Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ariel, Samaria's Green Line Problem for University

Nadene Goldfoot
Ariel, a  city about 5.7 square miles of 18,638 Jews, which is only 26 miles east of Tel Aviv and 37 miles NW of Jerusalem is in danger of the international community.  This is because the city wished to enlarge its college into a university.  The situation exists  because it happens to be located in Samaria, which is what Jordan named, along with Judah,  the "West Bank."   It lies 11 miles beyond the pre-1967 Green Line.  Ron Nachman chose the spot because of its strategic location on a possible Jordanian invasion route towards Israel's main population center of Tel Aviv.

"The Green Line is not an international or permanent border - Professor Stephen M. Schwebel, at the time a deputy legal advisor to the U.S. Department of State, Legal Adviser Office (1961–1981), wrote in the American Journal of International Law (1970) that "...modifications of the 1949 armistice lines among those States within former Palestinian territory are lawful (if not necessarily desirable), whether those modifications are...'insubstantial alterations required for mutual security' or more substantial alterations - such as recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the whole of Jerusalem." In a footnote, he wrote: "It should be added that the armistice agreements of 1949 expressly preserved the territorial claims of all parties and did not purport to establish definitive boundaries between them."

The Palestinians want to make a state of their own out of the West Bank.  Gideon Saar asked, "How can it be that a university is an impediment to peace?  When it was just a college, peace was attainable.  Ariel is the 4th largest Jewish city in Judea-Samaria.

Israel disputes this agenda of international law.  Several of Israel's governments have insisted that Ariel be included within Israel's future borders under any future peace treaty (don't hold your breath).  Ariel has been given the status of a city council in 1998.  In January 2010 Netanyahu declared Ariel the "capital of Samaria." and an important part of Israel.  The Palestinians want the city-minus the Jews, of course, because it contains an aquifer.  It also has several shopping centers, 2 industrial zones of light and heavy industry, and a library.  In 2008 they got approval of constructing 27 new factories to be completed in 2009.

14,000 Israelis;  both Jewish and Arab students attend Ariel University which was founded in 1982.  It became fully accredited and recognized as the 8th Israeli University on December 24, 2012.  Post-graduate studies are already offered there and it is issuing doctorate degrees.  The Beersheba Theater company was part of the performing arts which opened in 2010.

Gideon Saar, Israel's Education Minister, answered criticism from the British Foreign Office Minister, Alistair Burt, of official approval for a university in Ariel.  He said that Israel's connection to Ariel is at least as strong as the UK's connection to the Falkland Island.  The true impediment to peace is the Palestinians' incitement and pro-terrorism education."

The Falklands are sovereign British territory which lies 310 miles off the coast of Argentina who also claim sovereignty.

I suggest that the Palestinians had the opportunity in 1948 to have their own state and passed it up.  Waiting this long to make peace has been ridiculous. The Palestinians have ridiculous expectations showing that they have no intention of making peace.   64 years have gone by and Israel is a growing and thriving state, not looking for a fight but looking to the future.  In August of 2011 Ehud Barak gave permission to build 277 apartments in Ariel.  I don't believe it's happened yet, as the international community just about passed out  at the thought.  I feel it was a warning to the Palestinians:  get their act together and sign a peace treaty including Israel's recognition, or Israel will go ahead and build these apartments.

Reference: Jewish Settlements "Same as Falkland Islands" by Robert Tait

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