Monday, May 18, 2009

In case you entertained any doubts

As Bibi Netanyahu visits Barack Obama in Washington, it's interesting to see how the Zionists are misrepresenting the immediate demands that the world is making (and, reportedly, Obama will also make) from Israel. Unfairly, both the world and Obama expect Israel to withdraw from the settlements, the Zionist littany goes, but that would lead nowhere: Israel has already withdrawn from Lebanon and Gaza, and what did it get in return? Kidnappings & rockets! No way the country will stumble upon the same rock again.

But, of course, the world isn't asking Israel to withdraw from existing settlements; such withdrawal is precisely the subject of the never-ending, or rather never-starting, negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. All the world is asking is for Israel to stop building new settlements, and to crack down on those fundamentalist Jews who set up illegal outposts. Only if Israel refrained from further expanding in the West Bank would it convince the international community that it's truly committed to a two-state solution. No peace negotiation was ever furthered by one of the sides creating ever more obstacles to the process under the vague promise that they will be removed all of a sudden when a final agreement is reached.

The usual response from Zionists is that settlement expansion is restricted to the large blocs around or near Jerusalem "that will have to remain inside Israel in a final status agreement" and is needed to accommodate natural population growth. Since the West Bank Jewish population grows by more than 7% a year, settlers seem to be procreating at a rate that would make a rodent blush. The other possible explanation is that settlers are being brought from abroad (for instance, Brooklyn or France) to grab more land from the Palestinians. But truth does not trouble Zionists so long as they can don a fig leaf and plausibly deny everything.

However, now and then a smoking gun reveals their true colors. Undetected by the Western MSM's radar, a Ynet story from Sunday tells us about plans for new housing for civilian settlers to be built in Maskiot, in the Jordan Valley -- i.e., far removed from the settlement blocs that have made it into the Guinness' Book for their ability to naturally grow. Reports the Israeli paper:

As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plane landed in Washington Sunday, contractors were being given a tour of the northern Jordan Valley settlement Maskiot in the framework of a tender that was issued to build a new neighborhood there.

"The tender is part of the process to populate the community," Jordan Valley Regional Council Chairman David Elhayani told Ynet.

Ynet goes on to trace the history of the settlement.

Established in 1982, Maskiot formerly housed a Nahal Brigade base and several years ago included a pre-conscription military academy for national-religious youth. In December 2006, then-Defense Minister Amir Peretz approved the decision to build 30 new homes in the religious community, where the evacuees from the settlement of Shirat Hayam in Gush Katif could be housed. Peretz later revoked his decision amid US pressure.

In July 2008 Defense Minister Ehud Barak authorized the settlement's repopulation with 50 families, some of them from the evacuated Jewish settlements in Gaza. Currently about 10 families reside in Maskiot, but many others are waiting for their lots to be released.

I.e., former military facilities (legal under occupation) are being turned into a civilian settlement (completely illegal as it transfers civilians from Israel proper to an occupied territory).

By Monday afternoon, the Israeli government was doing the understandable damage control, "cautioning" that final approvals would be needed before any construction could take place, and that none had been given. However, the Jordan Valley Regional Council Chairman didn't join in the fig-leaf donning:

The contractors' tour, he said, was scheduled in advance of Netanyahu's visit to DC. The fact that two events happened almost back-to-back, he said, "was an amazing coincidence." He said he was confident that the project would move forward.

It was an optimism shared by Yossi Hazut, formerly of Shirat Hayam, who lives at the site already with his family.

He said he expected that by the end of the year six more caravans will have been placed there and that the community would continue to grow.

Mr. Elhayani's candor went even further:

"This process takes a few months to complete. The timing is coincidental, and anyone who says otherwise is jeopardizing Israel's security-related interests. There is a consensus among the Zionist parties that the Jordan Valley must remain under Israel's control in any future (peace) agreement."

My emphasis.

That's it, in case you entertained any doubts that Israel's territorial ambitions in the West Bank go far beyond the few large settlement blocs that the Zionists would like us to believe they are restricted to.


Gert said...

Linguistic erosion ('Ziospeak') knows no bounds and is extremely effective at creating obstacles to peace that run parallel to the created 'facts on the ground'.

