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Archive for August 5th, 2014

And Israel Likud party Charter Calls for? Destruction of Any Palestinian State?

The Likud Charter Calls for Destruction of Any Palestinian State

Jonathan Weiler posted this Aug. 4, 2014

Since virtually every comment on Hamas in American media includes the assertion that the group’s Charter rejects Israel’s right to exist, it’s worth noting the following from the Likud Platform of 1999:

a. “The Jordan River will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.” (Israel occupies the land east of the Jordan River and has settlements there. It occupies all of Palestine, the Syrian Golan Heights and land in Lebanon)

b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel.
The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem” (Against the successive UN declarations to the contrary)

c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.” (And has been flaunting all negotiations to that effect)

d. “The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting. (There are no Jewish communities in Gaza)

There have been some updates to the platform more recently, reflecting Israel’s withdrawal of settlements from Gaza in 2005.

But the Likud Party has *never* in its statements of principles, accepted a Palestinian State. Its electoral partner, Yisrael Beitenu, has likewise categorically rejected the possibility of an independent Palestinian State, insisting that the idea is nothing more than a ploy to facilitate the destruction of Israel.

The Hamas charter rejects Israel as a sovereign political entity. (Mind you that the UN partitioned Palestine in 1947 and gave the minority Jews more than 57% of the land)

But on the central question of one side denying the other’s legitimacy — it’s hard to ignore the symmetry between Likud – the party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – and Hamas. (With the understanding that Hamas is not in the Palestinian government, like the Likud)

Some defenders of Israel become indignant at the mention of these realities as scurrilous and spurious because the Likud platform quoted above is just an “old” statement of principles not reflective of the Party’s actions in power.

But by that logic, the Hamas Charter, written over 25 years ago, cannot be said to be the sole controlling document of that organization, since much more recent statements and actions by its leadership have, at least some times, included an expressed willingness to pursue a long-term agreement with Israel.

Furthermore, Hamas also agreed to join the Palestinian Authority in a unity government that accepts all previous PA agreements with Israel.

Too much political discussion in the United States about Israel/Palestine proceeds from the premise that Palestinians have no other interest than to destroy Israel and drive the Jews into the sea.

Therefore, Israel claims that it has no viable negotiating partner for peace. The political reality on the ground does not conform to such a simple-minded tale of good vs. evil.

Israeli hardliners in power have repeatedly rejected any basis for a viable Palestinian state.

Indeed, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s qualified statement in support of a two-state solution in 2009 – which his American apologists repeatedly invoke to demonstrate his “moderate” bona fides – was characterized by a member of his own cabinet as “the spin of our lives.”

In fact. Likud leaders have said unequivocally that no two-state deal is possible. And just three weeks ago, speaking at a press conference, Netanyahu said:

“I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.”

As David Horovitz wrote in The Times of Israel:

“He wasn’t saying that he doesn’t support a two-state solution. He was saying that it’s impossible. This was not a new, dramatic change of stance by the prime minister. It was a new, dramatic exposition of his long-held stance.”

In other words, no independent Palestinian state. Period. Ever.

Arab leaders are accused *all the time* of making one set of (conciliatory) statements in front of some audiences in English, while revealing their (true) rejectionist feelings in front of others, in Arabic.

To the extent that this is true, one could certainly say the same about Netanyahu – relatively conciliatory and reasonable-sounding statements for international audiences.

And altogether different rhetoric for internal consumption. Bibi is, after all, a master – like many politicians – at speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

Since Palestine does not exist as a recognized independent state, there is no need for Israel’s rejectionists to call for Palestine’s “destruction.” (Though programs of annihilating the Palestinians and their identity has been practiced since 1948)

But the consistent avowals of Israeli leaders – and the plain language of the party platforms that express their parties’ core beliefs – to prevent such a state from coming into being is not substantively different from the expressed desire of the Hamas Charter to reject Israel’s existence.

The beginnings of a more fair and balanced appreciation of the conflict would start with that acknowledgment.

Jonathan Weiler

A rerun of the Nakba in 1948?

Hello? Is this Israel calling?

If Israel calls to tell me they will bomb my house, what should I take with me as I run for my life?

She got married two years ago to a very nice guy, and as any newlywed couple, they did not have their own house, so they lived with his family.

Both of them worked really hard to save up for a house. I remember how excited she was about her new home. She used to tell me about every little detail: the tiles, the furniture, the colors, the walls.

I used to tell her that it is just a home, not a castle, but her answer would always be “But it is not any home, it is my home. In this home I will write the story of my life with my husband and children.

After two years, the house was ready for them to move in. She was the happiest person in the whole world; her voice changed, her face did too. She was ready to start her life in the new home.

This happened two weeks before Israel preemptive war on Gaza. When the Israelis started bombing us, the couple left their home for a safer place. During the last ceasefire she went back only to find out that her house was levelled to the ground. “The only thing that survived was my son’s toy,” she said in a broken voice.

Over 200,000 Palestinians have been displaced in Gaza since the start of the Israeli assault [Reuters]
They say that a person’s life passes in front of his eyes when he is about to die. It was different for me. My whole life passed in front of my eyes while I was standing in front of a ringing phone. Is it the call? Is it our turn? Since the start of the Israeli offensive, anyone in Gaza at any time can receive a call from the Israelis telling them that they must leave their house because it will be bombed in less than five minutes. That is, if they are lucky! Those who are not lucky do not receive a warning and get killed.

Seconds turned into years.

I gathered every bit of strength I had in my body and picked up the phone.

It was my aunt from outside Gaza checking on us after she heard that a location near our home was bombed. It is funny the amount of knowledge our beloved ones outside Gaza have.

