Ma’an reports that a group of settlers is demanding that Palestinians be banned from ‘settlers” roads, presumably forcing Palestinians in the oPt to use what are in effect dirt tracks – or not travel at all. Because of the knife attacks, more and more measures are being taken to wall Palestinians in.
Israel’s 2011 law against all who call for boycott against Israel, its institutions or ‘an area under its control’ is likely to be brought into force now that the EC has published its guidelines on importing settlement goods. This will mean the security services compiling a list of all those persons who have been associated with a call for the boycott of anything from Israel or the oPt.
It used to be said of Jews that they were PEP – Progressive Except on Palestine. The recent poll by Ipsos Mori on British Jews and Israel shows a significant shift; they are very disturbed about Israel’s policies towards Palestinians, especially the building of settlements in the oPt. They see this as an incongruity in a country for which they otherwise feel pride and loyalty.
Were it not for the blind hatred of the Israel’s PM claim that a Palestinian nationalist had incited the Nazis to genocide, we might think the Israelis protesting about settlement labelling were being disingenuous. Surely they have got the point that the long-presaged EC guidelines on labelling are in line with the long-held EU ruling that the settlements are illegal. Yet with the honourable exception of Barak Ravid, most Israeli journalists don’t have a clue how the EU works or what its decision-making bodies are. They don’t grasp that the EC is not picking on Israel alone as a country ‘in conflict’. It is responding to the fact that Israel is its one trading partner to keep another country under occupation. So Israelis carry on convincing themselves that all things European are inherently antisemitic.
An influential article in Foreign Affairs by Nathan Sachs argues that Netanyahu does have a strategy – it is to wait for an opportune moment for peace moves. Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now disagrees: Israeli politicians are not waiting but actively building blocks to prevent the possibility of peace with Palestinians.
Child labour is common across Asia as it was in Britain until the raising of the school-leaving age. Settlements are different only in that if the settlers had stayed in Israel proper they would not be allowed to use child labour or the range of dangerous pesticides and sexual assault the Palestinian workers are exposed to. Reports from Human Rights Watch and DCI-P.
We often hear Palestinian textbooks being accused of teaching hatred. As we reported back in 2013 in Israeli textbooks also obliterate ‘the other’, Israeli textbooks can be pretty shabby. Now, from the Yesha Council comes Occupation Shmuccupation a pure “hasbara booklet for kids” designed to incite hatred, not just of “Arabs” but of Israeli “left-wing organisations” as well.
Story by Ben Norton on Mondoweiss.
UK registered charity, Toremet, is run by Jonny Cline who previously stood on Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home list in Israel’s 2013 municipal elections. A study by Ben White reveals that Toremet is acting as a conduit for donations to Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Since settlements are illegal under international law, Chris Doyle, Director of Caabu (Council for Arab-British Understanding), said “charities have a duty not to assist in the violation of such laws”, and urged the Charity Commission to “take immediate action.”
First there was the settlement ,Kedumim, built on their land, then the wall, cutting the small town of Kafr Qaddum off from its neighbours; then the IDF cut their water supply then settlers damaged their transmission tower cutting off their electricity supply. As Kafr Qaddum is one of those Palestinian towns which has sustained a defiant protest for 13 years about the loss of its land it is hard to read these attacks as anything but collective punishment – the smallest babe and frailest old person need water and electricity – for the defiance of the young people.
Palestinian commentator Daoud Kuttab on recent developments in Israel/Palestine.
While many Palestinians are giving up on a two-state solution because of Israeli intransigence, so too are many Israelis pushing to annex the West Bank, an idea that is now entering mainstream Israeli politics. It won’t of course be a one-state, secular democratic annexation…
Stephane Richard, CEO of telecoms giant Orange is on damage-limitation duty after he said that the firm is pulling out of Israel (via franchise company Partner which operates in settlements). His decision was immediately interpreted as political – causing dismay, anger, embarrassment. Richard insists it was a business decision and that Orange is in Israel to stay. It’s the common interpretation that BDS had claimed another scalp that is interesting.
There is a maxim that no country should intervene in another’s election – but recent polls suggest Israelis would welcome an American intervention by producing a framework for a final status agreement. The poll finds a concern about a 2-state solution on which most Israeli parties are silent.
Akiva Eldar doubts if ‘security’ , or the pursuit of a Greater Israel, will win the election for Likud. These aims have pushed out any chance of improving living standards for poorer Israelis who may not share the mad dreams of their leaders.
About three quarters of illegal settlements are defined by the Israeli state as “national priority areas” and therefore eligible for heavy discounts (house prices in Israel proper are rising steeply). Many move there for the affordable prices – but become political by defending their right to live in such subsidised settlements.
Things are looking difficult for Israel’s current expansionist policy when even its most loyal backer considers action rather than warning words reports Barak Ravid. Israel’s isolation is becoming complete as European parliaments and the White House say they have had enough of Israeli obduracy and contempt for peace, Haaretz editorial.
To define as a ‘strategy’ Netanyahu’s long-standing approach of embanking divisions between Palestinians and stalling at every possible hurdle that must be jumped to get serious negotiations going is a calumny against that serious notion. Under more threat from his own right wing than he is from all Palestinians has pulled a jewel out of his-near empty bag of gains from his Gaza war – a big chunk of Palestinians’ land . With the infrastructure it will bring (water, electricity, roads for settlers) it shows he has no strategy, merely grabbing things here and there to keep the right quiet. Quiet for quiet as he famously explained the war on Gaza.
Prof. Zeev Sternhell, an authority of the rise of fascism in France, defines fascism as a rejection of, an assault on, enlightenment values. In the regime’s treatment of the Palestinians and of Jewish dissidents, in the submission of intellectuals to government orders and the blind following of the masses, Prof. Sternhell sees signs of fascism, and certainly the end of Zionism as he understood it.
Daniel Levy, policy adviser and diplomat, answers Israel’s belligerent question – what would you – by saying self-defence does not include the right to kill civilians and upbraids Israelis for pushing Palestinians into a corner, for offering nothing but more occupation in return for their own demands for ‘security’.
The governments of Spain, Italy and France have now joined those of the UK and Germany warning individuals and companies not to have financial dealings with Israeli settlements. Because of the illegality of Israeli property and entities established there, no trade or investment can be protected by law. A warning from the EC is anticipated.
Perhaps at some point for some Israelis the occupation of Palestinian land was seen as temporary – a situation allowed by the laws of war. The security structure and settlements make it clear beyond doubt that for Israel the occupation is permanent (and thus clearly illegal). New report from B’Tselem.