The West Bank’s 2012: The Year of the Israeli Settlement

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JIM HOLLANDER / EPA

A Palestinian shepherd looks at Greater Jerusalem as he stands on the hill of Givat Hamatos, in southern Jerusalem, on Dec. 19, 2012

At the start of 2012, the Israeli advocacy group Peace Now, which seeks a two-state solution, warned that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was building Jewish settlements on the West Bank at a pace that, if allowed to continue, would carve up the land to a point that would doom the possibility of a viable Palestinian state. Twelve months later, that pace has nearly quintupled. In one week of December alone, Netanyahu’s government pushed forward plans for 11,000 homes beyond the Green Line that marked Israel’s 1967 border — nearly as many settler homes as were approved in the previous 10 years combined. The explosion in activity has made 2012 the Year of the Settlement, inspiring a new level of war-themed rhetoric from settlement opponents. “Unprecedented Planning Strike on East Jerusalem,” says the Peace Now website, “6,600 units in 4 days,”

Netanyahu makes no apology for the surge in promised building, despite waves of opprobrium from Europe and the U.S. Israelis go to the polls on Jan. 22, and the most serious challenge to Netanyahu’s campaign has come from a new party that champions settlements. The Prime Minister summoned the mayors of West Bank settlements to his Jerusalem office last week to make sure his efforts were getting noticed. “It’s obvious to all of you that this government has done a great deal in the past four years for the settlements in Judea and Samaria,” Netanyahu said, referring to the West Bank by its biblical name. “And we’re asking you to help spread the information among the residents of your districts.”

The most controversial move was to push forward plans to build on the last usable patch of Palestinian land east of Jerusalem, a parcel known as E1. (Plans to build on E1 have existed for 14 years but have been kept on hold; now, among other new steps, demolition orders have been issued for Bedouin homes and animal pens there.) Foreign diplomats, Palestinian officials and Israeli peace advocates warned that filling that space with Jewish homes amounted to the “doomsday” scenario, effectively destroying the possibility of ever building a Palestinian state on contiguous territory — the stated goal of the Oslo Peace Accords that since 1994 have defined the blueprint for ending the conflict between Jews and Arabs who have both claimed the same territory for more than a century.

(PHOTOS: Palestinians Take to the West Bank’s Streets in Protest)

At the same time, Netanyahu approved a flurry of the sort of construction that for three decades has steadily eaten away at Palestinian territories: adding 1,600 units in an East Jerusalem neighborhood reserved for ultra-Orthodox Jews; 1,242 for a massive subdivision overlooking Bethlehem – and pushing forward plans for a whole new settlement, Givat Hamatos, which would isolate an Arab district in southern Jerusalem that stands near the West Bank. Other units were scattered from the Gush Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem to a remote settlement in the northern interior of the West Bank.

But Netanyahu and his running mate, the former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, emphasized the building around Jerusalem. Israel annexed large tracts around the city after winning control of it — as well as the West Bank and Gaza — from Arab armies in the Six-Day War of 1967. Since then, the Israeli public resisted the notion of dividing Jerusalem in order to give the Palestinians a share of it as their own capital. In a new poll for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 78% of Jewish voters said they could reconsider their support for a political party that was willing to surrender sovereignty of (largely Arab) East Jerusalem and the Old City, something that existing proposals for peace require. The poll found that this position was held by 2 out of 3 Israeli voters who identify themselves as center-left, the group historically in favor of a negotiated peace. Nationalism trumps a great deal in the current campaign, as candidates across the political spectrum point out.

“There is a dispute between [Israel] and the world,” Lieberman said at last week’s official launch of the joint campaign of Netanyahu’s Likud party and his own Yisrael Beiteinu party, which present their candidates for parliament on a single list. “The dispute is over construction in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs. We therefore need a united and strong government that knows how to withstand pressure.”

(MORE: Why Palestine Won Big at the U.N.)

The campaign is being fought on the turf of the right wing that has been ascendant in Israeli politics for years. Polls indicate the Likud-Beiteinu joint list has been slipping in the polls not because of Lieberman’s legal troubles — under investigation for more than a decade, the Soviet-era immigrant stepped down recently as Foreign Minister after being indicted for fraud but can still run for the Knesset — but because a more conservative party has surged in public opinion surveys. Jewish Home is led by Naftali Bennett, a former commando, high-tech entrepreneur, campaign manager and Chief of Staff to Netanyahu and, most recently, operational head of the main settler lobby. On a summons to Jewish pride and a platform that calls for annexing much of the West Bank as part of Israel, Bennett’s party has surged to third place in several polls, chiefly at the expense of Netanyahu’s base.

