THE ENDGAME ~~ ANALYSIS OF THE PALESTINIAN CONFLICT

I  know that resistance against an evil  foreign military occupation is a legitimate right and even a sublime national duty.  However, Palestinians must approach this matter of resistance with utmost discretion, because it is never enough to be right as one has to be wise as well, and wisdom has a thousand doors!

THE ENDGAME:   It is either One democratic state for all or perpetual open-ended conflict

By Khalid Amayreh

 
It is no longer possible to deny the clarion reality  that Israel has succeeded, with or without American consent, in decapitating virtually all realistic prospects for the creation of a viable  and territorially- contiguous Palestinian state on the West Bank, e.g. an  entity that would have East Jerusalem as its capital.  The massive Jewish settlement expansion and aggrandizement all over the occupied West Bank has simply eliminated all possibilities for a true Palestinian state worthy of the name. We who live here in the West Bank see things on the ground and therefore know what we are talking about.  Please don’t lecture us on the reality we live around the clock.
 
This is not the view of one frustrated or  disillusioned Palestinian as some day-dreamers, who are detached from reality, would probably think. In fact, this is the candid impression of most serious pundits , Israeli and Palestinian alike, as well as American and European.
 
There are several reasons why a true and dignified peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians is ruled out. 
 
Israel today is ruled by a fully-fledged fascist and jingoistic government controlled by Jewish supremacists who reject  any notion for a balanced peace settlement   with the Palestinians involving “territorial concessions.”  Moreover, the Israeli Jewish society continues to drift rather steadily toward brash fascism and pornographic racism.  Even the Israeli justice system, the erstwhile last remaining “glimmer of hope” has been infiltrated rather heavily by Nazi-minded ideologues who are indoctrinated in Talmudic Jewish supremacy and who believe that the lives of non-Jews in general and Palestinians in particular have no sanctity.  We are talking about racist Talmudic thugs who think that non-Jews living “in the land of Israel” must either be expelled and massacred in the Biblical style! Or enslaved as woodcutters and water carriers,  also in Biblical style.
 
In short, it is absolutely futile to count on the possible emergence in Israel of a genuine and pro-active peace camp, let alone a peace government,  in the foreseeable future.  This is, of course, in addition to the fact that the relentless and unceasing settlement expansion has put an end to all realistic and reasonable hopes for the establishment of a true Palestinian state, considered the ultimate basic requirement for a genuine and durable peace.
 
As to the United States, it is no secret that when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians, America is a real lame duck and   loses its independent will to  Israel, a foreign state  that willy nilly, occupies the driver’s seat in Washington,   with Washington utterly powerless even  to object or say a simple “NO”.  This isby means  a new story.  One of the best books which illustrated America’s shocking submission and subservience  to Israel is the Zionist Connection by Alfred Lilienthal, written in the late 1970s.
 
I am not doing to delve too much into the “adulterous” American-Israeli affair. But I do want to point out that it is futile to expect the US to force Israel to walk in the path of peace as the entire American political establishment continues to be thoroughly enslaved by Zionist money and influence. 
 
More to the point, there are those who would argue rather rightly  that the US had nearly seven long decades to achieve peace in the Middle East but to no avail. Hence, it would be naïve to expect Washington to undergo a sudden transformation  of mentality or awakening of  conscience. This would be like expecting a perfectly peaceful coexistence between ferocious wolfs and meek lamps.  Hence, I can conclude rather safely that getting the US to force Israel to return to the armistice lines of the 4th of June, 1967 is out of question.  It is a total illusion.
 
As to Arab states, it is equally pointless to count on them to help the Palestinians regain their usurped rights.   Most Arab regimes, as we all know, have no will of their own as these regimes grovel disgracefully at Washington’s feet. After all these autocratic regimes are not responsible to their peoples and they value the “legitimacy” that comes from America’s acceptance more than the legitimacy that should come from their people’s acceptance.  They  are  no more than cheap, ignominious slaves of Washington. Needless to say, a slave by definition has no freer will of his own.
 
Even Iran can not fare much better.  The intimate dark embrace between Iran and the manifestly nefarious regime of Bashar Assad has exposed Tehran’s fanatical and genocidal Shiite regime as  absolutely  unprincipled, thoroughly sectarian and unethically expedient.  Iran is only using the Palestinian cause as a propaganda tool to spread Shiism in the Arab-Muslim world. That is the crux of the matter.
 
So what is in the offing? No one knows for sure.  But a careful examination of reality suggests that the de facto  elimination of a prospective Palestinian state will leave us  with two main broad alternatives: First, the hypothetical creation of a unitary democratic state between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean where  Palestinians and Jews could live together  in peace as equal citizens.  It is utterly inconceivable , however,   that Israel would willingly agree to the emergence of  such a state since this sort of entity would effectively spell the end of Zionism and put an end to Israel as a Jewish state. 
 
Moreover, the Palestinians’ higher birth rate could eventually (in a few decades) cause Jews in Israel-Palestine to become a demographic minority.  (Palestinians already constitute 50% of the population in mandatory Palestine, including Israel Proper, West Bank, and the Gaza Strip). Hence, the so-called one-state solution, though the best possible historical solution, at least,  from this writer’s view point,  can not really be viewed as an absolute or inevitable alternative.
 
I don’t know for sure what Israel will do with six million Palestinians who will double their numbers in less than forty years.   What I do know and am sure of is that is that Israel is hoping for a “miracle” that would eliminate or at least neutralize  the Palestinians demographic “peril.”  In fact, I strongly  believe that a visibly and explicitly fascist Israel could embark on the “unthinkable” to prevent history from taking its natural course.  After all.  genocide is part and parcel of the Jewish-Talmudic mindset. This is why, the Palestinians must be very very vigilant and alert because nothing can be taken for granted.   I am not a prophet of doom and gloom, but  matters of survival can’t be subjected to chances.   The Palestinian people have survived despite history and we continue to survive thanks to the good will of the international community. That is why we must constantly strive to enhance and expedite every conceivable element that could help us consolidate our survival as a people. This must include  building real bridges with peace-minded elements in Israel.  In the final analysis, we are against Israeli oppression, racism, and aggression, not against Jews as Jews.  That is why  we must strive tirelessly to woo as many Jews of good-will as possible to our side.  This is good for  both us and  them and for  peace.
 
A final word: I  know that resistance against an evil  foreign military occupation is a legitimate right and even a sublime national duty.  However, Palestinians must approach this matter of resistance with utmost discretion, because it is never enough to be right as one has to be wise as well, and wisdom has a thousand doors!
 
But we must immediately stop  targeting innocent Israeli civilians even as revenge for the targeting by Israel of our innocent civilians.
 
Targeting innocent civilians, especially knowingly and deliberately,  is always immoral, self-defeating and utterly damaging to our cause.  Ours is a just and noble cause. We must not tarnish it with senseless acts of terror.  Does any Palestinian in his or her  right mind think that murdering a pregnant lady in full view of her children  will benefit our cause and make  people hasten to embrace our struggle against occupation, racism and apartheid.
 
 
Finally,  the second (and last)  alternative is perpetual  open-ended  conflict. This is by all means  a nightmarish and hair-raising scenario.   I hope,  for the sake of our  (Jewish and Palestinian)  children and their children that our leaders will prove themselves more farsighted than they have been.  Otherwise, future generations would curse the moment they were born.

#JeSuisPalestinian!

“Palestinian citizens of Israel are its Achilles’ heel; they refuse to become Zionists, refuse to leave Israel, and refuse to vanish into thin air. And, increasingly, they are refusing to remain silent.”

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Don’t Call Us ‘Israeli Arabs’: Palestinians in Israel Speak Out
By Sam Bahour

When Israel’s founding fathers removed by force the native Palestinian Arab population living where they intended to establish their state, they murdered or displaced more than 80% of that population.

This act of ethnic cleansing — to borrow one of Benjamin Netanyahu’s newly found phrases — was given a name in Arabic: the Nakba, or catastrophe. The Palestinian Muslims, Druze and Christians who remained in what became Israel have been, and are today, approximately 20% of the population. These are indigenous Palestinians and their descendants, who have had Israeli citizenship imposed upon them.

’48ers, Palestinian Arabs, ‘insiders’ – just not ‘Israeli Arabs’

For over half a century, Israel has preferred the designation Israeli Arabs, focusing on their Israeliness and attempting to obliterate any trace of Palestinian from their identity. Among Palestinians in exile or the West Bank, they’re referred to as ‘48ers, referring to the year of the Nakba, or as those living “on the inside,” meaning inside the 1949 armistice line, better known as the Green Line. Now, a new cohort of Palestinian thinkers inside Israel writing 68 years after the Nakba reaffirm that they are not just Arabs, but Palestinian Arabs, and that while they may be “in Israel,” they are not Israel’s: they are their own masters.

These Palestinian citizens of Israel are its Achilles’ heel; they refuse to become Zionists, refuse to leave Israel, and refuse to vanish into thin air. And, increasingly, they are refusing to remain a silent, or passive, player.

This increasingly assertive minority in Israel spoke out in a new think tank report published this month by The Palestinian Arab Citizens in Israel hosted by the Oxford Research Group and supported by the I’LAM Arab Center for Media Freedom Development and Research in Nazareth and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. [Full disclosure: While completely independent, this project is also a sister project of the Palestine Strategy Group, of which I’m a secretariat member.]

