Archive for Settlements

Israel – The Slow But Sure Land Grab.

Posted in America, Arab, Britain, European Union, Israel, Justice, Netanyahu, News, Palestine, United Nations with tags , , , , on 03/02/2017 by floroy1942

What would you say if your neighboring country slowly, bit by bit, started taking over your land and built settlements in your country? Naturally you would be outraged and start doing something about it. So why is the world not doing something about the gradual takeover of Palestinian land by Israel?

Ever since 1947 Israel has expanded its territory into Palestine by building settlements and towns on land that does not belong to them. The Palestinians have complained to the United Nations, and every major country in the world, but all complaints have fallen on deaf ears. If this keeps up, within a few years Palestine will no longer exist because it will have been taken over in its entirety by the Israelis.

In excess of 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel annexed the West Bank and East Jerusalem after the 1967 war, all on Palestinian land. On Wednesday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was moving ahead with plans to set up a new settlement on the West Bank ‘for the first time in more than two decades’.

The announcement came as Israeli police cleared protesters from the unauthorised settler outpost of Amona. Israel’s Supreme Court has ordered Amona to be dismantled because it was built on private Palestinian land. So why have they not done this before?

The United Nations has for years condemned the land grab by Israel, but they have taken no action to put a stop to it except to vocally condemn the actions of the Israeli government.

How would the American’s feel if Canada or Mexico began building settlements over the border and claiming it for themselves? You can bet your life there would be an uproar of protestation, and it might even get to the stage of military action.

No such thing is taking place in Israel and Palestine, for the Palestinian cries of protest have all fallen on deaf ears for years, thanks to the backing of the United States who are solidly behind Israel. Now with Trump in charge we may see a change in attitude by the United States.

 

The Shrinking Map Of Palestine

The Shrinking Map Of Palestine

When Israel went to war with the surrounding Arab states in 1967 and 1973 they won convincingly and claimed the Sinai desert as their own. Even when Palestinian fighters fought against Israel to try and save their land they were called terrorists and quickly defeated. Since that time the Israeli borders have pushed back steadily until today, Palestine has all but disappeared.

You can be pretty certain that the small areas still under Palestinian control will disappear in the next few years, and Palestine will be wiped from the map completely to become the State of Israel.

Don’t for one minute think that I am a Palestinian sympathiser for I am not, but this injustice has to have a voice somewhere.

Roy.

The Israeli Timebomb

Posted in Arab, Gaza and Hamas, Iran, Islamic Revolution, Israel, Modern World, Muslim, Netanyahu, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Palestine, United Nations with tags , , , , , , on 12/12/2009 by floroy1942

Once again Israel and it’s stance against the Palestinians have hit the headlines. This week settlers have been accused of damaging a mosque in the village of Yasuf, and leaving behind graffiti. It would seem there is little doubt about their guilt. The crux of the whole problem in this Middle-East conflict seems to be three sided; the extremists who consider the whole of the West Bank theirs by right; the Government which is trying to satisfy the international community by curbing settlements in the area, and the Palestinians who have lived there for over a century.

Under International Law, all settlements in the West Bank are considered illegal because it is Palestinian land under the United Nations charter of 1947 that first formed the country of Israel in modern times. The Palestinians had the land for thirteen hundred years before that, and claim it as their own. So who is right?

The Israeli’s lay claim over the land in accordance with the Bible which states that Israel, including the West Bank, is ‘The Promised Land’. However, the land has changed hands many times since Moses led his people there. It was conquered  by the Romans, Byzantines, Islam, the Crusaders, the Mamluk Dynasty and the Ottomans to name but a few.

Following the First World War, Britain administered Palestine on behalf of the League of Nations until 1948 when Israel proclaimed independence. It was only the horror of the Holocaust in World War 2, and the need to find somewhere for all the Jewish refugees to call home, that prompted the fledgling United Nations to proclaim the existence of Israel as the Jewish homeland in 1947. The boundaries were laid  by UN Charter and Jews from all over war torn Europe flocked there in their tens of thousands.

