Tag Archives: West Bank

Israel: Apartheid Racism in Action

The Independent reports

Israel will open new “Palestinian bus routes” in the West Bank tomorrow after bowing to pressure from settlers who argue that sharing transportation is a  security risk.

Officially, the new lines, operated by the Afikim company, are designed to ease pressure on the transport network that carries people from the West Bank into central Israel, which many Palestinians with Israeli work permits use each day. However, the Transport Ministry in Jerusalem has been accused of promoting segregationist policies after advertisements for the new routes were produced only in Arabic and distributed only in Palestinian villages in the West Bank.

The ministry insists that all bus lines are open to anyone, but the launch has followed pressure from the late Ron Nachman, former Mayor of the settlement of Ariel, who argued that Palestinians should be stopped from boarding buses going to the settlements. The new buses will not enter Jewish settlements and instead will terminate at the Eyal checkpoint.

That’s racism.  That’s the policy of apartheid.  South Africa suffered boycott for it, it’s time Israel did as well.

A Brilliant Essay on the Pseudo-Archaeologists Pillaging the West Bank

Randall Price and his kind are rightly and roundly thoroughly excoriated in this brilliant piece which should be required reading in every institute of Archaeology.  It’s very long but worth every minute it will take to read it.

Just a tiny snippet-

Since 1967, the IDF has surveyed and excavated over 6,000 sites in the occupied West Bank, filling military warehouses with artifacts and refusing to publish any data. The curtain was lifted in 2007, when Israeli researchers successfully sued the IDF’s Staff Officer for Archaeology to report his unit’s activities and discoveries in the region. The artifacts remain hidden away, but this interactive map allows users to virtually explore each site, sorted by time period.

The map which follows in the essay is amazing.  But even more importantly, where is the IAA in all of this?

Israel Must Exit the West Bank

Ha’aretz reports this morning

United Nations human rights investigators on Thursday called on Israel to halt settlement expansion and withdraw all settlers from the West Bank, saying that its practices violated international law.  “Israel must, in compliance with article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, cease all settlement activities without preconditions. It must immediately initiate a process of withdrawal of all settlers from the OPT [occupied Palestinian territories],” said a report by the inquiry led by French judge Christine Chanet.  The settlements contravene the 1949 Geneva Conventions forbidding the transfer of civilian populations into occupied territory, which could amount to war crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court [ICC], it said.

Israel is not in compliance with an agreement which it itself signed.  Its government is violating international law and its West Bank settlers are behaving in criminal fashion.  It is ever more encroaching on land lived on by others for many many years and the most basic of all human rights- the right to live on ones own land in peace- is being violated by its expansionist policies:

map

The NRA is the American Equivalent of Israel’s West Bank Settlers

National_Rifle_Association

Or as Bradley Burston more prosaically puts it- The NRA is America’s curse. And the settlements are Israel’s NRA.

It’s very hard to disagree.

The NRA and the settlements movements divide us as few movements can; Both have come to believe that they should in no way be curbed. Both have come to believe that they cannot be stopped.

Nay- it is impossible to disagree. What a fine, fine essay. Enjoy it. Learn from it.

Bibi’s Unbounded Evil

Bibi Netanyahu has approved 3000 additional housing units in the Palestinian territories in response to the vote of the United Nations.  And he wonders why Israel is isolated.  It’s a no-brainer Bibi- the vast majority of the world’s population thinks you’re a prat and your policies are immoral.

Israel is to build 3,000 new settler homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank after the Palestinians won recognition as a non-member state at the United Nations, an Israeli official told AFP on Friday.

Asked if he could confirm a report that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had decided tp build the 3,000 units in response to the Palestinians success at the UN, he said: “It’s true — in (east) Jerusalem and the West Bank,” without saying exactly where.

The decision was revealed in a tweet by the diplomatic correspondent of Haaretz newspaper, who said some of the homes would be built in E1, a highly-contentious area of the West Bank which links annexed east Jerusalem with Maaleh Adumim settlement.

Bibi is a spoiled evil child who retaliates when he doesn’t get his way.  Israelis voting for him vote for hatred.

