Saturday, February 19, 2011

When you have friends anything is possible, including illegal settlements.

Israeli peace activists against the illegal settlements
protested last night opposite the US Embassy in

 Whilst talking transparency, democratic rights, freedom of speech and human dignity, the US Administration and Obama show the Palestinians what they really think. Having vetoed a resolution at the UN put forward by Palestinian diplomats, the US once again allowed the Israelis to get away with stealing more and more Palestinian land.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas claimed that the initiative was successful despite the American veto because the 14 other Security Council members voted in favor of the resolution. However it was not passed!

And how did the Israeli Governement respond? "Israel deeply appreciates the decision by President Obama to veto the Security Council Resolution", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement. Ofcourse he would say that, wouldn't he?

In their turn some tried to present this as a great victory. “Palestinian diplomacy achieved a real victory,” said Abbas, according to Wafa, the Palestinian official news agency. What a victory? On the ground, illegal Zionist occupiers once again get away with it, inspite of a few hands going up at the UN .

Israel then went on to thank their U.S. backers for their resolute betrayal once again of the rights of the Palestinians.. In a statement, the prime minister’s office said the decision shows that peace “will come through direct negotiations and not through the decisions of international bodies.” Well what about negotiating with the elected representatives of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank without illegal blocades and attacks by the IDF on innocent civilians?

For the record, The US claims it opposes the illegal settlements but considers a vote at the UN will only complicate matters between the 2 sides. Well they can't get even more complicated at the expense of the Palestinians. Ofcourse officially Obama, like others, supports a 2 state solution but he wants to see the stalled negotiations between the two sides resume. How can Palestinians negotiate on equal terms with their arms and legs tied and guns pointed at them?

Perhaps ending the illegal occupation of Palestinian land over the past 62 years, removing the so-called peace wall and lifting all the restrictions on Palestinians would go some way to confidence building, however not as long as the present Israeli government knows it can rely on US military and political aid. The settlements on the West Bank are a deliberate attempt to prevent the construction of a Palestinian state, making a 2 state solution even less viable.

It is worth reminding ourselves what one of the founders of the Zionist state said. "We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population."  David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.

Declaration of Opposition by Israeli Academics to Occupation and Settlement
This is the first time that Israeli academics have issued an unequivocal statement condemning Israel's policies as they affect both the relationship between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, and the moral and academic standing of Israeli Higher Education. Their focus is the college of Ariel which stands on illegally occupied land in the West Bank. In consequence the signatories have refused to recognise Ariel as a legitimate university, and are therefore boycotting the college.
This courageous stand of 155 academics which we reproduce below, demands the international support of their colleagues. Professor Gov and his colleagues have indicated they would welcome support. In view of the urgency of the situation please send a brief message of support either personally or together with colleagues.  Prof Gov will be making available a full list of signatories in English

And 152 other signatures (in Hebrew)
To send a message of support email: 
To join the Facebook group click here
Read the full statement below:
We, academics from a variety of subjects and from all the institutes of higher education in Israel, express here publicly our opposition to the continuation of the occupation and the establishment of settlements.
Therefore, we declare our refusal to participate in any academic activity, of any sort, that takes place in the college operating in the settlement Ariel.
Ariel was established on occupied land. A few kilometers from flourishing Ariel, Palestinians live in villages and refugee camps, in hardship and deprived of even the basic of human rights.
 Not only are they denied access to higher education, some of them do not have running water. Two different realities, resulting from a policy that is leading to Apartheid.
 Ariel is an illegal settlement, in breach of the international law and the Geneva convention, which Israel has signed.
 The establishment of Ariel was aimed at one and only purpose: to prevent the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and thereby prevent from us, the citizens of Israel, the chance of ever achieving a peaceful existence in this region.
 Ariel is not part of sovereign Israel and we can not be obliged to go there. Our conscience and our public responsibility compel us to express a clear position, especially at the current time, when there is a real chance for a peace agreement, and its clearer than ever that the settlements' purpose is to prevent it.

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