Once again Bibi is lying through his teeth, let’s delve into some of his asinine assertions…
Arabs in Jerusalem are free to purchase apartments in the western [part of the] city and no one is arguing against it. I have no intention of telling Jews they can’t buy apartments in East Jerusalem. This is private property and an individual right. There cannot be discrimination – not against Jews and not against Arabs. This goes against values that the United States also believes in.
So let’s break that down.
1. “Arabs in Jerusalem are free to purchase apartments” in West Jerusalem.
Wrong. As Haaretz described in 2009, after Netanyahu had made similar claims, “according to Israel Lands Administration rules, residents of East Jerusalem cannot take ownership of the vast majority of Jerusalem homes.” Why?
Under Israeli law, to qualify to purchase property on “state land” the purchaser must either be a citizen of Israel (Palestinian Jerusalemites are legal residents if the city, not citizens of Israel) or legally entitled to citizenship under the law of return (i.e. Jewish). This means an Israeli or a Jew from anywhere in the world can purchase such property in West Jerusalem, but not a Palestinian resident of the city.
2. “I have no intention of telling Jews they can’t buy apartments in East Jerusalem.”
The issue that the U.S. – and indeed, almost every other country in the world – has with these housing plans is that Israel is building in and expanding illegal settlements located in occupied territories (and in the case of East Jerusalem, in illegally annexed territory). It is not about ‘telling Jews’ what they can or can’t buy. It is possible Netanyahu is being deliberately disingenuous –but it is also true that he, like the rest of Israel’s political leadership – simply does not recognise international law and norms.
3. “There cannot be discrimination – not against Jews and not against Arabs.”
For Netanyahu to make it an issue of discrimination really takes the biscuit. Israel systematically discriminates against Palestinians, both in the Occupied Territories and inside the pre-1967 lines, through numerous policies and laws documented by Palestinian groups, UN agencies, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, as well as Israeli NGOs (among others). In Jerusalem specifically, Palestinian residents in the Occupied East suffer from a host of discriminatory practices related to land, housing, municipal services, and political repression.
Netanyahu was on a roll however, and added the following. “Every person is entitled to private property”, he said. “No one stole those houses or confiscated the property.” This from the Prime Minister of a state literally built on demolished, stolen, and confiscated homes and lands – whose self-declared capital city expropriated Palestinian land for settlements, and where Jews live in the ethnically cleansed neighbourhoods of Palestinians who are forbidden from returning.
From +972 magazine… A couple of Netanyahu’s not-so-white lies to Americans
Interestingly, UK set to vote on recognition of Palestinian state: