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 Author: alan wagman
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:04 am 
Albuquerque has a sister city in Israel. The sister city relationship enables Israel's human rights violations. Jewish Voice for Peace-Albuquerque is campaigning to end that relationship until Israel complies with international law. Some of you -- maybe most of you -- have friends and connections in Albuquerque. We need your help and your friends' help.

Since September of last year, JVP-ABQ has appeared at almost every ABQ City Council meeting (twice a month) to educate City Council on the true story in Israel/Palestine. For a short version of what's wrong, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQIKuk8MZvE. If you know anyone who would like to help, please have them contact me at avramwagman@gmail.com. Below is a recitation of what JVP-ABQ has been saying to Albuquerque City Council:

INTRODUCTION

Albuquerque has a sister city relationship with the Israeli city of Rehovot. Sister city relationships are wonderful when they are based on values of peace, cooperation, and intercultural understanding. But Rehovot’s very existence is a monument to war, injustice, and bigotry. Rehovot would not exist without the the ethnic cleansing and destruction of the Palestinian town of Zarnuqa. By maintaining a sister city relationship with Rehovot, Alburquerque is enabling Israel’s human rights violations.

ETHNIC CLEANSING AT ISRAEL’S BIRTH

Before June 1948, Zarnuqa was a Palestinan village near Tel Aviv. Before June 1948, Palestinians cultivated 75% of Zarnuqa’s farmland. Before June 1948, Palestinians were 91% of Zarnuqa’s population. Abu al-Walid, who used to live in Zarnuqa, describes his life there before 1948: “My family and I owned about twenty acres where we produced many vegetables that we used to sell in the city of Ramle just a few miles away. I remember that very close to my village there was a Jewish neighborhood. I used to exchange morning and evening greetings with a Jewish farmer while he and I were bending down in labor on our separate farms.”

But all that changed in June 1948, when Zionist troops carried out Operation Barak, with a mission to destroy Palestinian communities. One of those communities was Zarnuqa. The troops in Operation Barak ethnically cleansed Zarnuqa’s entire Palestinian population. Thousands of people were expelled, turned into stateless refugees.

Rehovot grew up on the ruins of Zarnuqa. The only remnant of Zarnuqa today is a few houses left standing, and the old cemetery. And the cemetery is scheduled to be buried under a road, apartments, and a park. It is as if Zarnuqa never existed, as if the people there never mattered.

Zarnuqa was not unique. The ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages and cities followed a pattern. In Lydda, a Palestinian city of 50,000, troops herded thousands of Palestinian men into the main mosque in the city and then fired a tank shell into the mosque. The shell killed two hundred fifty men. In Zarnuqa, a smaller community, troops threw a grenade into the local mosque, killing the imam and his wife.

Israeli writer Ari Shavit, in The New Yorker, described the scene along the route of the expulsion from Lydda: “The road was narrow, the congestion unbearable. Children shouted, women screamed, men wept. There was no water. Every so often, a family withdrew from the column and stopped by the side of the road to bury a baby who had not withstood the heat; to say farewell to a grandmother who had collapsed from fatigue. After a while, it got even worse. A mother abandoned her howling baby under a tree. A woman deserted her week-old boy. She could not bear to hear him wailing with hunger. A [male relative] told the woman to go back and get her son but [the man], too, appeared to be losing his mind. Following the loaded wagon, he cursed the Jews and cursed the Arabs and cursed God.”

Um al-Walid, a survivor of the Zarnuqa expulsion, says today, “I remember that day well. I was so frightened that I forgot to pick up my son, who was only ten days old and wrapped in swaddling clothes. My sister helped me by picking him up . . . . As we left, one of the Jewish militia members shouted at us ‘KADIMA!’ (FORWARD!).”

The mass expulsion of Palestinians in 1947 and 1948 has been documented by Israeli historian Benny Morris and others. Zionist forces expelled Palestinians from hundreds of towns, villages, and cities. Even today, the systematic destruction of homes and communities continues. Even today, the violations of international law and human decency continue.

THE 1967 SIX-DAY WAR – A WAR OF AGGRESSION AND CONQUEST

The nearly 50-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza began in 1967, when Israel started a war. This war has been shrouded in a curtain of lies, in a false mythology of a tiny nation facing extinction, fighting for its very life. But this was a war of unprovoked Israeli aggression, not a defensive war for survival.

In May 1967, Israel systematically and repeatedly violated the international agreement establishing a neutral zone at its border with Syria. Israel was trying to provoke Syria to take military action. Syria, knowing its own weakness and not wanting a war, did not take the bait.

Gamal Nasser, President of Egypt, wanted to be seen as defending Syria. So as a symbolic gesture, Nasser moved Egyption troops into the Sinai Peninsula. But the bulk of Egypt’s army was mired in a civil war in Yemen. On top of Egypt’s military weakness, Egypt was nearly broke.

Israel knew the Egyptian troops were no real threat, Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s top military commander, told the French newspaper Le Monde, on February 28, 1968, “The two divisions Nasser sent to Sinai on May 14 would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”

Nonetheless, Israel started a war aimed at complete destruction of Egypt’s military capacity. In the 1967 War, Israel conquered all the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. And so began the Occupation. So began nearly fifty years of systematic destruction, humiliation, and degradation. So began the intolerable situation that Israel makes worse, day by day.

By destroying homes, by destroying neighborhoods, by destroying community, Israel destroys Palestinian society. By threat, blackmail, and extortion, Israel forces Palestinians to spy on their neighbors. By imprisonment, beating, and torture, Israel tries to break the will of all who resist being governed by an alien power. When patience frays, when tempers flare, when a teenager throws a rock at an Uzi-carrying soldier soldier illegally marching through a civilian neighborhood, the people are called terrorists.

As Secretary of State John Kerry pointed out recently, “There’s been a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years, and now you have this violence because there’s a frustration that is growing.”

THE PURPOSE OF THE WITHDRAWAL FROM GAZA WAS TO DESTROY PEACE

The occupation of the West Bank and Gaza began with that aggressive war in 1967. Although Israel still occupies the West Bank, in 2005, the Israeli military evacuated Israel’s illegal settlements in Gaza and withdrew. According to the public myth, this was a move toward peace. Ever since, opponents of peace have pointed to this withdrawal as proof that Israel cannot safely deal with Palestinians.

The reality of the Gaza withdrawal is far, far different from the myth. In fact, the Gaza withdrawal was an extraordinarily successful attempt to avoid peace. A senior aide to then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon admitted as much in an interview with the Israeli newspaper, Ha’aretz.

The aide, Dov Weissglass, pointed out that in the time leading up to the withdrawal, public opinion was turning against Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinians. As Weissglass said, “Time was not on our side. There was international erosion, internal erosion. Domestically, in the meantime, everything was collapsing. The economy was stagnant, and [a peace] initiative had gained broad support. And then we were hit with the letters of officers and letters of pilots and letters of commandos [refusing to serve in the territories]. These were not weird kids with green ponytails and a ring in their nose with a strong odor of grass. These were . . . [r]eally our finest young people.”

Weissglass went on to explain that the entire purpose of the Gaza withdrawal was to destroy any chance for peace: “The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process. . . . [By freezing the peace process,] you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. . . . [By freezing the peace process], this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda.

“That is exactly what happened. You know, the term `peace process' is a bundle of concepts and commitments. The peace process is the establishment of a Palestinian state . . . . The peace process is the evacuation of settlements, it's the return of refugees, it's the partition of Jerusalem. And all that has now been frozen. . . . That is . . . what we did.”

Again and again, we hear the claim from Israel’s leaders that there is no partner for peace in Palestine. In fact, the Palestinian people wanted peace, and the Palestinian leadership wanted peace. The actual existence of a Palestinian partner for peace is what worried Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Israel withdrew from Gaza precisely to destroy the Palestinian leadership that was willing to be a partner for peace. Because peace was the last thing Israel wanted.

Prime Minister Sharon cut the ground out from under Palestinian leaders willing to negotiate with Israel. The unilateral withdrawal looked like Hamas had forced Sharon out. That perception played a large role in Hamas’s election victory in Gaza.

As Dov Weissglass told Ha’aretz, “The disengagement . . . supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary that there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.” From there it is a straight line to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement in his re-election campaign earlier this year that he would never allow a Palestinian state and his blatant appeal to the racists in Israel, announcing that Arabs were voting in droves.

In response, the racists turned out, and the non-racists stayed home. All that is necessary for the success of evil is for good people to do nothing. The good people in Israel did nothing.

The people of Palestine have faced fifty years of grinding occupation, loss of homes, loss of land, loss of dignity, loss of hope, with no partner for peace. Those in Israel who know this is wrong do nothing. The wonder is not that sometimes Palestinians resort to violence. The wonder is how restrained they have been.

ISRAEL STARTED THE UNNECESSARY 2014 WAR ON GAZA

In the summer of 2014, Israel went to war in Gaza, killing over 2,000 people. Over 1,500 hundred were civilians. Over 500 were children. On the Israeli side, there were 70 deaths. All but 3 were soldiers.

The official line was that the Hamas government of Gaza was threatening Israel, sending rockets into Israeli cities and terrorists to to attack innocent Israeli civilians. Israel had to answer that threat. The official line was a lie.

In fact, in the 19 months from November 2012 through the beginning of the Israeli war on Gaza at the end of June 2014, Hamas had not fired a single rocket into Israel. Not one. In fact, not only had Hamas not fired a single rocket, it worked actively and very successfully during this time period to keep anybody else from firing rockets. In fact, in terms of terrorist attacks, the seven years from 2007 to 2014 had been the quietest in Israel’s entire history.

So, what happened?

On June 12, 2014, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped by terrorists. By the next day, June 13, the Israeli authorities knew that the teenagers had been killed and that Hamas had had nothing to do with it. The Israeli government hid that knowledge.

Under cover of claims to be looking for the teenagers, the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank began systematically invading homes, demolishing houses, and making illegal arrests intended to disrupt and destroy Hamas in the West Bank.

To justify this, the Israeli government whipped the populace into a war frenzy. When the repression in the West Bank failed to turn up what the Israeli government knew was never there, the government was forced by its own false but inflammatory rhetoric to turn its attention – and the bloodlust it had created in the Israeli public – towards Hamas in Gaza.

Watching the war frenzy building in Israel and fearing the worst, Hamas leaders in Gaza went underground. They were no longer able to to keep others from firing rockets, and jihadi rocket firing spiked.

On June 29, 2014, an Israeli air attack killed a Hamas operative. In response, the next day, June 30, Hamas fired rockets – the first in the nineteen months since November 2012. Israel retaliated.

On July 1, one day later, the bodies of the three teenagers were found. It was too late. The war, which Hamas had worked hard to avoid, was on.

Many of the bad things we are told about Hamas are part of a campaign of demonization and are simply not true. Many are lies spread to cover Israel’s U.S.-funded and U.S. supported military actions against a civilian population. Hamas did not provoke or start the war in 2014; Israel did. We condemn all war crimes, no matter who commits them – but Hamas did not commit the bulk of the war crimes in that war; Israel did.

THE INTOLERABLE SITUATION IN HEBRON, ON THE WEST BANK

Israel shares with the United States a history as settler-colonialist occupiers. This country nearly exterminated its occupied population. Ten million people living here before Europeans arrived were reduced to a remnant of 250,000 in 1900 – a population loss of ninety-seven and a half per cent.

Israel began its history as a nation-state by expelling hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Since the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel’s military has ruled over a Palestinian population too numerous to expel. Unwilling to treat Palestinians as human beings with inherent dignity and rights to be respected, Israel resorts to repression that has continued for nearly 50 years.

