interviewwith Israel's Chan- nel 2, Netanyahu says that Israel "very much [wants] to move the political process forward. We took several steps to advance it...On my first day in office, I called on [President Abbas] to come and negotiate, and on my first day, unfortunately, he set preconditions. We did other things--we removed roadblocks and hundreds of checkpoints. We also approved the moratorium [on new construction in the West Bank]. We took all these steps..." March 21: Israel announc- es new plan to upgrade Arab economy and infrastructure. The $213 million (800 million shekel) program to develop economic opportunities, transportation and housing for Israel's minority commu- nities was crafted specifically to assist Israel'sArab popula- tion and will focus on 12 Bed- ouin and Arab communities, comprising approximately 400,000 residents. March 15: Jerusalem's mayor and the prime min- ister of Israel attend the rededication ceremony for the Hurva synagogue in Jeru- salem's Old City. Says Jerusa- lem Mayor Nir Barkat, "I want to send a message of peace to all religions...I believe that from this place, where we experienced the terrible pain of the destruction of a place that was holy to us...we will know to be sensitive to others doubts and troubles." Prime Minister Netanyahu: "Many people are excited about this moment--and justifiably so...We have allowed believers in other faiths to conserve their houses of worship. We proudly hold on to our heri- tage, while at the same time allowing others freedom of religion." March 10: Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai apologiz- es the day after his ministry announced the construction of 1,600 new housing units in Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish northern Jerusalem neigh- borhood. Ramat Shlomo falls within the city's municipal boundaries and was annexed by Israel following the 1967 defensive Six-Day War. The timing of the announced construction--the fourth of a seven-step zoning process that is expected to continue for years--coincided with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to the region as part of a U.S. attempt to push proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians. "The approval is a purely technical matter and we have no intention of insulting or seeking a confrontation with the U.S. vice president," says Yishai, adding, "I apologize for the distress this matter caused." An interior ministry spokeswoman adds that the new construction project has been in the planning stages for the past three years and that the timing was coinci- dental. March 2: Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announces that he will delay implementation of a plan to revitalize the city's historic A1 Bustan section, located in the mostly Arab neighborhood of Silwan. The plan caused controversy because its restoration of the western part of the area, known in Hebrew as Gan Hamelech (King's Garden) would require the demolition of about 22 houses illegally built there. Barkat makes the decision to postpone the plan, estimated to cost $50 million--S100 million, at the request of Prime Min- ister Netanyahu, who wants to avoid tensions created by what he called "elements... interested in sowing strife and discord and in present- ing a distorted picture to the country and the world." In the meantime, Barkat says he will hold further talks with area residents in hopes of reaching a housing agree- ment with them. Jan. 25: Humanitarian aid to Gaza continues with 68 truckloads of supplies passing through the goods crossings from Israel into Gaza. From Jan. 19, 2009 - Jan. 16, 2010, 724,925 tons of humanitarianaidwere deliv- ered to Gaza. That represents a 900 percent increase in humanitarian aid delivered there compared to 2008. Jan. 23: Israeli officials au- thorize the payment of $6.7 million (25 million shekels) to Gaza residents entitled to social security and pension payments from Israel due to having worked inside the country in previous years. Past Israeli sacrifices for peace Aug. 15-Aug. 23, 2005: Gaza and West Bank Disen- gagement. In an effort to relieve the security threats against Israelis living in Gaza and to try to put the Israeli- Palestinian peace talks back on track, Israel unilaterally pulls all of its citizens out of the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank. This dramatic move costs Israel approximately $2 billion, and includes the evacuation of all of the roughly 9,000 Israelis living in the affected areas in addition to exhuming and transferring all graves in Gaza to Israeli territory. On Sept. 12, 2005, the last IDF soldier departs the Gaza Strip, marking a historic step towards peace by Israel. Jan. 22-27, 2001: Taba Conference. Israel offers even more of the West Bank: territory equivalent to 97 percent of the total land area requested by the Palestinians, includ- ing swaps from within pre- 1967 Israel. Just a day after Taba ends unsuccessfully, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat delivers an anti-Israel speech at the World Econom- ic Forum in Davos, accusing the Israeli government of a "barbarian and cruel war us- ing fascist methods..." July 11-25, 2000: Camp David Summit. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offers the Pales- tinians more than 90 percent of the West Bank, which would mean the uprooting of about 40,000 Israeli settlers. The deal would also include Palestinian control over the Christian and Muslim quar- ters of Jerusalem's old city and other East Jerusalem neighborhoods, as well as religious sovereignty over the Temple Mount, consid- ered Judaism's holiest site and known to Muslims as Haram al Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary). The talks end unsuccessfully. 1994-1999: Israel with- draws from territory as part of the "land-for-peace" deal with the Palestinians. During the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel agreed to gradually withdraw from major population centers in the Palestinian territories, granting the Palestinians self-rule. Israel withdraws from Jericho and parts of Gaza in 1994. The Hebron Protocol, an important step in the Oslo peace process which was signed in 1997, grants the Palestinians control over 80 percent of Hebron--the location of the Cave of the Patriarchs, Juda- ism's second-holiest site. The Wye and Sharm-el-Sheikh agreements of the late 1990s lead to further Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank. April 1982: Israel com- pletely withdraws from the Sinai Peninsula. Fulfilling its obligations under the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty, Israel removes its soldiers and citizens from the Sinai, an area twice the size of its own territory that it had controlled since win- ning the defensive Six-Day War in 1967. Despite protests and widespread skepticism among the Israeli public, the IDF evacuates Israeli civilians and bulldozes the town of Yamit under orders from Defense Minister Ariel Sharon--once a champion of the settlement movement. A New York Times news article calls Israel's withdrawal from Sinai a concession"more ex- tensive than any ever made by a country in a comparable po- sition of military strength." March 26, 1979: Israel- Egypt Peace Treaty. Israel and Egypt sign a treaty which calls for both nations to demilitarize the Sinai Peninsula; for Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 bor- der, giving up military bases, settlements, roads and the Sinai oil fields; and for Egypt to normalize relations with Israel. Other Arab countries attack the agreement, and Sa- dat is assassinated by Muslim extremists in 1981. Neverthe- less, the treaty holds. The Israel Project (www. is an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, free- dom and peace. The Israel Project provides journalists, leaders and opinion-makers accurate information about Israel. It is not related to any government or government agency.