Posts Tagged ‘illegal settlements’

Jerusalem Post: “Israel Has No Intention To Dismantle Illegal Outposts”

April 30, 2010
author Thursday April 29, 2010 11:54author by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies Report post

Israeli paper, Jerusalem Post, reported that Israel has no intention to dismantle any of the 23 illegal settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank in the foreseeable future.

settlement_netanyahu_likud.jpg

The paper said that those outposts were illegally installed in the West Bank after March 2001, and were named in the Road Map Peace Plan of 2002.

But consecutive Israeli leaders, including the current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, have no intention to dismantle any of the illegal outposts in the near future although Israel vowed to the former U.S administration to dismantle the outpost.

Yet, the Bush administration provided direct support to settlement construct and expansion in the occupied West Bank and claimed that the support is meant to settlements that “will always be part of Israel under any peace deal”.

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America, Israel’s Lackey

November 12, 2009
by Paul Craig Roberts, Antiwar.com,  November 12, 2009

It did not take the Israel Lobby long to make mincemeat out of the Obama administration’s “no new settlements” position.  Israeli prime minister Netanyahu is bragging about Israel’s latest victory over the US government as Israel continues to build illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

In May President Obama read the Israelis the riot act, telling the Israeli government that he was serious about ending the Israeli conflict with the Palestinians and that a lasting peace agreement required the Israeli government to abandon all construction of new settlements in the occupied West Bank.

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Obama Fails in Middle East

November 7, 2009

Robert Dreyfuss, The Nation, November 6, 2009

The announcement by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he will not run for reelection is the exclamation point on the utter collapse of the Obama adminstration’s Middle East policy. Launched to great expectations — the appointment of George Mitchell, Obama’s Cairo declaration that the plight of the Palestinians is intolerable — it is now in complete disarray. It is, without doubt, the first major defeat for Obama’s hope-and-change foreign policy.

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President Obama’s Peace Mask Has Cracked

November 6, 2009

Yesh Prabhu, A Sane Voice For Peace In The Middle East, Nov 4, 2009

On the political stage, a short period of five months might as well be an eternity. As the world turns on its axis, events least expected can and often do happen, and spin out of control; and carefully laid out plans go awry.

On Thursday June 4, 2009, President Obama spoke to the world from the august Major Reception Hall at Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt. Appropriately titled “A New Beginning”, the speech was grand and impressive. He described Palestinians’ statelessness as “intolerable”, and recognized their aspirations for statehood and dignity as legitimate, just as legitimate as Israel’s desire for a Jewish homeland. And, of course, he reaffirmed, as he had done several times before, America’s alliance with Israel, calling their mutual bond “unbreakable”. He was wearing his peace mask. That was only five months ago, and already it seems so very long ago.

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MIDEAST: Rabbis Take on Settlers

October 23, 2009

By Mel Frykberg, Inter Press Service News

AWARTA, West Bank, Oct 21 (IPS) – Away from the media spotlight that focuses on the widening chasm between Israelis and Palestinians, a group of Israeli humanists is quietly working to break down barriers with their Palestinian neighbours.

Rabbi Arik Ascherman, director of Israel’s Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR), has been used as a human shield, arrested, and beaten up several times by Israeli security forces while defending Palestinians. He has also been stoned by Palestinians who mistook him for a settler.

Every year during the Palestinian olive season in the autumn months, Palestinian farmers have been subjected to escalated violence by some of the half-million Israeli settlers who live in illegal settlements scattered all over the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Much of the Palestinian farmers’ land has been expropriated by the Israeli authorities for enlargement of settlements and to establish new ones.

The Israeli government recently began laying foundations in 12 settlements for new buildings, while other construction continues in a total of 34 settlements.

Areas around the settlements have been declared closed military zones by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

Groups of vigilante settlers, often protected by the IDF, have set fire to swathes of Palestinian agricultural land, cut down trees, beaten up farmers, and killed some of their livestock.

Israeli and international supporters of Palestinian farmers have been arrested by Israeli soldiers for allegedly breaching the closed military zones, and attacked by settlers as well.

The settler violence is part of an established “price-tag” policy in retaliation for every small settlement outpost evacuated by the IDF.

