According to the article from… featured below, a proposal for Israel to officially annex all of Gaza and the West Bank is back on the agenda!

It seems that only last Tuesday various political candidates, including members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, publicly debated the issue before an audience dominated by settlers!

What sort of a bubble do these people live in? They would do well to heed the words of their 8th Century prophet, Hosea: “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind” (Hosea 8:7)

Father Dave


Serious talk in Israel about annexing Palestine

Occupied Jerusalem: Three Israeli right-wing parties, including two that are expected to be part of the next government after elections this month, are talking seriously about annexing all or part of the occupied West Bank.

Seized by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War, the West Bank is now home to hundreds of thousands of Israeli colonists, as well as about 1.7 million Palestinians.

Talk of annexing the territory, as Israel did with Occupied east Jerusalem — in a move never recognised by the international community — is not new.

But as rightwing parties battle for the colonist vote ahead of the January 22 elections, the idea is being discussed increasingly seriously by mainstream parties.

On Tuesday, candidates from three factions, including the Likud party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, debated the issue before an audience dominated by colonists.

“We must begin to talk about it because this question will, I hope, be the order of the day for the next government,” Netanyahu’s information minister Yuli Edelstein told AFP.

Annexation of the entire West Bank is not part of the Likud party platform, but Edelstein’s views are shared by a number of the party’s electoral list, which skews to the right wing of the party.

“Our historic right to this region should be cemented by the application of Israeli law in Judea and Samaria [West Bank],” Likud deputy Yariv Levin said.

Annexation has never been a Likud policy, but is now increasingly mentioned by its representatives, as well as those from the rival national religious Jewish Home party.

“No one has talked about it for five years and now it could be a subject of debate in the next parliamentary session,” said Yehuda Glick, a rightwing activist who helped organise the Tuesday discussion.

For Jewish Home, the decision to adopt the annexation policy is directly linked to its new leader, Naftali Bennett, who is being credited with the formerly tiny faction’s meteoric rise in the polls.

He is the author of the Bennett Plan, which he promoted before joining Jewish Home, a road-map for the annexation of the 60 per cent of the West Bank designated as Area C, where Israel has administrative and security control.

The area includes Israeli colonies, but is also home to around 150,000 Palestinians.

The extreme right-wing Otzma LeyIsrael (Strength to Israel) party advocates the annexation of the entire West Bank.

“We will present a project for a proposed law to annex all of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley in the next Knesset,” said Aryeh Eldad, who heads the party’s list.

Edelstein is more cautious, and warns “there are many necessary steps before the annexation, because doing it won’t solve the problem of the territories.”

“We have to create an atmosphere in the international community to be able carry out this annexation bit-by-bit,” he said.

The organisers of the debate estimate that 73 per cent of those voting for Likud, Jewish Home or Otzma LeyIsrael favour annexing the West Bank, either in full or in part.

Many of those are colonists, whose votes are up-for-grabs and the subject of a fierce battle between Likud and Jewish Home.

Bennett’s faction estimates they will win the majority of the settler vote, which in 2009 went strongly for Likud.

The battle has prompted some members of Likud to push Netanyahu to adopt the conclusions of the Levy Report, issued last year, which recommended that the government legalise unauthorised colony outposts.

It also deemed Israeli colony construction in the West Bank legal, despite the opinion of the vast majority of the international community to the contrary.

The report has been criticised by the international community, but won support among Israel’s right-wing.

“Adopting this text is the best way to show the world our right to this land,” Bennett said.


Gush Shalom

Gush Shalom press release, Dec. 4, 2012 (…)

Boycotting settlement products is a democratic right and a legitimate expression of political views, which should not be outlawed

Tomorrow (Wednesday, December 5, 2012) at 9:00 am, The Supreme Court in Jerusalem will hear the appeal filed by Gush Shalom against the “Boycott Law” which prohibits calling for a boycott of settlement products. The panel would be headed by Asher Grunis, President of the Supreme Court, and also include his colleagues Salim Jubran and Esther Hayut.

Gush Shalom will be represented by the attorneys Gaby Lasky, Neri Ramati and Limor Goldstein. They will ask the court to issue an order nisi, freeze the application of the law and preventing lawsuits against those calling for a boycott of the settlements, pending the end of the proceedings. They will also seek to transfer the appeal to a broader panel of judges, due to the basic constitutional issues involved.

The “Boycott Law”, passed in the Knesset a year and a half ago, allows the settlers and their supporters to file heavy claims for damages against anyone making a call for a boycott of settlement products. Likud Knesset Member Ze’ev Elkin presented this law as one of his main parliamentary achievements, in a propaganda disseminated recently during in the Likud primaries. In practice, however, not a single such damage claim has as yet been filed.

The Gush Shalom movement made a public call for a boycott of settlement products some ten years ago, and has published a detailed list of settlement products which its activists kept updating. At the time, settler leaders and right-wing Knesset Members made harsh statements against Gush Shalom.

And precisely after the law was passed in the Knesset, other groups made high profile calls for boycott of the settlements, including “Peace Now” which set up a Facebook page entitled “Prosecute me, I boycott settlement products.” Also peace activist Naftali Raz, editor of the online news site “On the Left Side” organized a petition signed by hundreds of people, making an explicit call to boycott settlement products. However, so far the settlers and their supporters did not take up the gauntlet.

“It’s probably not by chance that they do not start proceedings under this law, and neglect to go through the legal doors thrown wide open for them. They probably realize that attempting to attack peace activists through their pockets will work against them, and that even if they won in court they would lose in the court of public opinion,” says Adam Keller, Gush Shalom Spokesperson. “Nevertheless, this stain of anti-democratic legislation, violating the freedom of expression and of political activity, should be removed from the law books of the State of Israel. Individuals and organizations who consider the settlements to be illegal and immoral, constituting a serious threat to our future, have the right not to finance these settlements by buying their products. Those who wish to avoid buying settlement products are also entitled to do so in public and in an organized way.”

Keller added: “The boycott law created a situation of intolerable discrimination in Israeli law. Everybody may boycott anybody else – anybody but the settlers, who have immunity. It is allowed to boycott cottage cheese and other consumer goods in order to pressure producers to reduce their prices; such a boycott is praised – and rightly so – as an expression of civic involvement. Vegetarians and animal lovers may boycott fur or restaurants which serve meat, and observant Jews may boycott anyone who sells non-kosher food. Not only is this last permitted, but the Chief Rabbinate and City Rabbinates make generous use of public funds to run ads, publishing the names and addresses of shops and restaurants and urging the public not to go there – with the express purpose of hurting the livelihood of the owners and force them to follow every dictate of the religious establishment. Boycotts of all types and kinds are allowed by law – except for advocating a boycott of the settlements. We hope that the Court is will declare this blatant discrimination an unacceptable undermining of the foundations of democracy. “

“Tthis court session, on a date set a long time ago , takes place just as the settlements issue gets to the top headlines, not only in Israel but throughout the world. Right now, this issue causes a serious diplomatic crisis between Israel and the European countries of whose support Netanyahu boasted just two weeks ago. Since 1967, the issue of the settlements determinee to a great degree whether we will live in peace or at war, and in that also defining the conditions for any socio-economic policy, and what resources would be available for this.”


Adam Keller, Gush Shalom Spokesperson 054-2340749

Adv. Gaby Lasky 054-4418988

Adv. Nery Ramati 050-8648854