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Remove the settlements, period!
by Al-Ahram Weekly (reposted)
Friday Apr 8th, 2005 10:58 PM
Palestinians know Jewish settlements are illegal. What is needed are not words but action to enforce on Israel the rule of law, reports Khalid Amayreh from the West Bank
Palestinian leaders have again warned that the unrestrained expansion of Jewish colonies on Arab land is killing all reasonable hopes for peace in the region.

The latest warnings, angrier and more frustrated than usual, coincided with fresh statements by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and other government officials that his government would carry out plans to build as many as 3500 new settler units on confiscated Palestinian land in Arab East Jerusalem.

The implementation of the plan, dubbed "E-1", would completely strangle East Jerusalem, cutting it off from the rest of the West Bank. Moreover, the phenomenal expansion would cut off the Hebron and Bethlehem regions in the south from the central and northern regions of the West Bank, effectively putting an end to whatever hopes the Palestinians still harbor for a "viable" and "contiguous" state within the 1967 Green Line.

"We don't want to hear words about the illegality of the settlements," said an angry Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei this week. "We want action by the US and the international community and we want it now."

Qurei, in uncompromising language, warned that unless Israel is forced to stop settlement expansion in the West Bank, therefore allowing the creation of a real and viable Palestinian state, "the entire peace process, as well as peace, security and stability in the region and in the world at large, will go to hell."

"If Israel thinks that we will eventually accept the Israeli fait accompli, they are mistaken. We will not and the Palestinian people won't," Qurei said.

Qurei's angry statements came as Israel continued to impose "facts" on the ground. The aggrandisement of settlements, along with an unprecedented wave of harassment and pogrom-like attacks by fundamentalist Jewish settlers against unprotected Palestinian civilians, is convincing most Palestinians that Israel remains insincere about the American-backed roadmap and, for that matter, the entire idea of peace with the Palestinians.

Ariel Sharon, for his part, has never hid his "doubts" about the road map. Israeli "acceptance" of the plan last year was accompanied by 14 reservations, each of which, say observers, is sufficient to corrode the entire plan.

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by Al-Ahram Weekly (reposted)
Friday Apr 8th, 2005 10:59 PM
Popular movement renounces attempts to curb resistance to the apartheid wall. Jamal Juma' reports

Following reports of Palestinian resistance during February and March, one cannot help but notice two striking features.

Firstly, there has been wide-scale escalation of popular resistance confronting the ever intensifying Israeli occupation and apartheid, which has come to encompass all areas of the West Bank. Hebron, Beit Surik, Saffa, Ni'lein and Budrus in particular, have been the scene of intense resistance over recent weeks. Moreover, the Ramallah demonstration on 14 March reflected the highpoint of mobilisation against the apartheid wall currently taking place across the West Bank.

Secondly, the Palestinian struggle has escalated against a backdrop of political developments, all of which are designed to make Palestinians passive subjects while the racist colonisation of the apartheid wall project continues unabated on their land. We can summarise these developments as the Sharm El-Sheikh conference; the announcement by the occupation forces that they were making "modifications" to the apartheid wall; the conference in London and the worrying attitude of the United Nations which has chosen to pursue the issue of the apartheid wall in "humanitarian" terms.

There is no coincidence in the recent chain of events. To understand why the struggle has intensified requires a consideration of the over-riding factor that permeates all recent political discourse and developments. Namely, the attempt to stifle Palestinian opposition to the wall, and to shape its "normalisation" into the demographics of the West Bank.

The issue of the wall was marginalised during the Sharm El-Sheikh meetings, and only surfaced in a meek joint statement noting it to be a "controversial issue". Furthermore, the outcome of the conference stressed the need for a "calming" period in Palestinian resistance and activity. This was expected to occur while the apartheid wall and the settlements continued to expand. Indeed, the occupation forces have used the de facto impasse to pick up the pace of the so called "third phase" of the wall's construction, which started in the south in November 2004. Particular fervor has gone into the construction of the apartheid wall around Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

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by Mike
(stepbystpefarm <a> Saturday Apr 9th, 2005 5:25 AM
Unfortunately (from the point of view of the Palestinains) it isn't going to be pertainent whether or not they have a "right" to Jerusalem. The problem is that Jerusalem is the only thing they have to bargain wioth that the Israelis really want.

