Posts tagged ‘Israeli Settlements’

2011/02/23

The Palestinian Cage House


The al-Ghirayib family lives in one of the stranger manifestations of Israel’s 43-year occupation of the West Bank: a Palestinian house inside a metal cage inside an Israeli settlement.

The family’s 10 members, four of them children, can only reach the house via a 40-yard passageway connecting them to the Arab village of Beit Ijza farther down a hill. The passageway passes over a road used by Israeli army jeeps and is lined on both sides with a 24-foot-high heavy-duty metal fence.

The same fence rings the simple one-story house, separating it from the surrounding settlement houses. Some of those dwellings are so close that the family can hear the insults shouted by a nearby Jewish neighbor.

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2011/02/22

Some Israelis See The Danger In US Veto

Thank You, Obama, For Showing The Israeli Left Your True Colors by Akiva Eldar (for Ha’aretz)

The decision by 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Barack Obama, to veto a resolution urging Israel to refrain from activities deemed subversive to peace efforts represents a victory of domestic politics over foreign policy in the world’s leading superpower. The lame excuse that denunciation of construction in the settlements would harm “the peace process” constitutes a victory of opportunism over morality.

Just two weeks ago, during the demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that the United States honors “the universal right of all persons to live in freedom.” Even Israel’s former prime minister, Ehud Olmert, a graduate of the “nationalist camp,” argues in his book that settlements violate human rights, the quality of life and freedom of movement of the Palestinians.

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2011/02/18

US Vetoes UN Resolution On Settlements

The Obama administration on Friday cast its first ever veto in the UN Security Council, blocking a Palestinian-backed draft resolution that denounced Israel’s settlement policy as an illegal obstacle to peace efforts in the Middle East.

The US vote killed a resolution that enjoyed the backing of the 14 other members of the UN Security Council and isolated the United States on a crucial Middle East matter at a time of political upheaval in the region.

The US action also ended an urgent last-minute diplomatic campaign, involving conversations between President Obama and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to convince the Palestinians to drop their resolution in favor of a milder statement rebuking Israel for constructing new settlements in seized Arab lands.

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2011/02/18

Obama’s Choice For Palestine


Obama’s Choice by Henry Siegman, President of the U.S./Middle East Project. This article is based on a study he prepared for the Norwegian Peacebuilding Centre (Noref) in Oslo.

Virtually overnight, the Arab Middle East has been irrevocably transformed. The implications for America’s vital interests in the region and for Israel-Palestine peacemaking will be far-reaching. Most observers seem to agree that Israeli fears of the growing political influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and of a resurgence of Hamas in the West Bank end what little prospect for an Israeli-Palestinian accord might have survived the latest deadlock in the US-brokered peace talks. But in reality there was never the slightest possibility of the parties reaching agreement. Benjamin Netanyahu and his government were convinced they had bested Obama in their confrontation over continued settlement construction, and could now continue gobbling up the West Bank with impunity, disregarding not only American interests but international law and all previous agreements committing Israel to halting the construction of settlements and dismantling all its illegal outposts. (Despite repeated promises, not only were the illegal outposts not removed, many were converted into full-blown settlements.) The long-planned goal of Israel’s colonial enterprise – establishing irreversible control over Palestine through its settlements – was clearly in sight, if not already an accomplished fact.

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2011/02/18

US To Support UN Anti-Settlement Vote


Ed. Note: Feb. 19, 2011: Foreign Policy Magazine sucks.

Foreign Policy magazine is reporting that the US has informed Arab governments that it will support a UN Security Council statement reaffirming that the 15-nation body “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity,” a move aimed at avoiding the prospect of having to veto a stronger Palestinian resolution calling the settlements illegal.

The US position signaled a willingness to break with Israel and join others in the council in sending a strong message to its key ally to stop its construction of new settlements.

In the US-backed draft statement, the Security Council “expresses its strong opposition to any unilateral actions by any party, which cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community, and reaffirms that it does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, which is a serious obstacle to the peace process.” The statement also condemns “all forms of violence, including rocket fire from Gaza, and stresses the need for calm and security for both peoples.”

Complete article via Foreign Policy

2011/02/01

The Vichy Palestine Papers


The Papers of Opprobrium By Mohamed El Mokhtar

The recent damming documents, consisting of minutes of negotiations, memos, diplomatic correspondences, and maps dating from 1999 to 2010, secretly obtained and publicly released by Al Jazeera satellite TV channel eloquently laid bare the material evidence attesting and conforming, beyond any reasonable doubt, the direct complicity of the Palestinian Authority in the continuing rape and criminal destitution of the Palestinian land and people.

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2011/02/01

Leaked Papers Show Israel Refusing Peace


ED. NOTE: When it comes to assigning blame for the failure of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, Americans tend to blame the Palestinian side.

However, recent leaks of highly secret offers made to Israel by Palestinian negotiators provide strong evidence that it has been the Israeli side that refuses to accept peace and is not negotiating in good faith.

Could it be that it is the Israelis who”never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” to make peace? And are Americans ready to reconsider their views of the 44-year old conflict in light of new facts?

The Rest of the Story by James Traub

At a meeting between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators on June 21, 2008, Ahmed Qurei, a former Palestinian prime minister, raised a familiar concern: “When will you freeze settlement activity? This will kill us.” Israel’s continuing refusal to stop settlement construction was making the Palestinian Authority look fatally weak in the eyes of Palestinian and Arab public opinion and thus empowering the radicals of Hamas. “You want to help Hamas on our account?” he asked.

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