Archive | January 26th, 2011

Zio-Nazi Court Allows Destruction of Muslim Graves

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 Tania Kepler 

Alternative Information Center (AIC)

An Israeli court has given the green light for destruction of an additional 200 graves in Jerusalem’s Mamilla Cemetery.

Judge Dov Falk issued a decision on 19 January to Mohammed Suleiman Igbarieh, the lawyer acting on behalf of Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage, which is undertaking the graveyard’s maintenance and restoration.

 

The Islamic Mamilla Cemetery is located at the center of West Jerusalem and the city’s municipality would like to use the historic burial ground as the site for a “Museum of Tolerance” sponsored by the Simon Wiesenthal Center (a Jewish human rights organization).

 

Judge Falk rejected the request made by the cemetery’s religious officials, Haj Sami Rizkallah Abu Mokh and Alhaji Mustapha Abu Zahra, asking the court to provide a temporary injunction to prevent the destruction of more than 200 graves in the cemetery.

 

The injunction was opposed by the Municipality of Jerusalem and the Israel Lands Administration which claimed that officials of the cemetery had built “fake graves” in Mamilla during restoration work, and that according to the Absentee Property Law, the cemetery belongs to the Israel Lands Administration, reported the Middle East Monitor.

 

The Al-Aqsa Foundation is calling the decision a “major crime” and is committed to preventing the further desecration of the cemetery.

 

The battle for Mamilla Cemetery has intensified over the past year. The cemetery has been a Muslim burial ground and holy site since as early as the 7th century, when companions of the Prophet Muhammad were reputedly buried there. In addition, numerous Sufi saints and thousands of other officials, scholars, notables, and Jerusalemite families have been buried in the cemetery over the last 1,000 years. It is considered to be the oldest and largest Muslim cemetery in the city.

 

Descendants of people buried in the historic Muslim cemetery, in addition to local and international human rights organizations, filed a “Petition for Urgent Action on Human Rights Violations by Israel: Desecration of Ma’man Allah (Mamilla) Muslim Cemetery in the Holy City of Jerusalem” to the United Nations in February 2010.

 

The petition, submitted to the UN Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Religion and Belief and on Contemporary Forms of Racism, the Independent Expert on Culture, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Director General of UNESCO, requests these international bodies to demand that the Israeli government halt construction of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance.

 

Renowned architect Frank Gehry who was set to work on the project, resigned from museum development in January 2010. 

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The tragedy of the two-state solution

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Dr. Ahmed Tibi

  

It is fairly obvious that Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is messing around with US President Barack Obama, when on the one hand he declares that he is interested in peace while on the other he is doing his utmost to thwart a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is not the way to deal with Israel’s key ally, to the extent that after nearly two years in office Netanyahu is running rings around Obama while encircling Jerusalem with more illegal settlements.

Palestinians are losing hope rapidly about the prospect of establishing a viable independent state due to Netanyahu’s demands which are impossible for the Palestinian leadership to accept. He is always ready with another demand – such as the paradoxical requirement for the PLO to recognize Israel as a Jewish state – whenever the process appears to be moving forward. As with previous delays, he takes advantage and gives the go-ahead for yet more settlements across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, ignoring international law, the 2003 Road Map and the weak opposition of his American allies.

Moreover, US and Palestinian leaders have seen this game played by Netanyahu in the past. Although he should be stopped in his tracks, it looks as if the United States is ready to make the same mistakes as President Bill Clinton and Dennis Ross, where Ross played the same central role as a lawyer to defend Israel and the Palestinians in the occupied territories were left to worry that if they did not participate in this charade they would be blamed for the failure of the negotiations which, in fact, were leading them nowhere.

However, time does not favour Israel. The two-state solution as proposed by the international community to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is looking ever more unlikely to come to fruition; each passing day of the occupation and expansion of settlements sees to that. Indeed, even mainstream commentators are now talking of a single-state solution, with one democratic, secular country based on “one person, one vote” for all citizens regardless of ethnicity or faith, situated between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea. Israel must, therefore, choose between ending the occupation and accepting an independent Palestinian state on land occupied in 1967, or facing demands for such a democratic state.
 
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recognized and implied manner as much when she told the Brookings Institution at the beginning of January, “The long-term situations resulting from the occupation endanger the Zionist vision of establishing a democratic Jewish state in the Promised Land for the Jewish people. Israel should not reach the point where it has to choose between the two elements in this dream – Jewish identity or democracy. But today this day is approaching.”

Indeed that day is approaching and Israel will have to choose between its territory and apartheid, but it is more difficult than Mrs. Clinton suggests, not least because the Palestinian citizens of the State of Israel  – we live in our historic homeland, don’t forget   will not accept a Jewish state that diminishes or removes our rights. A democratic state is not a problem, but a Jewish state defined by ethnicity and, this dependent on racial discrimination, is unacceptable.

