Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Israeli “settlements”

Tidbits and Notes. Part 273

L’elegance de la misere? Une chambre, une natte a meme le sol, des clous aux murs pour attacher des vetements, un seau d’eau pres de la porte et un balai… Les liceens qui habite ces taudis payent pour la seule lampe electrique

Nous ne sommes pas des personages, ou des characteres… nous sommes des histoires. Un paysage, une certaine lumiere, un crepuscule, un aube, une rencontre, un au revoire, un entretient, un malentendu, un moment d’amour fou… On se reconnait dans une de ses histoires qui nous decrit.

All the Israeli settlements, paid for by the USA taxpayers, would ultimately shelter the returning Palestinians to their home land, once Israel foolishly undertake another pre-emptive war.

Something has to give in Venezuela: the people will decide who is the constitutional President and the other one will be judged as traitor and executed

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Thus, do you due diligence to shorten your comfort zones periods and have the 8 lives of a cat?

The Neo-Zionists “strategic centers” in USA are running Israel society: The are no good options for Israelis in order to vote “democratically”. Israel is pressured to keep in a state of constant war and to increase its apartheid laws

Justin Trudeau, PM of Canada: You cannot rely on world Zionism to get you out of this morass of tampering with the justice. You cannot forget the plights of Palestinians and let it believe that you are a “human rights” activist

And you start reading biographies of these old crooks (Old money) who “whitened their highway-robbery schemes” decades ago, and how their inheritors legitimately resumed the same crooked behavior:  They were elected to political offices and they finance election campaigns, and fund lobbies for special interest laws.

You feel that there are no serious institutions in Lebanon: No serious statistics about all the various refugees in Lebanon. It all depends on perspective and political short-term exigencies: Palestinian refugee numbers can oscillate between 200,000 to 500,000. Syrian refugees numbers vary from one million to 2 million: a matter of perspective and what the UN wants us to consider as accurate.

The Vatican begins a crucial summit on clergy sexual abuse, on children and on clerical “sisters”. What do you expect? if the “sisters” wash the male priests’ clothes, underwear, cook their meal, tend to their daily comfort… sooner or later she will be asked to share his bed. Allow temporary marriage contracts: old age will resolve chastity.

Many would like to hear: Hezbollah should focus more on financial abuses “fassaad” in Lebanon and much less on state of affairs in the neighboring countries. I say: the two options must go hand in hand: fassaad Loubnan min fassaad al douwal al mou7itat

Israeli settlements are stifling Palestine’s economy

By: Al-Shabaka

Al-Shabaka is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to educate and foster public debate on Palestinian human rights and self-determination within the framework of international law.

In this policy brief, Al-Shabaka Policy Fellow Nur Arafeh and Policy Advisors Samia al-Botmeh and Leila Farsakh address Israel’s arguments against the European Union’s decision to label settlement products by demonstrating the devastating impact Israel’s settlement enterprise has had on the Palestinian economy, dispossessing Palestinians of their land, water, and other resources and creating mass unemployment.

A general view of the occupied East Jerusalem Israeli settlement of Ramat Shlomo. (AFP/File)

It has taken years for the EU to develop its position on the labeling of goods produced in the settlements Israel has built in Palestinian and Syrian territory since occupying it in 1967.

The European Commission issued a statement in 1998 that Israel was suspected of a breach of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which was signed in 1995 and came into effect in 2000, and which exempted Israeli goods from customs duties.

In 2010, the European Court of Justice confirmed that products originating in the West Bank did not qualify for preferential customs treatment under the EU’s Association Agreement with Israel, and that assertions by Israeli authorities were not binding upon EU customs authorities.

