israel and palestine conflict

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It’s hard not to admire Lieberman for his frankness! He doesn’t mince words. He doesn’t mask a racist agenda with politically-correct expressions of tolerance and respect. 

At the same time it’s hard to imagine the international repercussions should the Israeli government really try to act upon Lieberman’s suggestions. One can only imagine the scenes of mayhem, with Arabic people being rounded up throughout Israel, turfed out of their homes, arrested, deported … Surely it would be the beginning of the end for Israel.

Father Dave

source: www.israelnationalnews.com…

Lieberman: Send Anti-Israel Arabs to ‘Palestine’

Former FM suggests sending Israeli Arabs to live under the Palestinian Authority following ‘hate march’ on Independence Day.

By Maayana Miskin

Arab citizens of Israel should live under the Palestinian Authority, former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday. Lieberman spoke following a march against the state of Israel that was held Tuesday, Independence Day, in the Israeli ArabWadi Ara region.

“The hate march of the Israel haters, those who support and continue in the path of the Mufti of Jerusalem, who gathered today in Wadi Ara to mourn the foundation of the state of Israel, all serve as more proof that any agreement with the Palestinians needs to include Israeli Arabs,” he declared.

“An agreement without that will not be a ‘permanent agreement,’ but merely a ‘ceasefire agreement’ until the next round and the next demands,” he continued.

“The fact that they enjoy, and take advantage of, Israeli democracy and freedom of expression to mourn Israel’s creation, while at the same time keeping quiet about the murder of Palestinians in Syria, is evidence of their hypocrisy and of their true goals,” Lieberman added.

“These people need to find their place as citizens of the Palestinian Authority that they identify with and whose flag they wave, and to get their ‘national insurance’ and unemployment money from it,” he concluded.

Lieberman’s party, Yisrael Beytenu, previously ran under the controversial elections slogan, “No loyalty, no citizenship.” Lieberman and other party leaders suggested giving state benefits only to those willing to swear an oath of loyalty to the state – a proposal that was widely seen as aimed primarily at Israeli Arabs.

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In terms of support from the international community, I think these people may be Palestine’s greatest hope!

Certainly the United States has been completely discredited as a neutral broker, and while Palestine’s Arab neighbors continue to voice their support for their fellow Muslims, their powerful words never seem to be matched with effective action!

The problem is that no country outside of Israel/Palestine really stands to profit from Palestinian independence and, contrary to the rhetoric, no government really pours out its resources for the sake of humanitarian concern.

But this is where ‘Anonymous’ comes in! ‘Anonymous’ is not a government. They are a group of ordinary people – rank and file idealists – who aren’t caught up in the power-games and aren’t controlled by big business. Moreover, because they are not a government or a country, no military force, however powerful, is able to shut them down!

Father Dave

Anonymous

source: www.stopthewall.org…

Anonymous hackers unite to attack Israeli websites in solidarity with Palestine

Last week the hacking group Anonymous launched a cyber-attack campaign dubbed #OpIsrael replacing Israeli homepage messages with anti-Israel slogans and causing massive disruption to government, academic and private sites. The attach reached its peak on Sunday with high-profile government systems such as the Foreign Ministry, the Bank of Jerusalem, the Israeli Occupation Ministry, the IOF blog and the Israeli President’s official website all being hacked. Israeli finance minister Yuval Steinitz said the government was now waging war on “a second front of cyber attacks against Israel.” Haaretz newspaper also said almost 19,000 Israeli Facebook accounts had been attacked by hackers affiliated with Anonymous.

The hackers, who stand for “human rights, justice, and universal equality for the citizens of every nation”, started their #OpIsrael campaign because of a threat by Israel to sever telecommunications in and out of Gaza. Hackers from across the Middle East (Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Palestine) and also from Indonesia, The United States, France, Spain and Britain all joined together in this campaign to show solidarity with Palestine.

A message hosted on the website Anonpaste (an alternative to Pastebin used by the hacktivist collective) explained: “The reasons for Anonymous intervention through #OpIsrael should be abundantly clear: What is happening in Palestine is oppression. They have no navy, no army, or air force. There is no war in Gaza. There is only the continuous application of military force by Israel in an attempt to push every last person out of the Palestinian state, despite international laws that make these efforts illegal.” Their video addressing the Israeli government further explains their aims and grievances.

 

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We can only hope that the fact that this boy is an American citizen might help draw international attention to the flagrant human rights violations committed on a daily basis by the IDF.

It is tragic that the rest of the world only wakes up when it’s ‘one of their own’ that is being persecuted, but that’s the way it is. Rachel Corrie is an obvious case in point. She’s not the only brave, young woman to give her life for the cause of peace in Israel/Palestine but she may be the only young, blond American to have done so. As such her death has been the cause of a far greater outcry against the injustices of the Israeli occupation than any number of similar Palestinian deaths.

I’m guessing that the Israeli forces had no idea that this boy was a U.S. citizen when they arrested him. What surprises me though is that he wasn’t given preferential treatment once this was discovered! The authorities must have known he was an American by the time they extended his period of detention. Is this a deliberate ‘up yours’ from the Israeli courts to the United States? If so, it’s unlikely to be well received on American soil.