Four futures for Palestinians in Israel, from chaos to a binational state

The report is unequivocal about the need for the state of Israel to wholly accept these Palestinian citizens as full and equal citizens. Israeli Jewish citizens who think they have quashed any impetus for collective action by their Palestinian neighbors in Israel would be well advised to read, not just this report in its entirety, but also the biographies of those responsible for its production. Some of the sharpest political and academic minds in Israel are exposing the historical misjudgments and internal contradictions in the Israeli state and offering a way out, if anyone is interested in pursuing it.

The report highlights three possible scenarios – four futures for the Palestinian citizens of Israel and their relationship with the State of Israel.

Scenario 1 assumes the continuation of the status quo
, which could proceed along two different paths: Israel could embark on attempting to better the quality of life of its Palestinian citizens, as individuals, without addressing the core political or collective issues, or could simply attempt to perpetuate the status quo, without the emergence of a Palestinian state, a combination that would inevitably become less status quo and more a continuous downward spiral.

Scenario 2 envisions chaos on Israel’s borders as regional Islamic fundamentalism in bordering states spills over into Israel, provoking redeployment of the Israeli military and greater potential instability.

Scenario 3 assumes the creation of an independent Palestinian state(as defined by the UN General Assembly Resolution passed on November 29, 2012) living side by side with Israel.

And scenario 4 projects Israel’s transition into a binational state, in effect a one-state solution, but with a very different social contract with Jewish Israelis: one that ensures constitutional equality between Jews and Arabs and re-envisions all of the state’s trappings, such as the flag, national anthem, etc.

Recognizing the collective rights of Palestinians in Israel

But in parallel to these high-level strategic scenarios, Palestinian citizens in Israel need tangible goals.

In the short-medium term (five- to ten-years) framing the aspirations of the collective, building and upgrading the institutional infrastructure of the legitimate minority status of Palestinians in Israel based on pluralism, democracy and equality. Specifically, the umbrella representative organizations – the Higher Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel and the National Committee of the Heads of Arab Localities – should be reformed and new associations should be considered.

A ten- to twenty-year horizon focuses on individual rights and equal opportunities in addition to the attainment of recognition as a collective. This includes efforts to revitalize existing representative bodies and create new ones to work toward achieving formal recognition at all levels of government with the aim of securing first-class citizenship rights and economic and development rights, as well as addressing the various state planning bodies.

And finally looking forward twenty to forty years: the achievement of a historic reconciliation between the two peoples in historical Palestine as part of reconciliation between the Jewish community and the Palestinians alone, or also with the peoples and countries of the wider region.

Palestinians: Accept pluralism. Israelis: Right historical injustice

Such charting of a joint future is difficult to envision today because of the vast ideological diversity with the Palestinian community, with some calling for no separation between religion and state and others calling for total separation. This major disparity in ideologies is a clear potential weakness: the report calls for the universal acceptance of pluralism as the necessary foundation on which to build, with all stakeholders accepted as part of a shared future. The report notes likewise that the need for the state to be a state for all its citizens must be a given in any future scenario.

It is true that ending the nearly 50-year-old Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, although imperative, will not bring total peace to Israel. What could finally accord Israel a normal place among nations, for the first time ever, is for it to come to terms with its history of injustice.

That means acknowledging its role in the creation of the Palestinian refugee community, taking restorative efforts to right that wrong, and finally accepting its Palestinian citizens as full and equal civic partners in theory and in practice.

Written for HaAretz

Also posted AT

BOTH CONVENTIONS LEAVE PALESTINE OFF THEIR AGENDAS ~~ NOW WHAT?

“We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier,” the platform’s language on Israel, introduced by GOP delegate Alan Clemmons, reads. “Support for Israel is an expression of Americanism, and it is the responsibility of our government to advance policies that reflect Americans’ strong desire for a relationship with no daylight between America and Israel.”

The Democrats did not do much better. CNN reported on July 10 that “Hillary Clinton supporters rejected an effort Saturday to add an amendment to the Democratic platform which would call for ‘an end to occupations and illegal settlements’ in Palestinian territories.” The rejection of that amendment dealt a blow to any hope that the platform would reflect and address the reality on the ground, a reality of occupation approaching its 50-year anniversary.

Image by Carlos Latuff

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Both Republicans and Democrats Went Backward on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Now What?

For Americans, Israelis and Palestinians who still seek a two-state resolution to the long and exhaustive conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, the platforms of the major American political parties are profoundly disappointing. Neither platform addresses the issue seriously. The failure to do so serves no one’s interests, especially not those of the United States. The disservice done to both Israel and the Palestinians is more than unfortunate; it’s laying the foundation for yet another collapse on the ground.

Only President Obama can help us now — and only if he acts fast.

The Jewish Insider reported on July 12 that “the Republican Party’s Platform Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved proposed language that drops any reference to the party’s longstanding support for the two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the 2016 platform.” This, no doubt, reflected anything but forward movement.

“We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier,” the platform’s language on Israel, introduced by GOP delegate Alan Clemmons, reads. “Support for Israel is an expression of Americanism, and it is the responsibility of our government to advance policies that reflect Americans’ strong desire for a relationship with no daylight between America and Israel.”

The Democrats did not do much better. CNN reported on July 10 that “Hillary Clinton supporters rejected an effort Saturday to add an amendment to the Democratic platform which would call for ‘an end to occupations and illegal settlements’ in Palestinian territories.” The rejection of that amendment dealt a blow to any hope that the platform would reflect and address the reality on the ground, a reality of occupation approaching its 50-year anniversary.

Not only are these positions out of line with international law and dozens of United Nations resolutions, they are also totally out of sync with U.S. foreign policy and well-established parameters that call the reality on the ground what it is: Israeli military occupation.

Given the inability of either party platform to provide a glimpse of what it would take to bring peace to that embattled region, we can only hope that other forces weigh in.

In particular, President Obama still has time to set the record straight. Given that the United States recognized Israel 11 minutes after it declared independence back in 1948, he can finally recognize the second of the two-states, Palestine, before he leaves office. This would place a policy marker that brings the two-state solution into full focus no matter who our next president will be.

As we, along with our Israeli colleague Nomika Zion, a resident of Sderot, Israel, have noted in the past:

The failure of the two American political parties to recognize the reality on the ground in the region and to provide a platform for progress on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is shameful. It leaves no hope for forward progress and will not serve the interests of the United States, Israel or Palestine. It will exacerbate tensions in the region and thus deprive Israel, the Palestinians and the world of the leadership needed to end the occupation and enable both parties to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We hope that President Obama appreciates the productive role he can play in this regard, a role made all the more critical in light of the disappointing platforms of the major political parties.

Written FOR

SOMETIMES COMMENTS SAY IT ALL …

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A post from yesterday received a comment that says it all ….

SUNDAY’S TOONS ~~ A LOOK AT THE NEW BRITAIN

And the comment … 

If the Palestinians had been able to restrict immigration during the first half of the twentieth century, this website would not be necessary.

NO STATE NECESSARY IN PALESTINE AS THINGS STAND

In light, this writer recommends that the PA leadership abandon once and for all the illusive quest for Palestinian statehood and opt for a the creation of a democratic and unitary state (between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean) where Jews and Arabs live together in peace and equality irrespective of religion and ethnicity.

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Dear Palestinians: We don’t need a state under existing circumstances 

By Khalid Amayreh

 

I have no doubt in my mind that the establishment of a diminutive Palestinian state under existing circumstances would be a major historical disaster befalling the Palestinian people and their enduring just cause.

 

Such a disaster would be greater in its magnitude than the Nakba of 1948, when Israel was created and the bulk of Palestinians were forced into exile.

 

There are numerous convincing reasons showing that the appearance of a Palestinian state (or statelet, or entity, or a confederate of Bantustans) would be more of a solution to Zionism’s problems than a solution for the Palestinian problem.

 

Indeed, if we internalize the meaning of politics as the “art of the possible,” we must accept in our minds that a Palestinian state established under present global geopolitical realities would have to be a state devoid of statehood, a deformed entity without a real substance, without sovereignty and without a future.

 

It would be a state without Jerusalem, without the repatriation of the refugees to the places from which they were expelled at gunpoint in 1948, without economic viability, and even without sufficient water resourced.

 

Today Israel is at its Zenith in terms of political, economic and especially military power. Israel is a nuclear power and more or less in control of the politics and policies of the United States. On the contrary, the Palestinians are at their nadir politically and economically. Indeed, the Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip are virtually hostage to the Israeli mood. Our water supplies come from Israel. Our electricity comes from Israel. Our fuel supplies come from Israel.

 

Yes, we are hostage to Israeli criminality and depravity which Israel calls “good will.”

 

Israel views our very survival as an expression its “magnanimity.” Hence, any Palestinian state born out of the present circumstances would be inherently deformed, inherently precarious and almost totally dependent for its very survival and continuity on Israel.

 

We all Know that Israel wants the PA to be a kind of a Palestinian Judenrat” responsible and answerable to Israel, first and foremost. This is what is euphemistically referred to as “security coordination” between the PA and Israel. In short, any would-be Palestinian state under existing conditions would a vessel state that is completely subservient to Israel.

