naturalfeature:jordan river

  • In a Jewish state, the Zionist left can offer the Arabs nothing but empty words - Opinion - Israel News | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-how-pleasant-when-brothers-sit-together-1.7164824

    It didn’t work once again for the Zionist left. Like the song says: They promised a dove, an olive branch, they promised peace, spring and blossoms … And once again they got Benjamin Netanyahu.

    The Zionist leftists tried everything. They promised peace and security, settlements and two states, Mizrahim and Ashkenazim, and nothing worked. Only one choice remained, the doomsday weapon, the wildest wild card of all: to join with the Arabs. Only thus could they return to power, wrote the pundits. Why didn’t they think of that before? How good and pleasant it is when brothers sit together, center-left with “Israeli Arabs,” as they are popularly called, in denial of them being Palestinians.

    It’s good that this recognition has finally sunk in; it’s too bad that it’s hollow and hypocritical, like most ideas of the center-left. Even when the Zionist left reaches the right understanding, they aren’t ready to pay the price for it. As usual, they want to have their cake and eat it too.

    A Jewish-Arab partnership as well as a Jewish state. It’s doomed to failure. Dear Zionist leftists, don’t count on the Arab vote. You’re not worthy of it.

    First of all – now you come to us? After all the years of military administration and after the riots of October 2000, the discrimination, exclusion and dispossession (just go to Taibeh or Hura), suddenly you remember that we exist? Oh well, better late than never. But what exactly does the center-left have to offer the Arabs in the state of the Jews? Empty words. What equality, without which there can be no genuine partnership, can exist in a Jewish-democratic state? What brotherhood can prevail in a country whose Law of Return fundamentally discriminates against Arabs? What is there waiting for them in a country whose discourse is all Jewish and only Jewish? Where nearly all of the land is designated for Jews and many public workplaces are closed to them? And that’s before we’ve even said a word about the nation-state law.

    There is only one way that Jews and Arabs can really go together: in a democratic, egalitarian state of all its citizens. Is this what anyone on the Zionist left who proposed joining together meant? If so, he cannot be a Zionist. This built-in contradiction must be exposed: Zionism and egalitarianism cannot go hand in hand.

    From the depths of its failures, the center-left suddenly discovered the potential of the Arab vote. It tried the religious and sought out the Mizrahim and ultimately was stuck with the Arabs, the last bastion of non-rightist votes. But the Zionist left has nothing to offer them aside from a few budgetary crumbs. It has no intention of paying the real price that has to be paid for going together, which would spur Israel’s Arabs to vote Kahol Lavan, Labor or Meretz.

    They will only do so en masse in a country that shakes off its Zionist scaffolding, which may have been necessary once, but is no longer so. They will do so in a state in which an Arab prime minister or defense minister or health minister is a matter of routine, as it should be in any multinational democracy. They will do so when the Arabic language will be the language of the country just as Hebrew is, and when they stop being called a “minority.” What minority? An equal number of Jews and Palestinians now live under Israeli control between the Jordan River and the sea. This moment of numerical equality, which many not last very long, ought to have been celebrated with a declaration of intent to establish an egalitarian democracy. Instead, nearly 5 million Palestinians live under occupation and another nearly 2 million live under the nation-state law.

    This is not what the advocates of joining together mean. They just want keffiyehs at party conventions and votes at the ballot box. The right has been winning for 40 years, and the left still doesn’t get that it has nothing more to offer. For 40 years now, it has lost its way.

    The solution is admittedly revolutionary and not an easy one to accept, but it is the only one: Detach the Zionist label from the leftist label and switch to what every liberal left in the world is dedicated to. Offer the obvious: Democracy for all.

  • Toward a democratic, not Jewish, state

    A civil alternative to the right’s doctrines – one God, one people, one land and one leader – is urgently needed, and whoever has the courage and inspiration to stand at this front will win it all
    Avraham Burg
    Jan 25, 2019 1
    Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-toward-a-democratic-not-jewish-state-1.6872815

    The spirit in the election atmosphere is the spirit of the time, the insane Netanyahu spirit. That’s the wind blowing in the sails of his fervid supporters and defining his rivals. He is asking for the voters’ confidence to do more of the same and his opponents say “Just not Bibi.”
    Haaretz Weekly Ep. 13Haaretz

    For 35 years Israel has had no opposition. We have no experience and memories of alternative thinking anymore. There is nobody to offer a different kind of hope at the end of all the despair.

    >> Read more: Meretz leader Zandberg shines as stand-up comic in celebrity roast that showcased her party’s sad reality ■ The war that will decide Israel’s future won’t involve airstrikes, tanks or missiles

    Many years ago I contended for the leadership of the Labor Party, which at the time was stuck in the mire of the national unity government. It was characterized by no governance and little unity. That is exactly where the destruction of democracy and the nationalization of the political discourse, together with its turn to ultra-nationalism, began.

    At the time I planned to take Labor out of the government, to turn it into a civil alternative to the right’s doctrines – one God, one people, one land and one leader. I was told then: Your ideas are premature. Today I’m telling us all: In a moment it will be too late. Because this is exactly what is urgently needed, even more than before.

    In this sense Avi Gabbay is absolutely right to make the public commitment he is making – not to join Netanyahu’s next government. But this is an empty commitment. It deals with title and status, not with content. To replace Netanyahuism one must present a comprehensive, complete worldview.

    The right of recent years stands on five legs: sowing of fear, Jewish supremacy, abandonment of Western values, systematic weakening of the institutions of law and divisiveness.
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    After so many years of such thorough indoctrination it’s not enough to say “I won’t sit in the same government with him.” It must be self-evident – what’s needed is to “turn from evil.” But what does it mean to “do good,” what is the ideological content that will heal Israel from Netanyahu’s curse?

    The renewal of Israel must stand on a foundation of civil equality. There is no other supreme value capable of uniting the variety of our identities, with absolute commitment to a democratic way of life. To achieve it we must set up a coalition for civil equality including various parties, movements and interests, all of which have one ultimate goal: changing Israeli discourse from ethnic domination to equal citizenship for all. The coalition’s agenda should include:

    Redefining Israel from “a Jewish-democratic state” to “a constitutional democracy in which part of the Jewish people has established its sovereignty, and which belongs to all its citizens.”
    Proposing a civil constitution including complete civil equality, secularizing the public sphere, separating state from religion, a fair distribution of public resources and decent, fair “rules of the game.”
    Significantly minimizing the Law of Return and closing all the automatic fast tracks granted on the basis of (at times dubious) genetic connection to the Jewish collective.
    Changing the Israeli security concept, from the obsessive amassing of power to the constant striving for long-term political arrangements, including with the Palestinian people.
    Waiving the monopolies and privileges of Israel and the Jews between the Jordan River and the sea. Turning it into a shared space as much as possible, in which every person is entitled to the same rights and every nation has the right to self-determination and confederate partnership in every walk of life.
    Implementing a policy of affirmative action and justice to redress past iniquities to the excluded and discriminated-against populations in Israel, centering on the Arab population, until the goals of civil equality are met.

    Yes, all these things mean a painful parting from the Jewish comfort and supremacy zones. It’s a dramatic evolution from the ideas of 1948 and 1967 to a new model of society, in a world of populistic madness stretching from Washington to Ankara and from Moscow to Balfour Street in Jerusalem.

    Anyone who has the courage and inspiration to stand at this front, and is ready to pay the price, will win it all. And make all of us winners.

