Nadene GoldfootAriel is a city of 18,000 inhabitants in Samaria and is 33 years old. That's not a settlement. Settlement is a political word meant to make the reader think it's a group of 4 or 5 trailers that's been somewhere for a few weeks. New construction was announced to happen in Ariel, as if that isn't something that would happen in Portland, Oregon after 33 years. What the construction is are 277 housing units to be built. This city lies 11 miles east of the Green Line. It has a university with 11,000 students of which almost 1,000 are Arabs.
Ariel is considered the Jewish capital of Samaria though it is the 4th largest city in Judea/Samaria. The first three larger ones are Mode'in Illit, Beitar Illit and Ma'ale Adumem. It's population is almost the same as Sherwood, Washington County, Oregon which has 18,194 people. Ariel lies in the biblical heartland of the Jewish people. It is managing to have a successful economy.
Israel needs housing. The Arabs have wasted 63 years of Israel's lives and time by not negotiating with them no matter who the Prime Minister has happened to be or recognizing Israel as a state. Since they haven't negotiated with Israel, the country is going ahead with plans needed for their lives now. Israelis believe in living, and do not look with favor on death and dying. If the Arabs want to be that way, Israelis might as well go ahead and use their own ancient land where their ancestors once walked. Israelis are tired of waiting. They just recently demonstrated for days their need for more housing. Their needs must be attended to by their government.
Catherine Ashton of the EU Foreign Affairs is miffed. She feels that Israel is undermining confidence and is derailing efforts to resume negotiations with the Arabs. I am miffed also, but with the Arabs as I feel they have derailed negotiations by getting up and leaving the table where Netanyahu was in the act of talking about peace negotiations! The Arabs undermine confidence in peace possibilities when they refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state after 63 years! There is nothing on the side of the Arabs except their Declaration to destroy the Jewish state in their Hamas Charter. That sure stalls peace with me. Doesn't that bother Catherine just a little? No, I have a suspicion that the Arabs, after 63 years are afraid of making peace with Israel. They have no intention of doing so. It will take a love fest of all the other Arab states to swear their love of Israel before Hamas and Fatah will come to peaceful terms. Of everthing that has been offered to them, just what does Catherine think it will take to bring peace about? There is a limit to Israel's patience as well.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hXzgKYB6FS0EqFDFGpD5In1iXcJw?docId=CNG.0f536b3f87ac380c93fc984fd8fcf6c4.3f1 on Ariel building