To the not-so-ziowise onlooker, talk of 'dismantling outposts' may really sound like progress towards a peace process but in reality the 'illegal outposts' are only one small 'sub-category' (a linguistic construct in essence) of all Internationally recognised as illegal settlements. In reality, dismantling these 'outposts' is merely consolidating the status quo.

Even more disingenuous is the talk of 'settlements freeze'. This is another hurdle Israel puts up, now in conjunction with recognition of Israel as a 'Jewish State'. Years of 'negotiations' can be drawn out by Israel while actual colonisation of the West Bank continues unabated.

Unfortunately once Israel has created these 'linguistic facts on the ground', interlocutors like Obama usually have no choice but to address these points.

In the end I only see two possible solutions:

1. Israel colonises all of the West Bank and creates, inadvertently, full blown Apartheid. Absorption of the Arab population then means the end of Israel as a Jewish State.

2. Extensive force (diplomatic pressure, economic pressure (BDS) or actual military force) is used to make the settlers withdraw behind 1967 borders. This would make a Two State solution possible but RoR in the original sense of the word impossible.

A rock and a hard place...

Ernie Halfdram said...

A good post, Ibrahim.

The partition advocates don’t like to talk about it, but I don’t think the Israeli government has ever resiled from their intention to retain the Jordan Valley as part of the envisaged ‘land swap’ that plays a central role in two state scenarios, as indicated in the passage you emphasised.

According to Ha’aretz, ‘Figures for 2006-07 reveal that the housing shortage in settlements stems largely from "migration" from Israel proper to communities beyond the Green Line, as well as the addition of new immigrants from abroad.

‘The data show that in 2007, natural growth accounted for 63 percent of settlement population growth, whereas internal migration accounted for 37 percent.’

As I read it, however, the Jewish population of ‘Judea and Samaria’ rose from 255,400 to 270,000 in the course of 2007 (5.5%), of which 63.2% was due to ‘natural increase’, 32.6% to internal migration, and 5.6% to immigration (the proportions don’t sum to 100% because of rounding of the original figures).

Obviously, these figures exclude Jerusalem, as the ICBS doesn’t distinguish the annexed part of Jerusalem from the part inside the Green Line, even in tables disaggregated by ‘sub-district’. So we need to take ‘beyond the Green Line’ as ‘beyond the Green Line, excluding Jerusalem. In any case, for what it’s worth, the Jewish population of Jerusalem District increased by 1.8% net in 2007 to 603,700, including 13,300 natural increase and 3600 immigrants, less 6000 who migrated internally from there.

Gert, I wouldn’t characterise either of the scenarios you describe as ‘solutions’. For one thing, if the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid ( is any guide, what we have been witnessing for some time now, both in the West Bank and in ‘Israel proper’, is already full blown apartheid. I gather you may distinguish a situation where a majority oppress a minority is not apartheid, strictly speaking, but relative proportions are not part of the definition. Furthermore, formally annexing the WB holus bolus – it’s already colonised – doesn’t necessarily spell the end of the Jewish state as long as the population of the annexed territory don’t get political rights as part of the deal, which I surmise is part of what you mean by apartheid. Anyway, the creation of a Palestinian state through partition is not different from apartheid as practiced in South Africa. Whether the border is on the Green Line or follows some more probable route, the rump Palestinian state will still resemble nothing so much as a Bantustan.

In the unlikely event that all the settlers are evacuated, a Palestinian state would be possible, but it still wouldn’t make it viable, much less just, or a solution to anything ( I hasten to add that there’s nothing sacrosanct about the Green Line. Over one third of the area euphemistically referred to as ‘Israel proper’ was acquired illegitimately by force during the 1948 war, beyond the boundaries set by the UN partition resolution (181 Nor has Israel itself ever accepted the Green Line as demarcating its eastern border.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alberto "Yusuf", were you involved in this?

You certainly contribute to the atmosphere of antisemitism that makes such horrific acts possible...

Gert said...

Ernie Halfdram:

Thanks for your excellent comment and interesting links.

Medicine said...

No peace negotiation was ever furthered by one of the sides creating ever more obstacles to the process under the vague promise that they will be removed all of a sudden when a final agreement is reached.