“I think the right is more attractive because it’s more radical now,” Yair Lapid, head of the new centrist Yesh Atid party, tells TIME. A former anchorman and columnist, Lapid favors negotiating with the Palestinians, but in a gesture that betrays the place settlers now enjoy in Israeli politics, he announced his platform in Ariel, a massive settlement built deep inside Palestinian territory.

Bennett, meanwhile, is moving the debate steadily to the right. The charismatic newcomer says he favors returning Netanyahu as Prime Minister — an outcome analysts call quite likely, given Netanyahu’s alliance with Lieberman’s party — but says a vote for his own right-wing Jewish Home will force Netanyahu to govern as conservatively as he campaigns. The flurry of announcements about settlement construction, on the eve of an election, provided the insurgent with a case in point. One of the reasons Netanyahu summoned the West Bank mayors, analysts say, was widespread skepticism that he would go forward with all the construction being announced.

“Israel’s problem isn’t construction but the talk about construction,” Bennett told reporters. “On the one hand, the government voices its support for a Palestinian state, and on the other, punishes the world and the Palestinians when they turn to the U.N. to receive state status. The solution is to speak in a clear voice, to withdraw our consent to a Palestinian state that everyone realizes isn’t going to be established. There needs to be more doing and less talking.”

MORE: U.N. Recognition of Palestine: What Does It Mean for the Peace Process?

86 comments
marcallanfeldman
marcallanfeldman

The expanding Israeli settlements create a limited time window for Palestinians to negotiate peace.  If the Palestinians refuse to end the war on Israel, eventually there will be a Jewish majority in the disputed areas.  The religious Jews in the settlements have the highest birth rate in the area, considerably higher than the Palestinian Arabs.  At that point the area could be annexed by Israel without the demographic threat to the Jewish majority.  Full citizenship and equal rights will be available to all, but there will be no independent Palestinian state between Israel and the Jordan river.

RalphHaglund
RalphHaglund like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Remember, the Arab world is almost 650 times as big as Israel.

When the Mandate of Palestine was declared the Jewish homeland, now an international law accepted by both NF and FN, the Arabs at the same time got 200 times more land, check the creation dates of the arab countries around Israel. Why are they never satisfied?

The San Remo decision said the arabs living in the Mandate should be allowed to go on living as before, it did NOT give England the permission to allow free Arab immigration as they did, while stopping the Jewish one, that was among the mandate laws to allow. 

Then came the Oslo Agreement where Arafat got control over area A and B IF HE STOPPED TERROR AND HATE INCITEMENT.  Israel has waited for 20 years and is very tired of continued terror and the hate propaganda PA fills the palestinian schools, TV, mosques with! They realize more and more that they must annex area C for their own security. After all, 97% of all West Bank arabs lived from the beginning in area A, B. Area C was almost empty.

marcallanfeldman
marcallanfeldman like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

If you are against the reliance on fossil fuels because of global climate change, right or wrong, you could be considered an environmentalist.  If you are only concerned about greenhouse gas production by Israel, and nowhere else, then you are not an environmentalist, you are anti-Israel.

If you are not concerned about Palestinian freedom, self-determination, or economic success in Bahrain or France or Jordan, but only in Israel, then you are not a human rights advocate.  You are anti-Israel.

 If you have no issue with Spain being a Catholic state, or Saudi Arabia being an Islamic State, but you cannot accept the concept of Israel as a Jewish State, then you are not against religious nationalism, you are anti-Jewish.

If you find the domination of the land of Israel by Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Ottoman Turks, and British empire legitimate, but you cannot accept a Israeli government led by Jews, then you are anti-Jewish.

I am tired of hearing people complain that if they criticize Israel, they are called anti-Semitic.  There is plenty of legitimate criticism of Israel, the Israeli government, Israeli actions, Israeli politics.  It is in every newspaper in Israel and even in the Israeli Knesset.  But if you are anti-Israel because you are anti-Jewish, then you are.  Own it.


