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Tzipi Livni: Give Up Half of Land of Israel

World  (tags: Israel, Palestine, world, middle-east, conflict, arabs, jews, muslims, islam, hamas, fatah, gaza, west bank, war, politics )

- 3554 days ago -
Tzipi Livni, who hopes to be appointed Israel's prime minister, has said that her country needs to give up half of the biblical Land of Israel to secure peace with the Palestinians. She explained that such a withdrawal would be for the good of Israel....


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Kit B (276)
Thursday February 19, 2009, 9:28 am
A bit of a one sided article, but Tzipi Livni is correct, there needs to be two separate countries.

Cheryl B (375)
Thursday February 19, 2009, 2:30 pm
LETS GET IT RIGHT SHALL WE, THE WEST BANK & GAZA, PALESTINE, GIVE IT UP, IT ISN'T THEIRS, MISSING THE POINT:She told a convention of American Jewish leaders that "we need to give up half of the Land of Israel", using a term that refers to biblical borders that include today's Israel, the West Bank and Gaza

Lili O (15)
Thursday February 19, 2009, 5:37 pm
It's all bollocks.She is trying to come across as a moderate for the world to accept what Israel has done to Gaza. She was part of the government that decided to massacre civilians in their thousands, kill their animals including the Gaza Zoo and bulldoze through their farms. She was the spokes woman for these atrocities, pretending "self defance".
The world has reacted to this with disgust, and now she is trying to shore up support for Israel.....too late !!
Israel could have done this back in 1967, pulled back from occupied land , but they have not, and have been building on occupied land ever since at a speed that makes your head spin. This is just more disinformation.
The world has seen first hand, what a RACIST, FASCIST, ARPARTEID STATE, Israel really is.
I do not confuse Judaism with Zionism, but Israel has been confusing the world with this for years. Some of the biggest critics in the world of Israel, are themselves Jews, be they religious or not. These are the moral people who do not see themselves as ABOVE OTHERS,UBERMENCHEN like Zionists do.
Tzipi Livni is a war criminal as is the previous Israeli government.
She thinks she will be forgiven by saying IF SHE IS LEADER OF ISRAEL SHE WILL "PULL OUT"OF OCCUPIED TERRITORY ????
Not after GAZA CRIMES !!!!
Here is one person who wants to see her on trial for CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY together with all her cohorts.
That she or any of the criminals that have lead Israel before be given a chance to repeat more ethnic cleansing, and genocide is beyond international law.
Boycott Israel just like South Africa of the past and bring Israeli criminals to justice in the International court. Allow the decent Israelis to work out a 2 state solution with Palestine and yes that means following the numerous UN protocols that Israel has ignored for 60 years.
Israel instead of settling on land given to them by the UN in 1948, small numbers from European holocaust victims, they allowed people from US who were in no danger to settle on land which was not allocated to them and they swelled the numbers from Russia and anywhere else.
They used money and cheap housing to ENTICE JEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD. They use terms like SETTLEMENTS...the word is COLONISING on stolen land. Then their Zionist lobby convinces Americans they are DEFENDING THEMSELVES?????
If I kicked you out of your home, I suppose I would need to defend myself from you trying to get your home back....and yes you would attempt to get it back. But who is in the wrong ?????????

Aletta Kraan (146)
Thursday February 19, 2009, 7:05 pm
Noted , thanks !!!

Gayla S (50)
Thursday February 19, 2009, 10:39 pm
Lili, I am surprized at the vehemence in your words. I guess that the personal page for the Lili that espouses "Nonviolence", peace, "Live and Let Live" peace existence is not you. Sorry, I mistook you for a friend.

Amalia Ahuva k (105)
Thursday February 19, 2009, 11:09 pm
Well Lili, living so far away, and knowing so much....You must have a crystal ball, or is your crystal ball the media (or, to be more specific, the TV broadcasts)? I'm not being cynical, just sad. Sad to see people who undoubtedly regard themselves as kind, just, caring,etc... can be so one sided . I obviously don't have your clairvoyance abilities, therefore, I'm much more careful, especially about remote issues, and about information I receive through any sifting mesh. In any case, Tzipi Livni: she used to be in our right wing party, but moved to the center, because she realized that peace can be reached only from a more centered point of view (by the way, that's true for ALL life issues). Unfortunately, it appears she won't be our next P.M. The internal israeli political system is very complicated, too complicated to be explained in a short paragraph. In any case, since you seem to be a caring person, it would certainly make justice to your fairness instinct to relate also to the fact that our CIVILIANS who live in the south-west part of our country, have been living under rockets launched on them from Gaza for the past 8 YEARS!! How about that?

