Eretz Yisrael Time

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Obama and George Mitchell are sending out spies to Jewish towns.

One theory is that it is to prevent more Gilo gaffs, as until now, Obama administration people have shown a complete lack of knowledge on the ground of the ground.

But more likely it is to just see what they want to destroy.

Here is an article by Ben Caspit of Maariv (no link yet. I'm working on it) via David Bedein.

Ma'ariv , Nov 25 by Ben Caspit -- The Americans are taking off the gloves
and going into the field: In the past few days, American diplomats, who
apparently belong to envoy George Mitchell's team, have started to
travel through Judea and Samaria and tour the Jewish settlements there,
holding interviews and inquiries with the local leaders and other
settlers, in order to get the feel of the situation on the ground.

The first of these diplomats arrived on Monday in the settlement
Efrat. This is Cindy-Noga Trin, a diplomat stationed at the US
consulate in Jerusalem, who appears to belong to envoy Mitchell's team.
She visited Efrat, a large Jewish settlement, and interviewed Council
Chairman Oded Revivi at length, and four additional residents (one of
whom is a relative of Ari Harrow, the prime minister's bureau chief).

Trin arrived in a bulletproofed van, accompanied by a driver and
security guard, and was businesslike and polite. She took out a thick
notebook and filled it diligently. Every word that came out of the
mouth of Council Chairman Revivi, a lieutenant colonel in reserves, who
was elected to his post about a year ago, was written down and filed.
"We want to get a feel on the situation on the ground," she said to
Revivi, "my next stops are Kiryat Arba, and then Tapuah junction."

The conversation was similar to a cross-examination. The bizarre
part of the event was when the US diplomat repeatedly asked Revivi, "why
aren't you continuing to build?" and "who is preventing you from
building?" Revivi explained that Efrat had not received building
permits for the past eight years.

Trin persisted: "The city is supposed to reach 30,000 residents, you
have master plans here, who is stopping construction? And how long
haven't you received permits?" Revivi explained: "Here, in Givat
Hazayit, in the heart of the settlement, there is no expansion of the
perimeter line, there are plans here for 400 housing units, the Housing
Ministry completed the infrastructure at an investment of millions, but
the land is not being marketed." Trin asked, "why?" and Revivi said
that he had no idea, and showed her two other hills (Givat Hadagan and
Givat Hatamar) with the same problem.

Trin took an interest in the way of life in the settlement, the
sources of livelihood and the relations with the Arab neighbors. Revivi
planned a tour for her in the nearby village, Wadi Nis, and coordinated
the matter with the Arab residents, but Trin's appearance with a large
bulletproofed vehicle and security guards caused the village residents
to change their minds.

Revivi told the American diplomat about the good neighborly relations
with the village residents. "There is no fence between Efrat and the
Arab villages. Together with our Arab neighbors, we fought against the
fence and won," he said. "This is the only place where Arabs and Jews
demonstrated today and prevented a fence. Our Arab neighbors have
called twice to warn us against terror cells that were on their way
here, and the warnings proved to be true. We provide Wadi Nis with
doctors, medicines and water, we renovate their water lines, they work
here, we visit there, the relations are excellent and there are
friendships and a lot of mutual help."

Revivi told Trin that although the American initiative looked like a
clever way to bypass the relationship between the governments, he was
very glad for it. "President Obama is trying to solve this conflict by
means of satellite footage," he explained. "If he were to go out into
the field, see things up close, understand that we live here with our
neighbors in coexistence and study the everyday life here, he would
understand the complexity of the story better."

The meeting lasted for more than an hour, in which Cindy-Noga Trin
filled a notebook in small handwriting. The feeling, Revivi said later,
was of a painstaking and detailed cross-examination. She did not miss a
word, and wrote everything down. When she asked him who was stopping
the construction, Revivi raised an eyebrow, since it is the Americans,
and mainly Trin's boss George Mitchell, who are the address for this
question, but he answered nonetheless. Afterwards, Trin met with Boaz
Columbus, principal of the high school in Karmei Tzur, and with Ora
Yanai and Rahel Goshen, Efrat residents who belong to the founding
generation of the settlement. The last one to be interviewed was Eve
Harrow, a relative of Ari Harrow, who deals with public relations.

This surprising visit to Efrat is supposed to be the first of a
series. The Americans are descending on [the settlements] in the field.
Mitchell is determined to understand what is happening on the ground,
and to compare what is happening with what he is being told. All this
is taking place a few days before Prime Minister Netanyahu's expected
announcement of a construction freeze in the settlements-an announcement
that will probably not satisfy the Palestinians. Mitchell may be trying
now to rectify the errors of the past and to check what is being done on
the ground before he issues statements and demands that could complicate
the situation of the sides.
It sounds like this Revivi guy was way too nice to them.


Ruchie Avital said...

Her name is Cyndee-Nga Trinh. Her official title is "vice consul."

JoeSettler said...

I'll add her to the list.

Neshama said...

This is tremendous news.
It may turn out that whatever the Jews say will be used against them and Israel in some fashion. This is fact-finding for Obama, in order to get 'under the skin of Netanyahu' and into the thinking of our leaders. Not a good sign.

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