TatarControl
TatarControl

As an "independent observer" (a non-religious, non-ethnic dude who doesn't care one way or another who gets the land, as long as the outcome is as fair, just and bloodless as possible - in other words, a leftist), I want to make a few points about the debate I am seeing unfold in the commentspace:


1. The main argument against the Palestinian viewpoint (often made by pro-Israel folk, mostly in rebuttal to someone's historical perspective or “relativist” Palestinian sympathizing) boils down to the fact that the Palestinians, as a mass of ("invented") people, have chosen the way of violence and vengeance, and...like...that's it - they (in this case, the Arab world as a whole) started the '68 war, they are the ones being petulant about land they don't have a huge historical claim to, didn't care about when they did have it, and will probably just turn it over to Egypt once they get the Jews out, etc. Basically, what this means is that any effort (violent or otherwise) for Palestinians to get sovereignty and self-determination will be perceived as thinly-veiled Arab antisemitism. This is partly true. And of course no one should get a pass on being anti-Semitic, but the preconditions for Palestinians to sit down and talk to Israel about a peace deal amount to denying a large part of the reason for their struggle (which does have a religious component, let’s not kid ourselves), not to mention public humiliation in front of their Arab peers – the struggle that has been their main means of defining a modern Palestinian identity to the outside world. (On the subject of the precondition that Palestine recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Peres wisely said, “I do not need to define the nature of a Palestinian state…and they do not need to define our character – it is undeniable.”) Regardless of the accuracy of this assessment of the Palestinians and the Arab world in general, to consider Palestinians eternal anti-Semites just waiting for their chance at ethnic cleansing is a very dangerous road of thought to take, at least publicly. It doesn't matter if you think "history agrees with you" - it doesn't, not on a large scale of human relations anyway.


2. The settlement building - again, regardless of whether it ACTUALLY creates a huge hassle for the Palestinian mobility, statehood, etc. - will be viewed by the rest of the world as a contentious issue, more or less by default. The world is a vast and complicated place, and it takes a huge amount of work for someone to make a sound moral/ethical judgment as to whether or not a particular Israeli settlement is being built with respect to Palestinians in mind. Most people will not go through that trouble. Most people who enter this fresh will opine the Murakami way, crafting a version of the narrative where the Palestinians are automatically victims because of the disproportionate economic, military, and political (read: US support) power Israel has. Again, even if a particular settlement is not really doing anything to the Palestinians or their land in practice, every settlement will be a symbolic affront to the Palestinian people – and as long as that's true, there is absolutely no way to make the world agree it's otherwise. Settlement-building just screams to them that they are correct in their assumptions, especially given the rather obvious political and economic reasons as to why anyone would want to develop land. Israel's population has been growing steadily in the last decade, adding roughly 1.3 million between 2001-2011. Where are they gonna live? It's also true that whenever a settlement gets built, someone makes money. How are you gonna make that fact morally soluble?


3. These questions of moral and ethical legitimacy in the international community are a joke and a distraction. The only reason anyone in power today cares about doing the "ethical" thing is because they know consumers/constituents/congregants are watching. Yeah, the UN "gave" the land to the Jews in '48, only after they fought tooth and nail against the British and their immigration quotas. It wasn't like the UN members came together and decided that, "oh yeah, the Jews need a homeland..so bad guys like Hitler don't try to murder them all again." (This is more or less what they taught me in history class in public school.) The UN considerations were complex, and had little to do with lofty social ideals, postwar goodwill, and altruism. One could also claim that, akin to an "American language", the Palestinians are an "invented" people. But there is no denying that the people who call themselves Palestinians have lived there for many hundreds of years - under occupation, sure, but there nonetheless. And whether the formation of their "national consciousness" dates back to the 17th century, or the 19th, or even the 20th - none of that matters. All that matters is that they do have a national consciousness, clearly. Otherwise, they would not be willing to die for their dream of a Palestinian nation like they've been doing for decades. Likewise, it's neither fair nor unfair that Israel took more land than they were "given" by the British through a series of armed conflicts with their Arab neighbors. The Arabs had their own considerations - many rooted in antisemitism, sure, but many more a simple result of geopolitical calculations - as did the Israelis, who did not enjoy living next-door to avowed anti-semites, especially after the Holocaust took so many lives. In the end, the Israelis won, and the land is now theirs, regardless of who "claims" it. Why? Because they took it with weapons and killed people to get it, which is historically how most of this globe got carved up into nations. Duh. And the only way it will be given back is if a hundred years down the line, long after the conflict is over and the Palestinians scattered and subjugated, a generation feels guilty and gives the Palestinian remnant the Native American treatment. Legitimate? Yes. No. Doesn't matter. In the end, only a handful of people will care whether something was done by the letter of international law.