Ascherman and RHR have been in the forefront of fighting for justice for disadvantaged groups both within Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Each year during the olive season Ascherman leads a group of rabbinical students, and Israeli and international volunteers to accompany Palestinian farmers as they try to harvest their olives. IPS joined them as they accompanied Palestinian farmers to their olive groves in the northern West Bank villages of Awarta and Jit.

Hellela Siew, 65, an Israeli now resident in the UK, travels to Israel each year to partake in the olive harvesting.

During a previous harvest she had to be taken to hospital after she was hit over the head with an iron bar by an Israeli security guard from one of the nearby settlements. On another occasion settlers threw stones and human excreta at her and other volunteers, while shooting into the air.

“I’m an Israeli and Israel is my country and I don’t like what the occupation is doing in my name,” Siew told IPS. “I come here because this is what I must do. I don’t fear the Palestinians, I fear the settlers. In fact I feel more comfortable with the Palestinians than I do with many Israelis.”

German-born Suzanne Moses, 80, fled the Nazis as a child after her mother perished in the Auschwitz death camp. After years as a refugee in various countries she settled in Israel as a young woman.

Moses has been volunteering on the olive groves for years. She spends back- breaking hours in the scorching sun picking olives “because I love olives,” she jokes.

“Seriously, I’m against the occupation. I don’t like the settlers and I’m actually very worried about civil war in the future. The settlers are armed, and even if there was an Israeli government willing to evacuate the settlements, the settlers won’t leave without a fight,” Moses told IPS.

Shy Halatzi, 23, is a physics and astronomy student at Tel Aviv University who served in the IDF. This was his third trip to the West Bank to pick olives.

“I had never been to the West Bank before apart from visiting the Dead Sea. I was a bit apprehensive at first as I wasn’t sure about safety. But I wanted to understand the Palestinians better and see their perspective. Israelis don’t really understand what is happening here from our media.

“If every violation against Palestinians was written about, it would fill a book. I feel my presence here is small compensation for what my countrymen are doing,” Halatzi told IPS.

The volunteers included some refuseniks, or young Israeli conscientious objectors who refuse to serve in the IDF and are prepared to go to prison for this.

But despite the dedication and commitment of these volunteers the settlements continue to grow, and the settlers continue to be a law unto themselves.

IPS asked Asherman if he thought that his organisation has made any difference. “Today Palestinians are able to access some of their land at times. Ten years ago this was almost impossible. The IDF also provides more protection from the settlers than previously.

“I’ve also noticed a change in some Israeli hawkish Labour Party supporters from the kibbutzim who used to be farmers themselves. Despite their politics they can relate to the struggles of the Palestinian farmers,” Ascherman told IPS.

“I strongly believe we are helping to break down stereotypes and build dialogue. I was blown away several years ago to find out that one of the Palestinian guys I was working with belonged to Yasser Arafat’s Presidential Guard, some of whose members have carried out serious attacks against Israelis.

“He was equally blown away to find out that I was an Israeli rabbi. I’m not so naive as to believe that in the future he wouldn’t consider violence. However, I think he might have a new perspective should he reach that junction,” said Ascherman.

Wave of protest greets Israeli PM

August 26, 2009
Morning Star Online, Tuesday 25 August 2009
by Daniel Coysh
Gordon Brown meets Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu for talks

Gordon Brown meets Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu for talks

Hundreds of peace and solidarity campaigners have gathered at Downing Street to protest at Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s cosy meeting with far-right Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu.

Protesters from the Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the British Muslim Initiative converged on Downing Street at lunchtime, demanding an end to Israel’s violations of international law, with its refusal to dismantle the illegal settlements on the West Bank, the “ethnic cleansing” of east Jerusalem and its ongoing siege of Gaza.

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As Obama Tries to Shift the Debate, Will Democrats Continue to Endorse Israel’s Colonization of the West Bank?

June 8, 2009

By Stephen Zunes, AlterNet. Posted June 6, 2009.

Obama has inherited a difficult challenge in pushing Israel to end the expansion of its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

President Barack Obama has inherited a difficult challenge in pushing Israel to end the expansion of its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. With the right-wing Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu categorically rejecting the idea of a freeze and with Democratic-controlled Congress ruling out using the billions of dollars of U.S. military aid to Israel as leverage, the situation remains deadlocked.

Along with many Israelis and other supporters of Israel, Obama recognizes that these settlements are one of the chief obstacles to Israeli-Palestinian peace. Given that Israel cannot be secure unless the Palestinians are also given the right to a state of their own and that a viable Palestinian state cannot be created as long as Israel continues colonizing Palestinian land on the West Bank, Obama sees a settlement freeze as critical.