The Israeli government was elected democratically by half of the population and is led by politicians of whom many are immigrants who were allowed to migrate to our country only because they are Jews; the Netanyahu government does not represent a majority of people in the country. Twenty percent of Israeli citizens are Palestinians who see their legitimacy eroded daily, while millions of their fellow Palestinians live under Israeli occupation, without equal rights, without citizenship, without the ability to choose those who will make the decisions that will decide their fate.

It is time for Palestinians and Israelis alike to change direction and stop talking about an extended “peace process”, which has been dying for the past 19 years while Israel continues to colonise the land belonging to the supposed future Palestinian state. Support for basic principles such as civil rights, equality and tolerance for all religions and people are the keys to progress, not a huge bribe from America in return for decades of breaking the law.

As long as Israel is strengthening laws that enhance its isolation   and at a record pace under Netanyahu’s coalition government – it must be clear to the American negotiator that the Israeli Prime Minister is not serious about peace. As such, American leaders must exert concerted pressure on Israel to adopt equality and call Israeli politicians to account if and when they impede the key values of democracy.

This new way forward will divert the dialogue away from endless negotiations to the restructuring of civil society, a revolutionary change to legitimise equality and civil rights. Non-violent revolutions changed South America and ended apartheid in South Africa, and can do the same thing for the Israelis and the Palestinians. Reform in civil society   or active rebellion in the status and rights of the Palestinians   means an end to Israel’s immunity for the crimes it commits; an end to racial discrimination by landlords and rabbis; an end to the ban of building permits for Palestinians. Equality is the key and Israel must be defined as a state for all, not as a “Jewish state”.

Barack Obama’s administration can help by changing its role from a funder and supporter of isolationism in Israel proper, and racial discrimination in the territories occupied in 1967, to one which supports and strengthens civil society in a non-racial state built upon equality and freedom. If the US is unable or unwilling to do this, then Europe can play its part by demonstrating its concern about the Palestinian minority in Israel and insist on basic rights for them, ending their decades-old oppression by the state of Israel.

Efforts have started in this respect with rumblings about Israel’s accountability for its policies of segregation and racial discrimination. International action such as the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign are gaining momentum, with the recognition that the “peace process” has been replaced by the Israeli government’s policies of racial discrimination and further expansion into the occupied territories.

Only when Israel grants equal rights and freedom for all of its citizens and those who live under its occupation will it have real security and peace. With an investment in all of its people it can move forward; the current path endangers the lives of Jews and Arabs alike.

Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton should lead on this road of equality and freedom, which did, after all, produce results for the United States and South Africa, instead of wasting more unproductive hours trying to protect a state that is still determined to promote the rights of Jews at the expense of others.

Dr Ahmed Tibi is the leader of the Arab Nationalist Party in Israel and member of the Knesset

 

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Turkel is another nail in Zionism’s coffin

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Israel’s Turkel Commission has found that Israeli soldiers fired at unarmed civilians on a peace flotilla in “self-defence”

News that Israel’s Turkel Commission has found that Israeli soldiers fired at unarmed civilians on a peace flotilla in “self-defence” should come as no surprise. The Zionist state is adept at covering up its many military “mistakes” so why should this decision of the government-appointed commission about the assault and hijacking of the Freedom Flotilla on 31 May 2010 be any different? Anyone who thought that the oft-declared “only democracy in the Middle East” would be interested in seeking justice for the victims of Israel’s trigger-happy soldiers really ought to know better. It is just a couple of weeks since an unarmed 65-year old man was shot and killed in his bed in a case of “mistaken identity“; his killer didn’t even check his identity before opening fire with fatal consequences. The soldier in question was discharged from the army last week; reports say that he is “unlikely” to face any criminal charges. No great outcry has arisen from the international community about injustice, nor have calls been made for the killer to brought before a court; life goes on, and it looks as if that is what is going to happen with the latest Israeli whitewash.

 

In order to give the Turkel Commission a modicum of independence, two international observers were appointed; Lord David Trimble and a Canadian Brigadier-General, Ken Watkin, have both apparently “endorsed” the commission’s finding. No surprises there either. Trimble is the same politician who opposed for decades any UK government inquiry into the Bloody Sunday shootings in Derry in 1972. He was appointed to the commission in the wake of setting up a pro-Israel support group in Europe. Watkin’s home nation is one of Israel’s staunchest supporters in the international arena.

