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Calls to Annex West Bank Settlements

by Stephen Lendman Thursday, Sep. 29, 2011 at 5:01 AM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

Palestine

Calls to Annex West Bank Settlements - by Stephen Lendman

Since 1967, Israel established 121 settlements, recognized by the Interior Ministry as "communities." Another 100 unauthorized outposts were built.

In addition, 12 annexed Jerusalem neighborhoods are considered settlements under international law. Moreover, settler enclaves exist in Palestinian East Jerusalem areas. They include:

• the Old City's Muslim Quarter;

• Silwan;

• Sheikh Jarrah;

• Mount of Olives;

• Ras al-'Amud;

• Abu Dis; and

• Jabal al-Mukabber.

Overall, Israeli occupied territory, including settlements, exceeds 40% of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, its choicest parts.

However, for extremist MKs, it's not enough. They want all Judea and Samaria west of the Jordan River, comprising the West Bank and Jerusalem. For now, however, they'll settle for annexing occupied settlements.

On September 27, Haaretz writer Jonathan Lis headlined, "Israel must annex West Bank settlements, right-wing MKs tell Netanyahu," saying:

In response to Palestinians petitioning the UN for statehood, the following MKs responded to their "unilateral" move:

• Likud chairman Ze'ev Elkin;

• Shas chairman Avraham Michaeli;

• Habayit Hayehudi (the Jewish Home) chairman Uri Orbach; and

• National Union MK Yaakov Katz.

They want Netanyahu to initiate steps to annex "all West Bank settlements; (cut or eliminate) Palestinian aid money; (accelerate) settlement building; (cancel) PA officials' VIP ID cards; and (prohibit) any Palestinian construction in areas controlled by Israeli security forces."

Stopping short of declaring war, they wrote Netanyahu:

"The PA's UN bid on unilateral recognition is a blunt breach of (Oslo and subsequent agreements), which have, in the last 18 years, taken their severe toll on us."

It condemned states involved in the Accords, now deliberating whether or not to support Palestine's bid.

"We call upon you to make it clear to those nations that their conduct during this crisis rules them out (as) mediators in future negotiations, (warning that) serious damage could befall Israel if it chooses to avoid response."

Israel would "completely lose its deterrence, thus stimulating the Palestinians to continue their actions against it in the international arena."

"In fact, the international damage that Israel could suffer in the wake of the UN vote is significantly smaller than that it would suffer if it doesn't follow up on the principle you set up a decade ago - 'If they give, they'll get; if they don't give, they get nothing.' "

Fact check

In 1948, they "gave" 78% of historic Palestine. The rest followed in 1967.

In return, they "got" occupation, persecution, violence, premeditated war, mass arrests, imprisonments, torture, intimidation, daily terror, dispossessions, targeted assassinations, and loss of all rights.

Now they want them back under statehood and full UN membership. After 63 years, they want justice long denied. They'll settle for nothing less nor should they.

According to Maan News, not only won't Netanyahu agree, he wants more, including no end to settlement construction.

"We already gave at the office," he said, referring to an alleged 10-month moratorium during which time construction never stopped. Israel's land grab continued.

In many settlements, building proceeded apace. Dozens of construction sites remained active. Building on 2,000 units continued. Not even a visible slowdown occurred. Like its Washington paymaster/partner, Israel said one thing but did another.

Now it's doing more. Netanyahu called settlements "a pretext (Palestinians) use again and again....as a ruse to avoid direct negotiations."

Moreover, he won't halt construction, including plans for 1,100 new East Jerusalem Gilo neighborhood homes.

"I don't think there is anything new," he said. "We plan in Jerusalem. We build in Jerusalem. Period. (It's) the same way Israeli governments have (operated for) years - since the end of the 1967 war."

"We build in Jewish neighborhoods. The Arabs build in Arab neighborhoods. That is the way the life of this city goes on and develops for its Jewish and non-Jewish residents alike."

In fact, East Jerusalem is Palestinian territory. Israel is systematically dispossessing Palestinians to entirely Judaize it. Indeed, it's way life "goes on" for Arabs to lose out so Jews alone can benefit.