Look, the main thing to remember is that human beings, as a whole, are ALL deeply, tragically flawed. Yes, the Jewish people suffered greatly at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators (which was, like, half of Europe). But they are people too, and do common human things – like vengeance, like racism, like religious oppression, etc. Look at the “price tag” attacks – they are based upon the idea that Palestinians and Israeli Arabs must take collective responsibility for the actions of the few who strike out at Israel (or worse yet, for the fact that the international community does not side with the settlers). And these are people who ought to know the lessons of human history better than anyone else, since there is a very good chance members of their families lived and died through the worst of it. So no one is exempt, no one is automatically right, and let’s get real here – neither party is conducting themselves with maximum tact, humility, and compassion. (Though of course as a whole the IDF wants to do its best to minimize civilian casualties, and to kill as cleanly as possible, etc.)

YAS292
YAS292

@TatarControl 

I'm not convinced you fully understand the Palestinian stance.

Here are two quotes from Hamas' charter:

On the Destruction of Israel:

-----------------------------

'Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will

obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.' (Preamble)



The Exclusive Moslem Nature of the Area:

----------------------------------------

'The land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf [Holy Possession]

consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. No one

can renounce it or any part, or abandon it or any part of it.'


http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/880818a.htm


The above Islamic claim to Israel is flawed. Whilst Islam started in the year 622 CE, There had been a continuous Jewish presence in Israel since 1300 BCE. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths3/MFroots.html


Furthermore, regardless of how Muslims may want to be perceived, there is a growing radicalisation, where Muslims see it as a religious obligation to destroy Jews and Israel.

I strongly recommend you take a look at http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=8126 and http://palwatch.org/STORAGE/special%20reports/Kill_A_Jew.pdf -it may be long but it is a real eye-opener into the Palestinian psyche.

Also http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=978

My other comments on this article also make fair points on the issue.

YAS292
YAS292

Incredible how excited the world gets whenever Israel announces plans to build on Palestinian land.

At least the Washington Post recognizes the overheated rhetoric on Israeli Settlements.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/israeli-settlement-proposals-prompt-rash-rhetoric/2013/01/01/2d6aea54-504f-11e2-8b49-64675006147f_story.html

Here's an excerpt, making a solid point: ''The criticism is appropriate, in the sense that such unilateral action by Israel, like the unilateral Palestinian initiative to seek statehood recognition in November from the U.N. General Assembly, serves to complicate the negotiations that are the only realistic route to a Middle East peace. But the reaction is also counterproductive because it reinforces two mistaken but widely held notions: that the settlements are the principal obstacle to a deal and that further construction will make a Palestinian state impossible . . .

The exaggerated rhetoric is offensive at a time when the Security Council is refusing to take action to stop the slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians — including many Palestinians — by the Syrian regime. But it is also harmful, because it puts pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to make a “freeze” on the construction a condition for beginning peace talks . . . If Security Council members are really interested in progress toward Palestinian statehood, they will press Mr. Abbas to stop using settlements as an excuse for intransigence — and cool their own overheated rhetoric.''



HerbertKaine
HerbertKaine like.author.displayName 1 Like

Ask the Palestinians whether a return to the 1967 borders would bring peace. Most Palestinians would say no, because their national identity is based on the liberation of ALL of Palestine. Accepting a Jewish state anywhere in Palestine would acknowledge some Jewish claim to the land, and therefore be detrimental to their national identity. Karl von Wick has done his part to promote anti-Semitism with an infamous Time cover a few years basically stating that Jews are opposed to peace. In 2012, it is settlements around Jerusalem that were the obstacle to peace. In 1939, it was Jewish settlement in Berlin, Warsaw, Paris and Salonika that was the obstacle to peace. In 1904, it was Jewish settlement in the Ukraine and Russia that necessated violent pogroms. In 1492, it was Jewish settlements in Spain and Portugal that was the obstacle to peace. In 1096, it was Jewish settlement in Germany that necessitated the Crusades.

TageDominic
TageDominic

Pius XII was perhaps a ProGerman, but in what sense. The bulla ”Mit brennender Sorge” remains a fact. He was definitely not a supporter of  the Racial policies of the Third Reich. Besides the Nazi philosopher Alfred Rosenberg hated Chatholicism. In the elections in Germany the NSDAP had more support in protestant parts of the country.

You can call Franz Kafka and Bertolt Brecht ProGerman due to their love of German Culture.

saadasim
saadasim

What is Israel's border and why can't Israel live inside it?

Soledad
Soledad

@saadasim  

Because they're greedy. They're not happy with the land the UN partitioned off for them. They want it all. And they want to drive the Palestinians away. Last time I checked that was called ethnic cleansing.

ralph777
ralph777

@Soledad @saadasim  Ifpeople don't know history like you better they remain silent.