In a response which is indicative of the arrogant nature of Israeli politicians, Defence Minister Ehud Barak’s claim that the Turkel findings “proved that Israel was a law-abiding country that could inspect itself and which respects the norms and rules of the international system” would be laughable if not so serious. His ostrich-like claim belies all the evidence, but truth has never really been at the core of Zionism and its supporters. The state of Israel was built on lies and bloody terrorism, a tradition that continues to this day and provided with cover by pseudo-legal reports such as Turkel’s. An independent UN report last year found that the Israeli soldiers used an “unacceptable level of brutality” in the assault.

Israeli-Arab MK Hanin Zuabi was on the flotilla when it was attacked. She said that the report basically repeats the Israeli government’s version of events at the time. Anyone with even half a memory will recall that Israeli government spokesmen were given almost free rein on the Western media for the first few days after the assault; no voice which dissented from the Israeli narrative was allowed to be heard. One US academic told a BBC radio audience that it is standard in such situations for the “official version” of events like the flotilla assault to be discredited completely “when the real story comes out”. The Turkel Commission is Israel’s attempt to push its own version of what happened at the expense of reality. Ms. Zuabi pointed out that the three-man commission (one of whom was 95 years old and died during the commission’s inquiry) based its findings “on the testimony of the diplomatic and military officials who made the decision to attack and kill”. In a report in Haaretz newspaper, Barak went on to claim that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, cementing his ostrich reputation and complete lack of any grasp on the real world.

The Israeli government appears to be hell-bent on a policy of isolationism, cutting itself off from the rest of the world when its opinions and approval of it actions are not shared by others apart from its fanatical supporters, something that is happening with ever more frequency, thankfully. This cavalier attitude towards international law and conventions has seen Israel defy the will of the international community expressed in UN resolutions by ignoring the Security Council and General Assembly more times than any other state. The Zionist state ignored the condemnation of its annexation wall (“security barrier”) by the International Court of Justice and continues to build it, destroying Palestinian lives and land in the process. Its ongoing colonisation of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is being carried out in defiance of international law, and its “defence” forces have committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity against the population of Gaza.

In short, the Turkel whitewash serves yet again to prove, if more proof is needed, that Israel has all the trappings of a rogue state, out of control and behaving, as one of its politicians once said it must, “as a mad dog” so that the world will leave it alone. In that, the Israel lobby is extremely successful; its control over the US legislature, Britain’s main political parties and powerful sections of the international media mean that criticism, if it comes forth at all, is muted; the international equivalent of a parent tut-tutting its spoilt offspring’s embarrassing anti-social behaviour.

The reaction of the Turkish government to this report is important; nine Turkish citizens were murdered by Israeli soldiers on the Mavi Marmara in what have been described by eyewitnesses as “executions”. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the Turkel findings have “neither value nor credibility” but there is no clear indication yet what, if any, steps his government will take. Once Israel’s main ally in the region, the siege of Gaza and Operation Cast Lead against the territory two years ago forced Turkey to rethink its relationship with the Zionist state.

Washington’s response will be interesting; Israel’s main ally and supporter has seen its credibility as an honest broker in the dead-in-the-water peace process shattered by its client state’s refusal to freeze illegal settlement building in East Jerusalem. Will the Obama administration accept the findings of Turkel and thus try to restore some of Israel’s credibility? Or will Hillary Clinton and co. acknowledge the Turkel report for what it is, just one more whitewash to add to Israel’s long list? The arguments will continue about Israel’s “de-legitimisation” and the Israel lobby will swing into action to put its own positive spin on Turkel. However, those who continue to stand up for justice for the Palestinians and their supporters, especially the victims of Israeli brutality on the Mavi Marmara, can and will see through more Israeli lies and be able to say with confidence that nothing de-legitimises Israel more than its own illegal actions, of which the attack on the Freedom Flotilla was but one of many. Turkel will go down in history as another nail in pernicious Zionism’s coffin.

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Traitor Ab-A$$ ask Zionist Mu-Barak to Mediate with Qatar ”to stop defaming the PA”

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Palestinian Authority’s apparent willingness to make huge concessions to Israel during 10 years of closed-door peace talks.

The release by Al-Jazeera of sensitive documents revealing the Palestinian Authority’s apparent willingness to make huge concessions to Israel during 10 years of closed-door peace talks, have put Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in an embarrassing situation. So much so, diplomatic sources have claimed, that he has asked Egypt to mediate between the PA and Qatar to stop what he sees as the “defamation” of the Authority. The documents show that there are clear contradictions between the private and public utterances of the Palestinian negotiators.

 

According to Al-Mesreyoon online newspaper, Abbas claims to have kept all Arab countries up-to-date on what his negotiators and the Israelis have been discussing; Qatar-owned Al-Jazeera is, Abbas believes, trying to stir up Arab public opinion by distorting the image of the Palestinian Authority. The sources revealed that Egypt expressed its support for the PA’s position and its belief that the leaks “slander” the PA.