The main point of all this is, the land has been one of the most contested in history, and say what you will, but lands taken so often by war preclude any biblical claim by the Jewish settlers. A look at a map of the region shows that half of Palestine has been taken over by Jewish settlements, many of which are on land stolen from the Palestinians.

The Israeli government removed all settlements in Gaza in 2005 which caused an uproar within the country, but to try this with the West Bank could probably result in civil war within the country. The settlements on the West Bank have become so numerous, and spread so wide, that the situation will never be resolved to the satisfaction of the International Community and the Palestinians. Despite attempts by the government to halt building on Arab land the settlers refuse to listen and continue to take land for themselves.

The red areas on the map indicate the huge swathes of Palestine where the local people have severely restricted or no access due to restrictions placed upon them by these communities in the name of security. Roads are controlled by the settlers, and access to areas near settlements is forbidden to most Palestinians. I have to ask; Is this is what God intended when he told Moses to lead his people to the ‘Promised Land’?

It makes you wonder what the reaction would be if e.g. Mexicans started building homes and settlements in Texas and then closed off the roads and areas around them to all Americans? I think we would see war between Mexico and America in a very short time if these moves were supported by the Mexican government. Just as the Jews lay biblical claim to the land of Palestine, the Mexicans have an historical claim to parts of the southern United States. So what is the difference?

To say that one party is right over the other is difficult in the charged atmosphere that has surrounded this issue for decades. President Obama is the latest in a long line of U.S Presidents who have tried to resolve the conflict, and he does not seem to be making any headway either. The main reason is clearly the settlers refusal to accept restrictions on building on Arab land. This mosque attack is only the latest indication of that.

The Israeli government is also guilty insofar as they have sanctioned, and in some cases actively encouraged  the building of Jewish homes on Arab land for several decades. To now do an about face in the light of international pressure is paramount to suicide for the government. Another factor is the Jewish population living on Arab land is now in excess of 300,000. To forcibly remove such a number of militant settlers would require the Israeli Army as it did in Gaza.

Jewish males and females are required to do their national service, and the number of serving recruits who have grown up in the settlements is growing. As a consequence, one of the additional problems facing the government is they can no longer guarantee the co-operation of the army for fear of a mutiny. Soldiers have already refused to fight in Gaza, and remove settlers from small outposts ordered closed down by the government. So in reality there is little chance the army could be persuaded to remove 300,000 settlers and tear down their houses. And so it goes on.

The Israeli government is caught between the proverbial ‘rock and a hard place’, because it must be seen to satisfy the demands of the Arab World and the International Community, but at the same time cannot go against the strength of feeling within its borders on the settlement question.

The possibility of a lasting solution to the Jewish/Palestinian problem is yet a long way ahead, and I doubt if President Obama will have any more success than his predecessors. I commend him for trying, but so long as the settlement question remains unsolved I see no end to the dispute. With Iran obviously attempting to become a nuclear power perhaps they are the ones who will finally solve the crisis. I hope not for all our sakes.

Some problems can only be solved by time, lots of it!

Roy.

A Missed Opportunity.

Posted in Israel, Netanyahu, Obama, Palestine with tags , , , , , on 15/06/2009 by floroy1942

With his speech yesterday, Binjamin Netanyahu the Israeli Premier, stood on the dockside and watched the ‘Peace Boat’ sail without him. Most people were not expecting any earth-moving changes to the Israeli stance on a Palestinian State, and they were not disappointed.

Apart from a reference to the existence of a Palestinian State, which clearly had to be dragged out of him, he didn’t make a single move that could be called constructive when it came to ending the dispute. Both the USA and European governments voiced muted acceptance of the speech, stating that at least the recognition for a Palestinian State was “a step in the right direction”.