However, it was only in 2015 that the EU took the long overdue step of aligning its actions with its own regulations, partly in response to growing civil society pressure to recognize the illegality of settlements.
On September 10, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for the labeling of goods produced in the Israeli settlements as produced in “Israeli settlements” rather than in “Israel” and ensuring that they would not benefit from preferential trade treatment under the EU-Israel Association Agreement.
Two months later, on November 11, the EU issued its long-awaited guidelines regarding labeling, which it described in low-key language as an “Interpretative Notice.”
However, settlement products will still be traded with the European Union (EU), leaving it to consumers to make an “informed decision” as to whether to buy these products or not.Israel claims that the EU move is “discriminatory” and that it is harmful to the Palestinian economy in general and to Palestinian workers in particular.
This is clearly an attempt by Israel to divert international attention from the reality of the illegal settlement enterprise, its profoundly negative effects on the Palestinian economy, and the moral and legal obligations of the EU.
In fact, Israel’s entire settlement enterprise is illegal under international law, as reaffirmed by the International Court of Justice in its Advisory Opinion on Israel’s Separation Wall in 2004.
Israel’s transfer of its population to the occupied territory is a breach of the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
The settlements’ economic exploitation of the OPT
This policy brief focuses on the territories Israel occupied in 1967 — the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights — and more specifically on the Israeli settlements and outposts that were built in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT). It does not tackle all of Israel’s violations of international law and of Palestinian rights.
The fact that Israel’s settlement construction has been based on the economic exploitation of the OPT has been widely documented.
This has included the confiscation of large swathes of Palestinian land and destruction of Palestinian property to use for construction and agriculture purposes; seizure of water resources to the extent that 599,901 settlers use six times more water than the whole Palestinian population in the West Bank of some 2.86 million; appropriation of touristic and archaeological sites; and exploitation of Palestinian quarries, mines, Dead Sea resources, and other non-renewable natural resources, as will be discussed below.
Settlements have also been supported by an infrastructure of roads, checkpoints, and the Separation Wall, leading to the creation of isolated Bantustans in the West Bank, and to the appropriation of more Palestinian land.
As a result, Israeli settlements now control around 42 percent of West Bank land. This figure includes built-up areas as well as the municipal boundaries of the Israeli settlements. These boundaries actually encompass an area 9.4 times larger than the built-up areas of the West Bank settlements and are off-limits to Palestinians unless they have permits.
The majority of settlements in the West Bank are built in Area C, which represents 60 percent of the West Bank and which is richly endowed with natural resources. According to a World Bank study, 68% of Area C has been reserved for Israeli settlements, while less than 1% has been allowed for Palestinian use.
Within Area C, Israeli settlement exploitation is concentrated in the Jordan Valley and the northern part of the Dead Sea. Israeli settlements control 85.2 percent of these areas, which are the most fertile land in the West Bank.
Their abundant water supply and favorable climate provide the best conditions for agriculture. Indeed, they yield 40% of date exports from Israel. Meanwhile, Palestinians are prevented from living there, building, or even herding their livestock under the pretext that the land is either “state land,” “a military zone” or a “natural reserve.”
Israel also resorts to other ways to expel Palestinians from their lands, by demolishing houses, prohibiting the building of schools and hospitals, and denying residents access to essential services like electricity, water, and well digging. By contrast, most settlements are designated as “national priority areas,” allowing them to receive financial incentives from the Israeli government in the area of education, health, housing construction, and industrial and agricultural development.
Israeli revenue from the exploitation of Palestinian land and resources in the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea is estimated at around 500 million NIS annually (around $130 million). To get a sense of the impact on the Palestinian economy, it is worth noting that the indirect cost of Israel’s restriction on Palestinian access to water in the Jordan Valley — and their inability to cultivate their land as a result — was $663 million, the equivalent of 8.2 percent of Palestinian GDP in 2010.
Meanwhile, Israel continues to build new settlements. Netanyahu claimed during his speech at the US Center for American Progress, in November, that no new settlements have been built in the past 20 years.
In fact, 20 Israeli settlements were approved under his rule, three of which were illegal outposts that were then approved by the government.
The most recent manifestation of Israeli settlement policy is the renewed construction of the Separation Wall near Beit Jala (Wall of Shame) in the West Bank, effectively separating the villagers from their privately owned farmland in the Cremisan Valley. The route of this segment of the Wall is designed to allow for the annexation of the settlement of Har Gilo south of Jerusalem, giving it contiguity with the Gilo settlement situated within the boundaries Israel created for the Jerusalem municipality after its occupation began in 1967.