Egypt’s former assistant foreign minister, Ambassador Rakha Hassan, said that these documents, now known as the “Palestine Papers”, will have negative repercussions for the PA, inside as well as outside Palestine. It is likely, he said, that Hamas will use the leaks as a pretext for continuing to criticise President Abbas. Hassan said that he expected the PA to try to get more Arab support during the crisis. Keeping the Arab state advised of progress at all stages will, Abbas believes, provide some cover for the PA.

Mahmoud Abbas was in Egypt when the Palestine Papers were first revealed; he has tried to play down the damage arising from the revelations and denied offering Israel concessions on territory and the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa. He said that the leaked documents confuse Palestinian stances with those of the Israelis, and that confusion in and of itself is the objective of the leaks. “We have no secrets, and this is known by all Arab countries,” he said.

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Zio-Nazi’s excavates Muslim graves in Jerusalem

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On Wednesday (04.08.2010) morning, Israeli machinery began the sweeping of a number of graves in the historic Islamic Ma’man Allah cemetery in occupied Jerusalem which contains dozens of tombs dating back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Heritage and Endowments said: “Machinery and bulldozers belonging to the Israeli municipal authorities in Jerusalem have dug up and destroyed 15 tombs in the Ma’man Allah cemetery located in the far north east of Jerusalem. This action is in accordance with Judaisation plans for the Holy city which aims at ridding Jerusalem of all that is Arab and Islamic”.

In a copy of a written statement sent to ‘Quds Press’, the Foundation clarified that the Israeli violation had “occurred after the Al-Aqsa Foundation undertook to cooperate in the upkeep of the cemetery carrying out maintenance and repairs and cleaning it.”The Al-Aqsa Foundation condemned the act as an ‘odious crime’ and said that it would “continue with the maintenance and preservation of the Ma’man Allah cemetery; taking care of the tombs inside of it and undertaking the full legal and religious responsibilities toward our graves and our dead.”

The Ma’man Allah cemetery is one of the largest Muslim cemeteries in the area estimated at approximately two hundred dunams.

Credible Palestinian sources confirm that the Ma’man Allah cemetery contains the remains of a number of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) such as ‘Ubadah bin Samit and many graves belonging those from the generation that followed the companions. The cemetery also contains the graves of numerous other notables of Islam, martyrs and righteous individuals.

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the Palestine Papers-”Shocking revelations” on Jerusalem

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Dr. Daud Abdullah
 

 

One of the most shocking revelations of The Palestine Papers obtained by Al Jazeera relates to the demographic and territorial concessions that the Palestinian Authority was willing to give on Jerusalem.

The papers show that not only did PA negotiators demonstrate a willingness to accept Israel’s annexation of all the settlements in Jerusalem, except Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa), but that they were also willing to disown parts of the besieged Arab neighbourhoods in the city. Worse still, Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator, displayed clear “flexibility” regarding the sovereignty on the Haram al-Sharif.

As Ahmed Qurei described the PA’s concessions on East Jerusalem settlements, this was “the first time in history that we make such a proposition; we refused to do so in Camp David.”

For their part, the Israelis, during negotiations in 2008, refused to return to the point at which the Camp David talks collapsed in July 2000. Udi Dekel, the head of the Israeli team, pointed this out in a May 29, 2008 meeting with Samih al-Abid, the PA’s map expert:

“Since 2000, something happened in those 8 years. So we are not at the same starting point. You started a terror war on us and we created facts on the ground. This is the reality that we live in today, so we can’t go back to Camp David. Circumstances changed considerably since then.”

“I will not betray my people”

The first time the two sides ever discussed the status of occupied East Jerusalem – and, in particular, its holy sites – was at Camp David in 2000. Under international law, Jerusalem (including the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount) is regarded as part of the illegally occupied Palestinian territories. Notwithstanding, Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian president Yasser Arafat attempted to negotiate the issue during their Camp David summit. Several participants in the controversial talks confirm that their failure to resolve the status of the Old City’s holy sites contributed to its acrimonious collapse.

At Camp David, the Clinton administration’s proposal was premised on a general principle that “Arab areas are Palestinian and Jewish areas are Israeli.” However, the proposals on the Haram were exceedingly problematic: They seemed to recognize Israel’s sovereignty under the Haram. Other aspects of the proposal seemed to prepare the conditions for Palestinian enclaves within the city, all separated from each other. But the Israelis, unlike the Palestinians, seemed set to maintain contiguity.

Hence, while in theory the Clinton proposal called for “maximum contiguity for both,” in practice it translated into “maximum contiguity for Israel.”

