Friday, November 14, 2008

The Israeli Settlers Dilemma

Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times

Rimonim, a Jewish settlement in the West Bank. The vast majority of settlers vow never to leave the West Bank, but some see the occupation as wrong.

Greg Bacon's blog

Benny Raz, 55, who has lived with his family in the settlement of Karnei Shomron since the mid-1990s, began to call for a way out in the past few years, asking the government to buy his house and those of his fellow settlers.

“My neighbors looked at me like I was a traitor or from another planet,” he recounted. He said that he was fired from his job in charge of settlement bus drivers and that his wife’s sandwich stand was boycotted and driven out of business.

“I get threatening phone calls telling me I am going to be killed,” he said. “Today, I carry a gun because I am afraid of the Jews, not the Arabs.”

West Bank land thieves want to be compensated for their crimes.

Not to worry, Uncle Sucker will rush to the rescue, handing over billions and billions to these illegal Zionist squatters, just like we did back in 2005, when Israel paid money to Israeli land thieves in Gaza.

Money that was reimbursed by Uncle Sam.

How sweet it is. First, you take over the land belonging to the indigenous Palestinians thru a never ending series of violent incursions, starting back in 1948 and you continue this land theft to this day, stealing what you want and either tossing in prison, for "security" purposes the locals or killing those "uppity" Palestinians who try and protect their ancient homeland or using some IDF thugs to terrorize the Palestinians into fleeing for their lives.

When the Palestinians have been disposed of, the Hasidic squatters move in, protected by the IDF, claiming the land as theirs, saying that no one was living there, so it's our's by divine right.

When some of these Hasidic land thieves start getting nervous that maybe stealing for a living might upset some people, they start looking for a way to get compensated for their crimes.

After the latest batch of land thieves are evacuated from parts of the West Bank, that will give the Shin Bet a prime opportunity to launch some of those Israeli made "Qassams" back into Israel, giving the Zionist Occupation Force the excuse it needs to go in and bomb parts of the West Bank into oblivion, for "security" purposes.

The Palestinians killed in these "security" operations will join the millions of other Palestinians, that have either been terrorized off their land or murdered by the world's "most moral" army, the IDF.

All blessed and given protection by the Kabbbalistic number SIX, as in SIX BILION dollars to be paid to these Hasidic land thieves.

Settlers Who Long to Leave the West Bank

Read the rest:


Israeli settlers steal land and distort the truth

Paul J. Balles

November 13, 2008

Paul J. Balles looks at how Israeli settlers – thieves, misfits and squatters – abuse terms such as "anti-Semitism" to distract from their crimes: stealing Palestinian land and property.

In April 2008, Jeremy Ben-Ami wrote in Forward about Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine:

Somehow, for American politicians or activists to express opposition to settlement expansion – or support for active American diplomacy, dialogue with Syria or engagement with Iran – has become subversive and radical, inviting vile, hateful emails and a place on public lists of Israel-haters and anti-Semites. For the particularly unlucky, it leads to public, personal attacks on one’s family and heritage.

From Al-Haq, an independent Palestinian non-governmental human rights organization:
The settlements in the OPT [occupied Palestinian territories] violate a number of international legal norms, and their illegality has been recognized by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and several United Nations (UN) resolutions. They are a flagrant violation of Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from transferring parts of its civilian population into occupied territory.

Now, if my use of a phrase like "land thieves" is "very close to being a racial slur, and textbook anti-Semitic", then I'm in good company. The accolade should also be accorded to other Semites – both Arab and Israeli – to the International Court of Justice, to B'tselem and several other organizations and prominent Israelis who have testified to the illegality of the settlements.

What is it that makes the settlements illegal? They have been built on stolen land. Who else steals land but land thieves? Be careful of mistaking legitimate criticism of Israel for racial slurs or anti-Semitism. It's not only counter-productive, it’s nasty.

See the entire article:


The Route to Durable Peace
Jewish and Arab friends share a playground at a school in Jerusalem. (Getty Images)

By Sam Leibowitz and Mazin Qumsiyeh

As the endless negotiations between Israeli government and Palestinian Authority officials regurgitate old arguments while making no progress, a growing number of Israelis and Palestinians are paying attention to other solutions than the supposed "two-state" outcome. They focus on the "one-democratic-state" solution—a proposal to establish a single, democratic and secular state in the area known as Israel/Palestine.

The concept of coexistence in a bi-national or one secular democratic state, granting equal rights to all its citizens regardless of their religion, is worthy of critical consideration. It is not a new concept. In the early days of the Zionist movement, it was promoted by Albert Einstein, Martin Buber, and Rabbi Judah Leib Magnes, who argued vociferously against a “Jewish state”. It was also a political position adopted by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in its more visible days, and by some Israeli parties in the 1950s.

Although it did not garner significant support in past decades, the idea has received new interest with the collapse of the Oslo process, and recently it has been the subject of books, research papers and conferences.

In the past eight years, over a dozen books were published, analysing carefully why a single democratic state is the only durable solution. They show that the two peoples would benefit a great deal more if they shared the resources of the land together within a democratic framework.

From every aspect – sociologically, economically, environmentally and security – Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if they learn to live together in a secular country, with a constitution modelled after the American one, guaranteeing civil liberties and separation of state from religion.

Certainly, it will be no easy feat to educate the two societies, after decades of war, oppression, colonisation and violence, to respect the human and civil rights of the other. Perhaps the most pressing obstacle is the perception within Israeli society that a single, democratic state poses a threat to the Jews living in Israel/Palestine. However, establishing a shared homeland for Israelis and Palestinians based on civil rights does not mean “the elimination of Israel,” as some politicians believe, any more than similar transformations in South Africa meant the elimination of South Africa. It will rather transform Israel, but this will be a positive transformation, repairing truly destructive aspects of present-day Israel and producing a new and better country.

Today’s Israel has failed to uphold the best of Jewish values; it has, in fact, perverted them by making Judaism an adjunct of a discriminatory and brutal state ideology. An Israel that is really true to the best of Jewish values cannot be exclusively Jewish. It is a strange but manifestly true irony that for Judaism and Israel to become really compatible, Israel must become a democratic, equalitarian and tolerant place.

Most commentators think that the removal of the 450,000 Israeli settlers currently living in the area of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) slated for a tiny Palestinian state is not feasible. But even if this issue is resolved, there are other, far more daunting, obstacles to the mythological “two-state” solution.

Israeli and Palestinian researchers have shown that only a single, democratic state, guaranteeing civil liberties to all its citizens and providing economic opportunity to its communities, can accommodate a just solution to the otherwise intractable refugee problem.

A democratic, secular state divested of national religious components will provide the sustainable framework needed for integrating the returning Palestinian refugees while, at the same time, allowing Israel to continue to thrive economically and technologically. Undoubtedly, it is also the best guarantee of security and peace for both societies.

Rather than engage in convening futile peace conferences that ignore human rights obligations and international law, politicians and policy makers would do well to get us all (Israelis and Palestinians) to sit down and start drafting a constitution that provides for joint security and economic development, and guarantees civil liberties to all. That is the real roadmap to a durable and just peace.

-Sam Leibowitz is an Israeli civil rights attorney and a graduate of American University Washington College of Law LL.M. programme in international law. Mazin Qumsiyeh a is professor at Bethlehem University and the author of the book Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle. (This article is distributed by the Common Ground News Service (CGNews) with permission from the Jordan Times


Also see:

Just Another Week in Palestine

Israel Tightens the Chokehold on Village Entrepreneurs: The Withering Palestinian Economy

When & How the Jewish People Was Invented

What If 750,000 Israelis Were Blockaded and Denied Food?

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