 

Indeed, we would exaggerate very little if we argued that the relationship between Ramalla and Tel Aviv has more in common with the relationship between Berlin and the various Judenrates (Jewish councils under the Nazis) than it does with the relationship between two normal entities, e.g. states.

 

Hence, it would be a great historical foolishness on the Palestinians’ part to pursue statehood under the current circumstances.

 

The PA continues to cling to a faint glimmer of hope called international legitimacy. But we all know deep in our hearts that international power politics, not legitimacy or international law, is what counts in the final analysis. The ongoing Syrian holocaust should serve as a striking example illustrating the moral bankruptcy of the world.

 

Nor would, or even could the US, let alone Europe be able or willing to force Israel to come to terms with even the very minimum of Palestinian rights acceptable to the majority of our people at home and in the Diaspora.

 

After all, the US and Europe have always been part of the problem, not part of the solution.

 

Indeed, Israel wouldn’t have reached this level of arrogance, insolence and intransigence had it not been for America’s unlimited supplies of advanced weaponry to the rebellious entity.

 

Palestinian advantage: Today, the Palestinians do have a clear demographic advantage over Israel.  Israel knows this fact too well but chooses to ignore it for political and psychological reasons as recognizing it openly would be an implied admission of the failure of Zionism.

In fact, we can safely claim that Israel is an apartheid state, par excellance, whereby a Jewish minority is ruling over and systematically persecuting a non-Jewish majority.

Let no one raise his or her eyebrow. Facts are facts.

In 2005, a US government report revealed that Palestinian population in Israel and the occupied territories exceeded the Jewish population. The following table shows the basic demographic data until the year 2004.

https://electronicintifada.net/content/ei-exclusive-palestinian-population-exceeds-jewish-population-says-us-government/5491

 

 

2004 Jewish, Palestinian and Other Minorities’ Populations of Israel/Palestine, according to the U.S. State Department’s Country 2004
Population Percentage*
Jewish 5,200,000 48%
Palestinian 5,337,185 49.3%
Other Minorities 290,000 2.7%
Total 10,827,185 100%
* Rounded to 1 significant figure.

 

Today (2016), and assuming the accuracy of the data mentioned, it would be safe to argue that the Palestinian population between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean (Israel proper, West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem) exceeds the Jewish population by at least 300,000 people.

 

We could also deduce from the data that the Palestinians would have a clear and   uncontestable majority within mandatory Palestine between two to three decades.

 

In light, this writer recommends that the PA leadership abandon once and for all the illusive quest for Palestinian statehood and opt for a the creation of a democratic and unitary state (between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean) where Jews and Arabs live together in peace and equality irrespective of religion and ethnicity.

 

NO UNILATERAL ISRAELI PATH TO TWO STATES

If Israel’s leadership is serious about reaching a two-state solution, the road is defined and clear. It requires that Israelis grapple with the real interests and demands of Palestinians as of equal substance and value to their own, rather than wishing them away.

No unilateral Israeli path to two states

By Sam Bahour FOR

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The composition and track record of the current Israeli government leads Palestinians to expect very little from Israel in the way of advancing peace. After five decades of military occupation, and repeated failures of two decades of bilateral negotiations based on the Oslo Accords, there is a clear need for new ideas. But the proposals offered by Amos Yadlin’s post last month, “Two states, four paths for achieving them,” do not accord with basic realities on the Palestinian side, and as such do not offer a viable pathway to a two-state outcome.

Yadlin’s argument is premised on the belief that a negotiated two-state outcome is not possible today because of a Palestinian refusal to engage. He argues: “It appears that in 2016, the Palestinians do not view a two-state solution…as a preferred outcome.” Palestinians, by contrast, see their leaders’ actions, like the November 2012 UN General Assembly resolution that accorded Palestine observer state status, as efforts to save the two-state solution in the face of Israeli actions that undermine it.

The outcome Yadlin offers as one that would meet Israel’s needs would require Palestinians to forfeit basic components of statehood and basic principles of Israeli-Palestinian peace that are enshrined in international law, such as the right for Palestinian refugees to return to their or their families’ places of origin in what is today Israel.

Similarly, Yadlin calls for Palestinians to accept “limitations on their sovereignty” to meet Israeli security concerns. From a Palestinian perspective, though, that sovereignty has been systematically constrained already by Israeli policies, including annexation of territory and the expanding settlement enterprise. These are but two examples of divergent viewpoints between Israelis and Palestinians that doom each of the “four paths” Mr. Yadlin proposes to reach a two-state solution.

Each of Yadlin’s proposed paths for Israel—negotiations toward a final status agreement (with the expectation that they would fail due to Palestinian intransigence), pursuing a regional agreement, seeking an interim bilateral agreement, and taking unilateral action—is problematic.

“A negotiation process resulting in a final status agreement” – The Oslo Peace Accords and the 20 years of unconsummated negotiations that followed were an intensive effort to achieve just that. However, they failed in part because they did not address the fundamental asymmetry between the parties to those accords—Palestinians recognized a state, and Israel, in turn, recognized the representative body of a national movement seeking its right to self-determination.

If Israelis were serious about two states, and heeded lessons from the failed interim agreements of the Oslo process, a good starting point would be for Israel to reciprocate the political recognition of Israel that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) made back in 1993. Israel’s recognition of the state of Palestine is long overdue, especially after more than 130 countries—including the Vatican—have done so.

This symmetrical recognition would also define the end game upfront as the outcome to which both sides are already formally committed—and then both sides can spend their negotiating energies on realizing two states living in peace.

“A regional agreement” – The notion that a regional track could substitute for the bilateral track suggests a failure to learn from the past. At many points throughout the history of this conflict, Israeli politicians and policymakers have sought to transfer the Palestinian issue onto other regional states—as in the Camp David I agreement with Egypt, or the suggestion that Palestinians should instead create their state in Jordan, a sovereign country.

It is positive that Mr. Yadlin seems to embrace the Arab Peace Initiative (API) as a means for progress toward two states—but it can only play the role he envisions if it morphs into something it is not.

The API is not a starting point for negotiations, but rather terms of reference for an agreement that Arab states would recognize as sufficient to gain Israel normalization within the Middle East. As such, Yadlin’s call for an “updated version” in which the “plan should be decoupled from the issue of the [occupied] Golan Heights” and “not be conditional on a solution to the refugee problem according to U.N. Security Council Resolution 194 from 1949,” do not take into account Arab governments’ own interests in these issues. Regional peace for Israel is unattainable without Israel first making peace with Palestinians.

“An interim bilateral agreement” – When Palestinians accepted the interim agreements of the Oslo bilateral process, there were 100,000 illegal settlers on the ground. Two decades of negotiations has left us with over 500,000 settlers and with the Palestinian community in the West Bank and Gaza further fragmented and battered. This is why the Palestinian leadership has been crystal clear in rejecting another interim agreement.

Without more than verbal commitments to a viable two-state solution, and without a clear pathway to get there, another interim agreement would only allow Israel to create more “facts on the ground” that would preclude such a solution. It is hard to understand how such a proposal would offer Palestinians any hope of progress, given the experience of the past two decades.

“In the case a negotiated agreement cannot be realized, an independent Israeli determination of its own borders” – It is even harder to understand how a unilateral Israeli determination of its own borders could, as Yadlin argues, “reinforce the agreed two-state solution paradigm,” especially because this would likely require massive Israeli military force (along with continued blind support from the United States) to create more facts on the ground. It’s understandable why Israelis would prefer to negotiate this conflict with themselves rather than engage with their adversaries, but it is the vast disparity in power between Israelis and Palestinians, not the logic of conflict resolution, that gives Israelis the realistic ability to do so. Still, this does not mean that unilateral decisions by Israel will one day find support among Palestinians.

It’s understandable why Israelis would prefer to negotiate this conflict with themselves rather than engage with their adversaries, but it is the vast disparity in power between Israelis and Palestinians, not the logic of conflict resolution, that gives Israelis the realistic ability to do so.

It is the nature of international conflicts that they can “end” only in one of two ways: either the two parties agree to a solution that meets their mutual interests, or the side with greater power dictates, imposes, and enforces an outcome over the objections of the weaker side. In proposing unilateralism as a “solution,” Yadlin abandons the more sustainable former pathway for the latter, which I see as doomed.

If Israel’s leadership is serious about reaching a two-state solution, the road is defined and clear. It requires that Israelis grapple with the real interests and demands of Palestinians as of equal substance and value to their own, rather than wishing them away. Equality can be achieved in two, truly independent states; or this conflict will default to a single state—as warned by President Obama and Secretary Kerry—marred by a civil rights struggle that may take another 70 years to bear fruition, but whose result is pre-defined.

CLOSING YOUR EYES TO THE REALITY OF PALESTINE WON’T MAKE IT DISAPPEAR

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When my son was about four years old he played a little game; if he saw someone or something that he didn’t want to see he would close his eyes and imagine that they were gone.

He was four at the time but thankfully outgrew this as he got older and learned to accept the reality of situations. Israel is almost sixty eight and still plays that game in regards to the existence of Palestine. Will they ever grow up?

