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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Latest embarassment for US on Israeli settlements

Highlights from this episode from 3/12/10:

Holmes condemns Israel for lining the fate of 1.5 million Gazans with the fate of Gilad Shalit.

City of Nations- The Western Har Homa settlement will be expanded by 50,000 units, the goal being to separate Bethlehem adn Beit Sahour from East Jerusalem which would separate Jerusalem from the West Bank.

The Jerusalem municipality wouldn't comment (surprise!), but they sent a letter saying City of Nations has bad info. They say the 50,000 units are allocated one third for Arabs and two thirds for Jews according to population. The City of Nations responded that Arab building in this case (as in any other) is obstructed by the Israeli Interior Ministry headed by the right wing Shas Party. The Jewish ones apparently aren't having any such problems.

Likud Knesset Minister Danny Danon – “no one- not the Americans and not the Palestinians can dictate to Israel whether it can build in its sovereign capital.” Construction will continue unabated.

Israel is the only one who thinks that E. Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza are part of Israel.

Danon says timing, not the issue was the cause of embarrassment during Biden’s visit (???)
Are you kidding? So, it would have been no big deal if Biden wasn’t visiting? We would still have the same position, would we not? Granted, we have softened that tough stance quite a bit, allowing them to do what they want in Jerusalem even though part of it is indeed Occupied Territory and as such is as much a problem to build on as the West Bank and Gaza. Biden present or not- they are still obstructing the peace process!

Another response to why build even though he’s endangering the peace process and alienating Obama, the EU, etc is that Netanyahu was pressured not to build Har Homa and it is thriving today. That’s the way this settlement will be in a few years. They know about the obstacle they create, but don’t care because there are no consequences. City councilman Yair Gabai said that the international community will have to come to terms with the fact that Jewish people will not give up on Jerusalem.

Who is going to push whom into the sea?? Given the construction and permit problems Arabs face in Israel and the ease and speed with which settlement projects are popping up, despite cries of violation of international law. would lead one to believe that Israel was trying to ethnically cleanse the area, rather than the other way around.

He’s a guest on the program, so there are more gems for sure…

*** *** ***

Biden scolds Israel over settlement plan

Now there’s a headline. Satisfying at first. Then you realize this has happened how many times before and to what effect? We should be boycotting them for their actions in Gaza, ethnic cleansing and other violations of law. Instead we humbly accept their insincere apology (if they give one at all) and act as though it never happened. We praise them at every opportunity, speak at AIPAC functions, our Congress gets elected indirectly by settler groups, call them men of peace and never ever dare accuse them of not being a partner for peace, not even when their actions justify it.

*** *** ***

Netanyahu Apologizes As Biden Leaves Israel Amid Doubts on Talks

If they’ve done nothing wrong, why apologize?

Netanyahu says he will try to avoid this in the future. He means, of course, the timing, not the illegal building on Occupied Territory.

Mr. Biden asserted the U.S.'s right to give Israel constructive criticism on its policy. "Sometimes only a friend can deliver the hardest truth," he said.

Yes, but what are they doing with that truth? They are laughing (and spitting) in our faces and continuing to act outside of the law. They are still murdering and stealing and committing massive violations of human rights and international law. What are we going to DO about that? Keep smiling and nodding like we have no idea what's going on? When other nations consistently do this sort of thing, we sanction; we don’t continue to politely inform and advise while they ignore the problem, obstruct peace, and run us over.

*** *** ***

EU's Ashton chides Israel over Jerusalem settler plan

"The EU position on settlements is clear. Settlements are illegal, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two state-solution impossible."

The EU seems to be one of the few delivering a message to Israel. They actually visit a variety of countries in a Middle East visit. The US checks in with Israel to see how and what we are supposed to think about what other leaders will tell us- if we even visit any other Middle Eastern countries. We sometimes suggest or criticize, but quickly backtrack and let them know that whatever they want to do is fine and they will have our full support no matter what. Some message. No wonder they take us so seriously.

If we aligned ourselves with the EU instead of Israel, one of the involved parties, maybe we could actually solve problems and help the situation.

Obama uses different language on the Israel Palestine issue, but the effect and actual policy are the same. I mean, I actually get the idea that the administration may understand that Israel is doing something that isn't in the interest of peace, but the effect is the same as with Bush- Israel can do whatever it wants with absolutely no consequences and often with our (at times tacit) approval. There has been no policy shift. When I see efforts of the sort used with apartheid South Africa, then I will see that "change I can believe in."

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