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A Measure of Justice?
Soon the piece of real estate will house the descendants of those who Haj Amin al-Husseini tried to kill in Palestine or the grandchildren of those European Jews who escaped Husseini’s ally, Adolf Hitler.

Originall published by The Jerusalem Post, August 7, 2009

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s resolute response to a State Department official’s objection to a Jewish building development in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem may actually close a 90-year-old chapter of the Arab-Israeli conflict and bring about a measure of justice.
 
"We cannot accept the idea that Jews will not have the right to live and buy (homes) anywhere in Jerusalem," Netanyahu said.

For way too long Arab states, terrorist groups and the Palestinian Arabs believed that they could wage “wars of limited liability” first against the Jews of Palestine and then against the State of Israel.
 
They embraced a fantasy that they could unleash attacks with impunity in an attempt to wipe out Israel, convinced that if they were defeated they could return to a status quo ante, or even achieve diplomatically what they couldn’t win on the battlefield.
 
Territories captured by Israel would be returned and not annexed, terrorist leaders would be honored and not condemned, and Jews/Israel would be blamed and never indemnified. Tragically, that fantasy became reality.

When the British attempted to arrest the Mufti in 1937 he fled Palestine, and the British made do with confiscating his property. The Husseini clan owned several well-known buildings in Jerusalem, among them the Palace Hotel on Mamilla Street (later Israel’s Ministry of Trade, and now being rebuilt as a hotel), the Orient House (the site of Palestinian Authority attempts to establish its rule in east Jerusalem), and the Shepherd Hotel in Sheikh Jarrah on a plot of land known as Karam al Mufti, named for Husseini.

The Shepherd Hotel was located on a key roadway; just yards away is the site of the infamous Hadassah Hospital convoy massacre in April 1948, prior to Israel’s independence. Seventy-nine Jews, mostly doctors and nurses, were killed on that road when their convoy to the Mt. Scopus hospital was attacked by hundreds of Arab terrorists. A meek British military response allowed the attack to continue for many hours throughout the day..

AIPAC’s founder, Si Kenen, wrote: “There were long and feverish negotiations between the Israelis and Secretary of State Dulles who tried to divide American Jews, most of whom were backing the Israelis. Dulles invited a group of major Jewish philanthropists, including leading non-Zionists, to use their influence to persuade Israel to accept the U.S. position…”

Sound familiar and contemporary? To a recent meeting with American Jewish leadership, President Obama also invited two leftist organizations highly critical of Israeli policies

Yet, today, under the Arab concept of wars of limited liability, they and the United Nations demand a complete withdrawal from the West Bank and east Jerusalem – “100 percent” -- and a dismantling of the security barrier erected to block Palestinian suicide bombers. In other words, there is no punishment, no price to pay, and no indemnification for acts of aggression.

The actions and words of the Obama administration today elicit from Israel’s “peace partners” echoes of that ominous war cry.

“Obama,” noted the Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl after interviewing the Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas, “has repeatedly and publicly stressed the need for a West Bank settlement freeze, with no exceptions.
 
"In so doing he has shifted the focus to Israel.
 
 "(Obama) has revived the long-dominant Palestinian fantasy:
 that the United States will simply force Israel to make critical concessions, whether or not its democratic government agrees, while Arabs passively watch and applaud.”
 
The acquisition of the Shepherd Hotel site was carried out according to the letter of the law. The land, first confiscated by the British was administered by the Jordanian government after it illegally annexed the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1950. Under international law, the Israeli government became custodians after the 1967 war. For the last 15 years the building stood abandoned.
 
Soon the piece of real estate will house the descendants of those who Haj Amin al-Husseini tried to kill in Palestine or the grandchildren of those European Jews who escaped Husseini’s ally, Adolf Hitler.
 
Maybe, just maybe, there are consequences for aggression