Despite the fact that most of the world now recognises Palestine as a state (as can be seen in the following image), Israel still closes its eyes to that reality …

GRAPHIC: Countries that currently recognise 'Palestine' as a state. FROM

GRAPHIC: Countries that currently recognise ‘Palestine’ as a state.
FROM

The reality I speak of is that Palestine is HERE and is HERE TO STAY! Whether or not Israel refuses to open its eyes to that FACT will not change the situation.

On the other hand, see how Palestine is seen when it is opportune for the zionists to almost acknowledge its existence …. (a post from the archives)

SUDDENLY THERE IS A PALESTINE AND PALESTINIANS

Did you ever notice that one of the hardest words for a zionist to utter or put into print is Palestinian? The word itself confirms that there is a Palestine. 

News reports in the zionist media refer to Palestinians as Arabs, or at best, Israeli Arabs.

BUT, if any of the above are involved in a suspected terrorist attack there suddenly is a Palestine and Palestinians, except in the extreme right media as seen below.

Did you ever notice that?

Below the images presented are some examples of what I am talking about

First some images … and a short video

The infamous zio mantra

The infamous zio mantra

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How do they explain the birthplace  of the first Palestinian terrorist?

How do they explain the birthplace of the first Palestinian terrorist?

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Monopoly money?

Monopoly money?

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The video contains pictures of different Palestinian cities during the 1920’s and 1930’s, before the creation of the state of israel by the zionists in 1948.

How the right wing ziopress usually refers to Palestinians … 

Indictment Filed Against Jerusalem Arab for Incitement to Terrorism Using Social Media 

Arab Terrorists Hurl Rocks at Bus Near Ofra

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The following are examples from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Recent examples of Palestinian incitement to terror

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A Palestinian terrorist used his car to deliberately drive into a crowd of Israelis near a light-rail train station in Jerusalem. Three Israeli soldiers were injured Wednesday evening in the day’s second vehicular terror attack.

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Whereas Israel takes measures to maintain public order and uphold the delicate status quo on the Temple Mount, many on the Palestinian side exploit the holy sites to inflame passions and undermine the long-standing modus vivendi in the city.

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You might find this post from the archives of interest …. be sure to click on the highlighted links.

ISRAELI ARABS ARE NO MORE

NEW GRAPHIC ~~ COUNTRIES THAT RECOGNISE PALESTINE AS A STATE

GRAPHIC: Countries that currently recognise 'Palestine' as a state. FROM

GRAPHIC: Countries that currently recognise ‘Palestine’ as a state.
FROM

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH ~~ ‘ISRAEL COULD BECOME AN APARTHEID STATE’

It already is one …. but the following is a good warning nevertheless

South Africa’s last white president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Frederik Willem de Klerk urges Israelis not to follow the same path as his own country, because that could would lead to the abyss.

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De Klerk: Without two-state solution, Israel could turn into apartheid state

Frederik Willem de Klerk, 79, South Africa’s last white president and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, visited Israel this week. He was a guest at an anti-racism conference organized by the Berl Katznelson Foundation. I met him in Tel Aviv the next day. “I don’t give one-on-one interviews anymore,” he told me. Eventually, he relented, and I can see why. Using polite, carefully crafted words, he sought to tell the Israelis: Don’t follow the same path as my country, South Africa, because that road would lead you into the abyss.

Is Israel an apartheid state?

“I don’t think so,” he said. “But if the two-state solution is not implemented, and if, in such a situation, the Jews have special rights while the Palestinians live as second-class citizens, Israel will become an apartheid state.”

What do you mean?

“The essence of apartheid is racial discrimination,” he said. “We didn’t invent it: All of the colonial powers led such regimes. In 1948, we turned the policy that was already being implemented on the ground into law. That was stage one. In the second stage, John Vorster, the prime minister during the 70s, tried to address the de-colonization process. He gave independence to nine black districts. It was a wish, a fiction – the world refused to recognize it.

“In the third stage, we tried to give both blacks and Indians partial political rights and divide the land. That stage was also unsuccessful: The offered land was divided into enclaves and too small; the blacks didn’t regard independence as a solution. And then came the fourth stage: One state. At that point, it was the only logical solution.”

Did the international boycott and the economic sanctions against South Africa play a part in reaching the agreement?

De Klerk opposes the boycott against Israel. He is convinced the boycott against his own country did not have any significant impact.

“The sanctions cost us 1.5 percent of growth per year,” he said. “We could have lasted like that for 10-15 years more.

“It wasn’t the boycott that determined what would happen, but our conscience. The only solution that was morally defendable was to begin negotiations and reach a constitution that completely eradicates the apartheid regime and recognize the different sectors in the population and minorities’ rights.”

De Klerk is not eager to talk about it, but the agreement that was reached is far from perfect. The whites went from being a privileged minority to a minority that is being discriminated against. The government is plagued with corruption; there’s no personal sense of security; there is no law.

What can we learn from your experience?

“As an outsider, it seems to me that the window of opportunity for the two-state solution is about to close. You might miss this chance.”

In the interim period after the end of the apartheid regime, I visited South Africa twice. It seems the young white people are leaving, en mass.

“It’s true,” he said. “Many have left – some 800,000. Half of them left because they wanted to experience the world, and half because they didn’t want to live under a black government. They emigrated to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Britain.”

How is it that you of all people, who represented the right wing in a right wing white party, led to the agreement with the African National Congress?

He smiled. “They voted for me because they thought I was the most conservative of all candidates. They were wrong about me.

“A leader’s job is not to follow opinion polls. Leadership requires taking an initiative, a vision, a true aspiration to improve the situation, and the ability to convince your voters that the change in the status quo will benefit them in the long-run. That’s what I did on the white side, and that’s what Mandela did on the black side. We both did it while facing harsh criticism from our camps.

“When I put the agreement to a referendum in 1992, nearly 70 percent of the white population voted in favor. The third that voted against it is angry with me to this very day.”

The director of the Berl Katznelson Foundation, Doron Elhanani, told de Klerk about Marwan Barghouti.

Can Barghouti, like Mandela, make decisions from prison that no one else dares make on the outside?

“I don’t know anything about the man,” de Klerk said. “The lesson we learned many years ago, before we freed Mandela, was that you have to negotiate with whoever has the support of the majority.”

How much of a role did the international community play in reaching your agreement?

“In our case,” he said, “a very small role. Your situation is different, because the conflict was on the international agenda from the beginning. The world can bridge and help, but the decision is primarily yours.”

 

Source

 

Israel And Apartheid: By People Who Knew Apartheid. Image by Latuff

Israel And Apartheid: By People Who Knew Apartheid.
Image by Latuff

#RecognisePalestineNow ~~ A MUST FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA

If the U.S. wants to save Palestinian and Israeli lives, it is time to put real political capital on the table. Recognizing the state of Palestine, next to the already recognized state of Israel, would be an act of leadership, a commodity sorely missing for so many years on this issue.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff

President Obama, recognize Palestine now!

The absurd notion that, during his current trip to the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has now signed on to a two-state solution after only eight months ago saying that he would never allow a Palestinian state to emerge is material for George Orwell’s book, 1984.

The recent outbreak of violence in the streets of Israel and Palestine is a wake-up call to all those who seek peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The United States holds a key to bringing the violence to an end and putting the parties on the road to realizing, what the U.S. and virtually every other nation in the world has called for, the implementation of two states, Israel and Palestine. We call on President Obama to act now and recognize the state of Palestine, a process started by Republican President George W. Bush. This single act is urgently needed in order to provide the next U.S. president with a platform that places both Israel and Palestine on equal footing, at least in terms of formal U.S. recognition.

The urgency of taking such an elementary political step was amplified a few days ago by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, writing in The Forward in an article titled, How I Would Reaffirm Unbreakable Bond With Israel — and Benjamin Netanyahu (November 4, 2015). She wrote, “Ever since President Truman waited only 11 minutes to recognize the new nation of Israel in 1948, Americans have believed that Israel is more than a country — it’s a dream…” Palestinians have been waiting 48 years and the inability for the U.S. to act to recognize Palestine speaks volumes. As candidate Clinton revels at Israel the “dream,” Palestinians and Israelis are living Israel, the nightmare, with deadly results.Palestine’s application for full membership in the United Nations still awaits a vote of the Security Council, where only a United States veto stands in the way. Likewise, the United States remains one of the few states that has not yet recognized Palestine. Palestinians have reached a point of total despair given the world’s superpower has paid lip service for 48 years to a solution to the conflict based on two states, but has refused to recognize Palestine. This single political act is the only meaningful one at this late stage in the conflict and in Obama’s administration. Anything less, even a new UN resolution against the continuing illegal Israeli settlement building, will be placed on the bookshelf with the dozens of past similar resolutions.

Where many are grasping at straws for new strategies to compensate for so many past diplomatic failures, the only real strategy left is the realization of the state of Palestine on the ground. This is the missing link to get negotiations back on track and to give Palestinians hope for the future, not to mention saving the two-state solution from total collapse. U.S. recognition of Palestine would be the first concrete political step that would open the way to an entirely new dynamic upon which the end game would no longer be an unknown, allowing all stakeholders to focus on state building instead of ideological debate.