You Won’t Hear About this From American News Sources

Settler attacks [in the Occupied Palestinian Territories]  have been on the rise since the olive harvest started at the beginning of October. They have become so frequent they prompted a senior United Nations envoy to condemn them and call on Israel to bring those responsible to justice.

“I am alarmed at recent reports that Israeli settlers in the West Bank have repeatedly attacked Palestinian farmers and destroyed hundreds of their olive trees at the height of the harvest season,” said Robert Serry, UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process.

The Palestine Centre, a research organisation based in Washington DC, recorded a 39 per cent increase in settler violence from 2010, and a 315 per cent increase since 2007. These include physical attacks, harassment, vandalism, and trespass.

This year alone, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimated that settlers were guilty of vandalising more than 7,500 trees. And according to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, Israel has uprooted 1.2 million Palestinian olive trees since 1967.

Read the rest at Al-Jazeera, because you’re certain not to hear of it from American news outlets.  They have bigger fish to fry- Britney Spears may be going to rehab… again… again….

The Racists of the West Bank

Ha’aretz reports

Graffiti found on the scene read ‘death to the enemy, vengeance against Arabs,’ as well as ‘price tag Migron,’ referring to a West Bank Jewish settlement which is set to be evacuated in the coming days.

Naturally…

Anonymous suspects set fire to a car overnight Wednesday, and left racist messages on a wall in a Palestinian neighborhood close to the West Bank settlement Beit El. The vandals attempted to set a second car on fire as well.

Cowards always hide behind the shield of anonymity.  Why don’t they do it without masks in broad daylight so that everyone knows who these ‘courageous freedom lovers’ are?

Members of the Soboch family, residents of a neighborhood in the southern part of a village called Dura el-Kara, were awakened around 2:30 A.M., by the sound of a car alarm, and the smell of a burning car. The family discovered that Nur a-Din Soboch’s car was on fire. Palestinian firefighters only arrived on the scene a half hour later, as they needed permission from the Israel Defense Forces to enter territory marked “Area C.” While the firefighters were waiting for clearance, family members and neighbors attempted to put out the flames, before they reached the car’s gas tank.  Flammable materials were also found, extinguished, next to Hatam Soboch’s car. Both cars were parked next to the family’s home, which houses some 20 people – four brothers with wives and children, and the mother of the family, in her eighties.  A message was found sprayed on one of the walls of the family’s house, which read “death to the enemy, freedom for the homeland, price tag Migron, vengeance against Arabs, regards from those banished.” The word Migron was also found sprayed on both cars.

Injustice in the land where ‘justice is supposed to roll down like waters…’  Jeremiah could search the halls of the Knesset in Jerusalem today and he’d have as much difficulty finding an upright man as he did when he tried the first time.

Violent Israeli Settlers Are Terrorists

So says the US State Department.

The U.S. State Department has included violence by “extremist Israeli settlers” in its 2011 annual report on terrorism around the world.  The Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 lists several incidents including three arson attacks against mosques in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and the defacing of Muslim graves in Jerusalem’s Mamilla Cemetry with Hebrew “price tag” graffiti.  The report also refers to an attack by Israeli settlers on IDF soldiers and an IDF military base in the West Bank, noting that it “sparked a public debate in Israel on the phenomena of settler violence”. Such “price tag” incidents are violent acts committed by extremist Israeli settlers in retribution for Israeli government and army actions that they perceive to be anti-settler.  A total of ten mosques were “vandalized or set on fire in attacks that Israeli authorities believed were perpetrated by settlers” in the West Bank and Jerusalem in 2011, according to the report. This has increased from six in 2010 and one in 2009.  The inclusion of settler attacks in the report comes after a Palestinian taxi was attacked with a Molotov cocktail last Thursday, injuring six Palestinians, including two four-year-old children. At the time, the US State Department condemned the incident in the “strongest possible terms”, and urged the Israeli government to take action to bring the perpetrators, who are widely thought to have been settlers, to justice.

A justifiable listing indeed and long overdue.

