Link to Video of the week:
Link to Video of the week:
Israel has carried out a de facto annexation of the Palestinian land northeast of the Jordan Valley and has given it to the Kibbutz (Israeli collective community) Merav. The route of the separation barrier in the area has been changed so that the piece of land in question, about 1,500 dunams (375 acres ), would now be on the Israeli side.
Israel has previously built roads on and given Palestinian land in the West Bank to Jewish settlements, but this is thought to be the first instance of Palestinian-owned land being transferred to a community on sovereign Israeli territory.
I don’t even know what to say anymore. Land seems to be the Yin to Israeli’s Yang. Like the fat kid in Willy Wonka’s candy factory….it just can’t help itself. Its carving up the land like its Christmas Turkey at a homeless shelter…. But where the carver gets most of the turkey and the homeless are left with scraps. Its not even like they try and hide it. Even though these acts are wholly illegal and are in breach of international law they continue to flout the rules carte blanche. Why? Because they know they can get away with it as they have gotten away with it countless times before. At most, they might get a strongly worded statement by the UN and if their real unlucky, a resolution passed against them. Any tangible form of action will be simply shot down by its Baby Daddy the US. Go figure.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will not harm me.
Despite speculation that it would heed international calls to end the freeze it imposed on Palestine two weeks ago, Israel has decided to continue to refuse to pay the Palestinians the £100 million in duties it owes them. The £100 million are mainly composed of customs revenues Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians under the interim agreement. The reason why a freeze was called in the first place was over Palestines application and further acceptance into UNESCO (Untied Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization).
Makes perfect sense doesn’t it. How dare Palestine even think to join this kind of twisted organization, which get this ‘Encourages international peace and universal respect by promoting collaboration among nations’. Pure Madness. Who does it think it is? A state? Seriously, at this point you would think there would be greater uproar at Palestine trying to integrate itself in the world governmental structure than if it was to declare another Intifada of sorts.
The icing on the cake though had to be the Israeli officials explanation on Israel’s diplomatic approach to Palestinian negotiations which involves ‘both carrot & stick’ … In which of course by carrot he also means stick.
Priorities Israel…..Get them right.
You change your mind
Like a girl changes clothes
Yea, you PMS like a bitch
I would know
And you always think
Always speak cryptically
I should know
That you’re no good for me
‘Cause your hot then you’re cold
You’re yes then you’re no
If you didn’t know any better you’d think that these words by Katty perry were aimed at the countless Israeli leaders who have come and gone in the past few years. Why you hear me ask is it addressed to them? Because it seems to be a bang on trend for an Israeli leader to be elected on there *tough-hard-won’t-budge-an-inch-to-the-Palestinians-right stance* and then find them claiming to want to do good-by getting caught up in so-called ‘peace’ negotiations. It’s like they want to have their cake and eat it. And so far, they have succeeded in doing just that. Examples I hear you ask? How about Ariel Sharon who once famously quipped and urged Israelis to settle more land fast by “Grab(bing) the hilltops, and stake(ing) your claim” . Simply put he was encouraging the growth of Illegal Israeli settlements. And if you want a more contemporary one, just look at the current Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He heads one the staunchest right-wing parties in the Israeli government and its no secret that he is a staunch supporter of illegal settlements being built and believes their should be no ‘concession on settlements’ .
Now with all that being true its funny how each these leaders have found them self at a time engaging in ‘peace’ negotiations. Now before I broach the absurdity of this subject, let me just quickly recap some small brief facts. Under international law and in the view of the UN and the majority of member countries the pre-scribed border for Israel and Palestine is the internationally recognized 1947 borders. Anything built over these lines by Israel are considered illegal settlements as they are built on land that is meant and prescribed for the Palestinian people. Now lets look at a picture of the prescribed 1947 borders and how the map should look today;
Ok, so Israel seems to have lucked out majorly in this little agreement because as far as i can see they have been given the most land. lucky them, guess that means they won’t have to complain about the lack of land …….*glances at current map of Israel*
Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh *awkward silence*.
My bad, looks like they weren’t happy with their fairly substantial share. Talk about taking the piss and pushing boundaries. Looks like Israel practically hasn’t looked at a map SINCE 1947 and has kept building thinking sooner or later they will come across a thick border line of some sort. Someone should have told them the line on the map was only an imaginary border, not a physically present one.
Now Regardless of why, how, or when they acquired it the land they have acquired over the borders is ILLEGAL. Its land that belongs to the Palestinians and is land that under any future or current peace deal will be returned to the Palestinians in one form or the other.
So basically, any Israeli leader that enters negotiations KNOWS that this land grabbing will be an issue and if there is to be a successful deal reached this matter will have to be resolved and the land repatriated to the Palestinians. This whole issue of Palestine and Israel has been going on for many many years and each successive Israeli government has engaged in brief talks that if followed through would return that very same land that they had previously laid claim to.