  • Expanding the limits of Jewish sovereignty: A brief history of Israeli settlements - Israel News
    Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Jan 11, 2019 – Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-expanding-the-limits-of-jewish-sovereignty-a-brief-history-of-isra

    At the end of the day, we stood above the ditch that holds the road designated for Palestinians who want to travel from an enclave of three West Bank villages – Biddu, Beit Surik and Qatannah – to Ramallah. Above that road, Israeli vehicles sped smoothly along Highway 443, the high road to the capital, without the drivers even seeing the segregation road below, which is hemmed in by iron fencing and barbed wire. The Israelis on the expressway above, the Palestinians on the subterranean route below: a picture that’s worth a thousand words. Israel dubs these separation routes “fabric-of-life roads.” It sounds promising but in reality these byways are just another, monstrous product of the apartheid system.

    A few hundred meters away, in Givon Hahadasha (New Givon) – and like the settlement, enclosed on all sides by iron fencing and spiky wire, and complete with electronic cameras and an electric gate – is the home of the Agrayeb family. Here the occupation looms at its most grotesque: a Palestinian family cut off from its village (Beit Ijza) in the quasi-prison of the enclave and left to live in this house-cage in the heart of a settlement, a situation that the High Court of Justice of the region’s sole democracy has termed acceptably “proportional harm.” At the conclusion of an instructive tour, the tunnel and the cage, Highway 443 and New Givon, the “proportional harm” and the “fabric-of-life roads” all spark grim, utterly depressing thoughts here in the realm of apartheid. The thoughts that arose in late afternoon on a cold, stormy winter day will long haunt us.

    Since the anti-occupation organization Breaking the Silence was founded in 2004, it has led hundreds of study tours to Hebron and to the South Hebron Hills, in which tens of thousands of Israelis and others have taken part. The tours, which draw about 5,000 participants a year, are aimed at the gut, and no one returns indifferent from the ghostly population-transfer quarter in Hebron or from the land of the caves whose inhabitants have been dispossessed, in the South Hebron Hills. Now the NGO is launching a new tour, analytical and insightful, of the central West Bank, which focuses on the history of the occupation from its inception down to our time.

    Yehuda Shaul, 36, one of the founders of Breaking the Silence, a former Haredi and an ex-combat soldier, worked for about a year and a half planning the tour, writing the texts and preparing the maps, drawing on some 40 books about the settlements and other materials found while burrowing in archives. Shaul is a superb guide along the trails of the occupation – businesslike and brimming with knowledge, not given to sloganizing. He is committed and determined but also bound by the facts, and he is articulate in Hebrew and English. His tour is currently in the pilot stage, before its official launch in a few months.

    A day in the Ramallah subdistrict, from the Haredi settlement of Modi’in Ilit to the home of the young Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, in the village of Nabi Saleh, from the region of the Allon Plan to the fabric-of-life scheme – during this seven-hour journey, an unvarnished picture emerges: The goals of the occupation were determined immediately after the 1967 war. Every Israeli government since, without exception, has worked to realize them. The aim: to prevent the establishment of any Palestinian entity between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, by carving up the West Bank and shattering it into shards of territory. The methods have varied, but the goal remains unwavering: eternal Israeli rule.

    #apartheid

  • Americans Are Increasingly Critical of Israel – Foreign Policy
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/11/americans-are-increasingly-critical-of-israel

    The firing of Professor Marc Lamont Hill as a CNN contributor after his speech at a United Nations event commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People has generated considerable debate about free speech that goes beyond the case itself—what is legitimate criticism of Israel, and what constitutes anti-Semitism. A recent University of Maryland public-opinion poll indicates that many aspects of Hill’s views are widely shared among the American public—and that these views are not reflective of anti-Semitic attitudes, or even of hostility toward Israel as such. On these issues, there is a gap between the mainstream media and U.S. politicians on the one hand, and the American public on the other.

    While many issues were raised about Hill, the part of his speech that received the most criticism was his call for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea,” which was seen by some as calling for the end of Israel. Hill himself clarified almost immediately that “my reference to ‘river to the sea’ was not a call to destroy anything or anyone. It was a call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza.” In an op-ed he penned later, he acknowledged that the language he chose may have contributed to the misperception that he was advocating violence against Jewish people—and apologized for that.

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    But, perceptions aside, are Professor Hill’s views exceptional?

    The first issue to consider is advocacy for a one-state solution, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, with equal citizenship for all, which would in effect threaten Israel’s status as a Jewish-majority state, as Arabs might soon outnumber Jews on that territory. In fact, this solution has considerable support among the American public, as revealed in a University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll, fielded by Nielson Scarborough, which was conducted in September and October among a nationally representative sample of 2,352 Americans, with a 2 percent margin of error. When asked what outcome they want U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to seek in mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Americans are split between one state with equal citizenship and two states coexisting side by side: 35 percent say they want a one-state solution outright, while 36 percent advocate a two-state solution, 11 percent support maintaining the occupation, and 8 percent back annexation without equal citizenship. Among those between 18 and 34 years old, support for one state climbs to 42 percent.

    Furthermore, most of those who advocate a two-state solution tend to choose one state with equal citizenship if the two-state solution were no longer possible; the last time the survey asked this question, in November 2017, 55 percent of two-state solution backers said they would switch to one state in such circumstances. Bolstering this result is Americans’ views on the Jewishness and democracy of Israel: If the two-state solution were no longer possible, 64 percent of Americans would choose the democracy of Israel, even if it meant that Israel would cease to be a politically Jewish state, over the Jewishness of Israel, if the latter meant that Palestinians would not be fully equal.

    When one considers that many Israelis and Palestinians, as well as many Middle East experts, already believe that a two-state solution is no longer possible, especially given the large expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, it’s not hard to see why more people would be drawn to a one-state solution—or see the advocacy for two states as legitimizing the unjust status quo through the promise of something unattainable.

    Second, while most Americans have probably never heard of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that Hill backs, our poll shows that a large number of Americans support imposing sanctions or more serious measures if Israeli settlements in the West Bank continue to expand: 40 percent of Americans support such measures, including a majority of Democrats (56 percent). This comes as senators, including Democrats, are proposing, despite continued ACLU opposition, to delegitimize and criminalize voluntary boycotts of Israel or settlements through the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, while not differentiating between Israeli settlements in the West Bank from those in Israel proper.

    Third, there is a growing sense that the Israeli government has “too much influence” on U.S. politics and policies: 38 percent of all Americans (including 55 percent of Democrats, and 44 percent of those under 35 years old), say the Israeli government has too much influence on the U.S. government, compared with 9 percent who say it has “too little influence” and 48 percent who say it has “about the right level of influence.” While the number of Jewish participants in the sample (115) is too small to generalize with confidence, it is notable that their views fall along the same lines of the national trend: 37 percent say Israel has too much influence, 54 percent say it has the right level, and 7 percent say it has too little influence.

    These results indicate neither a rise in anti-Semitism nor even a rise in hostility toward Israel as such. As analysis of previous polls has shown, many who espouse these opinions base them on a principled worldview that emphasizes human rights and international law.

    Keep in mind that, in a polarized America with deep political antagonism, it’s hardly surprising that Americans would have sharply divided views on Israelis and Palestinians. What many read as a rising anti-Israeli sentiment among Democrats is mischaracterized; it reflects anger toward Israeli policies—and increasingly, with the values projected by the current Israeli government.

    On the question of whether Americans want the Trump administration to lean toward Israel, toward the Palestinians, or toward neither side, there is a vast difference between Republicans and Democrats in the new poll: While a majority of Republicans want Washington to lean toward Israel outright (57 percent), a substantial majority of Democrats (82 percent) want it to lean toward neither side, with 8 percent wanting it to lean toward the Palestinians and 7 percent toward Israel. Still, it’s inaccurate to label the Democrats’ even-handedness as “anti-Israel.”

