Israel´s building of so-called `settlements` in East Jerusalem and the West Bank has dominated the world news in recent months. This document demonstrates that the mass secular media (and therefore foreign governments) are shockingly misinformed about the real situation on the ground in Jerusalem.
Building in the Jerusalem area and the West Bank has dominated the world news for a while now. At the same time evacuations and demolitions in the area, as a result of illegal building, have attracted no less attention. Yet the abundance of news reports has not contributed to a better understanding of those issues. This is the result of incomplete information and in many cases fundamental misunderstanding of the often complex situation in Jerusalem.
These misunderstandings can be found even in the highest circles. One example of misunderstanding occurred during the visit to Israel of the vice-president of the United States Joe Biden.
During a speech at the Tel Aviv University Biden admitted that he had misjudged Israel’s announcement of the building plan in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood. His initial response was based on the assumption that construction of the 1600 new units in this neighborhood was about to start.
Only after prime-minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained to him that the actual start of the building would only take place in another three years did he realize that he had reacted too harshly.
Building procedures in Israel are a slow process. In some cases the time elapsing between the initial plan and the realization of a neighborhood can be ten years.
The Ramat Shlomo decision did not involve building permits. It was, rather a district zoning committee approval, which must be accompanied by both a municipal zoning approval and a national zoning approval, and then an internal Interior Ministry bidding process, a contract with a developer, and only then applications for building permits.
Another issue which causes misunderstandings is the status of Jerusalem. This study aims to give more complete information about all those issues.
This report is published by Missing Peace: http://missingpeace.eu/
Read the full report - Format HTML: http://missingpeace.eu/_download/MP-00001-EN-20100429.html