To be Palestinian under the Occupation is to be subject to daily indignity. In the West Bank city of Hebron, Jewish settlers, supported by Israeli troops, took the center of the city away from Palestinans who had lived there for generations. Palestinian homes are padlocked; Palestinian businesses are shut down.

From the roofs of houses lining the main commercial street of Hebron, Israeli settlers used to throw garbage on Palestinians trying to shop or conduct business. Palestinians strung nets to catch the rain of garbage. Settlers now throw urine and feces through the net.

PALESTINIANS AS LAB RATS TO TEST EXPORTED REPRESSION

The Israeli military and the multi-billion dollar Israeli arms industry use Palestinians as lab rats. Israeli soldiers of Middle Eastern origin who speak unaccented Arabic infiltrate peaceful Palestinian protest demonstrations and provoke violence. This provides the Israeli military an excuse to use several different kinds of tear gas and evaluate the effectiveness of each. The Israeli arms industry then touts its product as tested in conflict and sells it around the world – including to police in Ferguson. Israelis also train police forces around the world in techniques tested on Palestinians – including APD and the New Mexico State Police.

THE SITUATION TODAY IN EAST JERUSALEM

For the past year, Jewish Israeli lynch mobs have been roaming the streets of Jerusalem looking for Palestinians to beat or kill. Israeli police and military kill the Palestinians these lynch mobs capture.

The police and the army do this killing because any Palestinian, no matter how innocent, who is killed by an Israeli soldier or police officer is automatically a terrorist; lynching victims are harder to explain away.

Israel seeks to keep Palestinians quiet. To keep Palestinians quiet, the Israeli military shoots Palestinians without just cause, executes them in their homes, makes arbitrary arrests, demolishes houses, engages in collective punishment, restricts movement, and tortures prisoners.
To keep Palestinians quiet, the Israeli military arrests and jails people merely suspected of planning non-violent demonstrations. We do not support violence from either side. But it is no surprise that an oppressed and brutalized people, trapped without hope and deprived of even a non-violent voice, will act out of desperation.

HOME DEMOLITIONS AND COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT

None of us would ever condone blowing up the family homes of people suspected of violent crimes. But this is what Israel does. None of us would ever condone blowing up family homes of suspects even if the suspects do not live there. But this is what Israel does. None of us would ever condone blowing up the family home of suspects who are already dead. But this is what Israel does. None of us would ever condone blowing up the homes of innocent neighbors of a suspect’s family. But this is what Israel does to Palestinians and has been doing to Palestinians for decades.

The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem recently reported that on December 3, 2015, Israeli military forces entered Nablus and exploded a bomb in the apartment of a woman and her two-year-old son. Why? Because the woman and her toddler – neither of whom was suspected of wrongdoing – were the wife and child of a Palestinian man who is accused – not convicted, just ACCUSED – of involvement in the killing of two Jewish Israelis. The woman and child lived in a second-floor apartment in a four-story apartment building. The explosive blast in the family’s apartment completely destroyed the adjacent apartment, home to a husband, wife, and their three young children (all minors). Two apartments on the first floor, occupied by two couples and children, were also damaged. This is collective punishment.

Home demolitions violate international law. Collective punishment violates international law. Supposedly these Israeli crimes deter violence.

But Israeli Brigadier General Aryeh Shalev found that house demolitions did not lead to a decline in violent incidents. In February 2005, a military committee, chaired by Major General Udi Shani, found the efficacy of the house demolition policy to be questionable. Israeli journalists Amos Harel and Avi Isacharoff reported that the number of attacks actually went up a few months after the policy was implemented.

Even if destroying houses worked, it would still be criminal.

More from B’Tselem: “Since 1967, when the West Bank was occupied, the military has demolished and sealed hundreds of homes as a punitive measure against relatives of Palestinians who had harmed Israelis or were suspected of doing so. This policy has left thousands of people, including young children, homeless, though they themselves were not suspected of any offense, nor was anything alleged against them.”