Father Dave

Mohammed Khalek (Image via Defense of Children International - Palestine)

Mohammed Khalek (Image via Defense of Children International – Palestine)

source: www.policymic.com…

Israeli Troops Arrest 14-Year-Old U.S. Citizen Without Warrant, Beat Him, Deny Lawyer

On Friday, Israeli soldiers arrested a 14 year-old Palestinian American from his home in the West Bank during an overnight raid. Israeli soldiers arrested the minor, who has been identified as Mohammed K., due to his alleged involvement in throwing stones at passing Israeli vehicles on a nearby highway. According to his father, Abdelwahab Khalek, Israeli soldiers broke into his house during the night, blindfolded Mohammed, tied his hands and roughened him up as he was escorted into a vehicle that drove him to a nearby police station where he was interrogated. The Israeli soldiers did not allow Abdelwahab Khalek to accompany his son to the police station or meet him while he was being interrogated.

Randa Wahbe, advocacy officer at Addameer (Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association) stated that “Mohammad was arrested without a warrant, denied access to an attorney, and interrogated without the presence of a parent.” He added, “There is also evidence that he was mistreated during his arrest and transfer. It is difficult to find a right that was not violated.” This week an Israeli court allowed an extension to Mohammed’s detention and interrogation period.

The main reason why the story has been deemed newsworthy by the mainstream media is because Mohammed is a U.S. citizen. Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCI (Defense for Children International)-Palestine said that “this case is exceptional only because the child happens to also have U.S. citizenship.” Night-time raids and subsequent arrests of children in the West Bank is a customary and almost daily activity for the Israeli soldiers.

According to the DCI-Palestine, 6,700 Palestinian children were arrested by Israeli forces between 2000 and 2009. In 2009 the total number of children held in detention was 423. By 2010 this number had dropped to 280.

Other than the large number of children held, the UN, various humanitarian groups, and numerous NGOs have expressed a great deal of concern regarding the way in which these arrests are made and the way the detainees are handled. According to a UNICEF report released this year, arrests are almost always made during the night, between midnight and 5 a.m. Children are blindfolded, their hands are tied with plastic ties and they are subjected to verbal and physical abuse in front of their families while being transported to a detention facility and while being interrogated. UNICEF argues that this treatment is inconsistent with Israel’s international obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It has demanded that Israel soldiers make arrests only during daylight hours, take greater care during strip searches and allow detainees access to their parents, a lawyer, medical care, proper food, and sanitary necessities.

On the other hand, stone-throwing incidents by Israeli settlers on Palestinian civilians in the West Bank are seldom reported and almost always go unpunished. In an incident in March, several Palestinian buses carrying fifth and sixth grade girls back from a field trip was attacked by Israeli settlers, severely injuring an 11-year old girl in the process. According to Yesh Din, an organization that closely monitors Israeli acts of violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, of the 688 complaints filed by Palestinians against Israeli acts of violence between 2005 and 2011, only 9% resulted in an indictment.

While the Israeli forces continue to operate at will with vehement disregard to international humanitarian laws and regulations, attempts by the UN and numerous humanitarian groups have proved useless in curtailing these violations. UN resolutions and continuous demands by the international community with regard to curbing Israeli injustice in the West Bank not only with regard to the treatment of Palestinian children, but also the demolition of Palestinian buildings and the illegal Israeli-sponsored settlements, have resulted in absolutely no alterations in behavior on Israel’s part and virtually no repercussions for the Israeli state or the government.

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Did anyone really expect Kerry to achieve anything (apart from Kerry himself perhaps)?

The ‘peace process’ has been accurately caricatured as two persons negotiating over how to divide up a pizza while one party is eating the pizza. The recent demand from the Palestinian side – that before negotiations can be restarted Israel outlines their vision for a two-state solution – is entirely reasonable. In the terms of the pizza analogy, they haven’t even demanded that the other party stop eating but only that they outline their plan to stop eating!

Israel refuses to offer any outline of their own vision for a future Palestinian state, and this is obviously because they don’t have one! Kerry plays along with the Israeli charade and expects the Palestinians to come on board by offering them a few economic incentives. How insulting!

It seems that Kerry has adopted the Zionist mindset wherein Arabs are not seen as being fully human. Kerry throws a few crumbs and expects the Palestinians to scamper up and sit obediently at his feet. No. America has done its dash as a potential broker for peace between Israel and Palestine. 

Father Dave

John Kerry

John Kerry

source: www.globalpost.com…

Kerry fails to secure Palestinian talks in Israel, Israeli official says

US Secretary of State John Kerry promised “constructive talks” between Israel and Palestine, but both sides say that’s not happening anytime soon.

Just a few days ago, US Secretary of State John Kerry made a promising trip to Israel to rekindle Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

By Tuesday, Kerry was already announcing he had held “very constructive talks” with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, hopefully to pave the way one day for the two sides to talk directly with each other.

“Each of them made very serious and well-considered, constructive suggestions with respect to what the road forward might look like,” Kerry told reporters on Tuesday.

Unfortunately, his attempt at peace talks appears to have floundered so far. A senior Israeli official told the country’s media they weren’t budging.