So now back to the present and the issue surrounding the current crisis in the peace talks. The crisis revolves around the settlement freeze that Israeli enforced for over 10 months and which recently ended. Lets not comment on how amazing the timing of the ending of the settlement freeze is as it just comes a mere 2 weeks after talks first started. Now that it has ended Benjamin won’t reinstate it or even extended it to help facilitate the talks. WHAT THE HELL, they were imposed for a good 10 months or so and as far as I can see Israel is still standing so there is no good reason why it can’t be extended for a few more months for the sake of ‘peace in the middle east’. The US has literally been working to sweeten the deal for Israeli *and trust me the deal was sweet* to extend the freeze but to no avail. Without the freeze being implemented the negotiations will simply will fall apart. This is because the Palestinian delegation headed by Mahmoud Abbas is already in a weak state and has had to make enough concessions to just get the talks started. It is one of the few conditions they have asked to be implemented for the talks to go on.
This request makes complete sense as if you are coming to negotiate how to give back the land you took you’d think that maybe you’d want to stop taking land. Would make the process MUCH easier. So why in god’s name is Benjamin Netanyahu not extending this settlement freeze for the sake of maybe resolving a crises and conflict which has engulfed the middle east for countless of years?
Answer is, he probably doesn’t care to be the one to resolve this crisis. Because resolving it would mean combating the hard right members of his party and government who got him into power. Whilst also combating the zealot religious right who see the whole of the Palestinian land being rightfully theirs as its their god given right and religious mission to acquire and lay stake to this land. To dismantle their settlements would result in an internal conflict as they have no interest in letting go of this land and going away quietly. To do so would be an affront to their so-called religious beliefs.
Regardless of how hard it is it is something that MUST be done if the conflict is to be resolved. So for this to happen their needs to be a tough no nonsense leader who cares to actually seriously resolve this crises head on. Till then peace negotiations will simply come and go acting as mere symbolism of Israeli leaders pretending to care about the plight of the Palestinians.
Till Next Time
So the story that interested me today concerned border clashes between Israel and Lebanon. The border between these countries has been tense and on high alert ever since Israel invaded Lebanon in the 2006 war. And with the recent events surrounding Israel and the Turkey flotilla incident tensions have become ever more prickly with that of its continents neighbours. Lets just remind ourselves briefly of this flotilla incident. A flotilla of aid and materials was being shipped unofficially from Turkey by a humanitarian group to Gaza in response to the blockade in Gaza. They where there to assist and provide much-needed materials to the closed off city. Israel had not approved this ship to enter Gaza as it would breach their ‘blockade’. So they met this flotilla in International waters *an important point* and through the following confrontation killed 9 people on the flotilla.
Now lets look at the recent clash between Israeli and Lebanese border troops. The Lebanese say that Israeli soldiers crossed their border to uproot a tree and shrubbery that was blocking their view of a town in Lebanon . The Lebanese claimed to have fired warning shots and where met with artillery fire from the Israeli side which sparked the direct clash which resulted in 3 Lebanese officers being killed along with 1 Israeli officer and a Lebanese Journalist. Now the Israelis say that they where on their side of the border and the troops that were fired on where 300 – 400 meters away from the border watching over their fellow troops as they cut away at shrubbery that was falling on their side.
Now regardless of which side is telling the truth *though i doubt with Israelis recent track record of honesty we have much trouble deciding on the truth* Israel would be hard pressed to be able to defend its actions. This is bearing in mind the fact that they don’t believe they did anything unlawful with their handling of the flotilla incident. The flotilla was a distance away from the Israeli waters but was still attacked because Israel believed that they would be infringing on their territorial sovereignty even though they hadn’t reached there shores just yet. So using that argument the Lebanese soldiers could easily argue that regardless of the fact that the Israeli soldiers weren’t at their border as the Israelis claim they where close enough to threaten their territorial sovereignty.
And since when did gardening become such a top Israeli priority. Overgrown shrubs? not in my neighbours backyard if i have anything to do with it. it’s all about the scenery, It’s the little details that make a big difference as any keen gardener will tell you. Who knew Israeli border officials had such green fingers. Aid and much-needed material for the imprisoned Palestinian population in Gaza, not really that necessary. A shrub and a tree infringing on their view or land, Unfathomable. It’s good to see their priorities are in place correctly. Not only that, if it is true that the shrubbery was infringing on their view of a village in Lebanon and which they needed to be able to view for security reasons im pretty sure they could have taken the common courtesy of communicating this to the Lebanese border officials rather than doing what they do best and taking matters into their own hand and lauding about the place as they see fit. Especially with all the recent hoopla over Israelis over-aggressive and i’ll-do-what-i-want-regardless-of-what-anyone-thinks attitude being questioned and criticised in the wake of the flotilla incident.
You’d think they would have wanted to buck the trend this time and maybe take a more diplomatic approach especially considering the tense nature of things in the middle east at present. But no, I guess when a shrub or tree has got to go, its got to go asap. That train ain’t waiting for no one, your either on the green carriage or your left stranded on a shrubbery platform. It’s the kind of can-do attitude people welcome at gardening shows who knew it would blossom so passionately in the Israeli border patrol.
That’s all for now
till next time