These demolitions are crimes perpetrated by Israel as part of the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. These are crimes carried out in continuance of a criminal enterprise. When Israel’s victims resist – no – correction – when Israel’s victims are ACCUSED of resisting – Israel destroys the homes of innocent people. These are people who not only have not done anything, they are not even accused of doing anything. THEY JUST HAVE THE WRONG RELATIVES. For their nonexistent crime, Israeli soldiers give parents and children a few minutes to gather their belongings, and blows up their home.

LIFE UNDER THE OCCUPATION

U.S. media reports with some regularity on random, unorganized violence against Jewish Israelis perpetrated by Palestinian youths armed with knives. Many of these youths are shot and killed. At the last Council meeting, you learned about the collective punishment Israel metes out on the innocent families of these youth. This week, you will learn how Israel causes the hopelessness that leads these young people to their desperate actions.

Everyone knows that Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 and Gaza for most of that time. The unrelenting oppression leads young people to lose all hope for the future. The following describes life for those who have committed the offense of being Palestinian under Israeli rule.

If you are a Palestinian living in the West Bank,

>You cannot enter or leave the West Bank without military permission;

>You may not conduct business transactions involving land or property without a military permit;

>The military may at any time declare your land to be State Land and take it from you;

>Unless you have a military permit in advance, you may not gather in a group of ten or more for any purpose the military might consider to be political – or to discuss anything that the military might consider political – even if you don't know that the military is going to consider it political – and if you violate, you face ten years in prison;

>Any military commander can prohibit residential or business construction;

>Your neighborhood could be torn up at any time to make way for Jewish settlements;

>If you are engaged in a peaceful, nonviolent demonstration, the military can suddenly declare the location of the demonstration off-limits and violently eject you;

>Without military permission you cannot publish or distribute a newspaper;

>Without military permission, you cannot plant fruit trees;

>The Ottoman or British deed for your home or land is invalid; ironically, early Zionist settlers would buy these deeds from absentee landlords in order to evict Palestinian tenants; evidently, the deeds are valid when Israelis hold them but not when Palestinians do;

>You are denied access to the courts available to Jewish settlers;

>You cannot ride the same buses as Jews -- worse bigotry than that suffered by Rosa Parks.

>By Israeli military decree, international law designed to protect civilians like you – who live under military control – is inoperative in the West Bank.

Everyone in the West Bank under 49-years-old has lived his or her entire life like this.

If you live in Gaza, the Israeli government purposely restricts the amount of food allowed in so that people do not get the necessary level of calories. As Ariel Sharon's advisor Dov Weissglass said, “The idea is to put Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

In Israel proper, the current Justice Minister says, “This is a war. It is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. ... Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people.”

There will be no end to this unlawful, unjust persecution so long as those who see it do not act.

DESTRUCTION OF 800,000 PALESTINIAN OLIVE TREES

Military regulations hem in every aspect of Palestinian public and private life. In particular, the prohibition on planting fruit trees, including olive trees, without a military permit is a particularly egregious example. Israel Military Order 1015, entitled, “Concerning Monitoring the Planting of Fruitful Trees” sets out the prohibition. Nobel Peace Prize nominee and director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions Jeff Halper confirms in his book, War Against the People, that this order applies to olive trees.

It is not just that Palestinians cannot plant an olive tree without military permission. Israel is engaged in a systematic, regularize campaign to destroy Palestinian olive trees. According to mulitple sources such as the international economic development NGO Oxfam and the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem, Israel has poisoned, uprooted, or burned eight hundred thousand Palestinian olive trees. You heard that correctly. We did not misspeak. Israel has poisoned, uprooted, burned, or otherwise destroyed eight hundred thousand Palestinian olive trees.

Even so, without context, 800,000 is just a number. What do these olive trees mean to the Palestinian people?

Olive trees are the major agricultural crop for Palestinians. They produce olive oil, of course, but also soap, table olives, and pickles. Most Palestinian olives are consumed in Palestine, where they form a major part of the culture. Olive farms are small, family-owned. Tending an olive farm is a family enterprise. Family members working together tending olive trees is a major part of Palestinian family structure.