Reality check time. Unless you have an unfounded belief in the caring goodness of humankind, ending the occupation, evactuating their settlements, pullign ou8t their troops, and allowing the Palestinains to form their own state is NOT all the Palestinians need from the Israelis. In order that they be viable they need.........
1) That the settlement infrastructure be left behind intact and not useless rubble.
2) That their goods and people can have use of Israeli ports and airports.
3) That they have economical transit routes across Israel.
4) That they have jobs in Israel.

NONE of these are things which they can demand "by right" from Israel, not even if absolutely necessary for their viability. Which means that they will have to bargain for them, and the only thing they have to offer is disputed Jerusalem and environs.

Oh, you thought PEACE was a bargaining chip? As a separate not occupied country the Palestinians are in a far worse position in that regard. An occupying power is making a claim of "control" and expected to deal with attacks accordingly but a neighboring state is not. It is movement (as we have now) accross the "green line" that makes possible the "ground" attacks against Israel. And firing rockets and mortar shells across a border is very costly when the appropriate response of the attacked party is not a ground "police action" (which might be ambushed and where one can complain about "collateral casualties) but artillery conterfire (and one can rightly complain about collateral casualties only if the aim is much worse than accepted standards -- shells not falling close to the offending battery).

Of course it is POSSIBLE that the world will step forward and provide the Palestinians with what they would need to hang tough in bargaining with the Israelis. Enough resources to convert some little Gaza fishing village into a port fciltiy capable of handling large freighters , airports, good will of Egypt and Jordan and compensationfor these building highways capable of handing the traffic and ferry facilities across the Red Sea (and remember, both Egypt and Jordan occupiers '48-'67). Other economic help to build up the economy so that jobs inside Israle would not be needed.

However I rather think both the Israelis and Palestinains are proceeding with their "silent negotiations" over withdrawal under the assumption that this possibility can be discounted as too unlikley.
by Critical Thinker
Saturday Apr 9th, 2005 6:07 AM
>>>"The problem is that Jerusalem is the only thing they have to bargain wioth that the Israelis really want."<<<

It remains to be seen whether the majority of Israelis and a future PM will be willing to part with most of Judea-Samaria, especially Gush Etzion and Ariel.
by Sefarad
Saturday Apr 9th, 2005 9:06 AM
I would like to know why some people take it for granted that Israel is an "apartheid state".

Wy do you call a defensive fence a wall?

Is the Israeli security fence unique? No.

There are fences and real walls in many countries. Why do you single out Israel?

This is not criticism but plain anti-Semitism.

by similar walls
Saturday Apr 9th, 2005 9:40 AM
A wall in the Czech town of Usti Nad Labem that was intended to "protect" non-Roma from Roma

The Warsaw Ghetto wall: intended to "protect" non-Jews from Jews

The similarities between these walls is that a ruling population claims it needs protection by building a structure around a population the ruling population is hostile towards.
by Sefarad
Saturday Apr 9th, 2005 9:53 AM

In Northern Ireland
In Spain
In the Sahara (built by Morocco)
In India
Saudi Arabia
The US
by um
Saturday Apr 9th, 2005 10:03 AM
A barrier between countries is different from one built within a single country (or in the occupied territories between Israel and an area ruled by Israel). If it was on the border of what could become a Palestinian state I oculd see a similarity but since it is not it more closely resembles the type of wall a governing people builds around oppressed minorities than a wall built along an international border. A Wall between the rest of India and Kasmir, a wall between the rest of China and Tibet... would look more like what Israel is building than a wall between India and Pakistan.
by Critical Thinker
Saturday Apr 9th, 2005 10:17 AM
How about

1. the a ten-foot-high barrier "apartheid wall" Saudi Arabia has been constructing *on land disputed by its southern neighbor* to try and prevent Islamist terrorist penetration from neighboring Yemen since '03

2. The "apartheid wall" existing in Belfast?

3. The tenders for the construction of a European separation fence put out by the EU in Aug '04 designed to prevent migration (not terrorist penetration...) into the EU from countries excluded from it?

