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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Obama-inspired, insane (but comprehensive) settlement rant

To start off-

Pictures:
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/06/israeli_settlements_in_the_wes.html

Question: The Palestinian who builds a canal on his own land gets arrested. Where do illegal settlers in settlements, outposts and demolished outposts go??

This conflict is replete with double standards. Where are the investigative journalists? Exposing these and who's perpetuating them could get you a nice journalistic prize..or sent to Guantanamo. Let's face it. If Israel's going to make us go to war with Iran, we can't very well close it, can we?

***

U.S., Israel inch closer to deal on settlement freeze
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1103115.html

“The two are reportedly close to a deal in which Washington would allow a limited number of projects in advanced stages of construction to be completed, but Israel would freeze all other building for an as-yet undetermined period of time.”

They also want to be rewarded with normalization of relations with Arab states if they dismantle illegal outposts. (???)

This is like if I hadn’t paid my taxes in a few years (or decades) and I decided to pay them… at the prodding/threatening of authorities. Jail doesn’t even enter into the discussion- on the contrary- I should be compensated for my extraordinary generosity. I have made great concessions, after all. Totally absurd, right?!

Settlements are illegal. Period. The article said the US is trying to “bridge the gap”?? That can only mean we are going to let them get away with breaking the law. And we thought Obama was different. I might be joining you non-voters in 2012! He’s bending on settlements. He’s letting Israel influence him on Iran, from the people he’s talking to and direction the policy is taking. If we attack Iran preemptively, he might as well be another Bush.

It's laughable that Israel is even attempting to justify *natural growth*+ (and we’re thinking about buying it!) while it denies building permits to Arab Israelis who want to build and demolishes their homes when they build in spite of these racist policies. Note that the Palestinians are Israeli citizens and actually DO own the land they want to build for the same reason Israel is arguing- natural growth.
*=http://www.peacenow.org/policy.asp?rid=&cid=6329 "Top 5 Bogus Excuses for Opposing a Settlement Freeze"
+="normal life" is the favored term of late because it is less controversial and is more all-inclusive. See http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1246443842941&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
***

Palestinians reject any Israel-U.S. settlement deal
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE56B0F520090712
Yeah?! As well they shouldn’t! A “deal” implies that Israel gets away with breaking the law. Continuing to break the law, that is.
***

US and Israel strike settlement deal: report
http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/07/08/78170.html

Apparently, this is the US and Israel finding common ground:
“Israel has won an agreement from the United States for the continued construction of 2,500 housing units in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, an Israeli newspaper reported on Wednesday, despite U.S. calls for a settlement freeze.”

***

Here’s a little more on Israeli denial of Palestinian natural growth:

The Israel – Palestine Problem: The perspective of a New Zealand Muslim
http://www.aen.org.nz/journal/1/1/rahman.html

Home Demolition and Land Confiscation
http://www.miftah.org/Display.cfm?DocId=81&CategoryId=4
***

Israeli-US settlement freeze talks hit a dead end
http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/07/01/77531.html

Besides the allowing Israeli natural growth and saying nothing about denying Palestinian natural growth, there’s the part where a good part of this so-called natural growth is in fact immigration, not natural growth.

“Ophran added Israel's claims of "natural growth" are bogus given that 40 percent of the settler increase is due to immigration to settlements either from within Israel or abroad.

"Natural growth in the settlements is not simply a matter of births from within but includes continuous flow of immigrants," Ophran explained.

Settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem have continued to expand at a rate higher than the population growth inside Israel. Some 180,000 additional Jews have been permitted to settle inside Israel’s Arab sector in East Jerusalem.”


Here’s a chicken and egg question, I guess. Are illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories growing more because of receiving more money or are they receiving more money because they are growing faster than the Israeli population in Israel?

Study: Settlements get more state fundingLink than Israeli cities
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1101829.html

Study: Heavily Subsidized Settlements Skew Israeli Policies
Settlements Get More Funding than Cities, Study Shows
http://news.antiwar.com/2009/07/21/study-heavily-subsidized-settlements-skew-israeli-policies/

And the next question would be...since we give Israel so much money, are we contributing to the violation of the 4th Geneva Convention. Bush said we didn't have to worry about that, though, so we're cool. This article doesn't really talk about government spending, but it does talk about unsuspecting Americans "contributing" to this "cause".

Report: US dollars funding Israeli settlements
http://www.prisonplanet.com/report-us-dollars-funding-israeli-settlements.html


This may explain the growth:

Beautiful Two-Bedroom on One Disputed Acre: How much does an Israeli-settlement home cost?
http://www.slate.com/id/2220531/

About half as much. How’s that for incentive? The money the Israel government is spending on making these homes so attractively priced should be going toward compensation for Palestinians.


If there were one binational secular democratic state, most of these final status, hot button issues would be solved. Settlements, human rights, water rights (maybe), refugees, borders, security, Jerusalem, access to holy sites.

Would there be apartheid? Maybe. Civil war? Only if it was forced on them and the people didn’t choose it themselves.

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