An unnamed State Department official called Israel's decision "counterproductive to the resumption of direct negotiations. Our position has not changed."

"Like every America administration for decades, we do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity. We believe their continued expansion is corrosive not only to peace efforts and two-state solution, but to Israel's future itself."

At the same time, Haaretz said US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro never favored making a freeze a condition for negotiations, saying:

"We've never said that, in this administration or any other, as a precondition for talks. What we have said consistently is that we believe direct talks are the only way to resolve this conflict, and (it) can only be resolved by the parties themselves in those talks, and they should be entered without preconditions."

In other words, Washington calls construction "counterproductive" to peace, but rejects its continuation on stolen Palestinian land as a reason to halt talks that never worked before and won't now.

Israel won't tolerate peace so why bother, but wants its terms imposed unilaterally to impose unconditional surrender.

Imagine if South African Blacks required their apartheid government's permission to end the abhorrent practice. In fact, it took decades of struggle to achieve it.

Under it, pass laws segregated blacks from whites, restricted their movements, required pass books be carried at all times, and produced on demand or face arrest and prosecution.

Evolving from the 18th and 19th century until their 1986 repeal, they restricted entry to cities, forcibly relocated blacks, denied them most public amenities and many forms of employment, and became apartheid's most hated symbol.

Under Israeli military occupation, repression is worse than South Africa's. It's a sophisticated form of social, economic, political and racial discrimination, strangulation, and genocide.

It incorporates the worst elements of colonialism and apartheid as well as repressive dispossession, displacement, and state terrorism to separate Palestinians from their land and heritage, deny them their rightful civil and human rights, and gradually remove or eliminate them altogether.

Apartheid is the worst form of racism. Israeli militarized occupation is the worst form of apartheid, incorporating violence, military incursions, land theft, home demolitions, targeted assassinations, murder, mass arrests, torture, destruction of agricultural land, and isolation. These measures amount to genocide, including suffocating Gazans under siege.

On Monday, a divided Security Council began closed door discussions. Washington urged other members to delay enough to consign Palestine's petition to memory hole oblivion.

The Palestine News & Information Agency (WAFA) reported Washington saying:

"There is no rush to act on the bid submitted Friday. The US has vowed to veto the Palestinian resolution and would prefer to avoid (an embarrassing) vote on the matter. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to describe confidential diplomacy."

Israeli settlers claim "This is Israel's land," no matter how long Palestinians lived on it as their own peacefully with a small Jewish population as neighbors.

In contrast, Arabs are barred from Jewish communities. As a result, they deserve their own sovereign state to escape a system as oppressive as how Nazis terrorized Jews. After 63 years, they're entitled to that an more.

A Final Comment

On September 25, JTA Global News Service of the Jewish People said:

"Top White House officials briefed Jewish community leaders about (the) Quartet('s proposal), urging Israelis and Palestinians to return to talks with no preconditions, a key Israeli demand."

What about Palestinian "demands," including the right to decide their own fate, not have Israel do it for them its way.

The Islamophobic Anti-Defamation League praised the call for no-condition talks, but wants Palestinians "sent the clearest possible message (that) the sole path to statehood lies in direct negotiations with Israel" so it has sole authority to decide.

In fact, most UN member states believe Palestine already is a state. At issue is its belligerent occupation, the longest in modern history.

PLO Executive Committee member and PA legislator Hanan Ashrawi raised the possibility of using the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution 377 in the General Assembly for statehood.

In 1987, Law Professor Francis Boyle was Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) legal advisor in drafting  its 1988 Declaration of Independence. It was a roadmap designed to succeed, avoiding legal loopholes to subvert it.

On Sunday, October 2, on the Progressive Radio News, Hour, Boyle will explain how Palestinians can achieve it in days.

Given their overwhelming world support, it's simple by following proper procedure through the General Assembly under Resolution 377.

At issue only is do Abbas and Fayyad want it. Listen Sunday to hear an expert explain.

He should know. He wrote the book on it and understands its fine points better than anyone.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

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