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Ear to the Ground

No Agreement to Freeze Settlements

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Posted on Sep 18, 2009
Settlement
Flickr / Creap

Expansion of Jewish housing in the West Bank and elsewhere has put a huge damper on peace initiatives in Israel.

An attempt to freeze the illegal construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land has ended without agreement, officials say, after U.S. envoy George Mitchell’s latest round of shuttle diplomacy with Israeli and Palestinian leaders failed.

The BBC:

US envoy George Mitchell’s latest round of shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East has ended without agreement, Palestinian officials said.

Mr Mitchell had met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in a fresh attempt at getting a deal on Jewish settlement activity.

He also went to the West Bank to speak with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Mr Mitchell was hoping for a consensus before all sides attend the UN General Assembly in New York next week.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said: “There is no agreement yet with the Israeli side and no middle ground solution.”

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By Truth-versus-Falsehood, September 19, 2009 at 3:01 am Link to this comment

I always mock those who naively believe that there was ever such thing as the so-called peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. This so-called peace process never been on tracks to start with. To start with the basic facts of this issue, Israel has always understood such gimmicks of the so-called “peace” as another opportunity to grab another “piece” of the ever shrinking Palestinian lands.

Moreover, I always mock the idea of the U.S. being an honest mediator or broker for peace, for the U.S. throughout its recent history has been part of the problem, not the solution, being always controlled by the Zionists and doing the bidding of Israel’s racist and fascist colonialism and supporting these racist, fascist policies morally (I mean immorally)and financially from the taxpayers’ money of the always deceived and ignorant citizenry.

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By NZDoug, September 18, 2009 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

After 911 and the following years with the invasion of Iraq made me wonder
WTF?
In 2005 I found a book callled
“Bin Laden, The Man Who Declared War On America” by ex CIA head Josef
Bodanski.
The interesting thing was it was writtern in 1999.
Bdanski said the reason for Bin Ladens war was the thef of land, lies, treachery and murder
of Palestinians.
Lotsa other stuff but that was the main point.
On my 60th birthday, I received a book called
“The Great War for Civilization, The Conquest of The Middle East” by Robert
Fisk
I was reading about the 1992 war between Israel/Lebanon when the 2006
Israeli/Lebanon war broke out.
I started collecting the newspaper clippings on the subject and was amazed
that what was happening in the book was happening real time in the Middle
East.
Almost exactly the same!
Everything was one sided mhigh tech murder on helpless civilians and complete
destruction , just how the last Palestine/Israeli conflict in the last days of Geo
Bushes infamous reignDec.2008.
Slaughter of women, children , hukan sheilds, phosphorous bombs, shelling of
the U.N. compound every war….
Everything Israel has done has been murder, rtheft and lies.
Mr. Fisk, the author, interviewed Osama 3 times over and each time, the
message was the same.
Its because of Israel the Muslim World has declared war on good ol USA/Israel
combo.
Now, America gives 3.5 billion/year to Israel. I think this should stop, and they
should help Paletine instead.
Article 242) of the U.N. articles states ya cant take land by force.
This was agreed after the 67 Israel 6 day war.war.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_242
Any peace must be based on this premise.
Israel has had 40 years since then to make the peace and still they lie, kill and
maim and the world looks away.
the Muslim world arnt jealous of our freedims, they arnt evil.
There sick of being killed.War has spread
throughout the Middle East now, Afganistan and probably Pakistan. Mogadishu, Somalia.
Time to look in the mirror and straighten Israel out.
Were sick of this.
911=Israel
America, please force Israel to stop killing, USA stop too.
Peace is always tomorow with Israel , with theft today.
Lets sort problems, not create more!
67 borders.
Israel, give it back.