We call on President Obama to recognize Palestine and support its full membership in the United Nations, an act in total alignment with U.S. foreign policy in support of two states for two peoples. Such recognition would place both Israel and Palestine on equal political ground, with both states given recognition, and both states needing to define their borders based on the 1949 Armistice Agreement (1967 borders), as articulated in numerous U.N. resolutions.

Yesterday, Netanyahu addressed the liberal think tank Center for American Progress (CAP). Haaretz Columnist Peter Beinart suggested several choice questions he should be asked at the event, among them, “How gullible do you think we Americans are?” Mr. Beinart rightfully answers, “Not gullible enough, I hope, to let Bibi leave CAP without being confronted about what he really believes.” Regrettably, these were ignored. Netanyahu should have heard a clear and loud voice that his statement during his last election campaign that there will be “no Palestinian state on [his] watch” must not only be retracted, but the time has come for Israel to understand that recognizing a Palestinian state and removing the boot of military occupation from Palestinians’ necks so they can actually build a free state is necessary.

If the U.S. wants to save Palestinian and Israeli lives, it is time to put real political capital on the table. Recognizing the state of Palestine, next to the already recognized state of Israel, would be an act of leadership, a commodity sorely missing for so many years on this issue.

Bahour is a Palestinian-American business consultant living in Ramallah and chairman of Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy. Lewis is an American attorney and has been active in a number of Jewish organizations both in Boston and nationally. Zion is a resident of Sderot, Israel and a member of Other Voice, an organization of Israelis that engages in dialogue with the people of Gaza and seeks a political solution to the conflict.

PALESTINE IS EVERYWHERE EXCEPT IN PALESTINE

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution allowing what it officially recognizes as the “State of Palestine” and the Vatican to raise their flags outside the organization’s facilities.

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UN Votes 119-8 To Allow Palestinian Flag To Fly

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution allowing what it officially recognizes as the “State of Palestine” and the Vatican to raise their flags outside the organization’s facilities.

In a 119-8 vote on Thursday, with 45 abstentions, the General Assembly approved the move allowing the two entities, both nonmember observer states, to raise their flags following the flags of member states.

The resolution calls on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to implement it within 20 days, in time for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Sept. 30 arrival at the U.N. headquarters in New York, CNN reported.

On Friday, the Wafa news agency quoted Abbas as saying: “The struggle will continue until the Palestinian flag flies over our eternal capital, occupied Jerusalem.”

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian permanent observer at the United Nations, has previously said the action would be another step in solidifying the Palestinian government’s presence in the international arena.

The Palestinian Authority gained nonmember observer state status at the United Nations in November 2012.

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, told the General Assembly before the vote that the United States is committed to achieving the peace between Palestinians and Israelis but “raising the Palestinian flag outside the U.N. Headquarters is not an alternative to negotiations and will not bring the parties closer to peace.”

Israel, the United States, Canada and Australia voted against the resolution, along with four Pacific island nations. Britain abstained, along with at least 10 E.U. members states including Germany and the Netherlands. France, Poland, Italy and Spain were among the E.U. states that voted in favor of the resolution.

According to Mansour, there are at least two open spots for flags to be posted outside U.N. Headquarters in New York.

Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, said in a speech before the General Assembly that allowing the flag to fly would be part and parcel of “Palestinians use and abuse [of] the United Nations.” He accused the Assembly of allowing the Palestinians “to get away with it.”

THE ISRAELI ROAD TO THE ABYSS

I am not a prophet of doom and gloom and I don’t see into the future. However, from the intensive experience of 50 years of closely observing Israeli behavior, I honestly believe that such scenarios are not outside the realm of possibility. They could happen. History does repeat itself, if only because most men don’t learn from their blunders. And Israeli leaders are not driven by wisdom or morality, but rather by arrogance and evil millenarianism, very much like Hitler was. We know the rest of the story.

Israel heading to the abyss

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine

Group photo of the 'Elders' from May, 2010

Group photo of the ‘Elders’ from May, 2010

 

As a member of the independent Elders Group of global leaders, former US president Jimmy Carter made some interesting remarks during a brief visit to the West Bank this week.

The group, founded by former South African President Nelson Mandela in 2007 and  includes former presidents from several countries, was barred by Israel from visiting the Gaza Strip, thoroughly devastated by a sustained Israeli bombing campaign last summer, which lasted for 53 days.

Much of what Carter said was actually regurgitation of past platitudes repeated ad nauseam by the former American president.

He urged Palestinians to hold elections in order to end the de facto division between the West Bank and Gaza, as if holding elections in occupied Palestine or even ending the rift between Fatah and Hamas were the mother of all problems.

Likewise, Carter didn’t comment on the likelihood that Israel (and probably the PA as well) wouldn’t accept the outcome of any elections in case Hamas, the Islamic liberation group, emerged as the main winner.

Not malicious, but naïve

I am not accusing the man from Georgia of ill-will or harboring any malicious intentions. But I do think that the former president is being overly naïve, too trusting and probably a little misinformed.

I believe it is imperative that Carter and his colleagues ought to have an accurate prognosis of the situation on the ground. They ought to understand that Israel has effectively killed any remaining chances for the two-state solution. The ubiquitous proliferation of Jewish settlements in every part of the West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem, has irreversibly eradicated any remaining possibility for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state.

It is really mind-boggling that this outstanding fact is being ignored or belittled by people who are supposed to be intelligent and wise.

Is this a conscious or subconscious effort to retain a semblance of hope for peace lest people suddenly find themselves face to face with a reality they never wanted to see?

No Room left for Palestinian state

Well, the world at large, including Muslims and Jews, ought to be courageous enough to come to terms with reality, namely that there is no room left for a Palestinian state and that alternative solutions need to be sought.

But, unfortunately, there are not many alternatives to be sought for resolving the seemingly perpetual conflict.

Indeed, with the two-state solution practically eliminated, there are only two alternatives left.

First, the establishment of a unitary state between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean in which Jews and Arabs live together in peace and equality. But such an idea is anathema for Zionism as it constitutes its ultimate antithesis.

A unitary state, irrespective of the name, would effectively put an end to Israel as it has been since its creation in Palestine 67 years ago. Moreover, the clear Arab demographic advantage over Jews in mandatory Palestine (Israel and the occupied territories) would eventually lead to a state with a clear if not overwhelming Arab Muslim majority in a matter of few decades.

Zionist strategists are aware of these prospects, but they seriously lack the means (or ideas) to defer or circumvent these prospects.

They propose perpetual apartheid, application of more repression against the Palestinians, narrowing their horizons, economic pressure, even forced emigration, as “suggestions” to save the Zionist enterprise.

But these suggestions, which express frustration on the part of the Zionist movement, could cause Israel to face even more existential perils endangering Israel’s very survival. Apartheid is not easy to sustain, and ethnic cleansing on a wide scale would be tantamount to genocide. Would the Jews, the victims of Nazi Germany, seek to emulate their former tormentors and grave-diggers in order to achieve goals that differ little from those of the Third Reich, namely maintaining an ethnically and religiously pure state?

I have no doubt that Zionist leaders will miss no opportunity to trigger wars, hunt for “opportunities,” create alibis, spread chaos and turbulence in the region and beyond in order to seize the chance to expel the Palestinians, or most of them, using a combination of  mass murder and  mass terror.

But that would be the ultimate Holocaust. It would also be an act of suicide as well for Israel and Jews alike.  Indeed, Israel, already a pariah state, would become the object of intense hatred and vilification by the rest of the world and Jews everywhere in the world would suffer the consequences of their state’s folly.

Similarly, millions of Muslims around the world would become suicide bombers targeting Jews and their supporters. IS would grow and expand a thousand fold, with governments and security agencies utterly unable to stem the tide of millions of youths joining its ranks.

I am not a prophet of doom and gloom and I don’t see into the future. However, from the intensive experience of 50 years of closely observing Israeli behavior, I honestly believe that such scenarios are not outside the realm of possibility. They could happen. History does repeat itself, if only because most men don’t learn from their blunders. And Israeli leaders are not driven by wisdom or morality, but rather by arrogance and evil millenarianism, very much like Hitler was. We know the rest of the story.

Open-ended conflict

The alternative to establishing a unitary state in Palestine/Israel is open-ended conflict. I think this is what will eventually be the case. This is sad, but inevitable. But it does mean that Israel will have to live by the sword for eternity. Israel is not a small isolated state living by itself in a remote region. Israel is in the heart of the Arab world, and within a few decades, will be surrounded by 600 million hostile Muslims, seething with hatred and indignation for everything Zionist.

In short, all future scenarios facing Israel are negative if not nightmarish, which means that Netanyahu, Bennet, et al, are taking Israel to the abyss. 

A RESOLUTION GERMANY OWES HISTORY

If the Bundestag chooses to refuse Palestinian statehood when called to act on it, this would be totally out of synchronization with the long-standing German position for two-states as a model to resolve the conflict. Germany’s political integrity is at stake.