Realizing the dire consequences of such an outcome, Arafat rejected the offer and defended the Palestine Liberation Organization’s unwillingness to compromise on the sovereignty of the Haram. His was a principled position that quickly earned him the scorn of Israelis and Americans alike – though universal support at home, and throughout the Islamic world.

In what was by all accounts a bruising encounter, Arafat told Clinton, “The Palestinian leader who will give up Jerusalem has not yet been born. I will not betray my people or the trust they have placed in me. Do not look to me to legitimize the occupation! Of course, it can continue longer, but it cannot last forever.”

Newfound “flexibility”

The Palestine Papers show that ten years later the leadership of PLO, now substantially weakened and fragmented, was prepared to deviate from the red line laid down by Arafat. At least one member of its executive committee, Saeb Erekat, has demonstrated this willingness to show “flexibility” on the Haram.

Whether he made the following overtures to win the admiration of his American counterparts, or merely to break the deadlock created by the extremist Netanyahu government, it is not clear; what is absolutely clear, though, is that the proposed tinkering with the legal status of the Haram al-Sharif is dangerous and unprecedented. Despite the obvious the risks entailed, Erekat nonetheless, made this “creative” suggestion on October 21st 2009 during a meeting in Washington. He told Obama adviser David Hale and State Department legal adviser Jonathan Schwartz:

“Even the Old City can be worked out except for the Haram and what they call Temple Mount. There you need the creativity of people like me…”

When Schwartz asked whether they were to discuss Jerusalem with the borders or separately, Erekat replied:

“It’s solved. You have the Clinton Parameters formula. For the Old City sovereignty for Palestine, except the Jewish quarter and part of the Armenian quarter…the Haram can be left to be discussed – there are creative ways, having a body or a committee, having undertakings for example not to dig.”

It is evident from this exchange that; whereas Arafat had rejected the Clinton parameters, the current Palestinian team (led by Erekat) is prepared to accept it.

Furthermore, he conceded that the Jewish Quarter and part of the Armenian Quarter would be under Israeli sovereignty. By so doing, Erekat was, in effect, moving the current Armistice [“Green”] Line, which is currently far away from the Haram al-Sharif and outside the Old City, to rest exactly at the Haram’s walls. (It must be recalled that when the Jewish Quarter was confiscated by the Israelis on 18 April 1968, only 105 of the 595 houses were owned by Jews.)

More alarmingly, Erekat’s suggestion of “a body or a committee” to solve the issue of the Haram demonstrated his unreserved flexibility over the sovereignty of the Haram itself. It indicates it is not a red line any more.

To highlight the extent of the PA’s offer on Jerusalem, Erekat on January 15, 2010 told George Mitchell’s staff: “What is in that paper gives them the biggest Yerushalaim in Jewish history…”

From the beginning, Erekat was well aware of the acute sensitivity of the issue of the Haram to Arabs and Muslims. He confirmed this to US assistant secretary of state David Welch after the Annapolis meeting on 2 December 2008, when he said that, to the Saudis, “Jerusalem is the Haram.”

It is notable in The Palestine Papers that even Condoleezza Rice realised the extreme sensitivity of the Haram, telling the Palestinian and Israeli negotiators in a July 29, 2008 meeting that on the Haram “your children’s children will not have an agreement.” She called on both sides to” leave it unresolved.”

But the chief Palestinian negotiator appeared totally disconnected from his own people, as well as his wider Arab and Muslim constituency, when he made this “creative” overture about Old City and the Haram. He apparently, was so consumed by the negotiations that he became oblivious of the import of his remarks among Arabs, Muslims and – most of all – his own people. Even among some Israelis this seemed infantile; as Israeli lawyer Daniel Seidemann observed in a recent article, “any attempt to construe the API (Arab Palestine Initiative) in a manner that falls short of “full-stop” Palestinian or Arab sovereignty on the Haram/Mount would be an exercise in self-delusion.”

Dr Daud Abdullah is the director of the Middle East Monitor – an independent media research institution founded in the United Kingdom to foster a fair and accurate coverage in the Western media of Middle Eastern issues and in particular the Palestine question.

Source: http://english.aljazeera.net

Dr. Daud Abdullah

The chief Palestinian negotiator appears disconnected from his own people and his wider Arab and Muslim constituency.

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Zio-Nazi tribute to PA Traitors security support

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Israeli tribute to Palestinian Authority security support “confirms threat to West Bank Palestinians”

 

Islamic Resistance Movement

The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has called the tribute paid by the Israeli Defence Minister and the Director of Israel’s intelligence service to the Palestinian Authority for its security cooperation with the occupying power “a threat to the people of the occupied West Bank”. In a press statement, Hamas said, “The blessings given by Ehud Barak and Yuval Diskin confirm the growing and widespread belief that the main concern of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah is the security of the Zionist state and not the defence of citizen’s rights as they struggle under Israel’s military occupation.Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said on 19 January, “This security cooperation emphasizes that there is a real threat to the lives of our people in the West Bank, the national project, political pluralism and freedom of opinion and expression.”