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By Robert, September 18, 2009 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

IDF draft dodgers speak at US colleges

09.16.2009 | The Jerusalem Post

“Two Israeli women who are refusing mandatory army duty have kicked off a North American speaking tour and plan to take their story to more than a dozen college campuses in the next month. Shministim tour

Hoping to highlight their opposition to Israel’s policies toward Palestinians, Maya Wind and Netta Mishly, both 19, will appeal to their American counterparts during their “Why We Refuse” tour from September 12 to October 10. Both women describe themselves as Shministim, a group of high school seniors who refuse to serve in the IDF.

“We believe it is important to spread information about the Israeli occupation and about the movements that work against it,” stated Wind, who said that she was detained for 40 days because of her refusal to serve in the IDF. She was released in March. “We hope to empower people our age to take responsibility by taking a more active role in the resistance movements,” she said.

Their month long tour is being organized by the anti-war groups CODEPINK and Jewish Voice for Peace. According to their itinerary, the young women will visit more than a dozen schools in California, New York and Washington DC, starting with the University of California, Hastings on Monday and finishing with the University of Maryland on October 8. They will make stops at Cornell, Columbia, New York University, Brown, Brandeis and other schools on the way.

“There’s a lot of interest outside of Israel to understand what’s happening inside, how different people express their opposition to what’s happening,” said Sydney Levy, the campaigns director of Jewish Voice for Peace. Last year, the organization collected tens of thousands of letters from North American Jews who supported the Shministim, calling their detention a violation of human rights and international law.

“When you speak with them, you get a sense of what is going on there from an Israeli point of view,” Levy said.

But others said the women’s perceived credibility was precisely why their campaign could have dangerous ramifications.

“I definitely do not agree with what they’re trying to do because I think they’re misguided,” said Dani Klein, the North America campus director for StandWithUs, which advocates for Israel on campuses. Klein said if the campaign gains traction, it could backfire by further empowering anti-Israel students.

“When they see Israelis come out against their own country or their own army, in this instance, it gives those who want to be anti-Israel the fodder to do it,” he said.

The two young women, he said, could inadvertently educate people to hate Israel.

He compared their campaign to Breaking the Silence, a group of former Israeli soldiers who openly criticized Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. “I definitely understand that Israelis have the right not to agree with their government. That’s fine,” Klein said. “Every citizen in a democracy has that right. But you take that up in your country. Once you take that abroad, what does that gain you?”

So far, it is unclear what kind of reception Wind and Mishly will receive during their tour. Levy said demand to hear them speak was high and that time constraints forced him to turn down several speaking engagements on their behalf.

Indeed, campus observers said that political events of the past year - including Operation Cast Lead and the second Durban conference - fueled anti-Israel rhetoric that they expect to continue.”

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/stock-down-hope-up/

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By Robert, September 18, 2009 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

Disgrace in The Hague

By Gideon Levy

“September 17, 2009 “Haaretz”—There’s a name on every bullet, and there’s someone responsible for every crime. The Teflon cloak Israel has wrapped around itself since Operation Cast Lead has been ripped off, once and for all, and now the difficult questions must be faced. It has become superfluous to ask whether war crimes were committed in Gaza, because authoritative and clear-cut answers have already been given. So the follow-up question has to be addressed: Who’s to blame? If war crimes were committed in Gaza, it follows that there are war criminals at large among us. They must be held accountable and punished. This is the harsh conclusion to be drawn from the detailed United Nations report.

For almost a year, Israel has been trying to argue that the blood spilled in Gaza was merely water. One report followed the other, with horrifyingly identical results: siege, white phosphorous, harm of innocent civilians, infrastructure destroyed - war crimes in each and every report. Now, after the publication of the most important and damning report of all, compiled by the commission led by Judge Richard Goldstone, Israel’s attempts to discredit them look ludicrous, and the empty bluster of its spokespersons sound pathetic.

So far they have focused on the messengers, not their messages: the researcher for Human Rights Watch collects Nazi memorabilia, Breaking the Silence is a business and Amnesty International is anti-Semitic. All cheap propaganda. This time, though, the messenger is propaganda-proof. No one can seriously claim that Goldstone, an active and ardent Zionist, with deep links to Israel, is an anti-Semite. It would be ridiculous.

