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Rewarding aggression in Palestine

by Electronic Intifada (repost)
News that a billionaire businessman from the United Arab Emirates has offered to pay $56 million for evacuated Israeli settlements in the occupied Gaza Strip is deeply disturbing. The BBC, quoting Israeli media sources, reported that the businessman, Mohammad al-Abbar, chairman of the Dubai-based, Emaar development company met with Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, to discuss the plan.
According to reports, Palestinian Authority leaders are not only aware of these dealings, but are facilitating and encouraging them. Such policies, if indeed they are being pursued, mark a new low, and indicate either total ignorance or wilful disregard of basic Palestinian rights and international law.

The settlements in Gaza that Israel promises to evacuate (while at the same time continuing to build other settlements all over the West Bank) were built illegally on occupied Palestinian land in flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and numerous UN Security Council resolutions.

In Resolution 446 of 1979, for example, the Security Council determined that "that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity," and called upon Israel, "as the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, to rescind its previous measures and to desist from taking any action which would result in changing the legal status and geographical nature and materially affecting the demographic composition of the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and, in particular, not to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the occupied Arab territories."

In its July 2004 ruling that Israel's wall and colonies in the occupied territories are illegal and must be removed, the International Court of Justice in the Hague ordered Israel to compensate Palestinians for the damage that its violations have caused. For decades, Israel has ignored binding UN resolutions with total impunity and the quiet acquiescence of the United States, and increasingly, the European Union.

If Israel has recently reached the inevitable conclusion that its occupation and colonization of the Gaza Strip is unsustainable and has decided as a result to evacuate its settlements, this is nothing more than a small, long overdue correction of decades of unpunished criminality. And, since Israel continues to build settlements everywhere in the West Bank, it cannot even be taken on good faith that Israel has any intention to comply with international law. Israel is doing only what suits Israel and nothing more.

In any case, Israel is, under international law, liable to pay compensation to the victims of its settlement policies and the killing and destruction they necessitated, as well as compensating Palestinians for 38 years in which they were deprived of their freedom and use of their property so that fanatic settlers could enjoy luxury beachfront living at amazing prices (free, because the land was stolen from Palestinians!)

The Palestinians would be gracious if they agreed to consider the left-behind settlements as part of the required compensation which should be properly assessed and calculated. Offering the Israelis compensation for what their aggression and exploitation of the land and people has left behind is as outrageous as offering a common thief compensation for returning stolen property, as well as offering him the expenses for the petrol, tools and clothing he used to commit his crime.

The United States has always supported claims by Jews demanding compensation for any loss of property that occurred during decades of persecution in European countries. And in recent years, claims for the return of bank accounts, insurance policies, art work, real estate and other kinds of property have reaped billions. No kind of property has been deemed too small, or its loss too distant. Jewish groups have also been increasingly vocal about claiming property of Jews who left for Palestine, or were expelled from Arab countries after Israel was created. There is no question that the owners of these rights are entitled to pursue them, but Palestinians are entitled to the same rights and to the same support. Any right, however, needs someone to pursue it. What hope do Palestinians have if their leadership not only abandons its people's rights, but becomes an advocate to offer their people's oppressors "compensation" for the cost of the oppression?

Since Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem began in 1967, it has been creating facts on the ground continuously. Everywhere Israel managed to occupy, it exploited the land ruthlessly. In Lebanon,\ it took water and even carted off the fertile topsoil in trucks. In Sinai, it stole oil. In the Golan Heights it exploits the land and water to grow wine which it then sells around the world as "Israeli." In the West Bank it has pillaged and destroyed the natural landscape, destroyed farmland and wasted the water -- while Palestinians go thirsty, highly-subsidized Israeli farmers export water-laden peppers and tomatoes overseas. The exploitation has perhaps been worst in Gaza. Everywhere it went, Israel treated the land and resources as if it owned them, and totally disregarded the rights of the indigenous population. For this, the Israelis expect compensation?

When the Israelis were required to leave Sinai, as a result of the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, which imposed harsh terms on the Egyptians, Israel chose to destroy the settlements which were built there rather than leave them to Egypt. Israel did not compensate Egypt for the use of Sinai and its resources. That was wrong and legally incorrect, as a precedent. What was correct is the removal of the settlements, and that was a positive precedent. The other positive precedent is that Israel had to leave every grain of sand of Egyptian territory, although Taba was not returned until after ten more years of intense international struggle.

These precedents should be repeated when agreement would be possible on the Palestinian and the Syrian sides. Instead of the vague formulas which, so far have been intended to create a false feeling that there were agreements, or movements towards agreements, there should be a plan to end the occupation in the same way as the occupation of Egyptian land was ended. There should be removal of all the settlements in the same manner as the settlements built on Egyptian territory were removed. If the Palestinians agree to allow any of the colonial infrastructure to remain in place for the use of Palestinians, Israel should obtain no benefit from that, and should still pay compensation to the original landowners.