But Israeli policy undermines Palestinian family structure. Although Palestinians consider ownership of their olive trees to be a family matter, Israel recognizes only one owner – and then allows only that one person to tend the trees. When Palestinian society disintegrates, when the family is under attack, hopeless, desperate people turn to violence. We do not support violence, but we ask: Who is to blame?

As documented by Israeli human rights organizations Yesh Din and B’Tselem, Israeli settlers systematically destroy Palestinian olive trees. When the owners come out to protect their trees, Israeli soldiers either stand by doing nothing or fire tear gas canisters and rubber bullets at the farmers. Settlers help the troops, loading tear gas into the launchers.

Fruit trees, especially olive trees, have been central to life in the Middle East for millennia. Even the Bible orders that fruit trees shall not be destroyed. Any New Mexican with a conscience and a memory knows how devastating to a people and a culture and a sense of identity and a sense of hope destruction of fruit trees can be. Ask a Navajo about Canyon de Chelly and peach trees. Ask undocumented Mexican immigrants who have been driven from their traditional land and way of life by NAFTA and U.S. agricultural dumping of cheap produce.

Israel blocks Palestinian access to their olive groves, then uses a law that allows Israel to seize untended land. Albuquerque’s sister city relationship with Rehovot enables Israel’s destruction of olive trees and destruction of Palestinian society.

DISPOSSESSION OF BEDOUINS INSIDE ISRAEL

The story does not end with Israel’s treatment of the stateless victims of Israel’s illegal military occupation of the West Bank. The story does not end with house demolitions by the military, lynchings by civilians, racist exclusion from public transportation, and inflammatory statements by government officials, declaring Palestinians – even peaceful, non-political Palestinians – are the enemy. The story continues with Israel’s horrific treatment of loyal Israeli citizens, inside Israel, because they are not Jewish.

Bedouins are an Arabic-speaking ethnic group whose presence in Palestine predates the Zionist movement. Both the Ottomans and the British, when they governed Palestine, recognized Bedouin rights to land in Palestine. However, the Israeli government does not. Despite this, Bedouins have served in the Israel Defense Force since the founding of the Jewish state.

Loyalty and service to the state of Israel, however, do not ensure equal rights if one is not Jewish. In 1956, the Israeli military forcibly evacuated the Abu Alkilyan Bedouin clan from land it had occupied for generations – to make room for a kibbutz. The military resettled the Bedouins into the towns of Umm-al Hiran and Atir. The clan has lived in these two villages for almost sixty years. Understandably, they would like to go back to the land they were forced to leave. But, since they are not Jewish, there is no hope of that.

But now, the Israeli government, which moved them to their current land and forced them to live on it, has declared that they are illegally living on land owned by the Israeli government. Why has this become an issue? Because the Israeli government, which sixty years ago cleared the clan off its land so Jewish Israelis could build a kibbutz is forcibly moving the clan again to build a city for Jewish Israelis.

In the sixty years Abu Alkilyan clan, which now numbers more than one thousand, was forced to resettle from their ancestral lands, the people have built stone houses, dug wells, and established farms in the desert. Bedouins are, after all, a rural, desert people. With complete insensitivity to their historical and cultural way of life, Israel is forcing the Abu Alkilyan clan to move to Hura, a city with a population density of 6,800 per square mile and an unemployment rate of 18.5%.

This is horrific, but it is not new. In 2011, the Prawar-Begin Bill passed a first reading in the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament. This bill would have forced the relocation of 40,000 Bedouins from their land in the Negev and pushed them into urbanized settlements with unemployment rates as high as 38%.

This is horrific, but not new. In 2011, the Prawer-Begin Bill passed a first reading in the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament. This bill would have forced the relocation of 40,000 Bedouins from their land in the Negev and pushed them into urbanized settlements with unemployment rates as high as 38%. Unemployment among relocated Bedouins rises from no problem to 70%.

International protest stopped the Prawer bill. It is clear that Israel is still trying to accomplish the same end – this time by decree rather than by legislation. Voices from around the world stopped the Prawer plan in its tracks. This Council’s voice can help save the people of Umm al-Harin and Atir. Please speak.