According to Mr. Barhoum, “We [in Hamas] believe that any support from any regional or international party for the PA security services and the Zionist occupier, or any blessing for such security cooperation, means more violations of our people’s freedoms, and more bloodshed and death for Palestinians in the West Bank.” All of this and the fact that people under occupation have a right to self-defence, said Mr. Barhoum, “is contrary to all international norms and laws”. Any support or cooperation with the Zionist state, whether in terms of security, finance, the military or politics, added Mr. Barhoum, “is active involvement in Zionist terrorism and violence against the Palestinian people”. He called on the PA in the occupied West Bank to end such security cooperation with the occupation authority immediately and give priority to the security of Palestinian citizens, including those who expose the crimes of the Israeli occupiers. “The PA in Ramallah,” he concluded, “should not provide the Israeli military occupation with cover allowing it to commit more crimes.”

 

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The peace process may be dead, but the piece process rumbles on

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Ibrahim Hewitt

 

Israeli right-wing has been hinting strongly that Jordan is “the alternative homeland” for Palestinians

As the people of Palestine come to terms with the apparent betrayal of their rights by the people appointed to negotiate with the Israelis on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, a number of commentators are declaring the “peace process” to be dead and buried. With all due respect to them, that process has never existed in any form as a genuine attempt to secure a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians; it has, from the earliest days of the Zionist movement, existed as a process whereby Israel can grab as much of historic Palestine as it can. The “peace process” has been invaluable in buying time for successive Israeli governments as they take more and more of Palestinian land in a piece process that is as cynical as it is effective.

The latest Al-Jazeera leaks of documents purporting to reveal how much Messrs Erekat and Qurie have been prepared to give away in return for absolutely nothing suggest that the peace process has been nothing more than a charade, in which the Palestinian negotiators have played the part of the fall guys. Despite their immediate condemnation by the Palestinian Authority, the content of the leaks has, according to some journalists, been common knowledge “among insiders” for years.

 

According to the Guardian (and quoted on the BBC website), at a 2007 meeting, in response to “Palestinian negotiators’ suspicions that ‘Israel takes more land [so] that the Palestinian state will be impossible'”, the then Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, replied that that had been “the policy of the government for a really long time”. For once, I find myself in agreement with Ms. Livni.

When Theodor Herzl wrote “The Jewish State” in 1896, he did not have any particular territory in mind. He went on to gain the nickname “The Ugandan” because he favoured accepting a British offer of some land in Africa for such a state. By 1917 and the issue of the infamous Balfour Declaration, “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” was established as the Zionists’ objective. At that stage, the existing Arab population of Palestine was already being dismissed as “non-Jewish communities” in their own land.

Britain was given the League of Nations Mandate over Palestine in 1922 and it came into being a year later. Thanks to Lord Balfour, the “National Home” for the “Jewish people” acquired proper noun status and was an integral part of the mandate’s purpose. After the Second World War, the fledgling United Nations came up with a partition plan in December 1947 which gave the Jews 54% of historic Palestine; in the fighting and ethnic cleansing of the land that preceded and followed Israel’s declaration of independence, the nascent state took more land than had been allocated by the UN partition plan. The state was declared without any mention of borders, it already being known to the Zionist leadership – notably David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel – that whatever land the state had acquired was to be a stage in a longer process to establish Greater Israel, from the sea (some say the Nile or, at least, the Suez Canal) to the River Jordan. Ben-Gurion’s intentions in this regard are recorded by Prof. Norman Finkelstein in his book Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict.

The Suez Canal theory takes on some credibility with Israel’s participation with France and Britain in the “Tripartite Aggression” against Egypt in the Suez Crisis of 1956. The Israelis hoped to gain control of Gaza and Sinai through this invasion and although they were forced to withdraw, had to wait just 11 years before taking full control of the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War. Sinai was evacuated as part of the peace deal with Egypt in 1979 but Israel maintains control over the West Bank through its military occupation and colonisation programme. Having withdrawn its soldiers and colonists from Gaza in 2005, Israel keeps control over Gaza’s air, land and sea access; in legal terms, it is still the occupying power. It maintains an interest in Sinai through the deal it agreed with the Egyptians before it withdrew.