Israel was attacked by several armies since after the first day of existence.

Soledad
Soledad

@ralph777 @Soledad @saadasim  

I thought you said there were no people in Palestine when Israel became Israel. So who were the Armies? I think you're the one who doesn't know history. Either that or you're an Israeli who wants to brainwash me into thinking that the poor Israelis are getting picked on. Either way don't bother anymore.

Soledad
Soledad like.author.displayName 1 Like

There was no such thing as Israel until 1947 when the UN laid out the partition plan and gave it to them. Open a bible and look at that map. No Israel. The Jews were taken captive and scattered abroad in 70 AD, just as Christ predicted. Ten of the twelve tribes were lost. So if you're suggesting that the inhabitants of Israel are the same people that appeared in the bible you are sadly mistaken. Giving the Zionists that land was probably the stupidest thing the UN has ever done considering that there were people already living there and had been for over a thousand years. I often wonder how Americans would react to a UN decision to give back the land to the Natives that the pilgrims stole from them. Surely they'd protest. They'd be up in arms and all set to fight for it. Even though that all happened just a few hundred years ago. But the Palestinians who have inhabited that land for over a thousand years don't have a right to demand justice? How foolish, selfish and self-centered. I'm reminded of the story about the fisherman who was granted a wish by a fish he caught. You remember that story? He kept going back to ask for more, until the fish finally took back everything he'd given him and he was left with nothing.

ralph777
ralph777 like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Soledad  There was never a Palestinian people !

Soledad
Soledad

@ralph777

Really? Then I guess the land was empty in 1947? Don't be an idiot. Of course there were people there. And the place was called Palestine. Therefore they were Palestinians. 

blisterpeanuts
blisterpeanuts like.author.displayName 1 Like

Jerusalem and West Bank lands were conquered by the Ottomans, then later taken over by the British, then later by Zionist Jews, then by Jordanian Arabs, then finally by Israel after five major wars and countless acts of terrorism and murder against the Jews.

Israel has as much right to this land as anyone else, and more right than most. The Arabs have forfeited their claims on the land because of relentless violence.

Those who bravely post snide dismissals of Israel's legitimacy from

jdledell
jdledell

@blisterpeanuts I have been an Israeli citizen for 55 years. My grandfather was Irgun. It was ONLY through violence by Jews against the British occupiers and Arabs that caused Britain to throw up its hands and give the problem of Israel to the UN to handle. By any common definition my grandfather was a terrorist but he fought for his freedom. He killed soldiers and civilians all in a cause he thought was just and noble. He was no different than peoples anywhere in the world fighing for freedom, including Palestinians.

blisterpeanuts
blisterpeanuts

(cont') behind anonymous accounts have no skin in the game, and in fact benefit greatly from Israel's technology as well as its stand against Muslim domination of the middle East.

GrantMacDonald1
GrantMacDonald1 like.author.displayName 1 Like

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) seems intent on blocking Obama -- from paying the bills -- Republicans left behind … fighting Israel’s ongoing holy war & land grab. As long as NATO will provide soldiers and the U.S. provides the money … Israel pushes this arrogant “better than thou bulls#@&!” People don’t accept this chosen crap any longer!

GrantMacDonald1
GrantMacDonald1 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I look at Emperor Netanyahu; as the big NATO & U.S. tail-wagger & Cantor his butt licker … manipulating the world into trillions of dollars of war debt … cast onto the global taxpayers !

GrantMacDonald1
GrantMacDonald1 like.author.displayName 1 Like

A Nato military presence in the West Bank -- sorting the illegal land grab of 1967 & expansion of the illegal settlements -- might resolve the global holy war issue with a bigger bang for the buck dealing the root cause – Israeli arrogance!

YAS292
YAS292 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

It's incredible how angry politicians become whenever Israel announces plans to build in the West Bank.

The Palestinian waistline — between Maale Adumim and the Dead Sea, is roughly 15 km wide. That’s a corridor no different than the Israeli waistline. Indeed, that has never caused a problem of Israeli territorial contiguity.

http://honestreporting.com/despite-the-hype-e1-doesnt-cut-west-bank-in-two/

The New York times submitted a correction on the E1 issue, explaining how E1 won't cut the West BAnk afterall. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/16/pageoneplus/corrections-december-16-2012.html?_r=1&


Furthermore,  British Middle East Affairs Minister Alistair Burt described Ariel University's upgrade from College status an obstacle to peace. http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=6883

If education is an obstacle to peace, then how about ignpoance?