Although there were some propagandists who actually tried to use the anti-Semitism weapon against him, even they knew this was farcical. One had to hear the moving interview that Goldstone’s daughter Nicole gave to Razi Barkai on Army Radio Wednesday, to understand that he is in fact a lover of Israel and its true friend. She spoke, in Hebrew, of the mental anguish her father experienced and of his conviction that, had he not been there, the report would have been much worse. All he wants is an Israel that is more just, she explained.

Neither can anyone doubt his legal credentials, as a top-level international jurist with an impeccable reputation. The man who found out the truth about Rwanda and Yugoslavia has now done the same regarding Gaza. The former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague is not only a legal authority, he is also a moral authority; therefore complaints about the judge won’t hold water. Instead, it is time to look closer at the accused. Those responsible are first and foremost Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak and Gabi Ashkenazi. So far, incredibly, none of them has paid any price for their misdeeds.

Cast Lead was an unrestrained assault on a besieged, totally unprotected civilian population which showed almost no signs of resistance during this operation. It should have raised an immediate furor in Israel. It was a Sabra and Chatila, this time carried out by us. But there was a storm of protest in this country following Sabra and Chatila, whereas after Cast Lead mere citations were dished out.

It should have been enough just to look at the horrendous disparity in casualties - 100 Palestinians killed for every Israeli - to shake the whole of Israeli society. There was no need to wait for Goldstone to understand that a terrible thing had occurred between the Palestinian David and the Israeli Goliath. But the Israelis preferred to look away, or stand with their children on the hills around Gaza and cheer on the carnage-causing bombs.”

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article23527.htm

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By Folktruther, September 18, 2009 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

This is the kind of deception which is standard in the Anerican mainstream media.  The deception is in primaily what the media DOESN’T SAY.  the US is effecitviely fuinancing these settlements and effectively justify them in fights for Israel in the UN and world.  IF the US wanted to end the settlements it could, by cutting off financing, trade and defense.

But the US power struture doesn’t really want to, it merely wants TO PRETEND it does to decieve world and American opinion.  And the US media, and Truthdig, help the US power system do so by excluding the simple holistic truth from its truthpieces. 

Progressives are most deluded by the PROGRESSIVE MEDIA, like Truthdig.  Which is why the left needs its own media instead of commenting on obvious deceit.

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By seektruth, September 18, 2009 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

We are moving ever more relentlessly toward one state, a single entity between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.  Israel’s actions have rendered a two-state outcome virtually impossible.  A majority of the people west of the Jordan River will be Palestinian within a few years—why would they agree to a sardine can state on only 23% of historic Palestine while Israelis, who then will be the minority, control 77% (and that 23% figure assumes a complete Israeli withdrawal or reciprocal land swaps)? Demographics will drive the outcome to this tragic conflict.

The only hope I see for a two-state colution is if the Palestinian movement were to declare Palestine an independent state on the lands Israel occupied in 1967 (including E. Jerusalem), and if the UN—including the US—were to recognize Palestine as such.  The Palestinians would then declare that their goal is to end—preferably through peaceful means—the occupation of their state.  Israeli settlers would be offered the option of becoming Palestinian citizens, or leaving. The international community would impose escalating sanctions on Israel as long as the occupation continues.

This outcome is the longest of long shots for two reasons: first, the Palestinian movement would have to act in unison (i.e., Fatah and Hamas) and convincingly declare that it will be happy with just 23% and not demand more; and second, the US would have to support Palestine’s declaration of independence and join other members of the Security Council in voting to recognize Palestine and sanction Israel.  I don’t envision either of these events happening.

So we are left with a conflict that will soon morph into a civil rights struggle, with violent religiously-motivated extremists on both sides, an essentially fascist government in Israel, a Palestinian movement in disarray and increasingly losing it’s former secular characteristics, a growing emigration of peacemakers and progressives (both Israelis and Palestinians) from the region, and a US government which will remain incapable of decisive action due to political cowardice.

Have a nice day.

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