Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
MARX: A HERO FOR OUR TIME? — Suddenly, everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Rolling Stone seems to be talking about Karl Marx. Louis Proyect delves into this mysterious resurgence, giving a vivid assessment of Marx’s relevance in the era of globalized capitalism. THE MEANING OF MANDELA: Longtime civil rights organizer Kevin Alexander Gray gives in intimate portrait of Nelson Mandela and the global struggle of racial justice. FALLOUT OVER FUKUSHIMA: Peter Lee investigates the scandalous exposure of sailors on board the USS Reagan to radioactive fallout from Fukushima. SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT: Kim Nicolini charts the rise of Matthew McConaughey. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the coming crash of the housing market. JoAnn Wypijewski on slavery, torture and revolt. Chris Floyd on the stupidity of US policy in Ukraine. Kristin Kolb on musicians and health care. And Jeffrey St. Clair on life and death on the mean streets of an America in decline
No Money Down (No Palestinians Allowed)

Zionists Make Great Homebuilders

by D. SIDNEY POTTER

With the conclusion of Barrack Obama’s recent trip to Israel and Palestine, the subject of protected lands from the 1967 border agreement comes to mind — and with it, we are reminded of the Israeli governments’ voracious appetite for new development opportunities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

After the UN approved Palestine statehood in November in 2012, Israel announced plans to build 3,500 new homes in previously occupied Palestinian territory.

Giving credit where credit is due, Zionists make exceptionally prodigious homebuilders.  While it usually takes a team of planners, architects, and lawyers to wrangle your way through a labyrinth of zoning applications, hearings, and environmental impact reports, these guys know how to hurdle those bureaucratic hurdles and start building.

In an industry where supply and demand dictates developer outlays, these guys put the demand in “supply and demand.”  Why should the1967 Middle East War, which defined the borders of Palestine and Israel, and where 138 countries recently recognized Palestine as an Arab state, affect your decision making?  Agreements are made to be broken.  Right?   And the real coup d’état, the Zionists got the land with zero percent down.  In fact it was free.  This would even make the Merchant of Venice proud.

For definitional purposes, a Zionist in the true sense is a person with noble intentions; and Zionism, a noble cause.  However, in today’s xenophobic world, what has been created in its place is a strain of Zionism that is so totally exclusionary, that its underpinnings are now nearly recognized as unadulterated racism.  In short, if you think the Tea Party has hijacked the GOP, then the Zionists have man-handled the Likud party — which is currently lead by Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

As a real estate investor who has bought dozen of single tract homes over the past ten years in California, Nevada and Arizona, I can certainly relate to the bravado of claiming a parcel of land as one’s own and enjoying the pride of ownership that takes place. But this is different.

A Different Perspective

Israel’s other two leading political parties, the Kadima and Labor parties, have a decidedly different perspective on Palestinian Statehood — and essentially support it as it pertains to negotiating with its Arab neighbors.

In support of full statehood, there are at least half a dozen Israeli parties (i.e., Hadash, Ra’am, T’al, Balad, and Meretz), that have gone on record for a two-state solution. So even though Israel’s home building aspirations may appear to the world as vulgar, it only represents a small to medium fraction of the Israeli electorate.  Similar to the stranglehold the Republican far right has in this country’s own legislative process, so too does the Likud party in Israeli politics.

Notwithstanding the moral outrage that typically cascades from UN member states after an international event occurs that it disagrees with, the following came from the State Department:

“We’re very clear that continued Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank undermines peace efforts,” U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said. “We do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity.”

Counter Protests and Kitchen Counter Tops

As a sign of protest, a group of Palestinians squatted on a vacant piece of strip along the West Bank in January.  The initiative, which was supported by the PLO, was to prevent Israel colonialism.  One of the protest signs stated they were “occupying” occupied land.

Palestinians have shown extreme resilience, especially with the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas.  In addition, you have to give the Palestinians credit for at least having a sense of humor.  As the red head stepchild of the Middle East, where support from neighboring Arabs is often just talk — and not action, it takes a lot to stay focused with the added indignation of aggressively being pummeled by the extreme right of the Israeli politic.

And despite the recklessness of Hamas, which is a hateful political enemy to Israel, the people of Palestinian are fairly optimistic. This is apropos for a Mel Brooks comedic treatment.  Think of the musical skit “Springtime for Hitler” from the Mel Brooks movie The Producers.   As a starter — and in terms of comedic relief, I’m thinking that the Zionist real estate development proposal was probably tweeted to Hamas in 140 characters or less.  Effective immediately.

What kinda marketing material do you pitch to an Israeli citizen to buy a condo in the settled land of the Palestinian people?  And what happens if there’s buyers’ remorse, and it’s past the 3-day right of rescission?  God forbid there by anything like a born again Jew.  All sales are final.