Additionally, the Palestinians' representatives (Hamas, Fatah, Muslim Brotherhood et.c.) can't seriously want peace, rather they want to see the end of Israel.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/9774553/Israel-will-cease-to-exist-within-a-decade-says-Muslim-Brotherhood-official.html

http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=449

Ahmed Halabiyeh, director of the Jerusalem Department in Hamas, said that armed Palestinian groups, including Hamas, should initiate a confrontation with Israel over its plans to build new apartments in Jerusalem and its suburbs.
The Palestinians, he added, should resort to various methods of resistance, first and foremost “martyrdom operations in the heart of Israel.”

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=297268

Basically, in Hamas' eyes, its fair to react to announcements to plans to build civilians' houses by announcing plans to kill civilians.


This further supports the notion that Hamas does not want peace, rather wants to destroy Israel, as is indicated by its charter, as well as quoted by many Hamas officials.

Recently, the main leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashal called for the destruction of Israel.

http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/hamastine-a-present-from-the-un-to-khaled-mashaal/2012/12/26/

Ironically, while he was preaching genocide of the Jews in Israel, he was accusing the Jews in Israel of “racism.”

paulbogdanor.com/israel/quotes.html

BearKlein
BearKlein like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

Their is one small Jewish State. The Jews have a right to build in it anywhere in the State even if Anti-Semites of the World object. Israel has a legal right to build across the 67 Lines which were not a border but cease fire lines after the 48 war.  How ugly it is to say do not do more Jewish Building of Towns in your Capitol of Jerusalem and nearby locations.. But instead of saying Jewish Towns the term settlements is used, as if every apartment built was a new city.

eric.chavarria
eric.chavarria like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@BearKlein

Stealing land and starting fights is all Israel is good for. I think the U.S. needs to stop backing israel and just let nature take its course.

ralph777
ralph777

@eric.chavarria  If you are attecked you wouldn't defend yourself ? Israel was attacked by several Arab armys

since its first day of existence.

ralph777
ralph777

@JoeF43 @ralph777 

The question is who does injustice to whom . The victims are not those you believe and want to make believe. You should better learn and read history not propaganda.

JoeF43
JoeF43

@ralph777

If you do injustice to your neighbours, you must expect them to hit back. That is their defence.
They do not have the support of any major power to supply them with state-of-the-art weaponry, so they use primitive rockets, suicide bombers etc

Andrewp111
Andrewp111

@eric.chavarria Be careful what you wish for.  Nature taking its course would be an Israeli nuclear war against the Arabs and Iran in which 500 million Muslims are incinerated. 

eric.chavarria
eric.chavarria

@Andrewp111 @eric.chavarria 

I dont wish for war and neither do most people but when Mr. Netanyahu says he is for a 2 state solution and then does what he does (read article) then you you can't help but wonder if he would still be talking tough if the U.S. were to publicly anounce that Israel is wrong and that we wont get their back on this since they are obviosly against the solution. I have many Jewish friends and some Muslim friends,  I would tell it to their faces. I am catholic and no I dont want a "Holy War" as there is nothing holy about war!

babooph
babooph like.author.displayName 1 Like

Israel has gerrymandered itself into being a pure nuclear target in a sea of bitterness-no talks with adversaries is needed by the US & Israel to consider BIG changes[IRA acted alone & it seems to be much better there]...

TomHeine
TomHeine

Also Monaco is a smaller than gaza, and its very viable.

TomHeine
TomHeine like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

I am curious how someone could say that the settlements would "doom the posibility of a viable Palestinian state.   Why?  The west bank and Gaza are bigger than a lot of viable countries. For example:  Singapore, Barbados, Liechtenstein, and many others. 


mrmarkayres
mrmarkayres like.author.displayName 1 Like

@TomHeine The Settlements and Israeli-only roads cut the West Bank into so many cantons that you can't have a contiguous state.   Remember all the little Bantustans that South Africa created and touted as viable states for South African Blacks.  Few of them a viable.  Some of the South African arguments for the viability of the Bantustans remind me of your arguments

TomHeine
TomHeine like.author.displayName 1 Like

@mrmarkayres @TomHeine one more thing:  if the palestinians dont think its going to be viable, they should make a deal asap.  they are going for the whole deal instead of going for what they can get.  they could have a deal tomorrow if they were willing to give up taking israel back. 

blisterpeanuts
blisterpeanuts like.author.displayName 1 Like

@mrmarkayres So what? West Bank never was an Arab country before, so why should it become one now? They have done nothing to deserve the status of statehood. The Jews fought for 100 years to found Israel, against all odds, and have made great contributions to the world in the sciences, technology, and culture. The world's greatest violinist is from Israel, as are Intel's newest chips.