Gayla S (50)
Thursday February 19, 2009, 11:40 pm
Ahuva, good to hear your input. I am not certain that I trust Netanyahu though, he had his chance and blew it from my perspective. I cannot understand why there is such an outcry for the rights of the Palestinians ,in the land that Israel gave them, and not realize that Israel has had to fight to keep its' G-d given land since it became realized as the State of Israel in 1948. Another thing, is you are right, Hamas and Hezbollah both concerned to be terrrorists by our own country, have continually bombed S. Israel for the past 8 years and pray tell why should it be only Israelis that should turn the other cheek?!! It's not All Palestinians!!, It's the bloody fu*^&g terrorists!

Simon Wood (207)
Friday February 20, 2009, 4:09 am
"It's not All Palestinians!!, It's the bloody fu*^&g terrorists!"

Exactly - the Israeli military engages in military terrorism on a much larger scale than the people of Palestine do. For example, since modern Israel was founded in 1948, Israel has killed more than 70,000 people, while their opponents (the Indigenous people of Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and the rest of the Middle East) have killed only about 7,000 Israelis. I.e. Israel has killed 10x as many people!!!

Simon Wood (207)
Friday February 20, 2009, 4:23 am
"God-given land"? What a load of superstitious rubbish!

The modern state of "Israel" is a colony founded in 1948... a colony of people who came from Europe and North America after WW2 (Jewish people were a minority in that land until that colonial invasion in the 1940s).

"God-given land"? Every group of colonists have ideological justifications for invading, colonising, land-theft and committing genocide of the Indigenous people. The case of Israel has no fundamental difference to any other colony.

Hamas and Hezbollah are the Indigenous resistance to the colony which is called "Israel".

Hezbollah was created by the people of Lebanon after Israel invaded Lebanon. Hezbollah was the Indigenous Lebanese resistance which kicked out the Israeli military from Lebanon!

Hamas was founded as an Indigenous resistance group in Palestine, resisting the Israeli military occupation of Palestine's West Bank and Gaza Strip, and resisting the colonialism and genocide that Israel is committing.

Israel (and their superpower supporter, the USA) are standing in the way of the 2-state solution, while Hamas and the rest of the world agree to the 2-state solution!

Simon Wood (207)
Friday February 20, 2009, 4:31 am
"God-given land"? You actually believe that superstitious rubbish?

According to the Old Testament of the Bible (which comes from Judaism), "God" also commanded the Jewish people to commit genocide against the Midianites (but to kidnap the Midianite women to rape and bear Jewish children), and genocide against the people of Jericho. And according to the Bible, the Jewish people did that. Do you believe that, too?

Apparently "God" also commended that people stone women for adultery, and that parents kill their children if their children are disobedient. And "God" also commanded a famous Jewish man (I'll look up the name if you ask me) to sacrifice his daughter to "God", as "payment" for a war victory.

Vijay Tankha (28)
Friday February 20, 2009, 4:45 am
Giving up one's lands for whatever reason is not a good thing. It only heardens the soul and embitters relations like has happened between India and Pakistan. The feeling run pretty high and it becomes my enemies enemy is my friend scenario. Israel fought for and gave the blood of their young men and women to secure those lands. Now its to be given back? Utter nonsense! Are there British any British advisers? This is just up their street, divide and rule.

Simon Wood (207)
Friday February 20, 2009, 4:49 am
The Old Testament (Torah?) is a book that teaches genocide, human sacrifice, and other barbaric practices - barbaric according to modern standards, anyway.

It also teaches us to have blind faith in dogma, instead of basing our beliefs on empirical evidence and a scientific approach of testing our theories, and updating our theories when new evidence disproves the oldtheories.

And it teaches us to believe that schizophrenic hallucinations (voices, visual hallucinations, etc.) are "God" and "should be obeyed".

And you expect us to believe what that book says are "commands" from "God"?


Simon Wood (207)
Friday February 20, 2009, 4:55 am
What has happened between India and Pakistan is very different to what has happened in the colonisation of Palestine by the "Israelis".

India and Pakistan are Indigenous states made up of people who have all lived in that area for centuries, or even millenia.

The modern state of Israel is a colony which was founded in 1948, using military violence to expel the Indigenous people there.