  • 5-year drought raises questions over Israel’s water strategy
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/5-drought-raises-questions-over-062408778.html

    It’s a confounding situation for a country that places itself on the forefront of desalination technology in an arid region, where water is a key geostrategic issue that has its own clauses in peace agreements.

    “Nobody expected five years of drought in a row, so despite our desalination capacity, it’s still a very, very grave situation,” said Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister of energy.

    Some say Israel’s technological prowess may not be enough to overcome the forces of nature.

    Situated in the heart of the Middle East, #Israel is in one of the driest regions on earth, traditionally relying on a short rainy season each winter to replenish its limited supplies.

    Years of decreased rainfall have reduced the Sea of Galilee, Israel’s main natural water source, to some of its lowest recorded levels, and Israel has stopped pumping water from it to its national system.

    The current drought has also dried out some tributaries that feed into the Jordan River, which flows south into the Sea of Galilee then squiggles 220 miles (360 kilometers) to the lowest place on Earth, the Dead Sea.

    #eau #moyen_orient

  • Israeli minister planned eviction of West Bank Bedouin 40 years ago, document reveals
    Now agriculture minister, then settler activist, Uri Ariel was already planning in the 1970s the eviction of Bedouin living east of Jerusalem that is taking place now in Khan al-Ahmar
    Amira Hass Jul 12, 2018 2:57 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-document-reveals-the-eviction-of-bedouin-was-planned-40-years-ago-

    Forty years ago Uri Ariel, now agriculture minister, was already planning the eviction of Bedouin living east of Jerusalem. This emerges from a document signed by him titled, “A proposal to plan the Ma’aleh Adumim region and establish the community settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim B.”

    The document outlines a plan to turn some 100,000 to 120,000 dunams (25,000 to 30,000 acres) of Palestinian land into an area of Jewish settlement and develop it as a “Jewish corridor,” as he put it, from the coast to the Jordan River. In fact, a large part of the plan has been executed, except for the eviction of all the area’s Bedouin.

    Now the Civil Administration and the police are expediting the demolition of the homes of the Jahalin in Khan al-Ahmar. This is one of approximately 25 Bedouin communities in the area that have become a flagship of the Bedouin resistance in the West Bank’s Area C against the efforts by the Israeli occupation to uproot them, gather them in a few compounds adjacent to Area A, and impose a semi-urban lifestyle on them.

    The boundaries of the area that Ariel sets for his plan are the Palestinian villages of Hizme, Anata, Al-Azariya and Abu Dis to the west, the hills overlooking the Jordan Valley to the east, Wadi Qelt to the north and the Kidron Valley and Horkania Valley to the south. “In the area there are many Bedouin involved in the cultivation of land,” he writes, contrary to the claims voiced today by settlers that the Bedouin only recently popped up and “took over” the land.

    But Ariel has a solution: “Since the area is used by the military and a large part of the industry there serves the defense establishment, the area must be closed to Bedouin settlement and evacuated.”

    This document, exposed here for the first time, was found by Dr. Yaron Ovadia in the Kfar Adumim archives when he was doing research for a book he’s writing about the Judean Desert. Ovadia wrote his doctorate about the Jahalin tribe.

    “Since [the area] is unsettled, it is now possible to plan it entirely,” Ariel wrote, about an area that constituted the land reserves for construction, industry, agriculture and grazing for the Palestinian towns and villages east of Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Ramallah. “Arab urban/rural settlement is spreading at an amazing pace along the route from Jerusalem eastward, and this linear spread must be stopped immediately.”

    His solutions: to build urban neighborhoods that will become part of Jerusalem and to “administratively close the area of the Arab villages by means of an appropriate plan.” This administrative closure by an appropriate plan can be discerned in the reality perpetuated by the Interim Agreement of 1995, which artificially divided the West Bank into Areas A and B, to be administered by the Palestinians, and Area C, which covers 60 percent of the West Bank, to be administered by Israel. That’s how Palestinian enclaves were created with limited development potential within a large Jewish expanse.

    Ariel’s plan was apparently written between late 1978 and the beginning of 1979, and he said that as far as he recalls, it was submitted to Brig. Gen. Avraham Tamir, the IDF’s head of planning. “We have been living for three years in the existing settlement at Mishor Adumim,” writes Ariel, referring to a settlement nucleus that was established in 1975 and was portrayed as a work camp near the Mishor Adumim industrial zone. Even before Ma’aleh Adumim was officially inaugurated, Ariel was proposing to build “Ma’aleh Adumim B,” i.e., Kfar Adumim, which was established in September 1979.

    Some Jahalin families were indeed evicted from their homes in 1977 and 1980. In 1994, expulsion orders were issued against dozens more, and they were evicted in the late 1990s, with the approval of the High Court of Justice. But thousands of Bedouin and their flocks remained in the area, albeit under increasingly difficult conditions as firing zones, settlements and roads reduced their grazing areas and their access to water. From the early 2000s the Civil Administration has been planning to evacuate the Bedouin and forcibly resettle them in permanent townships.

    It’s tempting to present Ariel’s 40-year-old suggestions as an example of the personal and political determination that characterizes many religious Zionist activists and was facilitated by the Likud electoral victory in 1977. But it was Yitzhak Rabin’s first government that decided to build a 4,500-dunam industrial zone for Jerusalem in Khan al-Amar. In 1975 it expropriated a huge area of 30,000 dunams from the Palestinian towns and villages in the area and built a settlement there disguised as a work camp for employees of the industrial zone.

    In a study (“The Hidden Agenda,” 2009) written by Nir Shalev for the nonprofit associations Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights and B’tselem, he notes that the Housing and Construction Ministry’s Jerusalem district director when Ma’aleh Adumim was first being built in 1975 said that the objective behind it was political – “to block the entrance way to Jerusalem from a Jordanian threat.” But since the objective was political, it was clear that he wasn’t referring to a military threat, but to demographic growth that would require additional construction.

    The planning for Ma’aleh Adumim actually began in Golda Meir’s time in the early 1970s; at the time, minister Israel Galili advised Davar reporter Hagai Eshed that it would be best if the press didn’t deal with this “exciting and interesting” issue, “because it could cause damage.” Both the Meir and Rabin governments considered the planned settlement to be part of metropolitan Jerusalem. Moreover, during Rabin’s second government, the period of the Oslo Accords, Bedouin were evicted, in the spirit of Ariel’s proposal.

    Perhaps the most crucial move was actually made in 1971, when under that same government of Meir, Galili and Moshe Dayan, military order No. 418 was issued, which made drastic changes to the planning apparatus in the West Bank. The order removed the rights of Palestinian local councils to plan and build. As explained in another study by Bimkom (“The Prohibted Zone,” 2008) this prepared the legal infrastructure for the separate planning systems – the miserly, restrictive system for the Palestinians and the generous, encouraging one for the settlements. This distorted planning system refused to take into account the longtime Bedouin communities that had been expelled from the Negev and had been living in the area long before the settlements were built.

    The settlement part of Ariel’s proposal succeeded because it was merely a link in a chain of plans and ideas had already been discussed when the Labor Alignment was still in power, and which were advanced by a bureaucratic infrastructure that had been in place even before 1948. Today, under a government in which Ariel’s Habayit Hayehudi party is so powerful, the open expulsion of Bedouin is possible. But the expulsion of Palestinians in general is hardly a Habayit Hayehudi invention.