Israel’s creeping colonisation of the West Bank – creating “facts on the ground” – includes not only settlements but also settler-only roads, the annexation wall, self-declared military zones and “nature reserves” and checkpoints, making normal life impossible for the Palestinians who live there. At best, if an independent state of Palestine was declared tomorrow it would be on around 22% of historic Palestine. The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their land continues with expulsions of people from their homes in East Jerusalem and inside Israel itself; the homes are then demolished to make way for more Jewish settler-colonists. The above tools of Israel’s occupation mean that the land allocated to a Palestinian “state” will not be contiguous and is, literally, getting smaller day by day. As Finkelstein describes brilliantly in Image and Reality, a “free Palestine”, if it ever comes into being at all, will be little more than an entity similar to the discredited Bantustans created by apartheid South Africa.

None of this piece by piece land grab has taken place by accident; when Tzipi Livni confirmed that this has been “the policy of the government for a really long time” she meant it.

The international community and the Palestinian Authority have some serious questions to ask themselves. Is this Israeli government, like its predecessors, really inclined towards a peace agreement with the Palestinians? The Al-Jazeera documents suggest not; claims that Israel has never had “a Palestinian partner for peace” have been exposed for the lies that they have always been (and that shouldn’t surprise anyone either – Israel was founded on lies and terrorism). Is America going to push on and try to get these now discredited Palestinian negotiators back to the table with their Israeli opposite numbers? Will the Palestinian people accept such a humiliation, one of many heaped upon them by the US, Israel and, it now transpires, their own Authority in Ramallah? Why should they?

This could be a turning point in the whole conflict, but not in the way that many think. The Israeli right-wing has been hinting strongly that Jordan is “the alternative homeland” for Palestinians and the desirability of their “transfer” across the River Jordan has been stated openly by Israel’s racist Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. We can almost hear the cheers in Israeli society as they celebrate the latest Palestinian debacle: “The peace process is dead; long live the piece process!”

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The Al-Jazeera documents: what’s next?

NOVANEWS

 

Khalid Amayreh

  

According to the documents leaked to Al-Jazeera, PA officials agreed to deprive the vast majority refugees of this right to return to their homes in what is now Israel.

Palestinian Authority (PA) officials have lashed out at the Al-Jazeera pan-Arab network for disclosing previously secret documents showing that PA negotiators had agreed to compromise over some cardinal issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict; these include the status of Jerusalem and the right of return for millions of refugees, uprooted from their homes when and since Israel was created in 1948.

 

In an impromptu press conference held in Ramallah on 24 January, Yasser Abed Rabbo, Secretary-General of the PLO, accused the Qatar-based network of waging a relentless war on the PA and besmirching its leadership’s image for the benefit of Israel and the enemies of the Palestinian struggle. He said Al-Jazeera was fabricating evidence to discredit PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his aides, adding that this campaign wouldn’t have been launched without the personal approval of the Qatari Amir, Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

However, a close and objective examination of the documents shows that Al-Jazeera didn’t exceed its bounds and that regardless of how the network acquired the leaked documents, elements of concoction, fabrication and doctoring didn’t play any role in the process. Unfortunately, PA officials and negotiators, including chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, didn’t stick to the facts when trying to defend the negotiators’ behaviour. Instead, they resorted to name -calling, abusive language, unfounded accusations and brash mendacity. It is not uncommon for PA apologists and spokespersons to resort to diversionary tactics and red herrings, even unnecessary jokes, to evade the hard issues at hand. In this case, the examination of the issue does show that the PA was willing to abandon and betray inalienable Palestinian rights.

The issue of Jerusalem stands out among other issues over which the PA was obviously willing to compromise. The documents show that the PA was prepared to cede to Israel nearly all of the illegal colonies that the Zionist state has built east of the 1967 armistice line in and around occupied East Jerusalem. It is true that these settlements are not located within the boundaries of the traditional area of al-Quds al-Sharif (Noble Jerusalem) which Israel occupied in 1967. Nevertheless, they remain administratively and territorially an integral part of metropolitan East Jerusalem.

More to the point, it is crystal clear that PA negotiators swallowed the misleading Israeli concept of a “Jewish Quarter” in the Old City of Jerusalem, even though almost all of occupied Palestine was an Arab quarter. Fewer than 20% of the houses in the so-called “Jewish Quarter” were lived in by Jews in 1968. One is prompted to ask why PA negotiators failed utterly to demand the restoration of such Jerusalem villages such as Lifta, Ayn Karem, Bayt Mahsir, Bayt umm al Mays, Dir Aban, Dayr Rafat, Deir Yasin and Al-Malha, to mention a few. Indeed, why do the Israelis have the right to insist on “restoring” Jewish property in the Armenian Quarter and the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, while Palestinians who still have the keys to their former homes are denied the right to reclaim their homes and property? Are the Palestinians children of a lesser God? This is not only wantonly unfair and unjust, but also stupid, especially on the part of the Palestinian negotiators.