“There will be no response to any demand where the purpose [of the demand] is to supply appease [sic.] the Palestinians and make them come to the table,” an unnamed Israeli senior official told Ynet.

“Ministers are unanimous over the decision of not giving in to any pre-condition. They present conditions in order to make the process of renewing direct talks difficult. There will be no gestures, especially not land withdrawals,” the anonymous source added.

The reports came hours after Palestinians said they would only negotiate peace in exchange for “a clear formula” concerning borders and the release of detainees in Israeli jails, the Times of Israel reported.

Ha’aretz’s diplomacy correspondent pointedly writes: “A senior Israeli official, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the subject, expressed considerable skepticism regarding Kerry’s steps, and made cynical, slightly scornful comments regarding his attitude. ‘Kerry believes that he can bring about the solution, the treaty and the salvation,’ he said. ‘He thinks that the conflict is primarily over territory … and that is wrong.'”

The bad news came as President Barack Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East, Philip Gordon, is reportedly carrying out an intense series of under-the-radar meetings with high-level Israeli government officials. And it’s 10 days before a planned visit to the country by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

GlobalPost’s senior correspondent in Israel, Noga Tarnopolsky, says some skepticism is not surprising.

“There does seem to be fear in Jerusalem that Kerry somehow ‘misunderstands’ the principles at stake, and is trying to push a territorial and security-based solution,” she said.

Washington’s top diplomat is seen as seeking pragmatic steps forward “without taking into account issues important to the Israeli government that are much harder to quantify,” she said, “such as the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish homeland and the abandonment of the Palestinian demand for their refugees’ right of return.”

However, that’s not so clear cut, she explained.

Just this week Tsippi Livni, the justice minister who’s in charge of negotiations on the Israeli side, said recognition of Israel as a Jewish homeland is not a necessary precondition for negotiations.

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This is an insightful and well-written article. Certainly negotiating with Hamas is the only way forward. 

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if there is a radical faction and a moderate faction you should always negotiate with the radical faction first. If you can reach agreement with the radicals, the moderates will join you too. If you only reach agreement with the moderates, you still have the radicals to deal with.

It is true that Hamas’ charter is horribly anti-Semitic. Even so, as the author points out, Mashal has shown himself to be a pragmatist and does not seem to be bound by the charter. My first martial arts instructor taught me “Your mouth can lie but your body can’t lie”. It’s true. Regardless of the words of any charter, the important thing is what Hamas actually does, and there is every indication that Hamas is willing to be realistic about accepting a tw0-state solution within the pre-1967 borders. The real question is whether Israel is willing to accept this.

Father Dave

Khaled Meshaal

Khaled Meshaal

source: www.policymic.com…

Khalid Mishal and Hamas Are Keys to the Israel-Palestine Conflict

Earlier this week, the Shura council of Hamasre-elected Khalid Mishal as the political head of their organization for a fourth straight time. Last year Mishal had vowed to step down from his post which many criticized within the party, asserting that he stay at the helm.

With the election of Khalid Mishal, Hamas has shown its willingness to be more pragmatic, further asserting the need to include it in future negotiations on the decades long conflict.

Mishal’s ascendancy to the highest office was sparked by Israel’s attempt to assassinate him back in 1997. Under direct orders from then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mossad planned a hit on Mishal while he was residing in Jordan at the time. The incident caused an international uproar, requiring a direct intervention by President Bill Clinton. Ever since, Mishal’s repute amongst Palestinians has reached new heights with every passing year.

While Mishal has been leading the organization since a good part of the last decade, he returned to Gaza last year for the first time in 45 years, welcomed by thousands of his supporters, displaying the height of his unquestionable popularity. Prominent analysts and critics have highlighted Mishal’s unique role in brandishing the image of Hamas from one consisting of an army of suicide bombers to a democratic entity that deserves a say in the future of its fellow Palestinians.

While many now see Hamas’s rise and evolution as promising, prospects of negotiating with the group has been futile. The Israeli government has had a zero tolerance policy towards Hamas, who they consistently accuse of seeking to destroy Israel, citing Hamas’s manifesto. Following cue, the Americans have shut any doors to including Hamas regarding negotiations on Israeli settlements and Israel-Palestine peace deals.

Mishal has never moved away from the position that resistance, and armed resistance is a right for Palestinians as long as the occupation continues. Mishal has supported suicide bombings and rocket launches into Israel, justifying the attacks as a legitimate source of opposition to the brutal tactics of the Israeli state. Many in Hamas describe it as an act of desperation in the face overwhelming Israeli military power.

However, since Hamas’ rise to power, and especially after their election win in 2006, it has readily abandoned the practice of suicide bombing in the past years, citing it to be detrimental to their cause. Nevertheless, in November last year, they threatened to renew the practice in retaliation to the highly provocative killing of one their top commanders by the Israeli establishment. Mishal and Hamas have also successfully negotiated and maintained several ceasefires with the Israeli state. Before the Gaza war started in December 2008, Hamas had respected the ongoing ceasefire for around six months before it was broken, its cause remaining disputed.

read the rest of this article here: www.policymic.com…