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Silence is Complicity

January 6, 2009

We’re All War Criminals Now

By Joe Mowrey | Information Clearing House, Jan 5, 2009

In response to the current brutal assault on Gaza by Israel a well-known long distance service provider has sponsored a petition for their customers to sign urging a cease fire. On the face of it, this seems like a noble endeavor. The company in question caters to the progressive community and donates a portion of its fees to a wide array of progressive organizations. One could take issue with the fact that this company aligns itself with a notorious international banking cartel to provide credit card services to its customers. But what is interesting to note is how the language in the email which introduces the petition, whether intentionally or not, promotes the usual pro-Zionist narrative about the situation.

First there is the all too familiar contention that “the political and historical conflict causing this violence is centuries old and far too complicated to address….” We are supposed to believe that the situation is so complex the average person can’t be bothered to try and understand it. So the only reasonable thing to do is to accept the sound bite version offered to us by the media. This is usually some form of pro-Zionist rhetoric centered around an Israeli perspective.

In reality, the conflict causing this violence is not centuries old. Nor is it too complex to address. Prior to 1900, Jews and Palestinians lived together in Palestine for generations without the extreme levels of hatred and violence which now exist. With the advent of Zionism, the political movement to establish a Jewish state in all of historic Palestine, tensions began to escalate. The leaders of the Zionist movement sought to control more and more of what they considered to be land promised to them by God. In 1947-48, the violent ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homeland by Zionist militias and the creation of the Jewish state of Israel began the conflict in earnest.

Since then, Israel’s continued seizure of Palestinian land through the establishment of illegal settlements in the West Bank has accelerated the aggression. In addition, Israel has refused to abide by UN resolution 194 which guarantees Palestinians the right of return to or compensation for lands taken from them during the war in 1947-48. As a result of that war and the 1967 war Israel expanded well beyond the borders alloted to it by the original partition of Palestine and has been in violation of the Geneva Conventions as well as the terms of the original United Nations partition plan since its inception.

Though rarely if ever spoken about in any media source, the real reason for the conflict in Palestine is not Jews or Palestinians, it is the Zionist colonization of Palestine. Zionism, a virulent form of ethnic nationalism, fosters a culture of exclusivity and entitlement within Israeli society. Jews are “The Chosen People” living in “The Promised Land.” These inherently racist attitudes create an atmosphere which legitimizes collective punishment and human rights abuses against Palestinians simply because they are not Jews. Jewish lives are valued more than Palestinian lives. This attitude was epitomized by the statement of extreme right wing Israeli Rabbi, Eliyah, in April of 2008. “The life of one yeshiva boy is worth more than the lives of 1,000 Arabs.”

The stated goal of Zionism has always been and continues to be the expulsion of the Palestinians and the colonization of all of Palestine, not just the area which currently is Israel. This is a fact, not idle supposition. In his book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Ilan Pappe, an Israeli Jewish historian, gives a well-documented account of the brutally orchestrated removal of Palestinians from their lands and the systematic plan for the ongoing colonization of Palestine. Pappe uses Israel’s own archives to support these facts. For those pro-Zionists who consider Pappe to be too much of a “self-hating Jew,” a term often used to slander any Jewish scholar who attempts to expose the dark underbelly of the Zionist movement, they can read essentially the same history in Benny Morris’s writings. Morris is a fervent Zionist historian who has fully acknowledged the facts of Zionist history. But he sums up his findings by saying, in effect, the ethnic cleansing was a necessary evil and his only regret is that Israel did not complete the job back in 1948.

The second and more subtle misconception reinforced by the promoters of the petition calling for a ceasefire in Gaza is contained in the statement, “All sides of the conflict will continue to act as they have in the past if they believe the world will stand by and allow them to do so.” Indeed, the world has stood by for the last 60 years and allowed Israel to aggressively colonize Palestinian lands in violation of international law and the Geneva Conventions. But the implication of the statement is that somehow the Palestinian people need the approval of the international community to engage in resistance to Israel’s illegal actions. This is like suggesting that if a family were to move into your home and occupy your living room, you would need to ask permission to take any action against them.

