Palestinian boys don’t have guns. They show their defiance of settlers and soldiers by throwing stones – with increasing frequency since Operation Pillar of Defence says one source, though ‘terror attacks’ are down says another. A car crash has prompted Avigdor Lieberman and settlers to press the IDF to change its rules of engagement so that they treat stone-throwers as persons using guns.
Yair Lapid was the great white hope of the centrist middle class in Isreal; his party, Yesh Atid, came 2nd, winning 19 Knesset seats. He has, says an angry Gush Shalom, squandered the power and hope vested in him by pursuing marginal issues, leaving power in right-wing hands. He is the TV showman with no principles.
A day before the deadline, Netanyahu put together a new government – keeping the foreign ministry open for himself and his feared ally Avigdor Lieberman. Ultra-Orthodox have been excluded but powerful posts for Yaalon, Naftali Bennett and Yuli Edelstein ensure illegal settlements will continue with state backing. UPDATED
Israel’s boycott law allows settlers to sue anyone who calls for a boycott of settlement products. Gush Shalom has appealed against this law, hearing on December 5th. (3) A settler argues that boycott is collective punishment, or ineffectual (2). Jerry Haber takes apart his argument (1) UPDATE Report of hearing.
Viewing the photos of a 15-year-old youth after he was attacked by a settler the judge spoke of his shock and dismay at the trauma caused. Five years later the assailant, Zvi Struck, is sent off to serve his 30 month prison term by a supportive, applauding crowd, to whom he is a hero. Rabbis led the celebrations for this sadistic thug.
There have been several reports this week about the huge disparity between fresh water supplies for Israelis and for Palestinians. We post three of them here, following AFP’s summary of a key report from the UN’s OCHA last March on the seizure by West Bank settlers of dozens of fresh water springs. Piped water in Gaza is too contaminated to drink. The denial of fresh water to Arabs is deliberate policy on the ground..
Dani Dayan, chairman of the council for West Bank settlements, claims in an op-ed piece in the NY Times that Israel’s seizure of the West Bank was morally necessary as a defence against Arab aggression (!) and the settlers will expand their control (2nd). Lara Friedman, (1st) disputes his argument and conclusion as immoral and wrong; lastly, Richard Falk asks whether his realpolitik is not to be admired.
Settler violence seems like mindless thuggery. But, says Jonathan Cook, there is a clear purpose – to threaten the Israeli state with mayhem if Palestinian citizens receive any state protection. Palestinians may be the victims but the destruction of any hope of an egalitarian state is the settlers’ bigger aim. Is this what a ‘Jewish state’ looks like?
Fig-leaves for the institutional players, a naked emperor for the wishful thinkers, all metaphors for the ‘peace process’ convey it is not real. The ICG focuses on new forces, like religion, on possible new actors , Palestinian diaspora, settlers, and on agents, like the Quartet, to be discarded.
Despite UN and EU condemnation, only resistance on the ground is putting up a fight against the rapid and repeated destruction of Palestinian homes, community buildings and amenities. ICAHD on what you can do to help the resistance, plus reports from Jeff Halper, the Alternative Information Center and Ma’an news
Too commonplace to make the news most of the time, the death and injury of Palestinian people in the occupied territories (oPt), the destruction of their property and seizure of their land accelerated during 2011. The UN office OCHA publishes the aggregate figures for the year. We add their most recent weekly report.
The greatest threat to Israel is inside its bosom — the cherished settlers in the occupied West Bank and the MKs who defend them against the IDF despite their continuing violence. It reminds Richard Silverstein of the slavery-defending South in the USA.
For Palestinians, the growth of violent settler gangs may be just another step in the established line of nationalist expansion and Judaization; for that (pro-settlement religious, military and political) establishment, the settlers have over-stepped a crucial line and something must be done. Three opinion pieces from Ynet.
To collect and store water in the occupied West Bank there is a planning process. Israel has changed the laws to limit representation of local Palestinians in the process. Settler representation is guaranteed by military order. A disturbing document from the Swedish NGO Diakonia, http://www.diakonia.se/about.
West Bank settlers have moved from harrassment, land seizure and house demolition into acts to terrorise Palestinians into leaving. Two news reports from Ma’an News are followed by a blog from One Democracy
Caught between hysteria at the prospect of ‘September’ and inertia as history moves on, Netanyahu’s government – and settlers – prepare for violence after the UN vote Thus they destroy hopes of reform writes Uvi Avnery
Smashing windows, hurling Molov cocktails and torching tyres, settlers attack a mosque near Nablus. It is one of many such attacks, say residents, on Muslim and Christian places of worship. Palestinians fear government-settler plan to terrorise them. Two reports from Ma’an News
This story of an advert for Subaru in which a settler runs over 2 Palestinian children was put out, and translated, by the Chinese news agency Xinhua
“[So] the settlers can do whatever they want: build new settlements and enlarge existing ones, ignore the Supreme Court, give orders to the Knesset and the government, attack their “neighbors” whenever they like, kill Arab children who throw stones, uproot olive groves, burn mosques. And their power is growing by leaps and bounds…”
Avnery promises to show, in a future article, how the settlements can be removed…
Uri Avnery reflects on “two obnoxious racist laws” that the Knesset has finally adopted, both directed against Israels’ Palestinian citizens. But he reserves his most vitriolic for a third bill, that to outlaw the boycott of Israel – which includes “the boycott of Israeli institutions and enterprises in all territories controlled by Israel”. This includes, of course, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.