NY Republican Candidate Turner Blasts Obama for Beating up Israel on Tisha B’Av


businessman-bob-turnerLast week, an Israeli planning commission approved 930 new housing units in the Har Choma neighborhood in east Jerusalem. Actual building is at least two years off.

According to the Associated Press, the Obama administration says it is “deeply concerned” by Israeli approval of new housing construction in disputed east Jerusalem.

The State Department says such “unilateral actions work against efforts to resume direct negotiations” and the spirit of the peace process. In a statement, the department says it has raised its objections with the Israeli government.

Alongside its rare rebuke of a close ally, the State Department said Israelis and Palestinians should settle their differences on Yerushalayim through negotiation.

The following is a statement by Businessman Bob Turner, candidate for Congress in New York’s Ninth District, on President Obama’s criticism of Israel:

“There goes President Obama again today, on the saddest day of the Hebrew Calendar, finding — as he always does — something or some way to beat up on Israel. This administration and the Democratic party never fail to find a way to slam our closest ally in the Middle East.”

“Today is Tisha B’Av when Jews around the world commemorate the destruction of both the first and second Temples in Jerusalem. And today the Obama administration criticized Israel for housing construction in East Jerusalem that will not take place for at least another two years.”

{Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Bob Turner is the right candidate for the observant community. Every vote counts. Everyone MUST go out and vote for Bob Turner. Our electing Bob Turner is going to be a great Kiddush HaShem.

  2. Well let’s look at the facts. The announcement of the new apartments was just made. This is the same fight GW Bush and Condi Rice picked with Israel in December 2007


    Rice: Har Homa homes harm talks By Barak Ravid and Jonathan Lis

    “U.S.Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday the plan to build 307 new housing units in Jerusalem’s Har Homa neighborhood beyond the Green Line does not help the peace process.”

    Condi Rice said, “I’ve made clear that we’re in a time when the goal is to build maximum confidence between the parties, and this doesn’t help to build confidence.” She spoke after meeting with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on the issue.

    Rice said she had brought up the matter with Livni in a phone call and at Brussels. “It is even more important now that we are really on the eve of the beginning” of negotiations, she said.

    Housing Minister Ze’ev Boim was critical of Rice’s statements on Har Homa.

    “Secretary Rice is to be praised for her part in getting the peace process restarted, but it is inconceivable that at every opportunity this will be tied to construction in Jerusalem,” he said.


    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was mistaken when she called upon Israel to reconsider its plan to build more than 300 housing units in Har Homa, Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski said on a tour of the outlying Jerusalem neighborhood on Wednesday.

    Lieberman purposely visited Har Homa at the same time that the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams launched the final-status peace talks. The visit was intended to send a message to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert not to give in on Har Homa, despite pressure from the United States and from the Palestinian negotiating team that protested the building plan during the talks.
    “I have to correct the State Department,” Lieberman said. “They spoke about 300 housing units in Har Homa, but there are 3,000 on the way.”
    Har Homa’s building plan was approved by the government of Yitzhak Rabin when the mayor of Jerusalem was Ehud Olmert. That’s as consensus as it gets.”
    Lieberman came to the neighborhood and spoke to the press near the hilltop where the controversial 300 additional units will be built. When he spoke, sheep grazed in the background on land that will soon house a school, a synagogue and a community center.
    “Every Jew has the right to live here,” Lieberman said, purposely using the same language former prime minister Ariel Sharon used to justify his controversial visit to the Temple Mount in September 2000.
    “When it comes to building in Jerusalem, there are no considerations of timing, politics or pressure. It’s incumbent on us to withstand pressure.”
    Lieberman said he disagreed with the State Department assessment that building on Har Homa would “violate the trust between the Israelis and Palestinians.” He said that if anything, the building plan would increase the trust of Israelis in their own government.

    The Jewish Week: title: Har Homa, the New Front Line- The New Front Line? Wednesday December 26, 2007 by Michele Chabin
    “….Just after Israel’s Housing Ministry announced earlier this month that 300 more housing units were to be built in Matitya’s hilly neighborhood over the Green Line, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice offered a sharp condemnation. Israel’s announcement, which came just after the Annapolis summit, prompted Rice to say, “I made it clear we are in a time when the goal is to build maximum confidence with the parties. This [construction at Har Homa] is not going to build that confidence.” “Rice’s comments jolted many Har Homa residents. And it threw a spotlight on a quiet neighborhood — only a couple of miles from the trendy Jerusalem neighborhoods of Baka and Old Talpiot — most Israelis consider part of the country’s capital.
    Rice’s remarks should be a warning sign to all other Israelis who live in other parts of Jerusalem, like Gilo, Ramat Eshkol, East Talpiot, that are over the Green Line,” Matitya said, standing on his terrace. He was referring to just three of the many Jewish neighborhoods built in East Jerusalem since it was captured by Israel in 1967. French Hill, adjoining Mount Scopus, and Malcha, next to the popular Macha mall, are two others.
    Matitya says he can envision a time when the American government might demand the dismantling of some Jewish East Jerusalem neighborhoods as part of a deal with the Palestinians.
    “Officially, the U.S. government doesn’t recognize any east Jerusalem neighborhood as part of Jerusalem or Israel,” he said. “If Condoleeza Rice decides to hand over Har Homa to the Palestinian Authority, it would be a hotbed for terrorists, just like Gaza since the Israeli withdrawal.”
    Were this to happen, Matitya said, “there could be shooting into places like Talpiot,” a middle-class neighborhood in southern Jerusalem that served as the front line during the 1967 war. “What’s happening in Sderot, the constant bombardment, was unthinkable before the pullout from Gaza. Nothing is unthinkable in this part of the world.”
    Israeli officials responded to Rice by saying that Har Homa is “an integral part of Jerusalem,” built within the city limits. (This week a Housing Ministry budget proposal for 2008 included 500 more apartments in Har Homa and 240 in Maale Adumim, the largest settlement in the West Bank.)
    Still, Rice’s speech has many Israelis wondering whether the Bush administration intends to interfere with the expansion of Jewish neighborhoods beyond the Green Line to further the peace process.
    Har Homa, which has a population of about Geshon Baskin, CEO of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, a left-wing think tank, maintains that Har Homa “is a settlement and all settlements are illegal under the Geneva convention. It is illegal for an occupying power to settle civilians on occupied territory: anything beyond the pre-1967 borders.”
    The fact that Har Homa was built largely on Jewish-owned land is irrelevant, Baskin says, “because Palestinians don’t have the same rights in Israel proper. There were 400-plus Arab villages [in present-day Israel] before 1948 that no longer exist,” he says, “yet Palestinians cannot claim ownership or build on these lands.”
    On a purely practical level, Baskin says, the Palestinian municipalities adjoining Har Homa are cramped for space, “and Palestinians feel the land on which Har Homa was built should be part of a Palestinian state.” Building a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem violated the so-called road map for peace, he says, “because Israel said it would freeze all settlements, even for natural growth.
    “According to international law, there is no difference between Har Homa and other Jewish settlements/neighborhoods built after 1967.”