What have the Palestinians done? They are nomadic tribes that migrated into Palestine during the Ottoman era and now lay claim to all of Israel, vowing to kill all the Jews. They have contributed nothing to the world except suicide bomb belts.

Israel should build a million more houses and drive out the Arabs. Then there will be peace.

namro
namro like.author.displayName 1 Like

Jews wrote the "Old Testament" (Torah) of the Bible.  Anyone can write a Bible of their own in which God gives them and their descendents everything and makes them a "chosen people".   One revelation in the Jewish Bible that is important is of the character of those Jews - a bloodthirsty and evil gang who have their God command them to kill every man, woman, and child who is not a Jew but resides in what they chiose to call "Judea and Samaria" together with their livestock.  What a terrible and evil group of people those Jews were!  This is what Yahu represents.

Kayhacker
Kayhacker like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

Now that I am beginning to see the Israeli point of view America and Europe needs to sever ties with this ridiculousness.  You can point to hypocrisy thought the world to justify this and it will never make it right.  The Jewish people (of all people) should know where the path of  radical nationalism leads because they have been on the wrong side of that equation with devastating consequence. 

TapeisGlueandBacking
TapeisGlueandBacking like.author.displayName 1 Like

When you choose to be racists, such as the Muslims against the Jews, it is evil. 

Whites tried to keep Blacks enslaved, didn't work.


If there is a God, He won't put up with murdering innocents forever.

YehudaElyada
YehudaElyada like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Without garvitating to the unsettled political questions of legality of Israel actions, Palestinian rights or the moral validity of UN resolutions, Mr. Vick would have done a better job if he looked at the maps rather than quote the propoganda. The areas mentioned in this article do not totally disconnect Judea (the southern territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority) from Samaria (the nortern Parts). You just have to make some aditional 5 Miles detour through the desert (the way Jesus took when he met the good Samaritan - not the good Palestinian). it is sed that basic journalistic honesty and accuracy paradigm is sacrified every time this reporter uses his position to advance the interest of the Palestinians and their Israeli far-left advocates (note that 78% of Israelies = which are 99% of the Jewish population! agrees with the government regarding the indivisibility of Jerusalem. In this particular issue, Netanyahu is supported by 99% and Peace Now represent 1% of Jewish vote.) 

EileenFleming
EileenFleming

"We'll make a pastrami sandwich of them. We'll insert a strip of Jewish settlement, right across the West Bank, so that in 25 years time, neither the United Nations, nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart." -Ariel Sharon to Winston Churchill III in 1973





The establishment of Israel's very statehood was contingent upon upholding the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and every Member State is obligated to hold ALL other Member States to it.

Article 13.2 affirms "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."

States, nations, government have obligations. People have RIGHTS.

On May 14, 1948, The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel enshrined: "On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations."




IMAGINE what a wonderful world it could be-when Israel honors its promise and ALL Member States of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights honor theirs!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sezHPnVu2qk

blisterpeanuts
blisterpeanuts like.author.displayName 1 Like

@EileenFleming Yes, by all means let every country start to obey international laws. Let's start by making the Arab countries grant right of return to the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were exiled in the 1940s, and return their money and property that were stolen.

marcallanfeldman
marcallanfeldman like.author.displayName 1 Like

@EileenFleming  

"

IMAGINE what a wonderful world it could be-when Israel honors its promise and ALL Member States of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights honor theirs!"

I agree.  It is time for the Palestinians to end the war on Israel. Give up the effort to liberate Palestine from the river to the sea and negotiate with Israel with no preconditions.  Then Israel can stop fighting a war and honor its promise to all peoples.

When will this happen? "Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us."  Golda Meir 1957 

May we live to see it in our lifetimes.

 

JoeF43
JoeF43

@marcallanfeldman

Peace will come when jewish money will run out and/or when US electorate will reject US foreign policy of unquestionable support of Israel. Remember Joe Biden - "you don't have to be Jew to be a Zionist."

marcallanfeldman
marcallanfeldman like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

In 1948, Israel was at war with the Arab Palestinians and five Arab nations.  Israel, Egypt, and Jordan were able to negotiate peace agreements and end the war.  The Arab Palestinians never stopped fighting and never negotiated peace.  So the war continues.