  • Israel is the terrorist

    Young Palestinians are not carrying out acts of terror- they are leading a desperate struggle against an army that is a thousand times stronger than they

    Ilana Hammerman Apr 05, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-israel-is-the-terrorist-1.5976966

    About a week ago, on the highway between Hermesh and Mevo Dotan, two soldiers were killed and two were injured by a car that was driven by a resident of Barta’a. There are not many Israelis who know where these settlements are located and in what kind of reality they exist. But the vast majority probably have no doubt who was the terrorist here, and who, the innocent victim, and they hope for the fulfillment of the vow made by President Reuven Rivlin, who declared after the incident: “We will not rest until we bring all the collaborators to justice; we will not allow terrorism to become a reality.”
    The problem is that terror has long since become the reality, and the entity that has allowed and is allowing this to happen is the State of Israel. Look at the map and find Barta’a, and maybe you’d even be interested in going there and seeing and hearing how its residents live and what their surroundings are like. I happened to do so a few days before the car-ramming incident, and it was completely clear to me – and not for the first time – that this reality is a product of the ongoing policy of terror pursued by generations of Israeli governments, and that it is this policy that gives rise to the acts of resistance against it.
    What’s amazing is only that there aren’t more such acts, because it’s really and truly an intolerable situation. Barta’a al-Sharqiya is located east of Wadi Ara, between the Green Line and the separation barrier. In that location the fence makes a major detour into the West Bank in order to include in Israeli territory four settlements with names as fresh and pleasant as the fruit of the field and its fragrances: Shaked (Almond), Reihan (Basil), Hinanit (Daisy) and Tal Menashe (Dew of Menashe).
    Within this enclave there are also four Arab villages, the largest of which is Barta’a al-Sharqiya. This entire enclave, with its fences, checkpoints and military forces, exists and thrives only for the benefit of the settlers who settled in it and next to it. The people who have been living for ages in the Arab villages in this part of the country suddenly found themselves penned in and subject to a diabolical maze of orders and regulations: They are not allowed to enter Israel to the west, while to the east, in the West Bank– their natural living space – two checkpoints were set up for them, via which they must leave and enter during opening hours and with the permission and good graces of the soldiers and private security guards posted there.
    A few are also allowed to bring food and merchandise in their cars via the checkpoints, with restrictions. Palestinians who live outside the enclave – who are members of the same nation as those living within it, and often their relatives – are not permitted to enter unless they have “special permits.”
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    Farmers from outside the enclave found themselves cut off from their land, and they too must request special permits and must enter and leave through special gates and at predetermined opening hours, in order to cultivate their fields. The settlements of Hermesh and Mevo Dotan are also situated in the area of the West Bank, but outside the enclave. The point is that every such settlement that is built In the West Bank – in which not a single dunam belongs to the State of Israel – disrupts the lives of the Palestinian villages in the area in ways that a free citizen would find difficult even to imagine.

    That’s the reality there, and it’s one of state-sponsored terror, the State of Israel. Because what is land confiscation on a huge scale, what are restrictions on freedom of movement, and with it freedom of employment and commerce, home demolitions, the imposition of curfews and closures, the building of innumerable fences and walls and the deployment of military forces armed to the teeth, in the heart of a Palestinian civilian population, in order to protect an Israeli civilian population that settled among it by force – what are all these if not terror, in other words, a war against unarmed citizens?
    And so, in this situation a young Palestinian girl stands in the back yard of her home in Nabi Saleh and slaps an Israeli soldier who was sent to her village only in order to guard the settlement of Halamish, which also thuggishly stuck itself deep inside the area of the West Bank; and in this situation two young women arrive at the checkpoint in the heart of Hebron, each one separately, with a knife in their hand or their bag, and the armed soldiers – who are there in order to protect a violent Jewish settlement, which expelled tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians and incessantly abuses those who survived – shoot them dead.
    And in this situation demonstrators emerge in the heart of the cities of Jericho, Bethlehem or the outskirts of the village of Beit Ummar, carrying stones and tires for burning and incendiary devices, to confront soldiers armed with machine guns and stun and gas grenades, who invade their communities and their homes day and night and injure and kill those who resist them and flee from them; and in this situation a young man comes from Barta’a and runs over and kills and injures soldiers – who are posted there only to protect the settlements that were generously built north and south of his village, and because of which the crowded village is doomed to economic and human strangulation.
    What are the acts of these young people? Terror? No, this is a desperate struggle by groups and individuals, who from the day they were born have nothing to hope for, against an army that is a thousand times stronger than they. And what is this army defending: The security of its country? No, it is defending the choice of Israeli governments to use terror to impose the “state of the Jewish people” on the entire region between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.
    I would like to make these things clear out of a belief in the power of words to shape consciousness. And sometimes political involvement as well.

  • Israel faces historic decision as new population figures emerge
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/israel-palestinians-demography-jordan-river-apartheid.html

    The Israeli political right was caught off guard by the surprising official figures presented on March 26 at the Knesset by a representative of the Civil Administration, the army unit coordinating the Israeli government’s activities in the occupied territories. The representative indicated that the number of Jews and Arabs living under Israeli control in the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean had reached parity at 6.5 million for each side.

    Over the years, the Zionist left kept warning about the prospect of a Jewish minority in Israel controlling a Palestinian majority, with only a small number of them enjoying full civil rights. Yet the Israeli right kept dismissing these warnings. It countered with imaginary data showing that some 3 million Palestinians live in Israel and the occupied territories, compared with 6.5 million Jews. However, from the moment the true numbers were communicated to the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee with the new data last week by the Israel Defense Forces, the leadership of the political right can no longer argue that political bias is skewing the figures. It is now forced to confront the figures.

    (...)

    With the official military announcement of Jewish-Arab parity between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, Israel is facing the historic decision it has been trying to postpone or repress. Israel is far from being an apartheid state currently, but if it opts for minority rule of an Arab majority, it will have no choice but to adopt apartheid methods. Precluding this option would spell the end of the Zionist idea: Israel will turn into a Palestinian state, probably a nondemocratic one, with a Jewish minority.

    A decision to divide the land in order to ensure its continued Jewish and democratic nature would best be carried out through an imperfect agreement, based on Israel’s 1967 borders, implementing the UN’s Partition Resolution — this time with Palestinian approval. Barring that option, a unilateral withdrawal such as the 2005 Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip would also be preferable to preserving the status quo.

    L’auteur : Yossi Beilin, Ph.D., served in various positions in the Knesset and in Israeli government posts, the last of which was justice and religious affairs minister. After resigning from Israeli Labor, Beilin headed the Meretz Party. Among other things, he initiated the Oslo process, the Beilin-Abu Mazen agreement, the Geneva Initiative and the Birthright project

    #palestine #israël #démographie

  • Israel Digs a Grave for the Two-State Solution -
    Editorial The New York Times

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/05/opinion/israel-two-state-solution.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=sto

    Encouraged by supportive signals from Washington and disarray in Israeli politics, Israeli right-wing politicians are enacting measures that could deal a death blow to the creation of a separate state for Palestinians, the so-called two-state solution that offers what tiny chance there is for a peace settlement. That hope, however remote, should not be allowed to die.

    Israeli nationalists have long sought a single Jewish state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has paid lip service to supporting the two-state solution, he has continually undermined it. Palestinians have also acted in ways that thwarted their goal of an independent state.

    The United States, Europe and a majority of Israelis have opposed such territorial expansion into the West Bank and supported a negotiated peace.

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    But President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, in contravention of longstanding American policy, followed by United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley’s threat to cut off aid to Palestinian refugees, were seen by the right-wingers as an opening to end any pretense of supporting the two-state idea.

    These hard-liners, taking advantage of the political damage that corruption investigations have done to Mr. Netanyahu, have staked out positions to the right of his. The prime minister was not even present at a meeting of the Likud leadership that for the first time urged the formal annexation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The Israeli Parliament, meanwhile, voted to require a two-thirds majority vote for any legislation ceding parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians, raising an obstacle to any land-for-peace deal involving Jerusalem.

