New road signs in Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank will be in Arabic and English, without Hebrew, a US official said Thursday. Mindy Masonis, spokeswoman for the US Consulate in Jerusalem, said the new signs will be part of a larger program aimed at improving conditions in the West Bank. The development is seen as part of the preparation for a future Palestinian state.
Masonis said no signs are being taken down, but the new ones in the Palestinian areas will be in Arabic and English. The sign project accounts for about $175,000 of a three-year, $20 million U.S. aid project to improve services in the West Bank.
[See Update below]
What's your take on this?
Me, being me, thought to myself, first:
1. $175,000 for how many signs? How much per sign? Is this a rip-off?
2. Who is being contracted, only Arabs need apply?
3. Is this a reaction to this? -
...the newly installed minister of transportation, Yisrael Katz, now threatens to fill the roads with signs that use only the Hebrew place names for locations which have had their English and Arabic equivalents for centuries if not millennia.
Because if it is, I hope the Consulate read the rest of what far left-winger Naomi Chazan had the write there:
...BEFORE HE ventures forth on another foolhardy, costly and flauntingly nationalistic escapade, he would do well to apply some common sense to correct the near chaos which greets travelers today.
Some signs are designed to give critical driving instructions. Most of these consist of internationally recognized symbols - usually painted in white, red and/or blue - from stop signs or placards prohibiting entry or parking, to numbers indicating speed limits. Some of these are amusingly unique - for example the camel warnings throughout the South or the deer signs in the North. But the truly important guidelines are written on small, often bent, pieces of yellow-painted metal which tell drivers that an exit is approaching or that it is necessary to significantly slow down for safety's sake.
The Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway is full of such signs. A few are written in all three languages; others appear only in Hebrew. All the signs that warn that camera surveillance is in operation cannot be understood by anyone who is not fully literate in Hebrew. The police must have a heyday with Arabic-speaking citizens or with unsuspecting tourists.
and will they ask themselves at the State Department, do we really want to run afoul of Naomi Chazan and her friends for, after all, liberal progressives should wish too apply equal standards for Jews in Yesha as much as they want the same for Arabs in Israel, yes?
And don't forget this.
4. So, is the US engaged in the promotion of rabid ethnocentric Arab nationalism or is it interested in helping a peace process - or does that peace process exclude Jews while making sure that Arabs benefit twice, once inside Israel and once in something they want to call the "State of Palestine"?
For example, I have for some 20 years been suggesting that the Consulate (and all other interested outside players, EU, UK, etc.) engage the two populations beyond the Green Line in non-political activities so that coexistence can be built up. Like baseball between Shiloh or Efrat and Deir Dibwan. Nada. Not even cricket.
But what do I now find that that the Yanks have done?
PeacePlayers International – Middle East (PPI-ME)
Ramallah & Tulkarm
BasketPal Leadership Development Program
This project uses the game of basketball to teach leadership and life skills to socio-economically disadvantaged girls ages 10 – 16 years and provides professional development training for young Palestinian coaches and educators. By engaging young girls in basketball activities, the project promotes equal participation of women in the public domain. Outstanding youth are then invited to BasketPal’s Leadership Development Program (LDP), giving them a chance to become intern basketball coaches. This grooms them as leaders in their communities and creates role models for young Palestinian girls.
So, not only do they Consulate staff seek to create a "State of Palestine", not only do they do all they can to do so, not only to they presume no Jews are to be there when it arises, but they are also avoiding any attempt previously suggested to assure relative peace between Jews and Arabs after the event.
How clumsy, how stupid, how impolitic. This is discrimination and prejudicial. These are unilateral steps taken to avoid direct negotiations.
A lot of money is flowing:
August 28, 2009
At a signing ceremony in Aida Camp today, U.S. Consul General Jake Walles announced an $81 million contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to support its emergency programs in the West Bank and Gaza.
U.S. Consul General Walles said that the $81 million will provide critical humanitarian assistance to one million Palestinian refugees in Gaza...The United States is UNRWA’s largest bilateral donor. This contribution will bring the United States total contribution to UNRWA in 2009 to $267 million, including over $116 million to its General Fund, $30 million to its Lebanon Emergency Appeals, and $119.5 million to its West Bank/Gaza Emergency Programs.
Hello, Avigdor Lieberman and Danny Ayalon, Ron Dermer, Dore Gold, anybody out there listening to or reading me and this?
I went to MEPI site (here) and while there's
I don't think it's for Jews. Check it out.