A Palestinian economy stifled by settlements

Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise has clearly had a profoundly negative effect on the Palestinian economy. Israel’s control over water and land has helped to decrease the labor productivity of the agricultural sector and its contribution to GDP: The contribution of agriculture, forestry and fishing declined from 13.3 percent in 1994 to 4.7 percent in 2012, at current prices.
The dumping of solid waste and waste water from industrial zones in the settlements into the OPT has further polluted the Palestinian environment, land, and water.
Restricted access to the vast resources of the Dead Sea has prevented Palestinians from establishing cosmetics businesses and other industries, based on the extraction of minerals.
A World Bank study estimated that had there not been access restrictions, the production and sales of magnesium, potash, and bromine would have had an annual value added of $918 million to the Palestinian economy, the equivalent of 9 percent GDP in 2011.
Severe constraints on access to mines and quarries in Area C have also hindered Palestinians’ ability to extract gravel and stones. The estimated annual lost gross value added to the Palestinian economy from quarrying and mining is $575 million. In total, it is estimated that restricted access to and production in Area C has cost the Palestinian economy $3.4 billion.
As discussed in an earlier Al-Shabaka policy brief, Israel even controls Palestinian access to their own electro-magnetic sphere — a policy to which the settlements contribute — creating losses of between $80 to $100 million annually for Palestinian telecommunication operators.
Furthermore, the absence of contiguity within the West Bank, coupled with other Israeli movement and access restrictions, has fragmented the West Bank economy into smaller disconnected markets. This has increased the time and costs to transport goods from one area in the West Bank to another, and from the West Bank to the rest of the world. As a result, the competitiveness of Palestinian goods in local and export markets has weakened.
As the economy in the West Bank has been marred by unpredictability and uncertainty — which is not surprising, given that the area is under military occupation — the cost and risks of doing business have risen. This has worsened the investment climate, constrained economic development, and increased unemployment and poverty.
Overall, it is estimated that the direct and indirect cost of the occupation was almost $7 billion in 2010 − almost 85% of the total estimated Palestinian GDP.
Dispossessed: Palestinian workers in Israeli settlements
The Palestinian economy has thus been suffering from structural and sectoral weaknesses that are primarily due to Israel’s occupation and its settlement enterprise. The settlements’ take-over of land, water, and natural resources and Israel’s restrictive control of movement, access, and other freedoms have debilitated the economy’s productive base, which is no longer able to generate enough employment and investment, and is increasingly dependent on the Israeli economy and foreign aid.
This harsh economic reality is the primary factor driving some Palestinians to work in Israeli settlements — the figure is estimated at just 3.2 percent of the total employed persons from the West Bank in the Third Quarter of 2015. Instead of being self-sufficient owners of means of production Palestinians have been dispossessed of their economic resources and rights by the Israeli military occupation and Israel’s settlements, and have been transformed into cheap labor.
In fact, most Palestinian workers in the settlements are in low skilled, low paying jobs: At least half of them are employed in the construction sector. In other words, less than 11,000 Palestinians are employed in Israeli settlement industry and/or agriculture.
This means that less than 2%  of the total employed Palestinian population would be impacted in the event of closure of Israeli industries in the settlements.
Palestinian workers in the settlements are subject to difficult and sometimes dangerous working conditions, and it is estimated that 93 percent do not have labor unions to represent them. Indeed, they are subject to arbitrary dismissal and withholding of their permits if they demand their rights or try to unionize.
A 2011 survey found that the majority of Palestinian workers would leave their jobs in the settlements if they could find an alternative in the Palestinian labor market.
While it is argued that Palestinian workers in settlements receive higher wages than in the Palestinian labor market, it is worth noting that they are paid, on average, less than half the Israeli minimum wage.
For example, in Beqa’ot, an Israeli colony in the Jordan Valley, Palestinians are paid 35 percent of the legal minimum wage. Note that the packing houses of Mehadrin, the largest Israeli exporter of fruits and vegetables to the EU, are located in this settlement.
In short, it is effectively Israel’s settler-colonial enterprise that hurts Palestinians, much more than the EU labeling of settlements products. What Palestinians need is not more jobs in settlements or more dependency on the Israeli economy. Rather, what Palestinians need is the dismantling of Israeli settlements, an end to the occupation, and the full realization of their rights under international law.
Only then can they truly strengthen the productive base of the Palestinian economy, generate employment opportunities, ensure self-reliance and self-sufficiency, and stop being dependent on foreign aid.
An examination of recent EU moves as well as policy recommendations for the EU to be fully compliant with international and European law were omitted for brevity.
The full report can be viewed on Al-Shabaka’s website.

 

Investing in Israeli settlements continues “cycle of violence” — Desmond Tutu

tutu.jpg

Fierce apartheid critic Desmond Tutu has denounced businesses that aid repression. (Joshua Wanyama)

Other victories have received less publicity.

The Swedish fund KPA Pension, for example, has published an exclusion list on its website featuring a number of Israeli banks and telecommunications firms, the weapons manufacturer Elbit and Alstom, a French corporation that has been involved in building a light rail system linking up Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.

KPA manages the pensions of more than a million people working in local government.

Sweden’s state pension fund AP7, meanwhile, has excluded the technology giant Hewlett-Packard because of its provision of surveillance technology to Israel, as well as Cemex, a Mexican company which has been quarrying in the West Bank in violation of international law.

Enabling war crimes

AP7 is not as clean as it would have us believe, however.

In August, the Stockholm daily Svenska Dagbladet complained that AP7 is continuing to invest in3 Israeli banks.

According to the paper, this was not compatible with the views of most Swedes, who wanted pension funds to respect ethical principles.

Similarly, the third largest Dutch pension fund ABP has a €51 million ($64 million) stake in 3 Israel banks: Leumi, Hapoalim and Mizrahi-Tefahot. All three of these banks finance settlements in the West Bank.

The construction of Israeli settlements breaches the Fourth Geneva Convention and amounts to war crimes.

ABP is under pressure to ditch these enablers of war crimes. Around 1.8 million people have signed a petition calling on it to do so.

Desmond Tutu, the South African archbishop, has written to ABP’s board contending that investing in Israeli institutions that lend to repressive and illegal projects “helps perpetuate the cycle of violence.”

“Respect the UN”

ABP could follow the example set by another Dutch pension fund, BPL.

A list published by BPL for 2013 states that it has excluded the three aforementioned Israeli banks, along with Alstom and Veolia (the major player in the East Jerusalem tramway).

Gerard Roest, BPL’s chairman, told me that the decisions to exclude these firms were taken because the fund is guided by international standards on human rights. “The UN is a kind of world government and we should respect its decisions,” he said.

A UN fact finding mission on the Israeli occupation stated last year:

“A number of banks provide mortgage loans for home buyers and special loans for building projects in settlements. They also provide financial services to businesses in settlements and, in some cases, are physically present there.”

Richard Falk, a former UN special rapporteur for the West Bank and Gaza, has warned that “financial institutions and real estate companies may be held criminally accountable for their involvement with illegal settlements in occupied Palestine.”

Pension funds that keep on investing in Israel can be sure that they will come under pressure from people of conscience throughout the world. Support for war crimes will result in damage to their reputations.

 

Israel loses, so far, 8 billion dollars on its genocide war on Gaza people

And Arab parties are resuscitating and joining the boycott

As the world community has been boycotting Israel arms industries and scientific cooperation

In 2012, Israel arms sale reached $7 billion, claiming that they were tested on live fields of action

Mustafa Barghouti

Mustafa Barghouti, the secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative movement, has estimated that Israel has incurred losses of around eight billion dollars due to the boycott campaign against illegal settlements, equivalent to 20% of their GDP.

Regarding the latest Palestinian efforts to escalate the settlement boycott, Barghouti revealed that an agreement has been made with 13 democratic Arab parties to form boycott committees in the Arab world.

In a statement to Quds Net News Agency on Thursday he said: “the European Union did not issue a decision to boycott Israel, but what is taking place is the boycott of any relationship or agreements with settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”

Furthermore: “This experience is being circulated worldwide and not only in European countries; many areas worldwide are also ready to boycott the settlements.”

The agreement with the Arab parties to participate in the boycott campaign came after the participation of a delegation from the Palestinian National Initiative movement headed by Barghouti, along with a delegation from Fatah, headed by Nabil Shaath in the Arab Social Democratic Forum. It was held in Amman, Jordan, over two days and ended Wednesday.

The draft resolution put forward by the Palestinian National Initiative regarding Jerusalem was agreed upon unanimously, along with a mass movement of boycott and sanctions against Israel and the decision to support the Palestinian popular resistance and the struggle for justice for Palestinians against the occupation and the settlements.

The delegates called upon the people of the Arab world and its friends to adopt a strategy for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it ends its discriminatory, unjust occupation.

It is expected that the Human Rights Council of the UN in Geneva will vote on Thursday and Friday on 5 resolutions condemning Israel. These include a resolution calling to encourage boycotting Israeli settlements and cutting all investments with them.

Meanwhile, Israeli diplomacy has not taken any direct action to curb these decisions and is busy dealing with strikes in their international embassies and consulates.

A senior Israeli official said that the proposal for the resolution calling for a boycott of the settlements is creating tension and anxiety in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.

Having realised that Israeli diplomacy is completely paralysed due to the strikes, they quickly decided to assign a special envoy to Geneva.

Meanwhile the Israeli vice-president of the National Security Council, Aaron Larmon, was expected to arrive on Wednesday but a last minute decision was taken to cancel the visit after officials in the Prime Minister’s office realised that they would not be able to influence the formulation of decisions looming in Geneva.

The draft resolution in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva was based on the proposition made by a group of Arab states in the Human Rights Council, including the Palestinian Authority, and is entitled Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

The proposed draft resolution, which will be voted upon, is the first of its kind to condemn Israel in UN Human Rights Council resolutions.

Israel considers the wording very dangerous as it is based on what is stated in the BDS campaign against settlements, and although the decision of the Human Rights Council does not bind any obligation upon any state, the vote in favour of such a decision will bring about more Israeli settlement boycotts and the boycott of Israeli companies that cooperate with settlements, operate there, or even open branches there.

– See more at: http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/10590-israel-loses-eight-billion-dollars-and-arab-parties-join-the-boycott#sthash.4e8w8gEO.dpuf

Nine brands you can start boycotting

Boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) are big news in 2014.

If Scarlett Johansson’s Sodastream fiasco didn’t grab your attention, perhaps the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israeli universities did, or Netanyahu’s increasing talk of million-dollar PR campaigns, legal offensives and diplomacy efforts to counter the BDS threat.

Opinion pages are filled with debate.

John Kerry has warned Israel that it could be facing a delegitimization campaign “on steroids” and voices from all sides are speculating that a boycott movement against Israel could be about to break into the mainstream.

But what would that actually mean in supermarkets and shopping baskets?

The BDS campaign covers all Israeli products: It’s a broad tactic aimed to pressure the state itself to change. But it also reserves a special focus for companies that are actually involved in — and make hefty profits from — occupation policies.

These organizations may be forced to pay attention to the boycott very soon — and they may not be the ones you’d expect.

1. Sodastream

Via: AP

Thanks to Scarlett Johansson’s recent adventure in international politics, most of us now know about Sodastream’s role in perpetuating the occupation of the West Bank.

The fizzy drinks makers are produced in Ma’ale Adumim, one of the many illegal Israeli settlements that cuts through Palestinian land, seizing resources and making the development of an independent Palestinian economy look impossible.

“The Israeli army forcefully expelled 200 Palestinian families from their homes to make space for the construction of Maale Adumim,” says Rafeef Ziadah, a spokesperson for the BDS National Committee. “Recently, it announced a plan to expel another 2,300 Palestinians to make way for the settlement’s growth.”

2. Jaffa Oranges

Via: AP

Brands like Carmel Agrexco and Mehadrin, which export the famous Jaffa brand of oranges, make big profits from farming on Palestine’s land.

Many of the companies’ fruits and vegetables — which include avocados, sweet potatoes and pomegranates — are grown and packaged in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, where 94% of land is under direct Israeli control.

As well as violating international law, commercial farming in the area deprives Palestinians of agriculturally-rich farmland and seriously limits access to water, which local people are often forced to buy by the tank at vastly inflated prices.

3. Ahava

Via: AP

Ahava means love in Hebrew, but the story behind is unromantic.

The company’s major factory — and its plush visitors’ centre — is based in Mitzpe Shalem, a settlement in the occupied West Bank that also owns 37% of the brand.

The location gives Ahava privileged access to the minerals and mud of the Dead Sea, which form the big-selling ingredient in their face masks, body scrubs and moisturisers.

The company makes about $150 million a year from the sale of these miraculous products while Palestinians continue to be effectively barred from utilising the resources of the Dead Sea.

4. Golan Heights Wine

Via: AP

According to its website, this winery is located in Israel’s prime location for world-class vineyards.

However, that place is the Golan Heights: occupied territory seized from Syria in the War of 1967. Then, most of the 140,000 Syrians that lived in the Golan were displaced and have not been allowed to return, and today the area is home to some 20,000 settlers.

Although the Golan Heights Winery is one of Israel’s biggest exporters, it’s far from the only producer of settlement wine.

The Carmel, Tshibi and Barkan wineries all own vineyards in the Golan Heights, while Teperberg 1870 and Binyamina operate in the West Bank.

5. Victoria’s Secret

Via: AP

Victoria’s Secret is targeted by BDS campaigners because of where the brand sources its fabrics.

America’s largest brand of lingerie gets its textiles from Delta Galil Industries, a company with a warehouse in the Barkan Industrial Zone, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

It also runs stores in Ma’aleh Adumim and Pisgat Ze’ev — both in occupied territories.

Settlements like these destroy the contiguity of a future Palestinian state and are widely considered to be the biggest obstacle to the success of the peace process.

Victoria’s Secret, however, is not the only company to buy its materials from the settlement industry: Delta Galil also supplies to companies like Walmart, Calvin Klein, Nike and Columbia, among others.

6. Sabra Hummus

Via: AP

Food appropriation is a big deal in the Middle East, where the adoption of falafel and hummus as Israel’s national snacks is a point of contention for Palestinians.

Sabra, however, is a BDS target for other reasons: The USA’s top hummus manufacturer is owned by Strauss Group, an Israeli company with strong ties to the IDF.

The corporation has “adopted” the Golani Brigade, an “elite unit” of the Israeli Army with a reputation for bad behavior that ranges “from revolts against commanders to abuse of Palestinians,” according to Haaretz.

Golani troops were on the front line in Operation Cast Lead, the 2008-9 assault on Gaza which killed some 1,400 Palestinians.

Strauss, apparently, provided the lunches, exclaiming on its website that it provides “food products” for missions and “personal care packages for each soldier.”

After U.S. BDS groups targeted Sabra in 2010, Strauss removed the wording from its Corporate Social Responsibility pages. But it has said nothing of withdrawing its support for IDF troops.

7. Medjool Dates

These super-sweet dates are a Palestinian staple, traditionally eaten to break the Ramadan fast.

But today, over half the global harvest of medjool dates is produced by Israel, often on settlements in Palestinian land and especially in the Jordan Valley.

There, illegal labor practices have been recorded on a significant scale.

In 2008, 7,000 Palestinian children were found to be working on settlement date farms. What’s more, the provenance of settlement dates is often concealed with a “produced in Israel” label — Hadiklaim, one of the biggest settlement producers, markets its products under the brand names Jordan River, Jordan River Bio-Tops and King Solomon.

8. Eden Springs Water

Much of Eden Springs’ bottled water — which is widely marketed to universities, local authorities and other institutions — comes from the Salukia spring in the Golan Heights.

Israel’s occupation of the Golan has been condemned by the U.N., and, as Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem reminds us, international law only gives occupiers a limited right to use the water resources of occupied territory.

Despite that, settlers in the Golan can use as much as 17 times more water per capita than the area’s other inhabitants — a state of affairs that is not helped by the commercial exploitation of springs.

9. Hewlett Packard

Hewlett Packard’s slogan is a predictably Silicon Valley coinage: “If you’re going to do something, make it matter.”

For Palestinians, however, some of the things HP does matter more than others. The firm owns EDS Israel, which supplies the computer systems of the Israeli Ministry of Defense and produces hi-tech equipment like the Basel System, a biometric permit system that controls the movement of Palestinian workers through checkpoints in Gaza and the West Bank.

HP equipment is used by Israeli prisons and the army, and the company has also invested in the technological development of illegal settlements, taking part in the Smart City project in Ariel.

Bethan Parry

Bethan is a writer and editor currently based in Palestine and Israel. She’s written for a range of publications in the US, UK and Middle East, was previously a staff writer for The Day, where she wrote analysis on everything from fiscal policy …

The most helpless US President in the face of Middle East reality

I have published lately six articles related to Robert Fisk book “Affliction of a Nation” and focused on chapters that connect dots on how Lebanese resistance forces, particularly Hezbollah, got motivated, organized and managed to kick Israel occupation forces from Lebanon in the year 2000, without negotiations or any preconditions.

On Friday, 23 September 2011, Robert Fisk published the following piece in the British daily The Independent:

“Barack Obama made the ‘preposterous’ suggestion that Palestinians and Israelis were ‘equal’ parties to the conflict

Today should be Mahmoud Abbas’s finest hour. Even The New York Times has discovered that “a grey man of grey suits and sensible shoes, may be slowly emerging from his shadow”.

But this is nonsense. The colorless leader of the Palestinian Authority, who wrote a 600-page book on his people’s conflict with Israel without once mentioning the word “occupation”, should have no trouble this evening in besting Barack Hussein Obama’s pathetic, humiliating UN speech on Wednesday, in which he handed US policy in the Middle East over to Israel’s gimmick government.

For the American President who called for an end to the Israeli occupation of Arab lands, an end to the theft of Arab land in the West Bank – Israeli “settlements” is what he used to call it – and a Palestinian state by 2011, Obama’s performance was pathetic.”

Let us listen to what, even GW.Bush wrote on the Palestinian cause:  “The more I thought of the troubles in the Middle East, the more I was convinced that the fundamental culprit is lack of liberty in the occupied Palestinian territories. Without a recognized State, the Palestinians could not find their place in the world community; as long as the Palestinians have no say in their future, the extremist elements were going to fill the void; without legitimate leaders, democratically elected, dedicated to fighting extremist movement, peace with Israel will be compromised… I was the first US President demanding a recognized Palestinian State by the UN…”  What Obama has to add to what Bush Junior have recently said?

This is the same GW. Bush who also wrote in his autobiography “Decisive moments”: “I gave Israel Ariel Sharon PM my assent for constructing a separation wall (Wall of Shame) between the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel: I believed that this Wall will prevent Palestinians to trespass into Israel. After I received vehement reproach from Arabic leaders, I warned Sharon: “You have to know when to stop your execessive military responses”, but Sharon refused to budge in surrounding the headquarter of Arafat in Ramallah. (Sharon had entered the Palestinian camp in Jenine in the West Bank and committed genocide there in 2003; he had committed genocide in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatila in 1982…).  Bush Junior gave the green light to Israel Olmert PM to committing genocide in Gaza in 2008…

The US Barack Obama has been wasting his presidency convincing the US citizens that a Black President is not necessarily a moral entity (who has assimilated the roots of racism and apartheid), and who might take moral stands in the world community, but just a continuation of the US political system in foreign policies… Obama is failing internally and externally, simply because he refuses to taking the high ground with respect to human rights, everywhere in the world, fairly and equitably. Obama has refused to test the goodwill of the US citizens by expressing practically what changes need to be done in US foreign policies…

Note 1: You may read https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/so-you-wont-say-adonis49-failed-to-follow-up-on-the-recognition-process-of-the-palestinian-state/

Note 2: I have published on my blog several articles related to chapters of GW. Bush “Decisive moments”


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