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    This should be the moment for the United States, Israel’s strongest supporter in the world, to step in and say no, that path can lead only to greater strife and isolation for Israel. But it is evident that for Mr. Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is supposed to be leading the president’s Middle East efforts, diplomacy is a one-sided affair.

    Furthermore, the threat to cut the substantial American contribution to the United Nations agency that supports more than five million Palestinian refugees and their descendants in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria would foment a humanitarian crisis in refugee camps, threaten continuing Palestinian security cooperation with Israel and prompt more censure around the world.

    Mr. Trump still claims he is in favor of peace talks. All he has done so far has been to create greater obstacles and fan the ardor of extremists on both sides. If he was really interested in a Middle East deal, as he claimed in his campaign, this would be a good time to reaffirm America’s longstanding commitment to a two-state solution and tell the Israeli right that it is going too far.

  • Labor hopeful says Israel should ’kick out’ Palestinians in future war |

    Departing from his party’s long-held dovish stances, former IDF general Amiram Levin urges expansion of settlements, says Israel was ’too nice’ in the Six Day War

    By RAOUL WOOTLIFF

    The Times of Israel
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/labor-hopeful-says-israel-should-kick-out-palestinians-in-future-war

    Appearing to call for ethnic cleansing, a retired IDF general seeking to become a key figure in the left-leaning Labor party said that if the Palestinians continue to violate their agreements with Israel, the military should “tear them apart” in a future war and forcibly transfer them to “the other side of the Jordan River.”

    Amiram Levin criticized longstanding left-wing policies, espoused the expansion of Jewish settlements and called for the rejection of the 1967 borders, in excerpts published Wednesday from an interview with the Maariv daily set to appear on Friday.

    Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories FREE SIGN UP

    “The Palestinians caused the occupation. They didn’t accept the borders of the partition plan [after the 1948 War of Independence], and they started the war [of 1967]. We were right to take Judea and Samaria,” he said, referring to the West Bank.

    “We need to engage in tough negotiations that do not take us back to the ’67 borders,” Levin said of Israel’s pre-Six Day War borders, which negotiators have generally agreed will form the basis for partitioning the land under a future peace agreement.

    “We will give [the Palestinians] a carrot in the form of a state, and if they don’t want it, we will tear them apart,” he said. “I have said many times in the past that next time we have a war, they will no longer remain here, we will kick them out to the other side of the Jordan River. That’s how we need to fight. We were too nice in ’67.”

    Levin ran an aborted campaign in July’s Labor leadership race, and has since been touted as one of the party’s security experts by new leader Avi Gabbay. In a sign of his unofficial status in the party, last month Levin escorted Gabbay on a trip with Labor lawmakers to the Gaza border.

  • Rabin’s forgotten plan for two-state solution

    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/11/israel-palestinians-yitzhak-rabin-oslo-accords-peace.html

    More so. His closest former associates told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that between the years 1993 and 1995, Rabin had developed a vision for a permanent status agreement to be achieved before the year 2000.

    The first essential element of the plan was sharing of the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, with the Palestinian state being demilitarized and the Jordan River serving as Israel’s security boundary. Security arrangements would be agreed upon, with Israeli military presence along the Jordan River.

    The plan also consisted of relocating dispersed settlements into “settlement blocs,” mainly in the Jerusalem area. A united Jerusalem would remain under Israel’s control, except for the East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhoods. The plan referred also to the Palestinian refugees, granting no right of return to Israel. Instead, the plan offered right of return to the new Palestinian state and international reparations.

    Rabin’s plan favored international and Israeli investment in the Palestinian economy.

    There was also a Jordanian angle to Rabin’s plan, as he held the Jordanian kingdom in very high esteem. The plan proposed a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation that would be decided between the two parties.

    The last part of the plan consisted of normalizing relations between Arab countries and Israel. At the time, Rabin even favored a peace treaty with Syria and was ready to give up the Golan Heights for the proper security arrangements.

    Above all, Rabin believed in a strong strategic relationship with the United States, which would have made such an agreement with the Palestinians possible. He definitely had the courage to make the necessary decisions for such a deal. His peace and security legacy is today espoused by the most senior veterans of Israel’s security establishment.

  • Europe must not buy what Israel is selling to combat terror
    Israel has managed to turn 50 years of Palestinian resistance to occupation into a cottage industry, and is now selling the concept of a police state to the world

    Jeff Halper Aug 20, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.807941

    Whenever a terrorist attack happens such as the one last week in Barcelona, Israel politicians and security “experts” get on TV to criticize European naïvité. If only they understood terrorism as we do and took the preventive measures we do, they say, they would suffer far less attacks. Most infamous in this regard were the remarks of Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz after the Brussels bombing in March 2016, in which 34 people died.
    Rather than convey his condolences in the name of the Israeli government, he scolded the Belgians in the most patronizing way possible. “If in Belgium they continue to eat chocolate, enjoy life and parade as great liberals and democrats while not taking account of the fact that some of the Muslims who are there are organizing acts of terror,” he pronounced, “they will not be able to fight against them.”
    The Belgians reacted angrily, and asserted the position of most European governments: While we will continue to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions, we are not going to forsake our freedoms and political openness to become copies of Israel. For they understand that Netanyahu’s government is peddling something far more insidious than mere precautions – even more than the weapons, surveillance and security systems and models of population control that is the bread-and-butter of Israeli exports. What Israel is urging onto the Europeans – and Americans, Canadians, Indians, Mexicans, Australians and anyone else who will listen – is nothing less than an entirely new concept of a state, the Security State. 
    What is a Security State? Essentially, it is a state that places security above all else, certainly above democracy, due process of law and human rights, all of which it considers “liberal luxuries” in a world awash in terrorism. Israel presents itself, no less, than the model for countries of the future. You Europeans and others should not be criticizing us, say Katz and Netanyahu, you should be imitating us. For look at what we have done. We have created a vibrant democracy from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River that provides its citizens with a flourishing economy and personal security – even though half the population of that country are terrorists (i.e., non-citizen Palestinians living in isolated enclaves of the country). If we can achieve that, imagine what we can offer those of you threatened by terrorist attacks?
    In a brilliant shift in imaging, Israel has managed to turn 50 years of Palestinian resistance to occupation into a cottage industry. By labeling it “terrorism,” it has not only delegitimized the Palestinian struggle but has transformed the occupied territories in a laboratory of counterinsurgency and population control, the cutting edges of both foreign wars and domestic repression. It has transformed tactics of control and their accompanying weapons of surveillance systems into marketable products. No wonder, as Netanyahu constantly reminds us, “the world” loves Israel. From China to Saudi Arabia, from India to Mexico, from Eritrea to Kazakhstan, Israel supplies the means by which repressive regimes control their restless peoples.

    #Europe #Israel #terror

  • Hero of Israel
    Gideon Levy | Jul 27, 2017
    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.803684

    Netanyahu, Einat Schlein, Israel’s ambassador to Jordan and Ziv, an embassy security officer, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, July 25, 2017. Haim Zach / GPO

    The new hero of Israel wears torn jeans, lives in a religious cooperative community in the south, has a girlfriend and he kills Arabs. Heroes of Israel have always killed Arabs, but sometimes they did so bravely; today they do so with rather pathetic cowardice. They’re scared of a teen with a screwdriver.

    The hero of Israel kills Arabs indiscriminately, including ones who are innocent or who did not deserve to die. The Israeli hero is a young man of principles, principles he absorbed while serving in the occupied territories. He learned dehumanization in the Givati Brigade and how to kill civilians in Operation Protective Edge. He learned that the first action to take against an Arab is always to shoot to kill; the alternatives can be considered later.

