Archive for September 27th, 2011
Cut the War Budget, Not Medicare Benefits
Neocon advocates John McCain/Joe Lieberman want Medicare/Social Security cuts to pay for wars (for/because of Israel!)!
Following by General (Ret) James David who is mentioned on the cover of former Republican Congressman Paul Findley’s ‘They Dare to Speak Out’ book about the power/influence of the pro-Israel lobby (AIPAC and similar) on the US political system and media:
Forwarded Message —–
From: James David
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 11:18 AM
Subject: U.S. condemns Israeli plan for new construction beyond Green Line
U.S. condemns Israeli plan for new construction beyond Green Line
EU, Palestinians also denounce Israel’s plan for 1,100 new homes in Jerusalem’s contested Gilo neighborhood.
The U.S. condemned Tuesday Israel’s plan to build 1,100 new housing units in Jerusalem’s contested Gilo neighborhood, which lies beyond the Green Line.
“We are deeply disappointed by this morning’s announcement by the government of Israel approving the construction of 1,100 housing units in East Jerusalem,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
|Construction in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood.|
|Photo by: Daniel Bar-On|
“We consider this counterproductive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties,” Nuland said. “And we have long urged both parties to avoid actions which could undermine trust, including in Jerusalem, and will continue to work with the parties to try to resume direct negotiations.”
The European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also expressed disappointment with Israel’s new plan to build homes in Gilo, saying they “should be reversed” since it undermines peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
Ashton told the EU parliament that she heard “with deep regret” that Israeli plans to build homes beyond the Green Line were continuing.
Speaking in Strasbourg, France, Ashton said the expansion of settlements “threatens the viability of an agreed two-state solution” between the two sides, as backed by the EU, the United States, Russia and the United Nations.
The Palestinians also condemned Israel’s construction plans in Gilo.
“The Israeli Prime Minister claims to have no preconditions, but with this decision is putting concrete preconditions on the ground,” the Palestinian Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
“[Netanyahu] says there should be no unilateral steps, but there could be nothing more unilateral than a huge new round of settlement building on Palestinian land. The Israeli Prime Minister told the UN that he had come to tell the truth, but it is this decision which tells the truth.”
In New York on Monday, a divided UN Security Council met behind closed doors for its first discussion of last week’s Palestinian application for full UN membership as a state.
The move seems certain to fail due to Israeli and U.S. opposition, despite substantial support by other governments.
A spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said it was up to the Security Council to put a stop to Israel’s settlement policy “which is destroying the two-state solution and putting more obstacles in front of any effort to bring about a resumption of negotiations”.
Commentary: Creeping annexation
By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE
UPI Editor at Large
WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 (UPI) — In the perennial Palestinian-Israeli crisis, Barack Obama decided to enhance his 2012 re-election chances by giving his pro-Israel credentials a much-needed boost. By the same token Obama scuttled his chances of improving America ‘s image in the Arab world.
The Palestinians are no nearer to achieving statehood and U.N. membership. And the land for the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and East Jerusalem continues to shrink steadily as the ban on expanding Israeli settlements was lifted last spring.
New Jewish settlements aren’t authorized but the existing 141 Israeli settlements that house 320,000 in the West Bank — and another 215,000 in East Jerusalem — increase by several hundred dwellings at a time.
Last July 18, Israel issued bids to build 336 apartments in West Bank settlements. The Ministry of Construction and Housing spokesman said developers were being asked to compete to build 294 apartments in Beitar IlLit and 42 more in Karnei Shomron.
Area C is Israel’s designation for 60 percent of the West Bank with a Palestinian population of about 150,000 (out of 2.4 million) and where almost all Israeli settlements are located, including the road network that links them, and which Palestinians aren’t allowed to travel.
Residents of Khallet Zakariya, located in Area C south of Bethlehem , complained last month to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs that Israeli authorities are demolishing their homes and settlers destroying their livelihoods in an effort to force the community to relocate.
Mohamed Khalil, 55, said Israeli settlers “ruined” a little more than an acre of his crop of grapes and plums and “spray painted” in black on the wall of his home a death warning to get out.
Khalil also told an OCHA rep that officials from the Civil Administration, the Israeli governing body that operates in the West Bank, came to see him with an offer to relocate his community of some 350 people to an area west of Bethlehem called Nahlin. He said he declined to abandon the land that his father cultivated.
Ido Hevroni, a resident of Alon Shvut (population: 3,000), south of Khallet Zakariya, says there is “peace between his community and Palestinian families” and that he is against “any illegal structure, Palestinian or Israeli.”
With Jewish settlement Bat Ayin located directly west and settlement Rosh Zurim directly to the north, residents of Khallet Zakariya complain there is a strategy to force them out to allow settlement expansion.
These vignettes of daily life in the West Bank demonstrate that the U.S. pledge of a “viable and contiguous” Palestinian state isn’t about to materialize.
The post-U.N. outlook now is for a third “intifada” or Palestinian insurrection, not suicide bombings as in the past, but demonstrations by Palestinian youth up and down the length of the Wall of Separation — a 420-mile-long electrified and fortified electronic barrier that snakes in and out of the West Bank and cost more than $2 billion to build. The 1967 border with Israel is 120 miles long.
Palestinians tested this new form of intifada last May — and got worldwide television news coverage. Israeli soldiers breaking up these demonstrations produced the kind of scenes that inflamed Arab streets.
It was under Israeli pressure that Facebook deleted a Web site that called for a third Palestinian intifada after it had quickly clocked 300,000 supporters.
It is this original 1967 border that Obama suggested become the basis for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, with minor adjustments and compensation for any loss of land — and which Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu categorically rejected.
About 50 percent of the West Bank population is affected by the Wall through loss of land or isolation through de facto annexed areas. It also sits astride the West Bank ‘s water aquifer.
By rejecting the Palestinian demand to be recognized by the United Nations as a full-fledged member state, Obama lost what little goodwill he had recovered from his support for the NATO operation to dethrone Libya ‘s Moammar Gadhafi and from the way he tipped the balance against long-time U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak in Egypt .
By autumn, the Arab Spring was already shimmering like a desert mirage. Gadhafi was turning into an Arab Scarlet Pimpernel, the hero of the Reign of Terror that followed the start of the French Revolution.
The new military garrison chief for Tripoli is a man who was tortured in Thailand under the CIA’s rendition program. Abdelkarim Elhaj said with a sarcastic smile he isn’t holding it against Obama but he would like to see those involved brought to justice.
And in Egypt , the sight of Mubarak on a gurney being wheeled into a military court where America ‘s close friend for 30 years is accused of corruption, as the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist extremists prep their election campaigns, confident they’ll win 50 percent of the vote next November, Obama must be asking himself where he went wrong.
Netanyahu is convinced he has the correct game plan vis-a-vis the Palestinians. He says some are ignoring that Fatah, the moderate Palestinians, and Hamas, whose stated aim is the destruction of Israel , reconciled in May 2011.
The deal included an agreement to form a unity government and to have elections within a year. Israel made clear it would reject any deal that included Hamas.
For Hamas and other hard-liners, their idea of a permanent frontier is simple — the Mediterranean Sea . Hence, Netanyahu’s steadfast refusal to budge — and to go on expanding Jewish settlements.