In Just One Month There Were 50 Attacks By Israelis Against Palestinians

It’s time to open our eyes and realize the ugly truth that there are Israeli terrorists terrorizing Palestinians. These terrorists are called ‘Settlers’.

There were more than 50 reports of Israelis assaulting Palestinians in the West Bank last month. In the start of a regular series, Haaretz details one particularly violent attack.

Specifically

There is still a bruise under Ibrahim Bani Jaber’s left eye. The blows his brother Jawdat received to his right ear didn’t leave any marks, but they still make his head feel heavy. During our meeting at their home in the West Bank village of Akraba last week, they did not spend much time describing the fear and pain they felt when they were attacked. Instead, they spoke about the family’s sheep, that they had rushed to try and save that day, July 7, when they heard that settlers were attacking them.

The violent confrontation – between settlers from Itamar and Giva 777, and Palestinian residents of Akraba – was the worst such incident last month. But it was, nevertheless, merely part of the daily routine of assaults, attacks and incursions. It is only on rare occasions that these incidents become news. In most cases, if there is an investigation there is no indictment.

In other words, the government of Israel is ignoring the brutal attacks on Palestinians perpetrated by land grabbing settlers.  In the West Bank, Israelis aren’t victims of violence, they’re the perpetrators of violence, and the world needs to know it.  I’m glad Ha’aretz has the courage to report what’s going on there.

Be sure to visit the links below – they detail even more Israeli violence.

The Government of Netanyahu is Evil: The Intention to Displace More Palestinians on a Pretence

The Civil Administration is calling for the demolition of a Palestinian village in the southern West Bank, partly because it is built on an archaeological site.  The call for demolition comes despite the fact that Israeli authorities have approved the construction of Jewish settlements on much more important archaeological sites, such as the settlement at Tel Rumeida in Hebron and the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem.

Did you pay attention to that last sentence?  It says an encyclopedia’s worth and it proves that the government of Bibi is evil, biased, wicked, corrupt, and perverse.

In the past year, the High Court of Justice has been asked to rule on the state’s intentions to demolish at least 12 villages south of Hebron (Susia, Dekaika, Bir al-Id, Saala and eight villages that have been declared part of army firing zone No. 918) located in Area C, which is under Israeli control, and force their residents to move to Areas A and B, which are under Palestinian civil control. Next week it will also rule on the fate of Zanuta, a village that lies on the border of the West Bank.

Lebensraum on pretense.  Landgrabbing wickedness…

Residents of Zanuta, who filed a joint petition to the High Court of Justice with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel are requesting that the Civil Administration complete a detailed construction plan for them. If the planning of their village were regularized, the demolition orders issued by the Civil Administration against their improvised structures would be reversed, and construction would be permitted in accordance with the natural growth of the population and their needs. The Civil Administration is refusing to comply with the request, and is instead demanding that the residents move to the town of Dahariya.

Palestinians don’t matter to the government of Israel under the lordship of the Bib’s (or as he should be known, Ba’al Zebub).

Israel Too Suffers the Tyranny of the Minority

How did it happen that Israel is endangering the solid Jewish majority that lives in 78 percent of the area of the Land of Israel, because it wants to annex another 3 percent in the West Bank?

Isn’t that a great question? The same could be asked in America, where a tiny fragment of a minority now sets the agenda for the majority in regards to the institution of marriage. The essay observes

For years, Israelis have ranked low in the sciences and mathematics – 41 out of 64 countries, according to the Program for International Student Assessment tests. That is not surprising when one examines the conduct of the state with respect to teaching these subjects, especially in the past decade. Following are a few simple mathematical problems whose answers could have gotten more than half the country out in the streets demonstrating if we had only studied the way we should have in elementary school.

For example, how is it possible that 92 percent of the population is not capable of making the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox ) sector – whose proportion in the general population does not exceed 8 percent – share the burden of military service and take part in the work force, while allowing it to continue to be supported by generous funding? And when it comes to residing over the Green Line, why is the Haredi population there, which for the most part is not Zionist, five times larger than it is in proportion to the greater Jewish public living in Israel proper? Where do the Israelis who live in the territories work if fewer than 7 percent of the construction in Judea and Samaria is used for purposes of agriculture and industry, while all the rest is for residential and public buildings?