    He learned that it’s perfectly fine, even heroic, to kill an Arab, no matter why. He trained in the territories and put it to use in Jordan — what difference does it make, all Arabs are the same, whether on the east or the west bank of the Jordan River. His friends say he’s a “man’s man,” that this wasn’t his first time in a tough situation, like that teen with a screwdriver, and that he’s calm and considered. Imagine what might have happened if he weren’t. He might have killed five people, maybe 10.

    The hero of Israel killed civilians: a physician, for no reason, and a teenager who was assembling furniture and who threatened him with that doomsday weapon, the screwdriver, in the heat of some argument, not even an attack. The hero of Israel didn’t blink. A hero of Israel never counts to 10. He draws and fires. Two dead, two more kill notches.

    Our newest hero’s name is Ziv, but we can’t show his face. His blurred visage as he is embraced by the prime minister only adds to his aura. He replaces his predecessor, the more exalted Elor Azaria. The former killed a dying man, the latter killed two civilians. Don’t accuse him. That’s what he was taught to do in “tough situations” in the territories — to shoot and to kill. That’s what he was trained to be, a blind machine gun.

    He is considered a hero. No one would dream of seriously questioning him as a suspect, beyond the formality promised to Jordan, and it’s already been said it would lead to nothing. Perhaps he committed murder, or perhaps negligent manslaughter? Perhaps he violated the rules of engagement? How would we know? We won’t know. We don’t want to know. Instead of that, we got the prime minister’s unsurprising phone call to him. “Did you make a date with your girlfriend yet?” asked Benjamin Netanyahu in that fatherly manner reserved for heroes. After that came the brave embrace in his office. Look, Jordan, look, these are the heroes of Israel, your sister in peace, the killers of your citizens. And the Palestinians are accused of exalting terrorists.

    When a Jordanian soldier killed seven Israeli schoolgirls in Naharayim in 2007, Jordan’s King Hussein cut short his trip to Spain and hurried to Beit Shemesh to kneel before the grieving families and beg forgiveness. He also visited the wounded and his kingdom paid compensation. But when an Israeli government security guard kills two Jordanians, at least one of them completely innocent, the Israeli prime minister won’t even consider apologizing. Condemnations we demand only from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. We can only fantasize about a condolence call or the payment of compensation. Why, who died, as the saying goes? Two Arabs, nothing more.

    King Hussein of jordan consoling an Israeli family whose daughter was killed by a Jordanian soldier during a class trip to Naharayim, 2007.Avi Ohayon / GOP

    Two dead Arabs, and a hero of Israel who returned home safely, overcoming his injuries. Ziv the hero will recite his version of events, and perhaps even return to service. Tens of thousands of young Israelis dream of being Ziv. They dream of serving in the territories in the occupation army, of abusing and killing Arabs, of traveling to India and to Guatemala before becoming embassy security guards. If they’re lucky, they might even get to kill some teenager with a screwdriver and a doctor who happened to be there, as in the good old days in Qalandiyah.

    Salute the heroes of Israel. They are the finest of our youth.

    #Jordanie #Ziv

  • New Hamas charter holds contradictory views on establishment of Palestinian state
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=776241

    GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — While a draft version of Hamas’ new charter which leaked on Sunday evening raised questions over whether the movement would explicitly accept a Palestinian state along pre-1967 borders, the document will make clear that “our rivalry is with the occupation who occupied our land,” Hamas official Ahmad Yousif told Ma’an on Sunday.
    The text of the new agenda — which is to revise the Hamas charter for the first time since it was declared in 1988 — was leaked by Lebanese news site Al-Mayadeen.
    Shortly after it was leaked, Yousif confirmed to Al-Mayadeen that the document was indeed Hamas’ new charter, which would officially be released in the coming days.
    While Point 19 of the charter mentions “the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state along June 4, 1967 lines, with the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes,” the document does not explicitly accept a Palestinian state based on the borders, and goes on to reject “any alternative to the liberation of Palestine completely from its sea to its river,” referring to the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.
    The section also states that Hamas “will not relinquish any part of the land of Palestine, no matter what the reasons, circumstances, and pressures could be, and no matter how long occupation may continue."
    Yousif explained in an interview with Al-Mayadeen that "Hamas accepted an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders as a matter of preserving Palestinian consensus,” however stressing that Hamas would maintain their right to armed resistance — a point reiterated multiple times in the draft charter.
    Yousif confirmed to Ma’an on Sunday evening that the new charter continues to “legitimize all types of resistance and struggle against occupation.”
    Contrary to reports in Israeli media, the new charter will not officially recognize a state of Israel, Yousif said. “The charter does not recognize the Israeli occupation or breach our irrecoverable principles.”
    Palestine, according to the Hamas’ definition, “is one inseparable region and is the homeland of the Palestinian people.”
    “The fact that the Palestinian people were expelled from their land and displaced through the creation of the Zionist entity does not annul the Palestinian people’s right to all of their land, nor does that establish a legitimate right for the usurper Zionist entity to have this land,” the charter asserts.
    Meanwhile, the charter will also notably differentiate between “the Jews as a People of the Book and as followers of a religion on one hand, and the occupation and the Zionist project on the other hand,” affirming that “Hamas does not view the conflict with the Zionist project as a conflict with the Jews because of their religion."
    “Our rivalry is with the occupation who occupied our land," Yousif affirmed.
    He said that a number of amendments were made to the charter “in response to criticism of Hamas over anti-Semitism, racism, and other issues viewed as violations under international law."
    He also stressed that the documented was prepared “as a reaction to ongoing Israeli aggression and the confrontations between the occupation and the stone children," referring to Palestinian children who throw stones at Israeli forces as a form of resistance and face up to 20 years in military prison for the act.
    The new Hamas’ charter applauds “Western entities,” as well as Arab and Muslim countries, who show solidarity with the Palestinian people, Yousif said, adding that the he expects Hamas will be regarded in a more positive light by “several countries, especially in Europe,” after the charter is officially released.
    The new charter also “includes a positive attitude toward the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and considers it as a national umbrella for all the Palestinian people.”
    Point 27 of the leaked text defines the PLO as the “national framework for the Palestinian people inside Palestine and abroad.”
    However, the charter calls for the redevelopment and restructuring of the PLO, based on democratic principles, in order to “guarantee the participation of all” Palestinians, “in a way that preserves Palestinian rights."

    #Hamas #Gaza #Palestine

  • Almost famous: Israel recruits D-list celebrities to counter BDS
    Why should the government pay for flights and stays of Hollywood actors in order to combat the boycott movement?
    By Itamar Zohar | Jan. 3, 2017 | 12:30 AM
    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.762642

    If in the next few days you come across social media photos of minor American actors who are in Israel, either at the Western Wall or the Jordan River, you should know that they are the guests of Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. As part of his roles as information minister and strategic affairs minister, and as part of the cabinet’s efforts to block the campaign calling to boycott Israel, Erdan invited actors Daniel Dae Kim (“Lost” and “Hawaii-Five-O”), Meagan Good (“Deception”), Sonequa Martin-Green and Kenric Green (“The Walking Dead”) and Mark Pellegrino (“Dexter” and “Supernatural”) to Israel.

    You don’t recognize these names? You’re not alone. On their Instagram pages you’ll at least be able to find out what they did here – visit the Western Wall and the Dead Sea, while making sure to stay away from politics. Daniel Dae Kim stressed on Instagram that his visit to Jerusalem was apolitical. Of course it was. But coming on a government-sponsored visit posed no problem for him.

    The visit of this delegation of minor Hollywood actors was the initiative of America’s Voices in Israel, an organization that strives to promote Israel’s image in the United States. It has already sponsored similar visits in the past. It now appears that the government wishes to join this initiative.

