David Ha’Ivri of the Shomron Regional Council of the northern Samarian hills, also known as the northern part of the northern half of the West Bank presented a film and dialogue in response to Obama’s demand that Israel “freeze” growth and construction — that Israeli families not be allowed to build extra rooms on their houses, much less new houses, and that they discontinue even “natural growth.”
Obama’s envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, explained the meaning of this to reporters last month:
QUESTION: . . . can you give us just a definition of what the United States considers natural growth? What does that phrase mean in your mind?
MR. MITCHELL: There’s been no change in our policy. And there have been – there have been discussions on every aspect of the issue.
QUESTION: Well, what does natural growth mean? I mean, can you just use it in…
MR. MITCHELL: I’m constantly asked by editors, you know, please give a plain explanation of what natural growth is.
QUESTION: If it’s for your editor. (Laughter.)
MR. MITCHELL: Well, of course, one of the issues is that there is no universally used and accepted definition. The most common definition is by the number of births, but there are many variations of that. I’ve had numerous discussions with many Israeli and other officials, and there are almost as many definitions as there are people speaking. But I think the most commonly used measure is the number of births.
Not everyone is laughing.
David Ha’Ivri is a spokesman and liaison for the Samaria Regional Council. He lives in Kfar Tapuach in the Shomron (Samaria) with his wife and eight children. His wife’s parents and many of her siblings live in the town as well.
The Shomron Regional Council (Hebrew: מועצה אזורית שומרון) is a regional council in the northern Samarian hills, also known as the northern part of the northern half of the West Bank.