Why does 91 percent of the Jewish public inside Israel allow the 9 percent that live beyond the Green Line to determine the image, face and moral status of the country in the eyes of the international community? And how does that fit in with the ongoing infringement of the rule of law, and the undermining of the Israel Defense Forces and of human rights? Why does the majority agree that many billions of shekels be channeled to the welfare state over the Green Line when others living in the country are not allowed to enjoy the same benefits?

God only knows. The tyranny of the minority is the largest problem facing true democracy.

More ‘Settler’ (They’re Really Land Pirates) Misconduct

Israeli settlers land pirates claim that they bought land from a Palestinian man and so have the right to live on his property.  But there’s a problem.  That Palestinian has been dead for a year.

Residents of the condemned West Bank outpost of Migron have appealed the High Court to stay the demolition of the settlement’s illegal structures on Tuesday, claiming that they had recently purchased the land on which the homes were built.  However, a preliminary inspection of the purported sale reveals that the Palestinian whom the settlers claim sold them the land passed away in 2011, one year before the alleged transaction.  Citing what they said was their desire to keep the identity of the seller unknown, the 17 appellants, represented by Ze’ev Scharf, asked the High Court to submit the sale’s documentation in a sealed envelope.

According to the appeal, the acquisition was conducted by the al-Watan development firm, which is owned by the Mateh Binyamin Development Company, who, in return, is owned by the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council in the West Bank.  Al-Watan officials have claimed to have bought Miron’s lands in the past. However, a police investigation at the time revealed that the purchase was false, interrogating the firm’s heads. The case was closed due to a lack of evidence.

The appellants claim ownership over Miron’s lot 2 of block 7, as well as of lot 10 of block 26, who they said they purchased from “the registered owner in March 20, 2012.”  The owner of these lots is Yousif Musa ‘abdel Razek el-Nabut, who was part of the original 2006 High Court appeal against the outpost. However, Nabut died in 2011, making it impossible to sell his lands in March 2012. Ownership of the land has been passed on to his sons.

In addition, the appellants claim that they had purchased a part of lot 23 of block 26, which settlers claimed in back in 2004 to have purchased from Aber el-Ma’atan, who they said resides in the United States.  However, el-Ma’atan passed away in 1969, prompting the police to determine at the time that his signature on 2004 acquisition papers was forged.

Yes, there you have it.  Land pirates.  Thieves.

The Exodus: of Palestinian Christians

Israel Today describes the painful fate of Palestinian Christians and the unjust treatment they’re receiving at the hands of the Israeli government (because it is ultimately in control of the Palestinian territories) and their Muslim neighbors.

Home to one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, the city of Beit Jala — located on a hill adjacent to Bethlehem — still boasts a large number of worshippers. This fact makes the town unique among Palestinian towns, which have generally seen their Christian populations decline.

“People are leaving Palestine [sic] in droves. Jenin, Aboud, Nablus — these cities have lost much of their Christian population, some villages and towns have no more than two to three families,” said Peter, a 25-year-old resident of Bethlehem who agreed to be interviewed for this article on condition that his real name not be used.

Statistics show that more than 60 percent of the Arab Christians born in Palestinian areas over the past several generations now live abroad. Totaling some half a million people worldwide, 360,000 of them currently reside in dispersed communities in Canada, Chile, the United States, Germany, Australia and other countries. 154,000 remain in Israel and the Palestinian-controlled territories, with about 35,000 living in the West Bank and less than 3,000 in the Gaza Strip.

And moreover

As experts look for different ways to explain the phenomenon, Peter has his own answer: “We enjoy religious freedom but I still feel like a second-class citizen,” he told Israel Today. “We are allowed to pray in churches and are given religious holidays but I’m constantly reminded of being a minority in a Muslim land,” he continued, referring to instances of discrimination against Christians.

“Christian women are very often harassed, insulted, or simply not given due respect only because they refuse to cover their hair,” he pointed out. “Muslims will not think twice to express their dissatisfaction with a Christian listening to religious recitations in his cab. Had Christians dared to do the same, massive wrath would surely follow,” Peter told us.

