Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem’

Elie Wiesel’s Wrong Move on Peace

May 13, 2010
Published on Thursday, May 13, 2010 by CommonDreams.org
by César Chelala

Elie Wiesel, the noted Nobel Peace Laureate and Holocaust survivor, has provoked a serious row with an open letter to President Barak Obama published last month in The International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. His opinion was strongly rebuked by Yossi Sarid, a former member of Knesset, and by a group of notable Jewish leaders and academicians who live in Jerusalem.

“There is no more moving prayer in Jewish history than the one expressing our yearning to return to Jerusalem. To many theologians, it IS Jewish history, to many poets, a source of inspiration. It belongs to the Jewish people and is much more than a city, it is what binds one Jew to another in a way that remains hard to explain, “said Mr. Wiesel in his letter.

Continues >>

Advertisements

Fomenting Armageddon: Jerusalem’s Colonization and Western Apathy

April 29, 2010

By Dr. Ahmad Yousef, Uruknet.info, April 28, 2010

7jerusalem_jews_dancing_yousef.jpg

The Israelis are instigating a Jewish holy war staged in Jerusalem; and they are playing a superb game of propaganda painting the Palestinians as the “real” fundamentalists, despite the fact that the Knesset has more active right-wing political parties than any state in the civilized world. It’s a strategy that has caught the West by surprise as they continue to react with template disappointment.

Successive governments have supported colonization for decades; yet Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s recent moves have all but dispelled the façade of a secular rationale. Unfettered, expedited settlement construction in Jerusalem, with images of soldiers traipsing through Islam’s third holiest site in army fatigues, mark a new low for the Israelis; yet equally indicate a new level of brazen physical and psychological aggression that will result in a new intifada.

Continues >>

Jerusalem Under the Fire of Death Squads

March 18, 2010

Kawther Salam, March 17, 2010

Today Wednesday, the Palestinian newspapers, especially the PA newspaper Al-Hayat Jadidah and Al-Quds in Jerusalem, came out with miserly and censored news about a day of bloody clashes between the Palestinians and Israeli occupation forces in occupied Jerusalem, which was otherwise described as “the hardest clashes between Palestinians and Israeli occupation forces in the years after the outbreak of the Aqsa Intifada”. The Palestinian Authority, under the orders of the corrupt minister of Salam Fayyad, issued censorship instructions to the media, telling them to not concentrate on the news about the daily confrontations between the Israeli occupation and the local Palestinians in East Jerusalem, citing as a pretext that allegedly the Hamas “illegal” government had issued a call to take part in the confrontation and demos.

Israeli soldiers and the so-called borderpolice chasing women in the streets.

Continues >>

Palestinian Dispossession in East Jerusalem

March 15, 2010

By Stephen Lendman, Dissident Voice,  March 15, 2010

For Jews, Jerusalem is its historic capital. Muslims also claim it for the third holiest site in Islam, containing the 35 acre Noble Sanctuary (al-Haram al-Sharif), including the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock.

The 1947 UN Partition Plan designated Jerusalem an international city under a UN Trusteeship Council. After Israel’s 1947-48 War of Independence, it was divided between Israel and Jordan, and during Israel’s 1967 Six-Day War, East Jerusalem was captured and occupied, its current status today.

In March 2009, a confidential EU report (now public) accused Israel of using settlement expansions, house demolitions, discriminatory housing policies, restrictive permits, closing Palestinian institutions, the West Bank Separation Wall, and various other ways to “actively pursu(e) the illegal annexation” of East Jerusalem and “increase Jewish presence” in the city.

Continues >>

Israel imposes West Bank closure

March 12, 2010

Ma’an News Agency, March 12, 2010

12wb87201.jpg
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli forces imposed a general closure on the West Bank beginning Friday morning, the army said.

The decision means those Palestinians with permits will generally not be permitted to access Jerusalem over the weekend.

The move comes in accordance with directives of the Israeli minister of defense, Ehud Barak, following situation assessments, the army said in a statement explaining the closure.

“The IDF will continue to operate in order to protect the citizens of Israel while maintaining the quality of life of the Palestinian population in the area,” the statement said, noting that some Palestinians will still be allowed to enter Jerusalem and Israel.

Continues >>

Quiet revolution that is freezing Palestinians out of Jerusalem

March 7, 2010

Evictions and planning decisions on the ground are jeopardising prospects for a two-state Middle East peace deal

Rory McCarthy, Jerusalem

The Observer/UK, arch 7, 2010

In the brochure handed out by the mayor’s office in Jerusalem last week, there were pretty sketches illustrating a development that would turn a poor, crowded area into a park, with streams, restaurants and hotels. It talked of reviving the area’s “ancient glory” and returning the site to “an island of green” just outside the walls of the Old City. True, some houses would have to be demolished but they had been built illegally and anyway the plan was a “win-win” for both the residents and the city, said the mayor, Nir Barkat.

Continues >>

Jewish extremists defy Tel Aviv on settlements

December 1, 2009

Middle East Online, First Published 2009-12-01


The settlers adhere to radical ideologies and are extremely violent


Radical Israeli settler leaders vow to resist the government’s West Bank settlement freeze.

TEL AVIV – Radical Israeli settler leaders vowed on Monday to resist the government decision to impose a temporary ease on illegal West Bank settlement building after months of pressure from the United States.

Prominent extremist settler leaders held an emergency meeting at which it was decided to bar government construction inspectors from the settlements, they said in a statement.

Continues >>

 

PM Netanyahu’s three-card trick

November 27, 2009
John Haylet, Morning Star Online, November 27, 2009

Scarcely had Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu unveiled Israel’s latest fraudulent “far-reaching step towards peace” than US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leapt forward to welcome it.