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A Resolution Germany Owes History

By Sam Bahour

One way or another, Germany’s Bundestag is about to make history with the upcoming vote on the issue of recognizing Palestinian statehood. A positive vote for Palestine would finally strengthen the European Union’s weakest link in contributing to Middle East Peace. A negative vote for Palestinian statehood would leave the Palestinians with no political horizon, which can only lead to more violence and/or a strategic shift where Palestinians drop their bid for statehood and convert their struggle to a total civil rights struggle: in essence, forcing a one state reality politically to match the military one state reality that Israel has had the luxury to construct, with nearly 50 years of its military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including East Jerusalem.

Palestine did not fall into a historic crisis due to a natural disaster. Dispossession, discrimination and prolonged military occupation was the result, to a great extent, of the colossal tragedy that befell Jews in Europe. We Palestinians are still paying the price for those acts today. It is long overdue that this manmade nightmare should end.

If the Bundestag chooses to refuse Palestinian statehood when called to act on it, this would be totally out of synchronization with the long-standing German position for two-states as a model to resolve the conflict. Germany’s political integrity is at stake.

Fear-mongers have unleashed their venom against Palestinian statehood in the discourse in Germany. By now, their mode of operation is well-known, and has failed over and over again. It failed with all 138 countries that voted overwhelmingly in favor of the 2012 Palestinian bid for observer state status in the UN (Germany abstained) and it is failing in country after country, where bilateral recognition (over 130 countries to date) of Palestine is growing by the day. With the newly re-elected Israeli prime minister winning on a campaign rally of no two-states, the burden of action now squarely sits on the lap of the international community.

Allow me to take a brief issue with the arguments made by those who urge Germany to not join the global momentum toward recognizing Palestine.

THEY SAY Palestinians never missed an opportunity for peace. The fact of the matter is that the boot of Israeli occupation was never, ever removed from the neck of Palestinians to give them a fighting chance to create a new reality—not in Oslo, not in the West Bank, not in East Jerusalem, and surely not in the Gaza Strip. The unrelenting extent of Israel’s effective control over all the occupied territory is no longer an issue for debate; historical record is clear.

THEY SAY the Palestinian political body promotes extremism and violence. The fact of the matter is that it is a miracle that the Palestinians have been able to maintain any sense of a political system at all, given Israel’s systematic, forced fragmentation of the Palestinians’ geographic reality, campaign of targeted assassinations and continued policy of imprisoning Palestinian political leadership, including over a dozen democratically elected members of the legislative council. In light of this reality on the ground, the Palestinians still beg the international community to uphold international law and UN resolutions, themselves bringing the two-state solution to the podium of the UN General Assembly for approval. What is clear is, now that the majority of the world accepts Palestinian statehood, that if key international players, Germany being on the top of the list, drop the ball of bringing Palestine into existence on the ground, no one should complain if the younger generation of Palestinians drop statehood once and for all and we are back in a cycle of never-ending violence.

THEY SAY the Palestinians’ struggle for freedom and independence is linked to the horrific events unfolding in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. The fact of the matter is that even the Israeli security establishment has acknowledged that regional events are very different and detached from what Palestinians are requesting. Actually, it is the Palestinian movement, not to mention the Palestinian refugees stuck for 60 years in the region due to Israel refusing to allow them to return home, who have the most to lose with the region engulfed in domestic and regional chaos.

THEY SAY Palestinians must be put through a test to prove our worthiness of freedom. The fact of the matter is that in the world of global governance there are no teachers and classrooms, only international law which applies to all. No excuse under the sun can justify one more day of military occupation, especially one that does not view itself as an occupation and continues to facilitate its citizens’ squatting on Palestinian lands.

In the Oslo Peace Accords, over twenty year ago, Palestinians recognized the state of Israel, in writing. In reply, Israel merely recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the representative of the Palestinian people. This lopsided starting point may have contributed to the failure of the entire Oslo exercise. Today’s Germany has the opportunity to correct that historic mismatch and save the region from future violence, let alone saving Israel from itself.

The previous UK Consul General in Jerusalem, Sir Vincent Fean, addressed his country’s upcoming debate on Palestinian statehood in The Sunday Herald(Scotland) on 19 April 2015 in an article titled, “We can restore hope in a just peace for Palestine and Israel.” He wrote, “Palestinians have the right to statehood, peace with justice and hope. Israelis have the same right to live in safety, with good neighbours and shared hope. We can do what is right for both peoples. Our next Government should recognise the State of Palestine alongside Israel, to preserve the two-state solution. Failure to resolve this conflict fairly remains the best recruiting sergeant for violent extremism. We regain our balance by upholding the international law we helped to write.”

The Bundestag has a choice to make. It can continue looking backwards in history on this issue and ignore its leading role in securing peace in the Middle East, or it can courageously look forward, maybe even recognizing something it owes history, and assume leadership in this debate. The choice is yours. We hope you will make the choice for peace. 

 

German Version

SPOOF OF THE FRENCH PARLIAMENT

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

French parliament votes for recognition of Palestinian state…now what?

French parliament votes for recognition of Palestinian state…now what?

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Also by Latuff

 2014, Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

2014, Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH WAITING FOR THE UN TO GIVE PALESTINE STATEHOOD

The UN, after all, has had more than 60 years to give the Palestinians any semblance of justice, but to no avail. The reason behind this monumental moral failure is simple. The world order is not based on justice and morality. It is rather based on military might and political power.

Let’s not kid ourselves: The UNSC will not give us a state

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied East Jerusalem

It is really lamentable that the Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to manage the Palestinian Question disastrously.

The latest failed effort to get the UN Security Council (UNSC) to designate a time-ceiling for ending the decades-old Israeli occupation is an expression of the disastrous mismanagement of our just cause by the PA.

It simply shows that the PA neither learns from others’ mistakes nor from its own.

The UN, after all, has had more than 60 years to give the Palestinians any semblance of justice, but to no avail. The reason behind this monumental moral failure is simple. The world order is not based on justice and morality. It is rather based on military might and political power.

This fact has not changed ever since the creation of the UN following the Second World War. It is not expected to change in the foreseeable future, at least in our lifetime.

I know the Palestinian establishment in Ramallah is too fully aware of this fact. Yet, it continues to walk in the same path.

A few weeks ago, this writer wrote that it was futile for the Palestinians to count on the United States to restore Palestinian rights from Israel. I argued that the US lacked the will and inclination as well as the moral power to challenge Israel due to the Zionist domination of American political life.

In this article,  I want to pen down my conviction that it is equally pointless to rely on the UNSC to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

We all know that the UNSC is firmly dominated by the US, whose government and Congress are at Israel’s beck and call.

Hence, it is absolutely futile to rely on this entity (UNSC), to do justice or even a semblance of justice for the Palestinians. Thinking otherwise would be like seeking safety in a snake’s hole or searching for justice at a thieves’ den.

I realize the Palestinian leadership of Chairman Abbas is facing a very frustrating situation, having been repeatedly deceived and betrayed by successive American administrations ever since the 1960s.

But the Palestinians should have a sound plan to follow lest they continue to run around in a circle.

I am not necessarily against diplomatic efforts at the UN. But I am decidedly against employing the same failed tactics that have proven their utter failure ad nauseam.

In short, the Palestinians must have a “de fault strategy” that would maximize their “national assets” while minimizing their national liabilities.

What should be done?

Without making a short story unnecessarily long, I believe the PA should do the following today, not tomorrow.

1-      The PA should immediately or as soon as possible dismantle itself. The very creation of the PA nearly 20 years ago was meant to expedite the establishment of a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Now, it has been made amply clear that the PA has become one of the biggest obstacles impeding Palestinian statehood. Israel continues to patrol and control every street and neighborhood of the West Bank. So let the occupation return to what it was before the scandalous Oslo Accords, which gave the Palestinians a police state without a state.

2-      Since Israel has effectively killed any remaining chances for establishing a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian state, it is futile to cling to the two-state solution strategy. Such a strategy is simply dead, thanks to the ubiquitous proliferation of Jewish settlements. Moreover, awaiting the rise of a peace-minded Israeli government is an exercise in futility and stupidity, as the Israeli Jewish society continues to drift toward xenophobia, racism and even Jewish Nazism. Indeed, a fleeting glance at what is published In Israeli newspapers and posted on Jewish sites would leave no doubt in this regard.

3-      The PA and all Palestinian factions should mobilize all their efforts toward enabling the Palestinian people to be steadfast and withstand Israeli oppression and repression. Palestinian steadfastness has been the most effective Palestinian weapon against the Zionist enterprise. A few decades ago, we were viewed as a small minority with a precarious future. Today, we are more or less a demographic majority between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean.  Needless to say, this has always been the prospect the Zionist dreaded most. It has now become a reality.

4-      Hence, the Palestinian leadership must abandon, once and for all, the strategy of demanding a small Palestinian state or state-let beside Israel and adopt instead a new strategy based on the one-state solution whereby Palestinians and Jews live in peace and equality as citizens in a unitary state encompassing mandatory Palestine. True, Israel would reject this scenario outright since it would make Israel lose its Jewish identity. However, Israel and Israel alone would be blamed for destroying the possibility of creating a viable Palestinian state.

5-      Finally, the PA should immediately stop playing the role of the Judenrate by repressing Palestinians on Israel’s behalf. The PA had thought that coordinating with Israel would earn it a certificate of good conduct from the insolent Israeli leadership. But, far from making Israel moderate its Nazi-like repression of the Palestinians, the PA subservience to Israel actually emboldened the Jewish state even further as evident from the genocidal Israeli blitz on Gaza last summer.