According to Peter, the problems for West Bank Christians started in 1993, the year the area was handed over from Israel to the Palestinian Authority. With the eruption of the Second Intifada in 2000, the situation deteriorated even further.

Most distressingly

But even after the uprising was over, Christians have reported numerous cases of illegal seizure of their property by Muslims from Hebron and other parts of the West Bank. Khaled Abu Toameh, a prominent Arab writer for the Jerusalem Post, reported in his article from June 2012 that the property-related complaints of West Bank Christians — filed with the Palestinian Authority, the Vatican, and European leaders — have fallen on deaf ears.

I suppose if there were Jews in New York whose property was being seized and they were being driven from their homes by Arabs the entire world would have heard about it.  Loudly.   But since it’s ‘just’ Christians who happen to be neither Jews nor Europeans, who cares, right?

What incredible injustice and inequity is practiced in the ‘Holy’ land.  It’s thoroughly disgusting.

Israel’s Unquenchable Quest for Lebensraum

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has announced plans to build hundreds more settler homes on Palestinian land, even after the Israeli parliament rejected a bill to retroactively legalise existing homes.  Netanyahu had called for members of the Knesset to reject the bill, voted down on Wednesday by 69 votes to 22, on the grounds that it could have prompted an international backlash against the settler movement.  But he said later that he would not allow people to “use the legal system to harm the settlement movement,” and announced plans to add 300 new homes to Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah.  “Beit El will be expanded. The 30 families will remain in Beit El, and 300 new families will join them,” Netanyahu said in remarks broadcast on public radio.

Meanwhile, the chirping of crickets from America’s spineless politicians in Washington.  Absolutely despicable.  Absolutely disgusting.  If such a thing were happening anywhere else in the world the US would be up in arms, but since it’s Israel robbing land and planting aliens the government snivellers and toadies of John Hagee and Bibi Netanyahu who occupy DC are emasculated into the coward’s silence.

Shame of you Mr Obama.  Shame on you, Congress.  You all deserve nothing but the contempt of the world and of the American public, and I assure you, you have mine.

Israeli Settlers Shoot at Palestinians

The Israeli human rights group B’tselem has released a video showing Israeli settlers shooting at Palestinians in the West Bank.  Residents of Yitzhar and the residents of the El Kabalia hurled rocks at each other during Saturday’s violent confrontation, which resulted in residents using live ammunition.

Watch the video here.   I suppose it’s just too much to expect people to act sensibly.  Nah, you’re right.  When there’s a disagreement, just whip out your gun and open fire.  It makes everything all better…  And don’t worry- if you’re an Israeli settler camping on someone else’s land the police and army will just stand by and watch.

Israel’s Monstrous Policy

Israel is planning to revive a controversial form of collective punishment by razing the family homes of two Palestinians convicted of murdering Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

To be sure, punish murderers. I’m all for that. What I object to, and every Christian must, is the monstrous policy of razing the homes of the guilty- thus punishing entire families for the act of one. This is immorality and barbarity.

Ehud Barak, Israel’s increasingly hawkish defence minister, approved an intelligence recommendation to demolish the houses of Hakim and Ajmad Awad, two cousins from the Palestinian village of Awarta. The decision, the first of its kind in nearly seven years, will render the wives and children of both men homeless.

Vile cowardice.  I hope and pray that this government is tossed from office in the next elections.

World Press Freedom Day… Except Where There Isn’t Freedom

Today is World Press Freedom Day.  A day that won’t be observed in the countries exhibiting the most egregious violations of freedom- Iran, North Korea, and of course Syria.

And in Palestine, protests are underway demanding freedom for the Palestinians and not just freedom for the press.

Israel and its defenders often boast that it is the “only democracy in the Middle East,” where people can openly express opposition to government policies. However, when comparing a protest in Tel Aviv for “social justice” with one in the West Bank for Palestinian rights, it becomes clear that the freedom to demonstrate and the means used to disperse them depend on where you are and who you are. This illustration is the third in a series of infographics on the effect of the occupation on the Palestinian civilian population.