The Zionist narrative attempts to portray Israel as a victim of unprovoked Palestinian violence. But Palestinian resistance to the colonization of their land is recognized as a right under international law. The widely accepted and vociferous contention that “Israel has a right to defend itself,” is a bizarre transposition of the rule of law. It is like saying the family that occupied your home has a right to defend itself from your actions to remove them. Israel does not have any right under international law to “defend” its ethnic cleansing and illegal occupation of Palestine. The attack on Gaza, and indeed, any Israeli action taken against Palestinian resistance, whether that resistance be violent or nonviolent, is not an act of self defense. It is an act of aggression against a legitimate resistance movement. Israel is not defending itself, it is defending its illegal colonization of Palestinian lands.

From a purely moral perspective, it is absurd to suggest that the monstrous assault being unleashed against the captive and defenseless people of Gaza by the world’s fourth largest military is in any way justified by the firing of crude homemade rockets into Israel. There are 1.5 million people in Gaza. They have no army, no navy, no air force. More than two thirds of the population is comprised of women and children. After having the nerve to conduct democratic elections in January, 2006, the Palestinians have had their elected officials imprisoned and assassinated. Their government has been removed in an administrative coup and replaced by the quisling Fatah party in the West Bank. When Hamas resisted this coup and reclaimed control of the government they were freely and fairly elected to lead, it was Hamas who was considered the aggressor, not those who removed them from power in the first place. Again, the rule of law was transposed and used to justify the demonization of Hamas.

To make matters worse, in an attempt to coerce the Palestinians in Gaza to abandon their legitimately elected representatives, Israel, with the help of the international community, has kept Gaza under siege for most of the last three years. Gazans have been denied many of the basic necessities of life, including such things as paper and pencils, school books and even sanitary napkins. Israel recently added shoes and clothing to the list of forbidden imports. They claim Hamas might use them to make military uniforms. This, despite the fact that Israel often justifies its killing of civilians in Gaza by asserting that the Hamas militia can’t be distinguished from civilians because, yes, you guessed it, they don’t wear military uniforms.

The main power plant in Gaza has also been bombed, severely limiting the amount of electricity available. This electricity is necessary for water and sewage treatment along with the more obvious aspects of normal daily life. Fuel supplies have been restricted. Importation of cement has been curtailed preventing necessary repairs to civilian infrastructure. The Israeli Air Force has used F-16 Fighter Jets, supplied by the U.S., to make frequent low level super sonic flights over Gaza creating massive sonic booms which, according to the Gaza Community Mental Health Program and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, “are having serious effects on children in Gaza, including anxiety, panic, fear, poor concentration and low academic success.” The sonic events are also suspected of inducing miscarriages in Palestinian women.

These are just a few examples of the war of collective punishment and terror being waged against the civilian population in Gaza. These tactics have increased in intensity over the last three years, culminating these last six weeks in the nearly complete denial of food, medicine, electricity and fuel to the million and a half people living in Gaza. So why would Hamas be engaging in resistance to Israel, anyway? One can only imagine.

This back story to the devastation in Gaza is completely ignored by our corporate media and by most so-called progressive media. It’s as if history began just a few months ago. Out of the blue, those crazy terrorists started firing rockets into Israel for no reason at all. How dare they? And this assumption goes largely unchallenged. There is much angst and hand wringing in the so-called alternative media about how disproportionate Israel’s response has been. Outrage is expressed at the suffering of the Palestinian people. But there is little discussion of the fact that Palestinian militants actually have a reason to be firing rockets at Israel.

Over the last 60 years, there has never been a sincere effort on the part of Israel to avert conflict with the Palestinians. On the contrary, conflict has been continuously inflamed in order to facilitate and legitimize the colonization of Palestine. Regardless of the repeated empty rhetoric on the part of Israel about wanting a partner in peace, since 1967, when the illegal settlement campaign was begun, there has not been a single Israeli administration which has not expanded the settlements in the West Bank. This is in direct violation of the Geneva conventions, not to mention the many so-called agreements Israel has entered into over the years promising to halt the expansion of settlements.

Simply put, Israel is colonizing Palestine. Its Zionist founders always intended to achieve this end, and the current regime has no intention of sidelining that plan. Any other claim made by the government of Israel is pure guile. And this deception has been perpetrated with funding and encouragement from successive United States administrations since 1947. Indeed, none of Israel’s current illegal agression would be taking place without the approval of the United States along with the massive amounts of military aid we provide. This is the history of the current conflict which we are not allowed to hear. Not because it is too complicated for us to understand, but because it is too offensive to the sensibilities of those who blindly support Israel.