Khalid Amayreh is a Palestinian journalist living in Occupied Palestine.

 

EUROPE’S RECOGNITION OF PALESTINE AND THE ISRAELI ELECTIONS

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Israel is now in a race against time to change the map of Palestine. It will annex large parts of areas in the West Bank classified as “C”. This is the unilateral Israeli solution of the Palestinian question, a euphemism for the liquidation of the Palestinian cause.
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Palestinians need more steadfastness,
vigilance
By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Palestine
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The recent voting by several European parliaments to recognize Palestine is undoubtedly a notable diplomatic achievement for the enduring Palestinian cause. It represents a laudable moral awakening on the part of many European nations. The voting has clearly embarrassed and upset Israel as it reminded the world community that the Zionist occupation of Palestine is inherently illegal and illegitimate and must come to an end sooner rather than later.

In light, I must salute the European peoples for this positive measure which we all hope won’t be thwarted by international political haggling led by the United States, Israel’s guardian ally.

None the less, we Palestinians must guard against excessive optimism and euphoria. In the final analysis, European recognition alone won’t end the Israeli occupation or make Israel revert to its senses. Israel is too arrogant and too insolent to think prudently, thanks to unlimited and unrestricted support from the US. Israeli leaders, rightly or wrongly, are convinced that Zionist Jews dominate American governments by controlling Congress. This week, Israel’s Economy Minister Naftali Bennet threatened to “bring America to a standstill” in case the Obama administration exerted pressure on Israel to end the decades-old occupation.

Predictably, the Obama administration resorted to silence in the face of this brazen insolence. Indeed, it is hard to think that any other world leader or political figure would have been able to indulge in this diplomatic vulgarity and get away unscathed.

Utilizing the diplomatic success

The U.S. is now furiously trying to bully or cajole the weak Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership to reconsider a nascent diplomatic campaign at the UN, aimed at securing further recognition of Palestinian rights. Needless to say, Palestinian cowardice in the face of American “carrots –or- sticks- tactics” would really seriously undermine Palestinian national interests and dissuade many nations around the world from giving further support for Palestinian statehood and independence.

The peoples of the world would like to see a Palestinian leadership that is brave not cowardly, resistant not submissive, independent not subservient to the White House, which itself at Israel’s beck and call.

Above all, our leadership must be patriotic and only answerable to the Palestinian people from whom it receives its legitimacy and dignity.

No one is demanding that the PA launch an all-out war against Israel. However, the PA must leave no stone unturned in order to besiege Israel on the international arena. We must urge nations around the world in the strongest terms to boycott Israel and terminate any relations, commercial or otherwise, with the Zionist entity, especially the settlements, as long as Israel continues to torment our people, steal our land and narrow our horizons.

We must also be aware of Israel’s insidious designs. Israel is now in a race against time to change the map of Palestine. It will annex large parts of areas in the West Bank classified as “C”. This is the unilateral Israeli solution of the Palestinian question, a euphemism for the liquidation of the Palestinian cause.

According to this plan, announced recently by Bennet, Israel would retain its control over the bulk of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. And the Palestinians would have to forget about the right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees uprooted from their homes and villages when Israel was created in 1948. In any case, we must be vigilant and watch for Israeli exploits and maneuvers.

Palestinian assets

Despite its pugnacity, aggressiveness and arrogance of power, Israel is facing a real dilemma. Today, there are more Arabs than Jews within mandatory Palestine (the area between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean) a reality the Zionist leadership considers a calamitous nightmare.

These people are going nowhere and they are here to stay. Israelis are making all sorts of supplications for a miracle that would make this growing Arab majority disappear. They are imploring Yahweh to smite the Arabs with all strength, so that they would either perish or leave.

But wishful thinking is wishful thinking, and Zionism,  which arrogantly killed whatever chances there were for the creation of a viable Palestinian state,  has only itself to blame.

Hence, Palestinians must not deal with this matter lightly. This is why, our leaders, irrespective of their political and ideological orientations must make every possible effort to consolidate our steadfastness on our ancestral land.

Beware of Arab betrayal

We must also guard against Arab betrayal. We do know that whenever the U.S. fails to get the Palestinians to do Israel’s bidding, e.g. compromising Palestinian national constants, especially those pertaining to Jerusalem and the paramount right of return for the refugees, Washington will dispatch high-ranking envoys to certain Arab capitals to urge Arab tyrants to bully the Palestinians, financially or otherwise, to give in and succumb to Israeli dictates.

We must reject, even with utmost contempt, any Arab pressure on us. We all know that Arab tyrants have no legitimacy or national dignity that would qualify them to pressure the Palestinian people.

These leaders are almost totally bankrupt. What else can be said of tyrants who systematically murder and torment their own people in order to please and appease Israel and the United States and stay in power.

We all know for sure that most- if not all- Arab tyrants from Bahrain to Marrakesh would unhesitatingly sacrifice Palestine in order to obtain a certificate of good conduct from Washington.

With all due respects to our Arab brethren, we Palestinians are different as to the way we relate to our leaders.

We are greater than our leaders. And if our leaders say or do something we don’t like, we simply chase them out of office.

Hence, any Palestinian leader who might be bullied or cajoled by Arab tyrants to pressure us to compromise on our fundamental rights, will not live to regret his fatal miscalculation.

2014 - The year of solidarity with Palestine  Image 'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

2014 – The year of solidarity with Palestine
Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

 

SPOOF ON SWEDEN’S RECOGNITION OF A PALESTINIAN STATE

Image created by our new Associate Artist, Gianluca Costantini. Other examples of his latest works can be seen if you click on THIS link.

We are proud to welcome Gianluca to our ranks.

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Related report FROM

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Sweden recognizes state of Palestine

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Foreign Minister Margot Wallström made the announcement in a debate article in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.
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“It’s an important step. Some will say that the decision came too early. I’m afraid that it came too late,” she wrote, adding that she “hopes that this will show the way for others.”
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“The aim of Sweden’s recognition is to help reach the goal of Israel and Palestine co-existing side by side in peace.”
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Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas hailed the decision, his spokesman said.
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“President Abbas welcomes Sweden’s decision,” Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP, adding that the Palestinian leader described the move as “brave and historic”.
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Abu Rudeina claimed the move was linked to months of soaring tensions in occupied east Jerusalem, where Palestinians have clashed almost daily with Israeli police and where Israel has recently pushed ahead with plans to build another 3,600 settler homes, drawing international condemnation.
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“This decision comes as a response to Israeli measures in Jerusalem,” he said.
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Abbas called for other countries to follow Sweden’s lead.
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“All countries of the world that are still hesitant to recognize our right to an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital, (should) follow Sweden’s lead,” his spokesman quoted him as saying.
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The UN General Assembly approved the recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state in 2012, but the European Union and most western countries do not refer to Palestine as a separate state.
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Sweden’s decision, initially announced by new Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Löfven as he revealed his new centre-left cabinet in early October, has been met with strong criticism.
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Israel’s foreign minister said it was made “in a hurry” and the US warned that it was a “premature move“. Israel has long insisted that the Palestinians can only receive their promised state through direct negotiations and not through other diplomatic channels.
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Phil Carmel from the European Jewish Congress which represents Jews in 40 countries including Sweden told The Local:
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“This is a token move by Sweden’s new government and it is ironic that Sweden recognizes a Palestinian state at a time when even Palestinians can’t agree on what its borders will be.”
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He added: “A key principle of the European Union is to recognize future states based on negotiations and it is very sad that Sweden appears to have cast these negotiations aside and wants to label Palestine as a state before any formal agreement on its borders.”
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There has been intense fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip in recent months, with some of the deadliest violence in years. But there is currently a ceasefire between the two sides.
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Seven EU members have already recognized a Palestinian state — Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Romania. Non-EU member Iceland is the only other western European nation to have done so.
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In Thursday’s announcement, Sweden’s foreign minister said that “the government considers that international law criteria for the recognition of a Palestinian state have been fulfilled.”
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Palestinian groups in Sweden have welcomed the decision. Earlier this month, Nael Touqan, Chairman of Palestinian Association of Stockholm told The Local:
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“Sweden has great respect in Europe so we hope this means that other nations will follow its lead,” he added. “This is the only way to pressure Israel”.

NO PEACE WITH PALESTINE IF THERE IS A PALESTINE

Israel warned Tuesday that a vote by the British parliament in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state risked undermining the prospects for peace.

They said the same last week when Sweden’s Parliament voted the same ….

Israel obviously likes things as they are …. Occupation strengthens the prospects of peace according to ziologic. It maters not what the rest of the world has to say. Occupation  = 30 BILLION DOLLAR$ a  year  … no way are they prepared to give that up!

2014 is almost over and WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN!

'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Israel says UK Palestine vote undermines peace prospects
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Israel warned Tuesday that a vote by the British parliament in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state risked undermining the prospects for peace.”Premature international recognition sends a troubling message to the Palestinian leadership that they can evade the tough choices that both sides have to make, and actually undermines the chances to reach a real peace,” said a statement from the Israeli foreign ministry.Late Monday, British MPs voted 274 to 12 for a non-binding motion to “recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution”.The resolution was welcomed by the Palestinians.