Here’s the eye opener (click to enlarge) :

It’s easy to see who is treated with kid gloves and who with an iron fist.  Freedom for the Palestinians will never be a reality until they have their own State.  It’s time.  Or will the government of Netanyahu be allowed to forever oppress the Palestinians in just the same way that the governments of Syria, North Korea, and Iran oppress their dissidents?

Israel Attempted to Stop the CBS Report on Palestinian Christians

Censorship: it’s not just the tool of the tyrant- evidently ‘democratic’ countries like it too, when it suits them.

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren not only called the head of CBS news in an attempt to quash a report on the displacement of Palestinian Christians by the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, but he briefed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of the far right wing Likud Party on his attempt.

So, continues the report

Here are the top ten reasons Israel’s Likud Party would have wanted to censor American television news on this occasion (and of course we don’t know all the occasions they have successfully done so):

1. The report told Americans that there are Palestinian Christians. Right wing Israelis have attempted to displace, expropriate and erase the Palestinian nation, and to convince Americans that Palestinians don’t exist or if they do are enemies of the U.S. When the foe of the US was the Soviet Union, they made the Palestinians Communists. When the foe became al-Qaeda, they made the Palestinians violent fundamentalists. But if some percentage of Palestinians is Christians, then that fact disrupts the propaganda. In fact, millions of Palestinians are descended from the 700,000 or so Palestinians ethnically cleansed by the Israelis from what is now Israel in 1948, of whom about 10 percent were Christian.

And

6. The report allowed a prominent Palestinian businessman and Coca Cola distributor to say that he knew of no Palestinian Christians who were leaving the West Bank and Jerusalem because of Muslims but that rather they were leaving because of Israeli oppression.

And

7. It allowed the Palestinians to point out that the West Bank now looks like Swiss cheese, with Israeli colonies grabbing the good land and water, and the stateless Palestinians pushed into the holes.

And

9. The report quotes an Israeli scholar who puts “Political Judaism” on par with “Political Islam.” It is a key principle of Likud propaganda that no movement in Israel may ever be compared to movements in the Muslim world.

Read all 10. The truth is a fearsome thing to ideologues, and it must be squelched if the tyrant is to retain control. With thanks to Irene Hahn for mentioning the report on FB.

‘But We Need More Lebensraum!’

Bibi’s thirst for Palestinian property knows no satisfaction.

The Housing Ministry published tenders on Sunday for 1,028 homes to be built in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, part of a plan to build 6,000 housing units throughout Israel.  According to a statement by the ministry, 500 homes will be built in Har Homa in south Jerusalem, on land occupied during the 1967 Six Day War; 348 in the West Bank settlement of Betar Illit; and 180 in Givat Ze’ev, which lies between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Perhaps Bibi (and the rest who support this) need to read Isaiah 5-

For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry. Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no room, and ye be made to dwell alone in the midst of the land! In mine ears saith the LORD of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant. For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and a homer of seed shall yield but an ephah.

Bibi’s lust will be his destruction. And there’s no doubt at all that were Isaiah alive, he would excoriate the present government of Israel for its oppression and violence.

Only the Morally Corrupt Pull the Trigger When a Clear Target Isn’t In Sight

The IDF has launched an investigation into the circumstances which led to the death of Mustafa Tamimi,28, of Nabi Saleh during a demonstration against the takeover of his village’s lands by the nearby settlement of Halamish, in the West Bank.  Haaretz reports:

Figures in the army’s Central Command said the soldier claimed he “didn’t see” Tamimi.

But even if that is true, the IDF’s rules of engagement prohibit the firing of tear gas grenades from a rifle pointed directly at demonstrators or from a distance of less than 40 meters away. They also stipulate that the shooter must use the rifle sight and verify that no one is in the line of fire.  The army also claimed that Tamimi was throwing stones at the soldiers. From the pictures taken at the scene [at the link](above) it’s clear that the protesters posed no danger to those seating in the bullet-proof Jeep.

This has to stop one day.  How about today?