They’ve put their lives on hold to follow the war on TV and the internet. They know the names of streets, of buildings, of martyrs.

“Was it that close?” she asked me.

“No,” I answered.

“But you sound as if you have seen a ghost?”

“It is ok, aunt. It is just that a bad thought passed through my mind before I picked up the phone.”

I sat by myself and started thinking seriously: What if it really happens? How would I react? What should I do? Unconsciously, I started breathing heavily, with anxiety.

The first person who came to my mind was my mom. How could she, an old, overweight woman, suffering from heart and blood pressure problems, run down from the 4th floor and reach the street in time?

My thoughts wandered further. What should I take with me?

Of course my certificates, passport and ID. While I was getting my certificates out of the drawer, I saw my university bachelor’s degree certificate. I still remember how proud I was when I got home that day holding my certificate. I studied for years in order to get it.

I looked around and  saw a portrait of me hanging on the wall. It was given to me by my students who gave me a wonderful surprise party for my birthday. I remember promising them that this portrait will hang in my room and it will never go down.

Should I take those letters and pictures or should I leave them to be buried under a house that history will forget?

Shujayea: Massacre at Dawn

Hours passed and I was moving from one memory to another. Which item should I take, or in other words, which memory in this house is more important than the other? Which part of ziad, of my soul, should I take?

A sentence that I heard the day before hit me. I was watching footage from the massacre in Al Shujayea. Some 60,000 people left their houses and ran for their lives. While people were running in the street, a man said: “It is the same as the Nakba in 1948.”

It has been the fate of Palestinians in the past 66 years to evacuate their homes constantly, leaving behind their property, their land, their history.

Will Shujayea people ever be able to go back to their homes? Or will they be left with only memories of what they called home?

I talked once to a woman who still had the key to the house she left during the Nakba. I was thinking to myself, “Is she serious? Does she think that even if she were to return, she would be able to open the front door with the same key?”

I did not know back then that the key was all she had to remember her house by; it was the soul of a home lost

They say that a person’s life passes in front of his eyes when he is about to die. It was different for me. My whole life passed in front of my eyes while I was standing in front of a ringing phone. Is it the call? Is it our turn? 

Since the start of the Israeli offensive, anyone in Gaza at any time can receive a call from the Israelis telling them that they must leave their house because it will be bombed in less than five minutes.

That is, if they are lucky! Those who are not lucky do not receive a warning and get killed.

Now, it is my turn to decide which item would be my “key” to keep for years as a memento of what I called home.

They say that when you are running from Israeli bombs, you are in panic and you only think of your own safety.

What if this happens to me, what if while running out, I see one of our neighbours’ children, who play all the time in the hall between our apartments, lying on the ground and in need of help? Will I be so afraid that I will leave these angels behind?

I was overwhelmed by all these thoughts. I got dizzy. It could have been the Ramadan fast. Muslims wait for Ramadan from one year to the next to do their best to be closer to God, to visit each other and to help the needy ones.

Our Ramadan passed under shelling and bombing, and in constant prayer that we and our loved ones be safe.

I was so overwhelmed by everything that was going on in my head that I forgot the main reason behind these terrible thoughts, the main reason that made me think that the phone call might be “the one”. It was the sad story I had just heard about my friend.

INTERACTIVE: Gaza Under Attack

What hurts me the most is that Gaza’s story is always told in terms of numbers: “50 people died, 100 buildings were destroyed”.

These people had names, stories, dreams, families, ambitions, futures and most importantly – history. These buildings were people’s homes, they were places of safety and security, of hard work and relaxation, of memories and family histories.

Will we live to see the day when the sanctity of Palestinian homes and lives is respected?

Ziad Bakri is a Palestinian living in the Gaza Strip. He is a translator, blogger and teacher. He blogs at: ziadbgaza.blogspot.com/

Note: It is a rerun of Nakba of 1948. Israel means to retain this swath of land in Gaza and violently vacated the people from their homes and land under the eyes of the international community

 

Israel Grants First Golan Heights Oil Drilling License To Dick Cheney-Linked Company

Israel has granted a U.S. company the first license to explore for oil and gas in the occupied Golan Heights, John Reed of the Financial Times reports.

A local subsidiary of the New York-listed company Genie Energy — which is advised by former vice president Dick Cheney and whose shareholders include Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdochwill now have exclusive rights to a 153-square mile radius in the southern part of the Golan Heights.

That geographic location will likely prove controversial.

Israel seized the Golan Heights in the Six-Day War in 1967 and annexed the territory in 1981. Its administration of the area — which is not recognized by international law — has been mostly peaceful until the Syrian civil war broke out 23 months ago.

“This action is mostly political – it’s an attempt to deepen Israeli commitment to the occupied Golan Heights,” Israeli political analyst Yaron Ezrahi told FT. “The timing is directly related to the fact that the Syrian government is dealing with violence and chaos and is not free to deal with this problem.”

golan heightsWikimedia Commons There are about 20,000 Israeli settlers in the Golan Heights.

Earlier this month we reported that Israel is considering creating a buffer zone reaching up to 10 miles from Golan into Syria to secure the 47-mile border against the threat of Islamic radicals in the area.

The move would overtake the UN Disengagement Observer Force Zone that was established in 1973 to end the Yom Kippur War and to provide a buffer zone between the two countries.

Reed notes that recent natural gas finds off Israel’s coast in the Mediterranean have made the country’s offshore gas reserve one of the largest of its kind in the world, meaning Israel may become a significant energy exporter in its region.

 Note: Israel has been exporting wines exploited in the Heights that are under economic sanctions as well as exploiting the water rich Heights and selling it to the Palestinians

adonis49

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adonis49

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