Netanyahu called for a de-militarised State for Palestinians with no control over its airspace, and recognition by the Palestinians of a ‘Jewish State’. This latter statement alone was not acceptable to any of the Arab countries listening. It would mean that refugees from the 1948 founding of Israel would have no right of return to their ancestral home, or as many fear, be second class citizens in a state for Jews.

The speech made no reference to the removal of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, much of it stolen, and all declared illegal by the United Nations, the EU and USA. It is clear this speech was an attempt to defuse the tension between President Obama and the Israeli’s on the settlement situation. In that I am sure it failed miserably.

President Obama, quite rightly in my view, has insisted that all settlement enlargement on Palestinian land be halted immediately. If you read my post of June 3rd you will see a UN map of the restrictions placed on Palestinians in the West Bank. Not only have the Israeli’s taken over huge tracts of land for the settlements, but severely restricted Palestinian access and travel to more than half of the West Bank (see map-Orange area).

It would be like England taking over half of Ireland, or the USA taking half of Mexico, and saying the local people can neither live nor travel in these areas because of ‘our’ security.

Firstly, I believe Israel does have a right to exist right where it is, but the Israeli hard-line Right attitude of, “It all belonged to us two thousand years ago” will not hold water. Netanyahu’s problem is that this grouping in The Knesset is very strong, and if he wishes his government to remain in power he cannot be seen to make concessions on the settlements. This puts him on a direct collision course with not only the Arab World and The Palestinians, but with the Obama camp. Obama can also not be seen to give in on his demand for all settlement activity to stop, because he made a promise to the Muslim world in his Cairo speech, and let’s face it, why should he, they are all illegal under International Law.

This in effect brings us back to the age-old impasse that has been going on for more than half a century. While I have a certain sympathy with the Israeli cause for a homeland, I cannot approve of the way they have being doing things for the last thirty years at least. I have often come out on the side of Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks by the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah, and I still believe that to be true. Israel has had to fight for its very existence on several occasions and I agree with that, but the current atmosphere is of Israeli making because of their intransigence with regard to the settlements which they believe is their right because of history.

I have to say that were it my choice, all the settlements would be turned over to the Palestinians lock, stock, and barrel! The Israeli’s have no right to be there, and for them to continue in existence would be pure land theft on a grand scale.

I can imagine the outcry if American citizens started building townships on Mexican or Canadian soil along the border and banned the locals from entering this territory. Imagine if you will that all nations acted in this way, WW3 here we come. But the Israeli’s have gotten away with it for the past forty years! Incredible!!

Before any progress can be made towards a lasting settlement of the Israeli/Palestinian question the problem of the settlements has to be addressed by the Knesset.

Last but not least, Netanyahu did not give any ground on the question of Jerusalem. He told his audience, and the world, that the city would remain in Jewish Hands. The Palestinians of course want their Capitol to be in Jerusalem as do the Jews. So once again we have an impasse.

According to the original boundary’s laid down for the State of Israel by the United Nations in 1947, the border runs through the city with Jews and Palestinians sharing. If Jesus were to return today and see the turmoil surrounding this Holy City he would be livid!

I fear this is a problem that will go on and on. I wish President Obama luck in his attempt and I hope he succeeds. I believe the answer lies with the US President and Government, for only they have the power to make the Israeli’s come to the negotiating table with real gifts of compromise. Without the backing of America Israel will become a smoking hole, especially if the Iranians get nuclear weapons, although the Israeli Government may not let it get that far. If they do attack Iran and knock out their nuclear capability, they will bring upon themselves the wrath of the entire Arab and Muslim world, although I think in private many will be relieved.

I do not wish to reiterate my suggested solution to the problems here, for that you would need to read my earlier posts, but suffice it to say, at the moment the whole argument is going nowhere, and things will not improve until Israel starts facing up to reality instead of the past.

Abraham, your people need you – again!

Roy.

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