Under no circumstances should the occupiers be rewarded for their aggression. If the foolish scheme in Gaza goes ahead we should not be surprised if before long Israel is stealing land and building settlements solely in order to sell them to ill-advised tycoons.

Ambassador Hasan Abu Nimah is the former permanent representative of Jordan at the United Nations.
by Middle East Online
Abbar’s meetings with Sharon, Peres over his offer to buy settler homes in Gaza Strip cause furor in UAE.

By Taieb Mahjoub - DUBAI

An unprecedented visit to Jerusalem by a senior official from Dubai, during which he met with Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon and other leaders, has caused an outcry in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Mohammed al-Abbar, who was received last week in Ramallah by Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, also met briefly with Sharon and held talks with his deputy Shimon Peres over his offer to buy settler homes in the Gaza Strip.

It was the first publicly reported encounters between officials from the two countries which have no diplomatic relations.

Billionaire property magnate Abbar has offered to buy up all settler homes in the Gaza Strip, which are set for demolition after Israel pulls out its troops and 8,000 settlers from 21 settlements later this year.

He is chairman of Dubai-based property developer EMAAR properties, responsible for many of the emirate's ambitious construction projects, and director of the Dubai government's department of economic development.

"When Abbar dared to lead a foreign policy of his own ... this became totally unacceptable," said an editorial Monday in Al-Ittihad newspaper, the official daily of the government of Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital.

"He wanted to embarrass the State of the Emirates by private contacts with the Israelis, which is irresponsible and unacceptable," it said.

"It's the first time in the history of our country, with its spotless record, that an individual dares, by such contact with Israel, to overrun the publicly announced policy of our country," it added, hinting that Abbar should be punished.

On Wednesday, Abbar's moves were slammed by a private anti-Israeli group that nonetheless clearly reflects the position of the UAE authorities.

"This totally unjustified initiative is contrary to international law and Emirati federal law," the Emirates National Committee Against Normalisation with the Israeli Enemy, created in November 2000 by Emirati personalities, said in a statement.

Despite repeated calls from AFP, EMAAR and Abbar's office did not wish to comment.

Last Friday, EMAAR said it had decided to form a new company - EMAAR Palestine - in the Palestinian Authority area, a move taken under the directives of Dubai Crown Prince and strongman Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum, who is also UAE defence minister.

There was still no official reaction to the issue on Wednesday, either from the Dubai authorities or the federal government. And it is still not known whether Abbar went too far or if he was simply carrying out instructions.

According to a senior Emirati source in Abu Dhabi, quoted Tuesday by Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, "in pushing contacts with Israeli officials, he (Abbar) went beyond the bounds of authorisation set by the Emirati authorities."

Abbar "was not mandated neither by the local authorities of Dubai nor by the federal authorities to undertake such discussions" with the Israeli government, the source said.

For Mustafa al-Ani, an analyst with the Dubai-based Gulf Research Centre, Abbar's initiative will have no effect on an eventual normalisation of ties between the UAE and Israel.

Israeli media reported last June that the Jewish state had been holding extensive talks with UAE officials about opening a liaison office in Abu Dhabi, where an Emirati source promptly knocked down the story as "Israeli propaganda".

"Only the federal government decides the foreign policy of the Emirates," said Ani.

And where Abu Dhabi is concerned, "it is the establishment of a just and global peace which will promote such normalisation, and not the contrary," he added.
by Becky Johnson
"The settlements in Gaza that Israel promises to evacuate (while at the same time continuing to build other settlements all over the West Bank) were built illegally on occupied Palestinian land in flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and numerous UN Security Council resolutions."

BECKY: First, many of the settlements in Gaza have been there long before 1967. Netzarim is over 900 years old. Israel is only planning this evacuation because the military costs of protecting so few Israeli citizens for a disproportionate cost both in dollars and in IDF lives is just too high.

Second, there is no "illegal" Israeli "occupation." Gaza was occupied by Egypt between 1948 and 1967. So Israel, in order to be violating the Geneva Convention, would have had to invade and occupy a foreign country. They actually drove OUT the foreign occupiers in 1967. Jewish people have had a continuous presence in Gaza for thousands of years.

Third, since 1993 and the Oslo accords, the Palestinian Authority is the law of the land. The IDF is only at places which were mutually agreed upon by Israel and Arafat when they both signed the accords in 1993.

Fourth, nothing in UN resolution 242 or Oslo prohibits Jewish home-building on the west Bank. As long as they are not displacing Palestinian residents, there is no problem and no law has been broken, international or otherwise.

by JA
"BECKY'S BRAIN!!: An Amazing 'Interview' With Becky Johnson of Santa Cruz", by JA


For more, later, see (Becky Johnson):

Examiner ad demonizes Palestinian children, shows young girl with gun

Albert Einstein Condemned Israeli Nazis

Elise Cohen of The Fellowship Of Reconciliation talks about upcoming delegations to Israel

by Another Beck-O fan
Yeah, but here's the MOST venomous rabid position she's ever taken:
by Sefarad

She tells the truth.

And you, morons, only want to spread propaganda and insult whoever replies to you and don't swallow your lies.
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