Regardless of the UN imagination, there has never been a viable independent Palestinian state.  This is why although there is a military occupation, there are no occupied Palestinian territories, they are disputed territories, the ownership to be determined either by war or by negotiation.

No country would ever consent to a new state to be established in disputed territory on its border that was already in a state of war.  So if the Palestinians are not willing to end the state of war, and Israel is not willing to surrender its sovereignty, what are the other options?  War, genocide, or military control, occupation, and gradual annexation.  As bad as occupation is, I believe that this may be the first time that two peoples in a struggle over a single land will eventually achieve a resolution without a wholesale slaughter. 

EileenFleming
EileenFleming like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@marcallanfeldman Typical spin of a neocon Zionist regarding a conflict that has NEVER been between equal sides and reality is:

Israel currently has 236 Jewish-only settlements and ‘outposts’ built on confiscated Palestinian land. Palestinians do not have any settlements on Israeli land.

The Israeli unemployment rate is 6.4%, while the Palestinian unemployment in the West Bank is 16.5% and 40% in Gaza.

0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians and 24,813 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since 1967


0 Israelis are being held prisoner by Palestinians, while 5,604 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel.

During Fiscal Year 2011, the U.S. is providing Israel with at least $8.2 million per day in military aid and $0 in military aid to the Palestinians.


10,792 Israelis and 59,575 Palestinians have been injured since September 29, 2000.

 

1,096 Israelis and at least 6,568 Palestinians have been killed since September 29, 2000.

126 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,476 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000.

LEARN MUCH MORE @ http://ifamericansknew.org/

ralph777
ralph777

@EileenFleming @marcallanfeldman 

What if the Arabs and Palestinians would have won ?

Who began the war in 1948 ?

What is Hamas program about Israel ?

What not mention Palestinian violence ? You ignore the chronology of the facts.


YehudaElyada
YehudaElyada like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

you can call Neocon anyone who doesn't agree with your Neobolshevic propoganda. Fortunately enough for Israel, we don't really care what's your motivation to attack Israel with invented "facts".

marcallanfeldman
marcallanfeldman like.author.displayName 1 Like

@EileenFleming @marcallanfeldman  

In 1948, about 6000 Israelis and 5000 Palestinian Arabs died.  It was about equal.  But Israel won the war and most of the Palestinians fled.  The Palestinians never stopped fighting.  Your statistics are not surprising or impressive.  That is what happens when a people continues a losing war but will not give up aggression.

Doctors mistakes have killed thousands of patients.  Patients' mistakes very rarely kill doctors.  The police have captured far more criminals than criminals have ever captured police.  Your statistics imply a moral equivalence that I do not accept.  Name calling is not very convincing.  I am not a neo-con, I am a libertarian.  I do not think the US government should send any funds to support Israel, Egypt, or the Palestinians.  I think the funds should be given voluntary by individuals who are so motivated.

I am not a Zionist.  Zionism is the movement for the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish People.  That homeland now exists and has been thriving for generations.  Being for or against Zionism today is like being for or against Manifest Destiny.  California exists and so does Israel.  Deal with it.

It is time for the Arabs to end the war on Israel.  For their own sake and for the sake of their children.

marcallanfeldman
marcallanfeldman

@reasonnotideology @marcallanfeldman @EileenFleming 

There is a saying used on the Internet:  "Do not feed the trolls".  With a name like "reasonnotideology"  one might expect that you would be interested in a rational discussion and shared perspectives.  For several reasons it appears that this is not the case.

1.  I have my differences with Eileen Fleming, but we both are sincere and we do not post anonymously. If you do not use your real name, it seems that either you do not really believe what you post, or that you do not want others to know who you are.  

2.  Taking the words of others and using them in quotations implies that the other person is lying or is using terms in an improper way.  If you prefer other terms you can use them.  

3.  You do not need to yell.  Adding exclamation points does not make your points more persuasive.  Just the opposite is true.

4.  Leave the Nazis out.  Look up Godwin's law. " there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress."

reasonnotideology
reasonnotideology

@marcallanfeldman @EileenFleming 

How would the "Arabs" end the war? By surrendering any hope of their own land? By giving up their dignity and human rights? Every day/week/year, more of their land is eaten up, their current homes turned into prisons around them.

Israel has been the aggressor and the occupier for decades. The victim days are over; Israel has joined the victimizers!

To you, apparently, all "Arabs" are the same- only a racist would group people by race rather than nationality. Did you learn nothing from the holocaust about the power of racism? No, you did. The Israelis truly learned the art of propaganda (The Big Lie), occupation, and dehumanization from the Nazis.