A $10,000 seller credit if you open escrow before the UN proposal for Palestinian Statehood is approved.  Special discount for military personnel and Mossad agents. (Who knew?)  Which brings a whole new meaning to Neighborhood Watch program.  In fact, somebody let George Zimmerman know their hiring.  Job requirements: Must know how to profile, with the ability to shot first, and ask questions later.

Other issues: Clear title not guaranteed.  Resettlement insurance available upon request.  Bomb shelters at no extra cost.   Investor special, buy two condos and get a standalone Casita (aka Grandma unit), for your rag-top hating mother in law.  A place to keep her quiet, while you enjoy a nightly view of improvised people who suffer in third world conditions.

And for those Zionists with a bit of a feisty streak — watch the sky light up at night as Israel F15’s (courtesy of American taxpayers) —- and cool looking drones, least we not forget (for daytime matinees of course), bomb Hamas hideouts on the Gaza Strip.  A fantastic multi-colored light show only comparable to your relatives at Disneyworld in Florida.   Not only do you get free cable, but every neighborhood comes with its new Iron Dome anti-missile system.  Thanks in part to US assistance of $3.1 billion in per annum military aid financing.

Walk of Shame for America and Israel

The Palestinians have been robbed of their dignity.  Robbed of their land.  Robbed of their minds.  And now their land, which is considered sacrosanct to their existence, has been deduced into a rich developers marketing plan?  Nice.

If it weren’t tragic, it would actually be pretty funny.  It would be interesting to watch the reaction of the Mexican government if Kaufman Homes — now KB Homes, had one of their sales office in El Paso, TX set up shop overnight across the border in Juárez, Mexico, and break ground on a new 5,000 home master planned community.  (The reaction: What the f—-k just happened).  Opps, I guess they didn’t get the email from Netanyahu?  Maybe they were taking a siesta!

To give a sense of political equivalence, an extreme Zionist would be similar to a Tea Party member that not only has a sense of contempt for anyone that doesn’t look like or think like them, but actually thinks that the Back-to-Africa movement in the 19th century was actually a pretty good idea.  Perhaps even a necessary evil.

Extremeness vs. Normalcy

Zionists, as opposed to peaceful Torah loving normal Israelis, which philosophically mirror a substantial portion of American Jews, find the zeal in which the Netanyahu led government treats Arab, brown skinned non-Jews as alarming, hypocritical and border line sick.

Zionists, which is meant in the pejorative as it relates to that small sliver of Israelis that believe they have a God given right to Jerusalem and the surrounding real estate, take a no prisoner approach towards economic development on the West Bank.  (Somehow, the planning commission missed that in their zoning application).   By comparison, the take charge manifesto of the Likud party in Israel makes US President Andrew Jackson’s triumphs over the Indians during the American Indian wars look like a friendly get together.

Even by dick-swinging, super macho American standards, building condos in East Jerusalem and in the West Bank by fait — is fairly embolden.

White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters soon after the UN passed resolution: “We urge Israeli leaders to reconsider these unilateral decisions and exercise restraint as these actions are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations to achieve a two state solution.”

Viola! Your White Picket Fence in the West Bank

With marble kitchen counter tops, a Kosher kitchen, triple weaved Berber carpet, sound proof walls — for that occasional missile that just exploded overhead, roof top pools — to view brown skinned Palestinians throw rocks and bottles from three hundred yards away at your beautiful master planned community, is priceless.

These new settler homes bring new meaning to your friendly neighbored HOA.  Instead of being fined for breaching the CC&R’s for not removing your garbage bin within 24 hours after trash pickup day, Israeli citizens will now get fined for not turning off all house lights after dusk, for fear of becoming a visible target for Hamas snipers after nightfall.

Are there deed restrictions?  You betcha: No Palestinians allowed.  (The new Negro of the 21st century).  Unless of course it’s the kitchen help or landscapers to mow your lawn.    But even that may be a risk, since those domestics (in the true sense), may give locational coordinates to Hamas so they may personally send you a house opening gift — by air express of course.  But with Google satellite mapping, who needs Palestinian informants posing as Israeli new home buyers or job seeking domestics.

And who needs a home planning commission when you have the Torah and the backing of the United States as your pre-approved lender?  From a lending perspective, Israel has great credit, a superb FICO score, perfect payment history, steady employment profile, and great personal references from their next door neighbors!   And if they ever give a three notice to pay or quit, you could always count on Israeli commandos to complete the eviction in a steadfast manner.

Shalom.

D. Sidney Potter has worked in the real estate and mortgage industry since 1992 and is a licensed member of the National Association of Home Builders, and the National Association of Realtors. Mr. Potter has a BA in Political Science, 2 MBA’s and part of a doctorate degree from Pepperdine. He has extensive experience in both commercial and residential real estate in California, Nevada, and Arizona and has consulted investors and the media throughout the United States. Most recently he served on the Board of Directors for two major HOA’s in Las Vegas. In addition, Mr. Potter is a contributing writer to iReport (CNN), DigitalJournal and Newsvine.com (a part of MSNBC).