Netanyahu spouted the usual rhetoric about a “historic peace agreement to finally end the conflict,” knowing that his offer lacked honesty and integrity.

And Clinton gave it the White House seal of approval, aware that it had no chance of being acceptable to the Palestinian people’s negotiators and, equally, that it fell short of Barack Obama’s earlier demand that Israel freeze all construction projects on the occupied West Bank.

Since Netanyahu gave this demand the bum’s rush, Clinton has repackaged it as a vacuous call for “restraint.”

And, as if sharing a scriptwriter, Netanyahu passed off his 10-month partial halt to housing construction as evidence of Israeli government restraint.

As so often with heavily touted Israeli initiatives, there is a lot less to this offer than meets the eye.

First, it does not apply to east Jerusalem, which was captured in the 1967 war with the rest of the West Bank. Tel Aviv has unilaterally and illegally declared the annexation of east Jerusalem, together with several settlements to the east of the city, with the intention of designating a unified Jerusalem as Israel’s “eternal” capital.

Not even the most abject Palestinian supplicant could accept such a negotiating precondition.

Second, whereas most people might believe that halt equals stop, in Israel’s lexicon, halting construction signifies no such thing.

It means not starting any new projects over and above those dozens that have already been either begun or authorised.

Nor does it apply to the building of synagogues and schools, which are essential elements of Israel’s ethnic-cleansing strategy.

Despite the fraudulent nature of Netanyahu’s three-card trick, Clinton categorised it as helping to “move forward toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

She also echoed Netanyahu’s reference to Israel’s racist goal of a “Jewish state,” which would put the current 20 per cent Arab minority in legal jeopardy.

Whatever the excitement in Washington, no Palestinian representative regards the Netanyahu plan as a starter.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat suggested that it had more to do with placating the US president, pointing out: “At the end of the day, Netanyahu needs to make peace with us, the Palestinians. He doesn’t need to make peace with Americans.”

Hamas dismissed it as a “cosmetic step,” designed to restart “pointless negotiations.”

Many Palestinians have been increasingly critical of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his handpicked but never ratified prime minister, the US-educated economist and former senior World Bank official Salam Fayyad.

This, together with Obama’s failure to achieve a settlement freeze, has led the authority to call on West Bank residents to boycott large supermarket chains that stock Israeli products.

Palestinian Economy Minister Hassan abu Libdeh estimates that illegal Israeli settlements currently have a 15 per cent share of the Palestinian market and is determined to implement an already existing law that bans the sale of settlement produce.

According to Stop the Wall co-ordinator Jamal Juma, “if the Palestinian Authority insists on implementing this decision, it means the authority will participate in boycotting one-third of the Israeli products that come to the West Bank.

“The decision will allow Palestinians to say: ‘No to the occupation, we are not going to pay for the bulldozers that destroy our houses and for the bullets that kill our people’.”

And President Abbas is pressing all Arab countries to cancel their business ties with French companies Veolia and Alstom, which are involved in the construction of a Jerusalem-based light railway through the West Bank.

He announced this at a press conference organised by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee, which is made up of several non-governmental organisations.

Abbas’s chief of staff Rafiq Husseini lambasted Arab countries, chief among them Saudi Arabia, that continue to work with the two companies, accusing them of “not fulfilling their duties” despite repeated requests by the Palestinians and from the Arab League.

Alstom has several Saudi contracts, including one to build a railway to Mecca.

It is illustrative that even Abbas, who has announced his impending retirement, is sufficiently disillusioned with the US administration and the road map to throw his weight behind the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

These developments give additional importance to next Saturday’s trade union conference, organised by colleges union UCU, for BDS supporters to discuss practical implementation in the light of the resolution carried at this year’s TUC annual conference in September.

With speakers of the calibre of Omar Barghouti of the Palestinian BDS committee, former South African intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, Congress of South African Trade Unions international secretary Bongani Masuku, Dr Ilan Pappe of Exeter University and Palestine Solidarity chairman Hugh Lanning, this conference could be vital in putting mass pressure on Israel.

Israel building Jewish homes with one hand, destroying Arab homes with the other

November 22, 2009

Nir Hasson, Haaretz/Israel, Nov 19, 2009

The World Likud movement held a cornerstone-laying ceremony yesterday for the expansion of the neighborhood of Nof Zion, despite – or possibly because of – American pressure against building in East Jerusalem. The Jewish settlement is in the middle of the Arab village of Jabal Mukkaber. Meanwhile, the Jerusalem municipality razed two Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem yesterday.

Continues >>

 

How settlements in the West Bank are creating a new reality, brick by brick

August 25, 2009

Continuing our series of exclusive reports, we look at how Israel’s growing infrastructure in the region threatens not just the form but the very possibility of a future Palestinian state

Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem

Guradian.co.uk, August 24, 2009

There is a hilltop east of Jerusalem with striking views down into Jericho, across the dry slopes of the West Bank and on to the Dead Sea. From the red ochre of the rock came the name Ma’ale Adumim, Hebrew for the Red Ascent.

Today it is a city of more than 30,000 people, with red-roofed apartment blocks, shopping malls, a public swimming pool and ancient olive trees sitting on neat roundabouts. A major highway runs down the hill, across the valley up into the centre of Jerusalem and beyond, connecting conveniently to Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean coast.

The rise of Ma’ale Adumim captures the success of Israel‘s vast settlement project and the extent of the challenge posed to any future Palestinian state by the settlements and the often overlooked infrastructure of Israel’s occupation.

Continues >>


%d bloggers like this: