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Israel continues its merciless pounding of the defenceless.

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The Charade of Israeli-Palestinian Talks


Washington’s pathetic capitulation to Israel while pleading for a meaningless three-month freeze on settlement expansion – excluding Arab East Jerusalem – should go down as one of the most humiliating moments in U.S. diplomatic history.


In September the last settlement freeze ended, leading the Palestinians to cease direct talks with Israel. Now the Obama administration, desperate to lure Israel into a new freeze and thus revive the talks, is grasping at invisible straws – and lavishing gifts on a far-right Israeli government.


The gifts include $3 billion for fighter jets. The largesse also happens to be another taxpayer grant to the U.S. arms industry, which gains doubly from programs to expand the militarization of the Middle East.


U.S. arms manufacturers are subsidized not only to develop and produce advanced equipment for a state that is virtually part of the U.S. military-intelligence establishment but also to provide second-rate military equipment to the Gulf states – currently a precedent-breaking $60 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, which is a transaction that also recycles petrodollars to an ailing U.S. economy.


Israeli and U.S. high-tech civilian industries are closely integrated. It is small wonder that the most fervent support for Israeli actions comes from the business press and the Republican Party, the more extreme of the two business-oriented political parties. The pretext for the huge arms sales to Saudi Arabia is defense against the “Iranian threat.”

However, the Iranian threat is not military, as the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence have emphasized. Were Iran to develop a nuclear weapons capacity, the purpose would be deterrent – presumably to ward off a U.S.-Israeli attack.


The real threat, in Washington’s view, is that Iran is seeking to expand its influence in neighboring countries “stabilized” by U.S. invasion and occupation.


The official line is that the Arab states are pleading for U.S. military aid to defend themselves against Iran. True or false, the claim provides interesting insight into the reigning concept of democracy. Whatever the ruling dictatorships may prefer, Arabs in a recent Brookings poll rank the major threats to the region as Israel (88 percent), the United States (77 percent) and Iran (10 percent).


It is interesting that U.S. officials, as revealed in the just-released WikiLeaks cables, totally ignored Arab public opinion, keeping to the views of the reigning dictators.


The U.S. gifts to Israel also include diplomatic support, according to current reports. Washington pledges to veto any U.N. Security Council actions that might annoy Israel’s leaders and to drop any call for further extension of a settlement freeze.


Hence, by agreeing to the three-month pause, Israel will no longer be disturbed by the paymaster as it expands its criminal actions in the occupied territories.


That these actions are criminal has not been in doubt since late 1967, when Israel’s leading legal authority, international jurist Theodor Meron, advised the government that its plans to initiate settlements in the occupied territories violated the Fourth Geneva Convention, a core principle of international humanitarian law, established in 1949 to criminalize the horrors of the Nazi regime.


Meron’s conclusion was endorsed by Justice Minister Ya’akov Shimson Shapira, and shortly after by Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, writes historian Gershom Gorenberg in “The Accidental Empire.”


Dayan informed his fellow ministers, “We must consolidate our hold so that over time we will succeed in ‘digesting’ Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and merging them with ‘little’ Israel,” meanwhile “dismember(ing) the territorial contiguity” of the West Bank, all under the usual pretense “that the step is necessary for military purposes.”


Dayan had no doubts, or qualms, about what he was recommending: “Settling Israelis in occupied territory contravenes, as is known, international conventions,” he observed. “But there is nothing essentially new in that.”


Dayan’s correct assumption was that the boss in Washington might object formally, but with a wink, and would continue to provide the decisive military, economic and diplomatic support for the criminal endeavors.


The criminality has been underscored by repeated Security Council resolutions, more recently by the International Court of Justice, with the basic agreement of U.S. Justice Thomas Buergenthal in a separate declaration. Israel’s actions also violate U.N. Security Council resolutions concerning Jerusalem. But everything is fine as long as Washington winks.


Back in Washington, the Republican super-hawks are even more fervent in their support for Israeli crimes. Eric Cantor, the new majority leader in the House of Representatives, “has floated a novel solution to protect aid for Israel from the current foreign aid backlash,” Glenn Kessler reports in The Washington Post: “giving the Jewish state its own funding account, thus removing it from funds for the rest of the world.”


The issue of settlement expansion is simply a diversion. The real issue is the existence of the settlements and related infrastructure developments. These have been carefully designed so that Israel has already taken over more than 40 percent of the occupied West Bank, including suburbs of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv; the arable land; and the primary water sources of the region, all on the Israeli side of the Separation Wall – in reality an annexation wall.


Since 1967, Israel has vastly expanded the borders of Jerusalem in violation of Security Council orders and despite universal international objection (including the U.S., at least formally).


The focus on settlement expansion, and Washington’s groveling, are not the only farcical elements of the current negotiations. The very structure is a charade. The U.S. is portrayed as an “honest broker” seeking to mediate between two recalcitrant adversaries. But serious negotiations would be conducted by some neutral party, with the U.S. and Israel on one side, and the world on the other.


It is hardly a secret that for 35 years the U.S. and Israel have stood virtually alone in opposition to a consensus on a political settlement that is close to universal, including the Arab states, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (including Iran), and all other relevant parties.


With brief and rare departures, the two rejectionist states have preferred illegal expansion to security. Unless Washington’s stand changes, political settlement is effectively barred. And expansion, with its reverberations throughout the region and the world, continues.



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  • 2 years later...

A Palestinian man who died in disputed circumstances in Israeli custody has been given a hero's funeral, with thousands thronging his grave and Palestinian police firing a 21-gun salute.


Palestinian officials say autopsy results show that Arafat Jaradat was tortured during Israeli interrogation, while Israeli officials said more tests were needed to determine the cause of death.



The weekend death of the 30-year-old petrol station attendant and father of two comes amid rising West Bank tensions that have prompted talk in Israel about the possibility of a new Palestinian uprising. There have also been daily protests in support of 4,600 Palestinians held by Israel.


The fate of the prisoners is sensitive in Palestinian society, where virtually every family has had a member imprisoned by Israel. Detainees are held on a range of charges, from stone-throwing to deadly attacks, and are seen as heroes resisting occupation. Israelis tend to view them as terrorists.



Palestinian and Israeli officials traded accusations on Monday, each saying the other was trying to exploit the latest unrest for political gains.


The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, said Israel was trying to provoke the Palestinians with what he said were increasingly lethal methods by Israeli security forces clamping down on Palestinian protests.



"However they try to drag us to that place, we won't be dragged," said Abbas. "We won't be dragged, but they [israelis] have to bear the responsibility."


Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev alleged that Abbas's self-rule government in the West Bank is inciting violence against Israel. Palestinian officials have called for more solidarity rallies for the prisoners.



The harsher tones on both sides came less than a month before the expected visit of the US president, Barack Obama, to Israel and the West Bank.


A West Bank flare-up in the coming weeks would underscore the Palestinian argument that the US needs to step up as mediator. The Palestinians believe that without US pressure on Israel, there will be no progress in peace efforts.



Abbas, an outspoken opponent of the shootings and bombings of the second Palestinian uprising a decade ago, has said he would not allow an armed uprising on his watch.


But tensions have been rising in recent days, with a number of protests in solidarity with prisoners held by Israel, and then the death of Jaradat over the weekend.



At Monday's funeral, thousands marched behind Jaradat's body, draped in a Palestinian flag, as the procession snaked through his home town of Saeer, just north of the West Bank city of Hebron.


Palestinian police maintained order and seven officers fired a 21-gun salute near the grave.



Abbas Zaki, a senior member of Abbas's Fatah movement, described Jaradat's death as an Israeli crime. "I am telling Fatah members that our enemy only understands the language of force," he told the crowd in what appeared to be a call to violence. He did not elaborate.


Jaradat was arrested on 18 February on suspicion that he had thrown stones at Israelis. He died on Saturday at Israel's Megiddo prison after several days of interrogation by the Shin Bet security service.



Israel's forensics institute performed an autopsy on Sunday in the presence of a physician from the Palestinian Authority.


The Palestinian minister of prisoner affairs, Issa Karake, said after being briefed by the Palestinian doctor that Jaradat had been tortured. He said Jaradat was bruised over his body and had two broken ribs.



Jaradat's brother, Mohammed, said he saw the body on Sunday and believed his brother had been severely beaten.


Israel's health ministry said the autopsy did not conclusively determine the cause of death, but that the bruising and broken ribs were probably the result of attempts to revive the detainee. :lol: It said more testing was needed.



Amos Gilad, an Israeli defence official, alleged that Palestinian officials were jumping to conclusions. "It's intended to incite," Gilad told Israel Army Radio on Monday. "There is a clear political purpose to stir things up."







A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip has landed in southern Israel - the first such attack since shortly after a ceasefire ended eight days of clashes in November, Israeli police say.


The rocket caused some damage to a road in Ashkelon but no injuries.


The strike follows confrontations in the West Bank between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters.


Riots broke out across the West Bank at the weekend after a Palestinian man died in Israeli custody.


Israeli police spokesman Doron Ben-Amo told the BBC a missile fired from Gaza landed in an industrial area in Ashkelon and some damage was caused to infrastructure.


There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack from militants in Gaza, where Egyptian mediators helped negotiate the November ceasefire.


Although levels of cross-border violence have dropped sharply since the conflict, two Palestinians have been shot dead close to the border, where Israel maintains a buffer zone which civilians are forbidden to enter.




So Israel torture and kill a fella for throwing a stone....BBC don't report it.


A couple of other Palestinians are shot dead on the border, not worth a mention.


Then a road!!!! gets damaged in Israel and it's the third biggest story on the beeb mid-east. They flag it as "The first" attack since the ceasefire referring specifically to rocket attacks giving the false impression it wasn't in response to Israeli violence. What mention of the dead torture victim there is offers no suggestion of mis-treatment.




Expect more false accusations of palestinians jeopardising the peace process.

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  • 8 months later...

One for Parky...




Lot's of horrible details, like...



The Israeli army, Blumenthal points out in his first chapter, “To the Slaughter,” employs a mathematical formula to limit outside food deliveries to Gaza to keep the caloric levels of the 1.5 million Palestinians trapped inside its open air prison just above starvation; a government official later denied that he had joked in a meeting that the practice is “like an appointment with a dietician.”

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The state flies more than 25 percent of Israeli 11th-graders to Poland to tour Auschwitz and other Nazi extermination camps a year before they start army service. They are told that the goal of Arabs, along with the rest of the non-Jewish world, is another Auschwitz. And the only thing standing between Israelis and a death camp is the Israeli army. Israeli high schools show films such as “Sleeping With the Enemy” to warn students about dating non-Jews, especially Arabs.

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A few years ago when walking past Grey's Monument i notice Palestinian flags flying and a number of tables set up with anti-Israeli leaflets and a petition to sign, regarding the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.An english mature studenty looking woman ,wearing a palestinian scarf thingy, asked me if i wanted to sign the petition.I asked her if she knew who controlled the West Bank between 1948 and 1967.She said she didn't know as she was only there to get signatures. Too many people know too little about the history and politics of the Arab - Israeli situation but jump on the anti-Israeli/anti- jewish bandwagon.

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  • 1 year later...

According to Netanyahu it was the Palestinians who were responsible for the holocaust.



My grandfather came to this land in 1920 and he landed in Jaffa, and very shortly after he landed he went to the immigration office in Jaffa. And a few months later it was burned down by marauders. These attackers, Arab attackers, murdered several Jews, including our celebrated writer Brenner.

And this attack and other attacks on the Jewish community in 1920, 1921, 1929, were instigated by a call of the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was later sought for war crimes in the Nuremberg trials because he had a central role in fomenting the final solution. He flew to Berlin. Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, “If you expel them, they’ll all come here.” “So what should I do with them?” he asked. He said, “Burn them.”
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Palestine has never actually been a recognised country, has it? It was British mandate for less than 30 years, before that it was part of the Ottoman Empire. Jews and Arabs have always wanted to claim the land to be theirs but I don't think one more group is more entitled to it than the other.


The broad question at the heart of this debate is whether Israel has the right to exist. I think it does. As does Paelstine. But the dicks on both sides will never let a two state solution happen.


Why they can't just live in the same country and hate each other in peace is beyond me.

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The broad question at the heart of this debate is whether Israel has the right to exist. I think it does. As does Paelstine. But the dicks on both sides will never let a two state solution happen.



There's an awful lot more to it than that though. Yes, it they could agree on a fair and amicable two state solution then everything would be cushty but in the absence of that there's a huge number of issues to deal with.

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There's an awful lot more to it than that though. Yes, it they could agree on a fair and amicable two state solution then everything would be cushty but in the absence of that there's a huge number of issues to deal with.

My father in law is Welsh. He's always banging on about they've been persecuted by the English over the years. Apparently we burned their books. I always thought itwas the nazis that did that.

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My father in law is Welsh. He's always banging on about they've been persecuted by the English over the years. Apparently we burned their books. I always thought itwas the nazis that did that.


Yeah, the main difference being that no one gives a fuck, the Welsh are an irrelevance. The only time you hear Wales mentioned is when they're talking about the loss of the rain forest.

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