    The question is, why should the government pay for flights and stays of Hollywood actors, well-known or less-known, in order to combat the boycott movement? This money could have been used to help people who live here, not for casual visitors who will forget what they saw here by next week.

    Even if, as the official description of their visit contends, “they will document their visit for 50 million of their followers on social media,” their ability to impact anything here is marginal. For them it’s a freebie, an opportunity to collect yet another country’s stamp in their passports while touring it at someone else’s expense.

    Erdan writes that the aim of the visit is “to expose the complex reality of Israel without any biased mediation,” but this is precisely what he’s doing. He’s a cabinet member trying to further its policies. What could be more biased than that? At the end of his announcement he writes “we see great importance in bringing influential people from diverse areas here, in order to show them the truth about Israel. We’re building bridges between Israel and communities around the world in all spheres of life.” (...)

    #BDS

  • Welcome to the One-state Club, Thomas Friedman
    The most famous columnist in the world, who always reflects and shapes the mood in Washington, has finally realized that the two-state solution is dead.

    Gideon Levy Feb 13, 2016

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.703067

    A new, highly regarded guy has joined the club. Like new guys, he’s still standing on the side, hesitant, insecure, perhaps lacking courage. Like highly regarded guys, he’s still afraid to move to the center of the stormy dance floor – but he’s there. Give him some time to get used to it. Welcome to the club, Thomas L. Friedman.
    The most famous columnist in the world wrote last week in the New York Times: “It’s over, folks, so please stop sending the New York Times Op-Ed page editor your proposals for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians” (The Many Mideast Solutions,” February 10).
    With the characteristic tardiness of those trying to position themselves in some imaginary center, Friedman has reached the conclusion that the peace process is dead, that the next U.S. president “will have to deal with an Israel determined to permanently occupy all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including where 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians live” and that Israel is no longer the one the presidential candidates’ grandfathers used to know.

  • The Many Mideast Solutions - The New York Times
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/10/opinion/the-many-mideast-solutions.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share

    Tout arrive, signalé par Juan Cole je renvoie directement à l’article de Thomas Friedman, qu’il faut prendre pour ce qu’il est naturellement, un homme dont les avis sur la région sont marqués au coin d’un indéfectible soutien à Israël. Avis qui, justement pour cette raison, sont intéressants à connaître. Ses prévisions sont juste apocalyptiques. Et en cette fin de journée, je partage, non pas ses idées, ni même ses analyses mais sa noirceur qui ajoute aux nombreuses craintes qu’on se formule depuis longtemps.

    Tout de même, constater que même Friedman ne fait plus semblant de croire à la solution à deux Etats, c’est un signe à prendre en compte... Pour le reste, c’est terrifiant à lire parce que cela représente l’opinion d’une élite US qui s’intéresse aux questions internationales (par le biais israélo-US of course).

    ... with candidates spouting the usual platitudes about standing with our Israeli and Sunni Arab allies. Here’s a news flash: You can retire those platitudes. Whoever becomes the next president will have to deal with a totally different Middle East.

    It will be a Middle East shaped by struggle over a one-state solution, a no-state solution, a non-state solution and a rogue-state solution.

    That is, a one-state solution in Israel, a no-state solution in Syria, Yemen and Libya, a non-state solution offered by the Islamic caliphate and a rogue-state solution offered by Iran.

    Start with Israel. The peace process is dead. It’s over, folks, so please stop sending the New York Times Op-Ed page editor your proposals for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians. The next U.S. president will have to deal with an Israel determined to permanently occupy all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including where 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians live.

    (...)

    So my advice to all the candidates is: Keep talking about the fantasy Middle East. I can always use a good bedtime story to fall asleep. But get ready for the real thing. This is not your grandfather’s Israel anymore, it’s not your oil company’s Saudi Arabia anymore, it’s not your NATO’s Turkey anymore, it’s not your cabdriver’s Iran anymore and it’s not your radical chic college professor’s Palestine anymore. It’s a wholly different beast now, slouching toward Bethlehem.

  • Settlers farming land Israeli army has closed off to its Palestinian owners - Diplomacy and Defense - Israel News | Haaretz
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.653514

    Settlers in the northern Jordan Valley are farming large tracts of land owned by Palestinians, who are being denied access to it by a military order. The Palestinians submitted a petition to the High Court of Justice last month asking for the return of their land.

    After the West Bank’s occupation in 1967, the Israel Defense Forces forbade Palestinians in the Jordan Valley from encroaching on the Jordanian border. In 1969, Israel issued an order forbidding Palestinians from entering a wide strip of land between the border fence and the Jordan River.

    This policy remained unaltered even after the peace agreement with Jordan was signed in 1994. Over the years, and despite the government order not to touch the private land in the area, settlers began to farm it.

    In January 2013, following a Haaretz report about the settlers’ activity, a number of Palestinian families – whose land near the Hamra settlement was turned into a date plantation – petitioned the High Court. The court issued a conditional order asking the state to explain why the land owners should not be allowed to farm the land.

    Last month, another group of Palestinians, from Tubas, also petitioned the High Court, requesting their land back. The petitioners said they own 800 dunams (nearly 200 acres) in an area they are forbidden to enter, near the Mehola settlement.

    They had tried to farm the land last December but a settler blocked their path, they said. The next day, they were told by the IDF that they were forbidden to enter the area. Aerial photographs of the land showed that some 200 dunams (nearly 50 acres) of it was being cultivated for crops.

    In its response to the petition last month, the state confirmed that the lands in question belonged to Palestinians. However, it said it had “not completed sorting out the claim” that the land was being cultivated. The state sought to present its broader position at a later date. Justice Zvi Zylbertal instructed that a panel of justices hear the case.

    Aerial photographs seemingly show that some 5,000 dunams (over 1,200 acres) of Palestinian land are being farmed by settlers in the fertile Jordan Valley. Some of the settlers were allocated fields by the World Zionist Organization, on the alleged order of the defense minister’s assistant in 1981. Another part of the land has apparently been seized by the settlers.

    The state will have to decide whether the land belongs to the people registered as its owners in the Land Registry, or to those who received it from WZO. In the meantime, the state is trying to reach compensation agreements with the Palestinian owners.

    Last week, Supreme Court President Miriam Naor and justices Daphne Barak-Erez and Menachem Mazuz, who heard the petition, criticized the state. “Someone decided to ignore [state] decisions and took rights in private land,” said Mazuz, while Naor noted, “I don’t understand how this can happen.”

    Justice Barak-Erez, meanwhile, said, “If it’s a military area and a possibility to farm it, why aren’t those who are entering it the owners? In some closed areas, the owners receive a permit to farm the land. The people should be allowed to exercise their ownership, subject to security regulations.”

    “The situation is, in fact, clear,” said Mazuz. “You [the state] admit it’s private land. Handing it over [to the settlers] was apparently contrary to the decisions of the ministerial committee for defense affairs. So the state’s first obligation is to restore the situation to its previous condition ... then we must think about the financial aspects.”

  • Zionists, support the Palestinian Authority in The Hague - Opinion - Under the flag of Zionism, the captains of the occupation and settlement enterprise are marching Israel in great strides back to the pre-state and pre-Zionist age.
    By Dmitry Shumsky | Apr. 6, 2015 Haaretz
    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.650605

    Publicly disavowing the idea of two states between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea garnered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu widespread support from the Israeli public. It became clear beyond any doubt that large swaths of the Jewish Israeli population are interested in continuing the Israeli colonial experiment, which denies civil rights and national freedom to millions of Arab Palestinians in their homeland.

    In light of this situation, more and more individuals and groups from among the remains of the Israeli left wing are leaning toward new ideas for fighting the occupation and settlement enterprise. They are considering openly supporting the Palestinian Authority’s nonviolent diplomatic moves of the Palestinian Authority in the international arena in a bid to gain recognition as a state and self-determination for the Palestinian people.