As the horrors unfold in Gaza, how should we respond? Other than giving direct physical and emotional support to the people in Gaza by donating money to relief organizations and speaking out against the war crimes being committed there, not much can be done in the short term to rectify the situation. We know from attempts to derail the war in Iraq that no matter how many voices are raised in protest, the international stage is set and the usual actors will play out this disaster as they see fit regardless of our efforts to stop them.

And what about over the long term? The situation is dire. Our public discourse is a cornucopia of lies, obfuscation and denial. Facts are considered irrelevant. Reality is turned upside down and language has become meaningless. Imperial and colonial violence is defined as righteous self defense. Resistance to that violence is defined as terrorism. The United States and Israel, two of the world’s most celebrated so-called democracies, are in reality rogue militarized nations engaging in collective punishment, torture, wars of aggression and criminal foreign policies which flagrantly disregard even the most basic concepts of fairness and human decency.

The so-called Left in the United States decries each successive atrocity either committed or supported by our government. Israel assaults Gaza using our money and weapons, so we sign petitions calling for an end to the violence. We engage in a flurry of political activism every four years and vote in sham elections which only legitimize the actions of the ruling elite. What we should do instead is boycott these fraudulent elections and engage in direct action in order to facilitate a popular uprising against the existing structure of our government. We need a nonviolent social revolution to create a new political paradigm. Under the current system, the perpetuation of empire is institutionally preordained. We are permitted to reshuffle the cards and deal a new hand now and then, but always from the same stacked deck.

The situation in Palestine, along with many of the violent conflicts in the world, is nothing more than a symptom of the disease that is U.S. Empire. Gaza is just one more bloody scene in an ongoing imperial nightmare of death and destruction. If we want to stop the senseless killing taking place in Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan and so many the other places, we must stand up and say no. Not just to the acts themselves, but to the fetid imperialist juggernaut which exports and cultivates them. Until we disrupt this cycle of corporate power mongering and violent militarism by refusing to participate in it, we have only ourselves to blame for the deaths of the innocent men, women and children who are the targets of our bombs. The blood is on your hands and mine. We are all war criminals now.

(Joe Mowrey is an anti-war activist and Palestinian rights advocate who resides in Santa Fe, New Mexic, with his spouse, Janice, and their three canine co-conspirators.
You can reach him at jmowrey@ix.netcom.com)

Palestinians Must Unite against Racist Israel

October 10, 2008

Dr Abdul Ruff Colachal

There is a striking similarity in the anti-Muslim policies of the so-called “democracies” like basically conservative India, Israel and USA, both at home and abroad. The anti-Islamic chord has worked quite well to the regimes in covering up their state corrupt and criminal activities in the country and abroad. Practices of anti-Islamism have kept these regimes in good stead at least outwardly. These racist and fascist trends continue to dominate the national politics and, as a result, have resulted in genocide, and torture and insults to Islam and Muslims. Leader after leader, Israel keeps its flock together on an emphatic anti-Arab platform. So much so, any move towards peace with Palestinians evokes loudest protest and regime change in Israel.

ONE:  Israel Racism and Terrorism

In 1948 Israel came into being on lands annexed from Palestine. Palestinians in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, have lived under Israeli occupation since 1967. The settlements that Israel has built in the West Bank are home to around 400,000 people and are deemed to be illegal under international law. Leaders like Yasser Arafat sacrificed their lives for the establishment of Palestine state and safeguard the lives of innocent Palestinians living at the mercy of a terrorist Israel.  Israel under Ariel Sharon evacuated its settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and withdrew its forces, ending almost four decades of military occupation. But after his disappearance form public scene, things have gone worse for the Palestinians. USA and Israel worked over night to split the Palestinians and they succeeded. After the Islamic group Hamas seized control of Gaza in June 2007 following the dismissal of its elected government by PLO President Mahmoud Abbas at the behest of the USA and Israel, Israel intensified its economic blockade of the Strip.