    Rice Just ‘Making Noises’
    Efraim Inbar, director of the Besa Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University, doesn’t think Rice’s Har Homa comments have any teeth.
    “I think Rice was just making noises, probably after talking to the Palestinians, but I don’t’ think anything will change.”
    This is not the first time an American government has opposed construction at Har Homa, Inbar stresses.
    “They also didn’t like it when Bibi [Netanyahu] built Har Homa, but realistically speaking, I think it will always be in Jewish hands. Israelis will not agree to relinquish Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem.”
    Rena Draiman, who with her husband, Arnie and children, plans to move into their still-under-construction four-bedroom apartment in Har Homa in a month or two, says she was dismayed by Rice’s comments.
    “I thought, ‘Wait, I hope all this media attention won’t lead the Arabs living nearby to attack Har Homa the way they attacked Gilo during the intifada,’” Draiman, an architect, said. “But I’m very excited to be going to a place outside the ‘Baka Bubble,’ a sort of Upper West Side lifestyle. We love our neighborhood and wish we could afford to stay, but people who can afford to stay are in a different place from what we are economically.”
    Arnie Draiman, a philanthropy consultant, is convinced that “anyone who describes Har Homa as a settlement doesn’t know the geography. It’s a Jerusalem neighborhood like any other neighborhood. It’s exactly two kilometers from where I’m sitting right now,” he said during an interview in the family’s rental apartment on the edge of Baka, where moving boxes were stacked.

    Sunday, December 9, 2007
    [Dispute to improve Kadima image or serious dispute?] Rice: Har Homa homes harm talks
    [Dr. Aaron Lerner – IMRA: The wall-to-wall response in Kadima supporting
    construction on Har Homa – including Chaim Ramon on Israel Radio this
    morning – serves to improve its image in the Israeli public. It remains to
    be seen if U.S.Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice takes this beyond her
    remarks last Friday, escalating the move from the “doesn’t help to build
    confidence” category to an out and out violation. Rice’s team knows that if
    they go beyond such remarks that the PA could easily come the next day with
    a complaint about building activity in French Hill and Ramat Eshkol and they
    will find themselves drawn even further into positions that make it just
    that much easier to rally public opinion against the entire “piece process”

    Rice: Har Homa homes harm talks
    By Barak Ravid and Jonathan Lis Last update – 01:30 09/12/2007

    U.S.Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday the plan to build 307
    new housing units in Jerusalem’s Har Homa neighborhood beyond the Green Line
    does not help the peace process.

    “I’ve made clear that we’re in a time when the goal is to build maximum
    confidence between the parties, and this doesn’t help to build confidence.”
    She spoke after meeting with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on the issue.


    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas, and even UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon sharply castigated Israel, at the recent fund-raising extravaganza for the PA in Paris, for deigning to build Jewish housing in territory liberated in the 1967 Six Day War.

    Why is it that when a Republican President does this it is ” Just making noise” but when a Democrat one is it is an attempt to sacrifice the State of Israel?

  3. While I agree with Bob Turner on most things. This is not true – the Democratic party DOES NOT beat up on Israel. Thankfully, Israel has enjoyed bi-partisan support and this needs to be kept. Please correct this.

  4. Aren’t we being just a tad over sensitive over the date of this announcement? Would you have felt any happier if the announcement had been made on Monday?

  5. The timing of the date of this announcement is out of place, but don’t expect Obama to know this if most Israelis don’t! We face serious resistance on this issue! And untill Israel gives the Arabs every piece of land, nothing will ever be settled, and no building anywhere will be accepted. If Har Choma and every settlement will be returned the so called fight will start with the area around Richavya, and then Katamon and then the city center! Nothing will ever be settled with the greedy Arabs who demand the world and supply in return very little. Best option for Israel is to ignore the rehtoric of our ill intended neighbors and build where we have to. But not to over antagonise them, because it’s not worth it. Life is more important then land. Halachcly and rationaly.

  6. “but don’t expect Obama to know this if most Israelis don’t!”

    Simcha, you are completely off base. Israelis are aware and many, at least triple the amount of American Jews fast on the ninth of Av. Walk the streets of Manhattan and ask American Jews about the events or significance of Tisha Bav. Remember “reay btuv haeretz”.


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