    At this point, Israeli believers in human and civil rights are facing a difficult nation-state question: Will continued Israeli rule over the Palestinians damage Israel, and will that damage be so severe that it justifies such harsh tactics as putting Israel on trial in the International Criminal Court in the Hague?

    If a few of those who oppose the occupation manage to decide on questions of proportionality regarding the pressures to be placed on Israel for its ongoing colonialist policy, it’s no doubt that central players in the international arena, friends of Israel, are having trouble deciding on the same thing. They’re opposed, in principle, to continued occupation, but they’re not convinced that radical steps like economic or cultural boycott of the settlement enterprise, or actions against the occupation in the UN Security Council, are in Israel’s best interest.

  • Zionism and Its Discontents
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/30/opinion/roger-cohen-zionism-and-israels-war-with-hamas-in-gaza.html
    Par Roger Cohen

    What I cannot accept, however, is the perversion of Zionism that has seen the inexorable growth of a Messianic Israeli nationalism claiming all the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River; that has, for almost a half-century now, produced the systematic oppression of another people in the West Bank; that has led to the steady expansion of Israeli settlements on the very West Bank land of any Palestinian state; that isolates moderate Palestinians like Salam Fayyad in the name of divide-and-rule; that pursues policies that will make it impossible to remain a Jewish and democratic state; that seeks tactical advantage rather than the strategic breakthrough of a two-state peace; that blockades Gaza with 1.8 million people locked in its prison and is then surprised by the periodic eruptions of the inmates; and that responds disproportionately to attack in a way that kills hundreds of children.

    This, as a Zionist, I cannot accept. Jews, above all people, know what oppression is. Children over millennia were the transmission belt of Jewish survival, the object of what the Israeli novelist Amos Oz and his daughter Fania Oz-Salzberger have called “the intergenerational quizzing that ensures the passing of the torch.” No argument, no Palestinian outrage or subterfuge, can gloss over what Jewish failure the killing of children in such numbers represents.

    The Israeli case for the bombardment of Gaza could be foolproof. If Benjamin Netanyahu had made a good-faith effort to find common cause with Palestinian moderates for peace and been rebuffed, it would be. He has not. Hamas is vile. I would happily see it destroyed. But Hamas is also the product of a situation that Israel has reinforced rather than sought to resolve.

    This corrosive Israeli exercise in the control of another people, breeding the contempt of the powerful for the oppressed, is a betrayal of the Zionism in which I still believe.

    #sionisme #Israel #Israël

  • Document confirms World Zionist Organization allocates land to settlers in Jordan valley -
    By Chaim Levinson
    Haaretz, Sep. 9, 2013
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.545856

    An internal Civil Administration document confirms a Haaretz report that the World Zionist Organization has allocated to settlers in the Jordan Valley more than 5,000 dunams (1,235 acres) of private Palestinian land located east of the border fence, namely, between that fence and the actual border with the Kingdom of Jordan.

    This area between the border fence and the actual border — the Jordan River — is a closed military zone that in some places is two kilometers wide. A military order prevents the Palestinian owners from accessing their lands in this area. On the other hand, Jewish settlers are allowed to farm the lands.

    In January, Haaretz reported that under the aegis of this order, the WZO had allocated to settlers in the Jordan Valley over 5,000 dunams of private Palestinian lands. Following this report, the Civil Administration began to investigate how this situation had come about and how much land had been allocated in this manner.

    The documents that have come into the possession of Haaretz indicate that following the June 1967 Six-Day War and after the border fence was completed, Palestinians continued to farm their lands located close to the border. But following a number of incidents in which Palestinian farmers in this area helped infiltrators to cross the border into Israeli-controlled territory, the entire area was declared a military zone. Several Palestinians who owned plots in the area submitted applications requesting permission to farm their lands; however, their requests were denied.

    In 1979, the WZO’s Settlement Division submitted a request for the cultivation of these lands “in light of the shortage of farmland in the Jordan Valley, a shortage that is preventing the expansion of existing communities and the establishment of new ones.” During the first government headed by Menachem Begin, the Ministerial Committee on Security Affairs authorized the cultivation of state lands or lands belonging to absentee owners.

    In the wake of the committee’s decision, the Israel Defense Forces cleared the mines in this area. Plia Albeck, who directed the Civil Department of the State Prosecutor’s Office for 24 years and maintained close ties with rightist circles, issued a number of statements of professional opinion. In light of the statements she issued, the WZO was authorized to allocate some 75,000 dunams (18,750 acres) of land for farming purposes. Senior military officials, including then-GOC Central Command, Major General Amram Mitzna, approved the allocation of land for cultivation on condition that the farmers had served in the army and were permitted to bear firearms, and on condition that Palestinians would not farm the lands in their stead. It should be pointed out here that, despite the peace settlement Israel signed with Jordan in 1994, these guidelines were not reviewed and remain in effect to this day.

    The Civil Administration subsequently signed three agreements with the WZO, allocating to the latter organization some 29,000 dunams (7,250 acres) for farming purposes. An examination conducted by the Civil Administration shows that a total of 8,565 dunams (2,116 acres) are cultivated beyond the border fence; of these, 4,765 dunams (1,177 acres) are Palestinian lands, 578 dunams (143 acres) are privately owned and another 3,222 dunams (796 acres) are state lands.

    Discussions have recently been held in the Civil Administration and in the office of the coordinator of government activities in the territories on this matter. It is a complex legal issue, because the settlers farming these lands are not trespassers but are persons who were legally allocated the lands by the WZO. On the other hand, the lands also legally belong to their Palestinian owners. The coordinator of government activities in the territories, Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, has instructed that all Palestinians who request compensation for the lands they cannot farm should be compensated by the Civil Administration.

    A Civil Administration official has told Haaretz that the Civil Administration has no intention of initiating any action with regard to this matter. “If someone submits a petition to the Supreme Court in its capacity as the High Court of Justice, requesting that his lands be returned to him, we will have to decide what to do,” the official said.

  • Senior Fatah officials call for single democratic state, not two-state solution
    Haaretz Daily Newspaper

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/senior-fatah-officials-call-for-single-democratic-state-not-two-state-solut

    Calling the two-state solution unrealistic, senior Fatah members issued a document Wednesday calling for the establishment of one democratic country in the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

    The initiative, which was the culmination of two years of discussion, coincided with the 65th anniversary of the Nakba ‏(“catastrophe” in Arabic‏) − the forced exile of more than 700,000 Palestinians in 1948 and after and the dispersal of the Palestinian people between different countries and regimes.

  • Not All Israeli Citizens Are Equal - Yousef Munayyer
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/24/opinion/not-all-israeli-citizens-are-equal.html?_r=3

    Tragically for Palestinians, Zionism requires the state to empower and maintain a Jewish majority even at the expense of its non-Jewish citizens, and the occupation of the West Bank is only one part of it. What exists today between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is therefore essentially one state, under Israeli control, where Palestinians have varying degrees of limited rights: 1.5 million are second-class citizens, and four million more are not citizens at all. If this is not apartheid, then whatever it is, it’s certainly not democracy.

    The failure of Israeli and American leaders to grapple with this nondemocratic reality is not helping. Even if a two-state solution were achieved, which seems fanciful at this point, a fundamental contradiction would remain: more than 35 laws in ostensibly democratic Israel discriminate against Palestinians who are Israeli citizens.

    For all the talk about shared values between Israel and the United States, democracy is sadly not one of them right now, and it will not be until Israel’s leaders are willing to recognize Palestinians as equals, not just in name, but in law.

    Étonnant de lire un tel op-ed de Yousef Munayyer dans le New York Times…