While Kadima is embroiled in peace talks with the Palestinians, Likud says it will wait until there is a stronger negotiating partner on the other side and try to boost the West Bank economy in the meantime. The Kadima party was formed nearly three years ago when then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon split from Likud in what has been described as a “big bang” of Israeli politics. Instead of throwing out the rebel leaders from his Likud party, he himself came out to float a new party Kadima and came to power in the next poll.  The issue that tore Likud apart was Sharon’s plan to withdraw, or “disengage”, Israeli troops and settlers, first from the Gaza Strip, and then from parts of the West Bank.  It was an abrupt U-turn from a man who had urged Israelis to “settle every hilltop”.

Israel considers the Palestinians as ‘terrorists” because they have been struggling to get back their lands form the terrorist Israel. Racist Jews have been cruel to the Palestinians. More evidence is available to show how shabbily Israel treats the Palestinians whose lands it occupies. An Israeli civil rights group, the Association for Civil Rights, has said racism against Arab citizens of Israel has risen sharply in the past year. In a report, it said expression of anti-Arab views had doubled, and racist incidents had increased by 26%. Christian or Muslim Arab citizens of Israel make up 20% of the population. But the civil rights quoted polls suggesting half of Jewish Israelis do not believe Arab citizens of Israel should have equal rights. About the same amount said they wanted the government to encourage Arab emigration from Israel.

TWO: Human Rights Evasions

Israel considers Arabs less clean and less intelligent than themselves and Americans. Anti-Arab policies being pursued by Israel for decades have created a wedge between them and Arabs. A prominent Israeli Arab politician, Mohammed Barakeh, said the poll results were the natural outcome of what he called the anti-Arab policies of successive Israeli governments. Commenting on the findings of the report, the association’s president Sami Michael warned: “We live in a democratic regime whose foundations are constantly weakening.”

Occupied territories Part of the group’s annual report is dedicated to the situation in Gaza and the West Bank. The report says: “Most of the human rights violations in the occupied territories are by-products of the establishment of settlements and outposts.” Restrictions on the movement of Palestinians designed to allow settlers “free and secure movement”, have virtually split the West Bank into six separate parts. The organization says that the West Bank barrier “does not separate Palestinians from Israelis, but Palestinians from other Palestinians”. The report also asserts that despite its withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Israel retains “moral and legal responsibility” for the Palestinians there because Israel controls access to the coastal territory.

As usual, a government spokesman Mark Regev responded that the Israeli government was “committed to fighting racism whenever it raises its ugly head and is committed to full equality to all Israeli citizens, irrespective of ethnicity, creed or background, as defined by our declaration of independence”. As Israel keep expanding its illegal settlement projects in Palestine, Israel’s Construction and Housing Minister Zeev Boim said the rights group’s report was biased and without credibility.

THREE: Palestine Unity

The success of the fascist and racist terror forces of India, USA and Israel has much to do with the global “terrorism” trend and inability of the Muslims under siege and tortures to unite against the global enemies. There are many freedom groups in Kashmir, though they have just one point program of gaining sovereignty back from occupying India. Similarly Fatah and Hamas have been waging a mutual war, instead of fighting the enemy tooth and nail. Islamic world is hopelessly divided amongst themselves and unable to fight the global terrorists USA, and its “allies” Israel and Hindu India.

Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – who is also leader of Fatah – ends his term in office on 8 January 2009. The parliament – which is controlled by Hamas – is currently scheduled to remain in power until January 2010. Hamas MPs have demanded Abbas hold presidential elections before 8 January, and said they would no longer recognize his legitimacy after that time. Many feel this would deepen the already-protracted rift.

There have been strenuous efforts from several quarters to bring about a unity among the Palestinian groups to force Israel to come up with a final settlement plan. Egypt, the mediator in the dispute, has proposed establishing a government of technocrats acceptable to all factions, re-organization of the Palestinian security forces, and new parliamentary and presidential elections. Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk said the factions would form technical committees to discuss the issues. The committees will take their time, one or two or three months, these are issues that cannot be resolved in days or weeks. Another official from Gaza said: “We in Hamas accept that elections are on the table for discussion.” However, he expressed opposition to simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections for the Palestinian Authority.