MORE TO COME . . .

The Albuquerque Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace has addressed Albuquerque City Council about all of this at almost every City Council meeting since September 2015. We will speak again and again in the coming weeks and months. We respectfully urge City Council to terminate Albuquerque's sister-city relationship with Rehovot until Israel complies with international law.

AW


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 Author: almilligan
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:36 am 
Some random thoughts that affect the above:

Israel has no established border. The US has on several occasions stated that if Israel would negotiate a border with their neighbors the US would guarantee the border. Right wing Jew say that God gave historic Israel to the Jews and Israel needs to remove the arabs and expand to the historic border.

The political system of Israel makes it difficult for the government to be moderate in its dealing with the Palestinians. Israel has a lot of political parties. When people vote, they don't vote for people they vote for a political party. Membership in the Knesset is proportioned by the vote. The leader of the party that has the most seats get to form a government. However, rarely does the party with the most seats have a majority of the seats. So there has to be negotiations with minor parties to be able to form a government. This gives small parties with extreme views a great deal of power in the government because if they withdraw their support the government falls.

None of the above should be taken as Pro-Palestinian or Pro-Israel. There's enough blame to go around not only for Israel, the Palestinians, but also the British.


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 Author: alan wagman
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:31 pm 
To place equal blame on Israel and Palestinians ignores who holds the high cards and who has imposed a military occupation on whom since 1967. As for the Israeli political system giving extremists leverage, that does not excuse politicians without the moral courage to say no to immorality. Nor does it excuse an electorate also without that courage.

Even in Louisiana people refused to elect David Duke.

AW


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 Author: JE1947
PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:19 am 
Alan .. your summary of the Palestinian -Israeli Conflict seems a fair representation of events.
two films (at least) show the inequity that Palestinians have labored under forfifty years.

"The "Lemon Tree" and "5 Cameras" show how Issraeli heavy handedness taking what they want when they want it, how they want it, serve as examples of the POWER position the Israel governments have used to suppress Palestinian aspirations.

Both feature the disproportionate power slung by Conservative and Ultra Conservative Hassidic Jews in the occupied territories. It's oppressove

The latest attacks seem an off shot of ISIS model ... long wolfs ... but often ... when queried, the families are baffled at what happened. Some sentiments expressed are: "I had no idea he would do this! He went to work today and look what happened."And,from young Palestinians: "It's clear the Israeli have no intention of ever agreeing to a two state solution. Not in my lifetime (this said by someone under 25).

U.S. funding for the third best military in the world should be turned around. Our "aircraft carrier" on land in he Levant ... that's what we pay for.
Our connection to the Israel of post WW II creation and what the monster has become since have no relevance ...but demographics and ISIS will change how Israelis live.The Israelis will increase patrols, police presence, add more sections of "wall," and certainly green light more Hassidic settlements on Palesstinian lands.

The frustration of Palestinians must be at unbelievable levels. Hopelessness and poverty lead to an attitude that "I might as well die for MY freedom ...
at least I'll be free of a life of oppression, contempt, and hopelessness. I'm not sure any more why, exactly, Israel has such a choke hold on American forreign policy. Personally, I'd say: we've dumped billions on the third best military in the world.Thank you for your intelligence help. No more economic aid. Your economy still needs support from the U.S? Too bad. You seem to be doing quite well. Find your support elsewhere.

I'm disgusted with Netanyahu ... he wants no movement to stop settlements.He comes to the US. to bash Obama. In Trump's words, "he's a disgusting man." Israel can do this because they have the power to do it. We've funded much of that first line military and intelligence support.Too much,too long.I hope ABQ severs ties with the Israeli sister entity. None too soon.


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 Author: MineralMama
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:55 am 
I found the one movie, '5 Cameras' (link below) but could only find a trailer for Lemon Tree (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsN-oA3KjIM)
Do you happen to have a link to Lemon Tree?
Thanks.

5 Cameras
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4DFO4lgxJs


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