4. The barrier India has built along its *line-of-control* (through the disputed land of Jammu and Kashmir) with Pakistan?

5. The barrier Morocco has built against Algerian infiltration *in the disputed territory of Western Sahara*?

6. The security fence built in Cyprus sponsored by the U.N. itself that, at significant hardship to the local populace, reinforced the island's de facto partition?

7. The high fence and 500 miles of minefields
constructed by the Turkish government also on portions around Hatay still hotly disputed by the Syrian government as belonging to Syria?

For more on all these, read

The improper analogies you've tried to make with historical walls erected by racist regimes with a clear racist intent against the victimized party betray your acute anti-Israeli bias and an attempt to depict Israel's security barrier as a racist device meant to dehuamnize Palestinians.
by Sefarad
Saturday Apr 9th, 2005 10:19 AM

There is even one more fence that I remember, that built by the Britons inside Spain.

It is not the same for Israel, which is intsalling the barrier in its borders.
by Sefarad
Saturday Apr 9th, 2005 10:21 AM

Morocco has built the wall inside occupied territories.
by um
Saturday Apr 9th, 2005 10:21 AM
Ok #2 and #5 on your list do have similarities (although in the case of #5 inst that somehwat different in that poeple can still go around the wall since it doesnt enclose either area) but how many cases do you see like this one today:

"Ali Abu Zaid, a 22-year-old Rafah resident, said a group of boys were playing football in an open area when the ball was kicked toward the border fence. "The kids ran after it, and that's when we heard gunfire," he said. Palestinian hospital officials said the two dead youths were 14 and 15 years old.

The Israeli army said a group of youths had entered an unauthorised area near the border and ignored warning shots to stop. The shots were fired by forces patrolling the area in an armed vehicle, the army said. "
by Sefarad
Saturday Apr 9th, 2005 10:22 AM

The Saharauis cannot go in and out of their land, which is occupied by Morocco.
by Sefarad
Saturday Apr 9th, 2005 10:25 AM
"The barrier Morocco has built against Algerian infiltration *in the disputed territory of Western Sahara*? "

The Sahara is not disputed territories. It has nothing to do with Morocco, according to the UN and the Hague Tribunal.
by Critical Thinker
Saturday Apr 9th, 2005 10:49 AM
of my claims' validity. That's sort of understandable given the inference you were trying to make with the preposterous examples from past odious regimes, so now you insist on finding more holes in these analogies than present.

Everybody notices you're ignoring the validity of analogies #1, #4 and #7.

Furthermore, even Israel's security barrier could theoretically be walked around if one tries to infiltrate Israel proper by going first into Jordan.

What's more, you probably don't get to read or hear about cases like that of Ali Abu Zaid -- assuming this account is totally believable and not flawed -- in the other countries since the media doesn't appear to give a damn.

With the exception of two cases -- the tender for the EU "wall" and the Belfast one -- the examples I've furnished aren't of "walls" constructed on internationally recognized borders between states. You yourself know this, so what's the use trying to pretend otherwise, unless you want to do your pro-Palestinian cause a disservice?

>>>"If it was on the border of what could become a Palestinian state I oculd see a similarity but since it is not it more closely resembles the type of wall a governing people builds around oppressed minorities than a wall built along an international border."<<<

The flaws inherent in your premise is that it presupposes the Green Line is an int'l border (which it's never been) and the border between Israel proper and the future Palestinian state by definition, while the odds are still decidedly against such an outcome. As a consequence, you're overlooking that the Israeli gov. has sought to protect some Jews living not too far from Israel proper by making the route meander somewhat into Judea-Samaria.
by Critical Thinker
Saturday Apr 9th, 2005 2:13 PM
>>>"An Israeli commander at the scene said the youths were spotted crawling on their stomachs deep inside a closed military zone. He said three of the youths got to their feet and began running toward the border. The teenagers were about 250 meters (yards) into the closed area when they were shot on a military patrol road near the border, he said.

"These kids were not playing soccer," said the commander, whose name was withheld under military regulations. "They knew what they were doing. You don't get there by accident."

Israeli defense officials said that according to an initial probe carried out by Palestinian Authority security officials, the three were involved in a weapons smuggling attempt."<<<