“It will enhance the European voices calling for the recognition of the State of Palestine and will create the right environment for the international community to grant the Palestinian people legal parity and rights,” senior Palestine Liberation Official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement.

Britain’s ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, said that although the vote was not binding on the British government it was significant.

“I think that this vote is a sign of shifting public opinion in the UK and indeed beyond,” he said in an interview Tuesday morning with Israeli public radio.

The debate in the House of Commons came after the Swedish government announced it would recognize a Palestinian state — it would be the first EU member in Western Europe to do so — drawing anger from Israel.

It follows the collapse of peace talks between Israel and Palestine, and this year’s conflict in Gaza in which more than 2,000 Palestinians and dozens of Israelis were killed, mostly soldiers.

“The conflict in the summer over Gaza had a big impact on British public opinion and has affected Israel’s standing,” Gould said.

“Announcements on settlements since the summer have also had an impact and so although this vote won’t affect government policy I think it is right to be concerned about what it signifies in terms of the direction of public opinion.”

The Palestinian Authority estimates that 134 countries have recognized Palestine as a state, although the number is disputed and several recognitions by what are now European Union member states date from the Soviet era.

Britain abstained in 2012 from a vote in the United Nations on giving the Palestinians the rank of observer state, which was granted over the objections of the United States and Israel.

FROM
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A PALESTINE WITHOUT WALLS!  OCCUPATION!! = PEACE!!! By Latuff

A PALESTINE WITHOUT
WALLS!
OCCUPATION!!
= PEACE!!!
By Latuff

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Related post from Mondoweiss … (Click on link to read)

ISRAELI TWO STATE SOLUTION ~~ ONE JEWISH STATE IN THE EAST, THE OTHER IN THE WEST

That certainly simplifies matters ….. A Palestinian State doesn’t quite fit into zio’s ‘Master Plan’

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ONE-STATE-TWO-STATE-PUZZLE

Image Credit – David Klein

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Some 400 hectares (988 acres) in the Etzion settlement bloc near Bethlehem were declared “state land, on the instructions of the political echelon” by the military-run Civil Administration.

Israel Radio said the step was taken in response to the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teens by Hamas militants in the area in June. The notice published by the military gave no reason for the decision.

Hmmm …. I thought that was the reason for the genocide in Gaza

 

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Israel Appropriates West Bank Land for Possible Settlement Use

Peace Now: Biggest Land Appropriation in 30 Years

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GETTY IMAGES

By Reuters

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Israel announced on Sunday a land appropriation in the occupied West Bank that an anti-settlement group termed the biggest in 30 years and a Palestinian official said would cause only more friction after the Gaza war.

Some 400 hectares (988 acres) in the Etzion settlement bloc near Bethlehem were declared “state land, on the instructions of the political echelon” by the military-run Civil Administration.

Israel Radio said the step was taken in response to the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teens by Hamas militants in the area in June. The notice published by the military gave no reason for the decision.

Peace Now, which opposes Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank – territory Palestinians seek for a state, said the appropriation was meant to turn a site where 10 families now live adjacent to a Jewish seminary into a permanent settlement.

Construction of a major settlement at the location, known as “Gevaot”, has been mooted by Israel since 2000. Last year, the government invited bids for the building of 1,000 housing units at the site.

Peace Now said the land seizure was the largest announced by Israel in the West Bank since the 1980s and that anyone with ownership claims had 45 days to appeal. A local Palestinian mayor said Palestinians owned the tracts and harvested olive trees on them.

Israel has come under intense international criticism over its settlement activities, which most countries regard as illegal under international law and a major obstacle to the creation of a viable Palestinian state in any future peace deal.

Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called on Israel to cancel the appropriation. “This decision will lead to more instability. This will only inflame the situation after the war in Gaza,” Abu Rdainah said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu broke off peace talks with Abbas in April after the Palestinian leader reached a reconciliation deal with Hamas, the Islamist movement that dominates the Gaza Strip.

In a series of remarks after an open-ended ceasefire halted a seven-week-old Gaza war with Hamas on Tuesday, Netanyahu repeated his position that Abbas would have to sever his alliance with Hamas for a peace process with Israel to resume.

Israel has said construction at Gevaot would not constitute the establishment of a new settlement because the site is officially designated a neighborhood of an existing one, Alon Shvut, several km (miles) down the road.

Some 500,000 Israelis live among 2.4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territory that the Jewish state captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

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Here’s just one of those settlers ….. would you want her for a neighbour?

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And the American response … (Don’t forget who will pay for the new settlements)

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US rebukes Israel over claim of West Bank land

State Department urges Jerusalem to reverse decision, calling the move ‘counterproductive’ to efforts to achieve two-state solution; Palestinians say decision will lead to more instability.

Read the full report HERE

J STREET AND THE END OF ZIONISM

It’s time to bite the bullet. We of the critical (non/anti/post-Zionist) Israeli peace camp understand why a liberal Zionist organization like J Street could never consider, let alone accept, the end of the two-state solution. You say it yourselves: the end of the two-state solution is the end of Israel as a Jewish state; it marks the end of Zionism.

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An open letter to J Street: Let’s talk

Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street

Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street

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It’s time to bite the bullet. We of the critical (non/anti/post-Zionist) Israeli peace camp understand why a liberal Zionist organization like J Street could never consider, let alone accept, the end of the two-state solution. You say it yourselves: the end of the two-state solution is the end of Israel as a Jewish state; it marks the end of Zionism.

We understood why you can’t go there – but the luxury of picking the solution you like regardless of its relevance and do-ability is no longer an option. In light of the collapse of the Kerry initiative (and it has finally collapsed, no matter if Abbas can be persuaded not to go to the UN), you cannot continue to deny the collapse of the two-state solution upon which it was built. That was not a failure of Kerry or of “negotiations” or of “both sides” or even the failed Oslo negotiators like Martin Indyk that you and the American government continue to parade that brought about that result, it was a conscious, deliberate and explicit policy of all successive Israeli governments since 1967 to eliminate a two-state solution.

You might be right that most Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs want a two-state solution. You are right that this is the only way a “Jewish” state can be salvaged. But you hit up against three insurmountable facts of life: (1) No Israeli government – and certainly not the current one – has ever seriously considered a genuine two-state solution, and in fact all have worked assiduously (and successfully) to create “facts on the ground” that prevent the establishment of a truly sovereign and viable Palestine state; (2) the Israeli public has no idea what it means by “two-state solution” and simply does not care; what we call the “occupation” has been rendered a non-issue in Israel and Israeli Jews will not pro-actively overthrow it; and (3) as long as Israel has Congress in its pocket – which it does despite your best efforts – it can thumb its nose at the Administration, the Europeans, the UN, international law, liberal Jewish values and J Street alike, or so it thinks.

The end of the Kerry initiative is a big thing. It represents that fateful juncture that we of the critical left have been speaking of for years: in the next few weeks, perhaps days, Israel will have irrevocably abandoned any opportunity for a just peace with the Palestinians for apartheid or, worse, for the warehousing of Palestinians in permanent ghettos. Israel will unilaterally annex the “settlement blocs,” up to 30-40% of the West Bank, arguing that “there is no partner for peace,” we need to ensure our security and, besides, 95% of the Palestinians live under Palestinian Authority rule in Areas A and B (38% of the West Bank truncated into 70 enclaves) and Gaza. Whether the PA remains as a collaborationist regime or leaves the scene makes no difference. The Occupation is over. Will J Street finally admit that apartheid has arrived, or will it try to make the best of a Palestinian bantustan as a “good enough” two-state solution?

In light of the struggle for a truly just peace between Israelis and Palestinians, of which the two-state solution was merely a diversion, I would suggest that we view the end of the Kerry initiative as a good thing. Finally the fog of the two-state solution is lifted. We finally see reality: naked, raw occupation and apartheid with no pretense of two equal “sides” or genuine negotiations. Now where do we go from here?

If J Street can learn anything from its years of existence, it is that you cannot simply assert a political position. You cannot promote “solutions” like that of two-states merely because you cannot entertain anything else. If there is no more connection between your political stands and the political facts on the ground, your stands have to change whether or not you want to “go there.” In the end, if J Street really wants to salvage something of worth from the rubble of the two-state solution, it must acknowledge what was apparent to everyone on April 1, 2014: Israel itself and no one else turned Israel/Palestine into one indivisible state.

Why am I writing this open letter to you-all of J Street, an oganization that would never allow people like me into its tent? Because a post-two-state-solution J Street could help bridge the gap between critical and liberal supporters of a just and lasting solution. Join with us, critical Israelis, Palestinians and others, in convening a meeting of minds on the one question remaining before us all: now that the two-state solution is gone, where are we headed? This is a question made urgent by the collapse of the Kerry initiative. It is of relevance not only to post-PA Palestinians who must now provide us with leadership, but of anyone concerned with securing a place for Israeli Jews in what will be a common country.

The new chapter opening before us will be infinitely more difficult and challenging than obtaining a two-state solution would have been, but so be it. Israel made its choice. This is the historical moment. Can we all rise to the occasion?

(Jeff Halper is the head of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD).

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