I know that the negotiating position of the Palestinians is unenviable, to say the least, given the hard realities of the balance of power on the ground. However, the PA shouldn’t just concede historical rights which it can’t obtain by negotiations.

The same applies to the right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees. The right of return, or repatriation, along with the right to compensation, was well-established by UN resolution 194. According to the documents leaked to Al-Jazeera, PA officials agreed to deprive the vast majority refugees of this right to return to their homes in what is now Israel. They agreed in principle to accept the repatriation of 100,000 refugees over 10 years, and no more. So what will happen to this historic and legal right for those who have been languishing in miserable exile for more than sixty years? Should they just kiss that right goodbye?

Moreover, it is perhaps more pertinent to ask Ahmed Qurei, Saeb Erekat and Mahmoud Abbas exactly who it was who authorized them to make such compromises. In the final analysis, the right of return is the heart and soul of the Palestinian question. It is also an individual right which no one except that individual has the right to waive. Hence, any agreement by PA officials to cede this sacred right of the refugees is null and void according to all international and moral laws, man-made or Divinely-inspired.

Some PA apologists have sought to justify their faulty negotiating, which amounts to criminal activity in a way, by suggesting that certain Palestinian positions in the negotiations were coordinated with “brotherly Arab rulers”. This beggars belief; since when have these despots been entrusted with the defence of Muslim and national interests in Palestine? Indeed, if these dictators were capable of doing any good at all, they would surely be doing good for the benefit of their own people. The ongoing events in Tunisia are an example of what I mean. In agreeing, even tacitly or implicitly, to accept the de facto liquidation of the right of return, the PA is abandoning a long-held Palestinian national constant, including the resolution of the right of return pursuant to UN resolution 194, which stipulates both repatriation and compensation.

We certainly don’t expect Palestinian Authority officials and negotiators to emulate the great Salahuddin Al-Ayyoubi in returning Jerusalem. They are too corrupt and too un-Islamic to deserve such an honour. However, we do expect them to keep the promises they have made consistently to the Palestinian people, including the rejection of the illegal Jewish colonies established in the West Bank since 1967. These settlements are acts of rape against the land of Palestine that should never be legitimized.

The scandal triggered by Al-Jazeera’s revelations has underscored the problem of entrusting the entire Palestinian problem, with all its Islamic and historical dimensions, to mediocre Palestinian negotiators who are left alone at the mercy of Israeli arrogance which springs out of being the occupying power.

Hence, this issue should serve as a wake-up call to all of us, however late it may be, to make sure that these negotiators, indeed the entire PA regime, are not left alone to deal on our collective behalf. After all, Palestine and Jerusalem are Islamic issues. Omar ibn Al-Khattab and Salahuddin Al-Ayyoubi never thought of Arab, let alone Palestinian nationalism, when they liberated the Holy City. The holy Qur’an reminds us that we might dislike something in which there is much good for us. As such, Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims must stop mutual recriminations and make sure that the Palestinian Authority is never put in a position where it can repeat these potentially fatal mistakes.

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on The Al-Jazeera documents: what’s next?

Al-Jazeera documents are authentic, claims former Zio-Nazi adviser

NOVANEWS

 

Leaked papers prove that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is a “genuine partner”.

The media adviser to Israel’s former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that the documents leaked by Al-Jazeera are authentic. Winky Glenti pointed out that the leaked papers prove that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is a “genuine partner” of the bilateral political process, despite repeated claims to the contrary by Israel.In an interview with Israeli Army Radio on 24 January, Glenti said that documents released by Al-Jazeera cover the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the period from December 2006 until September 2008. “I can’t understand the reasoning behind the publication of such documents, but I can assure you that during that period serious negotiations took place. I insist that if Israel wishes seriously to put forward a political plan on the table, the theory of ‘there is no partner’ will disappear, as the documents prove that the Palestinian side is pragmatic and had participated in the negotiations with goodwill,” said Glenti.

 

According to the former media adviser, “No one would document 1,600 documents covering his actions with the intention of deception. The PA was convinced of the solution and willing to go for it.” At the same time, Glenti blamed the PA and “excuses related to it” for the failure to reach a bilateral agreement following such “developed understandings” between the two sides. Olmert’s adviser went on to claim that the PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, “had felt deep remorse” for not signing-off the understandings revealed by Al-Jazeera.

Glenti stressed that the Israeli government “did not fool” the Palestinian president on the issue of Palestinian refugees and their right to return to their land: Olmert made it clear to Abbas that “Israel will not accept the return of Palestinian refugees and there wouldn’t be any refugee returning to Israeli territory.”

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Al-Jazeera documents are authentic, claims former Zio-Nazi adviser

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