Israel will finally concede and surrender the Palestinian lands only if they see the need and they are under international pressure to do so and a united force in Palestine. This writer had suggested way back for creating a Islamic Security Organization ISO (ref: Middle East Online) to defend the Islamic states and Muslims the world over from the anti-Islamic forces. Meanwhile the peace move from concerned Muslim nations could continue. Hamas officials in Cairo say they will meet representatives of the rival Fatah movement this month to discuss the timing of fresh Palestinian elections. Hamas leaders, the popular “militant” movement in control of Gaza, made the announcement after talks with Egypt’s intelligence chief in Cairo. Egypt hopes the Palestinian groups will reach a reconciliation agreement including elections and other reforms. But some analysts say there are few signs of a narrowing of their differences. Abbas should, without worrying about reactions form USA and Israel, take bold initiatives to unite the Hamas Fatah factions and form a government or hold the elections for smooth functioning of an elected government. As the senior most leader of Palestine, it is his duty– and has obligation — to take all factions into confidence in whatever he does about the establishment of Palestine state.

Dr Abdul Ruff Colachal has been a university teacher, and worked in various Indian institutions like JNU, Mysore University, Central Institute of English FL, etc. He is also a political commentator, researcher, and columnist. He has widely published in India and abroad, and has written about state terrorism.

Friends of Israel blind to the truth

July 19, 2008

By Stuart Littlewood | Redress, 19 July 2008

Stuart Littlewood considers the blatant disregard for justice, human rights and basic norms of civilized behaviour shown by Israel’s stooges in the British Parliament, some of whom recently visited Israel and showed far more concern for Israeli terrorists than the Christian and Muslim civilians they terrorize.

The real Zionist vision does not recognise any maps. It is a vision of a state without borders – a state that expands at all times according to its demographic, military and political power.

This warning by the respected Israeli journalist and peace activist Uri Avnery should be impressed on every friend of Israel in the West.

They are so gullible. The Jewish Chronicle last week reported how a group of intrepid Conservative MPs on a “Friends of Israel” junket experienced a “gunfire exchange” in Sderot. One of them said:

”We couldn’t see the gunfire, but could hear that it was close by.” The exchange illustrated the “effects on quality of life that people in the south of Israel suffer on a daily basis. It shows that it is not a sustainable position for these areas to be constantly subject to rocket attacks and that Israel has the right to take appropriate actions to defend its citizens.” Urging Britons to visit Israel, he argued: “It’s very important to show their support for the only democracy in the area. I feel we have a duty and obligation to support Israel.”

Israel’s stooges in the UK Parliament choose to sympathize with Israeli terrorists rather than the Christian and Muslim civilians they terrorize

Another commented: “The gunfire was pretty close and it very much brought home how the violence in the area is ongoing and what people go through every day. Until I was there, I didn’t appreciate how serious the problem was and how much normal civilians, including children, are on the front-line.”

These brave souls from the British Parliament didn’t trouble to visit the Gaza side and experience the Palestinians’ quality of life under the far more lethal barrage from Israel or partake of starvation rations under the cruel siege. If they hadn’t the good manners to go talk with Hamas they could at least have met the Christian community and listened to their story.

Instead they were happy to be brainwashed by Tel Aviv propagandists, who no doubt told them how many home-made rockets had fallen on southern Israel but not, of course, the number of high-tech munitions fired by Israel’s F16s, helicopter gunships, tanks, drones and naval gunboats into the densely-packed population of the Gaza Strip, or the limb-shattering high-velocity rounds used by the Israeli occupation forces. I’ll bet they can quote the Israeli casualties but have no idea of the massive Palestinian death toll.

It is very strange indeed how these Friends of Israel – mostly Christians, it seems – show far more concern for Israeli terrorists than the Christian and Muslim civilians they terrorize.

Maybe basic facts haven’t quite sunk in…

  • like Israel has been ethnically cleansing the Palestinian people for 60 years
  • like Israel continues to occupy, rob, humiliate and murder its neighbours
  • like Israel is no Western-style democracy but an apartheid-loving ethnocracy
  • like Israel has ignored nearly 40 UN resolutions, flouts international law and is oblivious to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • like eight Palestinians are killed for every Israeli, and the lives of Palestinian children are so cheap they are slaughtered at the rate of 11 to 1
  • like Israel lies when it claims to have “withdrawn completely” from Gaza
  • like Israel has nuclear weapons numbering hundreds and is the only state in the region not to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

With a record like this, how does the Israel lobby manage to browbeat supposedly intelligent MPs, MEPs and ministers into supporting the regime’s crimes and the ruthless Zionist expansion?

Continued . . .


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