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Posts Tagged ‘Palestinians’

By Noam Chomsky, In These Times, Dec 2, 2010

It is hardly a secret that for 35 years the U.S. and Israel have stood virtually alone in opposition to a consensus on a political settlement that is close to universal.

Washington’s pathetic capitulation to Israel while pleading for a meaningless three-month freeze on settlement expansion—excluding Arab East Jerusalem—should go down as one of the most humiliating moments in U.S. diplomatic history.

In September the last settlement freeze ended, leading the Palestinians to cease direct talks with Israel. Now the Obama administration, desperate to lure Israel into a new freeze and thus revive the talks, is grasping at invisible straws—and lavishing gifts on a far-right Israeli government.

The gifts include $3 billion for fighter jets. The largesse also happens to be another taxpayer grant to the U.S. arms industry, which gains doubly from programs to expand the militarization of the Middle East.

U.S. arms manufacturers are subsidized not only to develop and produce advanced equipment for a state that is virtually part of the U.S. military-intelligence establishment but also to provide second-rate military equipment to the Gulf states—currently a precedent-breaking $60 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, which is a transaction that also recycles petrodollars to an ailing U.S. economy.

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By John J. Mearsheimer, Chicago Tribune, May 9, 2010

President Barack Obama has finally coaxed Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. He and most Americans hope that the talks will lead to the creation of a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank. Regrettably, that is not going to happen. Instead, those territories are almost certain to be incorporated into a “Greater Israel,” which will then be an apartheid state bearing a marked resemblance to white-ruled South Africa.

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By Alex Kane, The Indypendent, Feb 1, 2010

For some Upper West Side residents, their usual stroll down Broadway this evening had a surprise: a group of 20 New York Jews denouncing Israel’s occupation of Palestine were standing with thought-provoking signs while a few passed out flyers.

Challenging the assumption that all Jews support Israel no matter what, the action, organized by Jews Say No, called on Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza and to end the longest running military occupation in recent history. The group was founded last year during Israel’s war on Gaza.

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by Charles Fromm and Ellen Massey, Inter Press Service News

WASHINGTON, Jan 22, 2010 (IPS) – One year ago Thursday, the last Israeli tanks were lumbering out of the Gaza Strip, ending the 22-day Gaza War and leaving in their wake a decimated landscape and population.

A year later, the humanitarian and security situation in the devastated coastal enclave remains dire, yet the Barack Obama administration continues to overlook the crisis in Gaza, an approach which some experts say is an extension of the previous administration’s policy.

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Ian Black, Middle East editor, The Guradian/UK, Dec 20, 2009

Israel has admitted that pathologists harvested organs from dead Palestinians, and others without the consent of their families – a practice that it said ended in the 1990s, it emerged at the weekend.

The admission, by the former head of the country’s forensic institute, followed a furious row prompted by a Swedish newspaper reporting that Israel was killing Palestinians in order to use their organs – a charge that Israel denied and called “antisemitic”.

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We can wait no longer to restart the peace process. The human suffering demands urgent relief

Jimmy Carter, The Guardian/UK, Dec 19, 2009

It is generally recognised that the Middle East peace process is in the doldrums, almost moribund. Israeli settlement expansion within Palestine continues, and PLO leaders refuse to join in renewed peace talks without a settlement freeze, knowing that no Arab or Islamic nation will accept any comprehensive agreement while Israel retains control of East Jerusalem.

US objections have impeded Egyptian efforts to resolve differences between Hamas and Fatah that could lead to 2010 elections. With this stalemate, PLO leaders have decided that President Mahmoud Abbas will continue in power until elections can be held – a decision condemned by many Palestinians.

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Stephen M. Walt, The Washington Post, Sep 20, 2009

Like so many of his predecessors, President Obama is quickly discovering that persuading Israel to change course is nearly impossible.

Obama came to office determined to achieve a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians. His opening move was to insist that Israel stop building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem — a tough line aimed at bolstering Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and persuading key Arab states to make conciliatory gestures toward Israel. These steps would pave the way for the creation of a viable Palestinian state and the normalization of Israel’s relations with its Arab neighbors, and also help rebuild America’s image in the Arab and Muslim world.

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Editorial

Financial Times/UK, August 25 2009

When Barack Obama told Israel that “part of being a good friend is being honest”, the country’s political elites got an inkling that decades of double-talk on the conflict with the Palestinians were over. In his June 4 speech at Cairo University he spelled it out: “Just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s.”

The US president could have been addressing Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, who refuses to rein in colonisation of Palestinian land or push a two-state solution to the conflict. Yet, however much Mr Obama tries to change the conversation, in and on the Middle East, Mr Netanyahu keeps trying to change the subject.

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The Times Online/UK, June 15, 2009

Benjamin Netanyahu

(Baz Ratner/Reuters)

Binyamin Netanyahu refused to halt Israeli settlement-building in his speech

James Hider in Jerusalem

Binyamin Netanyahu threw down the gauntlet to the US last night, grudgingly agreeing to a limited Palestinian state that would be demilitarised and not in control of its airspace or borders.The hawkish Prime Minister insisted that Israel would never give up a united Jerusalem as its capital, and said that established Jewish settlements in the West Bank would continue to expand — despite explicit objections from Washington.

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By Keith Harvey | Information Clearing House,  June  6, 2009

The brutal invasion of Gaza by Israel’s armed forces and the rise of the far right in the Israeli elections that followed has appalled people all over the world. It has also hammered a further nail in the coffin of the idea that a Palestinian state can live in peace alongside the Zionist state. Keith Harvey strips away the last shreds of credibility from the “two-state solution”…

Israel is a state based on ethnic cleansing. The foundation of the state in 1948 was prepared by the bloody, forcible transfer of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their town and villages. Led by David Ben-Gurion, this ethnic cleansing was planned in every detail while the British prepared to hand its Palestinian mandate to a United Nations (UN) still deliberating how to divide the country between the indigenous population and its new colonists.

In 1947, while still under the British mandate rule, Palestine had a population of 1.29 million Arab Palestinians and 608,000 Jews, one-third of whom had arrived after the war. Jews owned a mere 6% of the land. The UN eventually proposed to give them 55%; Jews were to get the “more economically developed part of the country” according to the UNSCOP resolution that recommended partition. 1 In the Jewish state nearly half the population would be Arabs, compared to less than 2% of Jews in the Arab state.

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