The colonists might not want to leave, but that does not make a bit of difference - just as the Germans had no right to take land in Eastern Europe ("lebenstraum") during WW2. It is time for the Israelis to let the millions of Indigenous refugees return and control their own lives, and have their own nation-state.

Simon Wood (207)
Friday February 20, 2009, 4:59 am
"Are there British any British advisers? This is just up their street, divide and rule."

The British support Israel, by giving them military aid and selling them arms, making sanctions against the Palestinian people, etc..

And that pro-Israel partisanship is not enough for you?

Simon Wood (207)
Friday February 20, 2009, 5:04 am
"Israel fought for and gave the blood of their young men and women to secure those lands. Now its to be given back? Utter nonsense!"

You are the one talking nonsense, Denise. You are using the same kind of argument that nazi Germany used when they invaded Eastern Europe for "lebenstraum" (living-space). Your "might-makes-right" argument is nonsense. It simply invites everyone to ignore the ruleof international law, human rights, etc., and to simply use violence to get what they want. Your argument is one from the barbaric dark ages and genocidal Old Testament, and such an argument is not acceptable in modern times, thanks.

Cheryl B (375)
Friday February 20, 2009, 6:01 am
no clairvoyance need here, the israeli's are voting in a madman and an extreme racist, he and bush would do fine together, that the israili;s are voting in such a right wing government that supports wiping out gaza, palestine is terrifying. but heh bush got in, so it;s not all the people eh.

here is what they have elected and the others are vying for so they can have a colation government

Date: 13 / 01 / 2009 Time: 16:05

Avigdor Lieberman
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Right-wing Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman proposed a "solution" to the war in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday saying, "Israel won't be secure so long as Hamas is in power, and therefore we need to come to a decision that we will break the will of Hamas to keep fighting."

"We must continue to fight Hamas just like the United States did with the Japanese in World War II," Lieberman added.

According to reports in Israeli media, he said the US nuclear strikes had rendered an "occupation of the country … unnecessary."

Avigdor Lieberman, a member of parliament and the chairman of the Israel Beiteinu party, was speaking at at Bar-Ilan University.

Lieberman's comments drew criticism from Palestinian officials.

To Dr Mustafa Barghouthi, the Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative, "the Israeli politicians statements disproportionate, such as their bloody actions on our people in Gaza."

"In 1945, US launched two atomic bomb attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, resulting in one of the biggest tragedy in human history that has been condemned many times", added the deputy.

"Avidgor Lieberman is an extreme orator from whom we are used to hear extreme speeches. But this shows one more time that Israel never learn lesson from the past and rather invokes one of the bloodiest massacres in History to be the fate of the Gazans. They don't have respect for human life", he said, noting high amount of support for Israel's war on the Gaza Strip among the Israeli public.

***Updated at 20:59 local time

Yisrael Beitenu, a far-right party whose ideology reflects Lieberman's, is the largest party of the Russian immigrant sector in Israel. Reflecting how Lieberman's party's racist ideology is mainstream in Israel, Yisrael Beitenu holds nearly 10 percent of the seats in the Israeli Knesset and is a coalition partner with the majority Kadima party.

Despite his open racism, his inclusion in the cabinet has failed to elicit any significant protest nationally or internationally. Instead, he has been welcomed by influential institutions such as the Brooking's Saban Center where he participated in a forum alongside Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Some of Avigdor Lieberman's infamous statements:

In 1998, Lieberman called for the flooding of Egypt by bombing the Aswan Dam in retaliation for Egyptian support for Yasser Arafat.

In 2001, as Minister of National Infrastructure, Lieberman proposed that the West Bank be divided into four cantons, with no central Palestinian government and no possibility for Palestinians to travel between the cantons.

In 2002, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth quoted Lieberman in a Cabinet meeting saying that the Palestinians should be given an ultimatum that "At 8am we'll bomb all the commercial centers ... at noon we'll bomb their gas stations ... at two we'll bomb their banks ..."

In 2003, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Lieberman called for thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel to be drowned in the Dead Sea and offered to provide the buses to take them there.

In May 2004, Lieberman proposed a plan that called for the transfer of Israeli territory with Palestinian populations to the Palestinian Authority. Likewise, Israel would annex the major Jewish settlement blocs on the Palestinian West Bank. If applied, his plan would strip roughly one-third of Israel's Palestinian citizens of their citizenship. A "loyalty test" would be applied to those who desired to remain in Israel. This plan to trade territory with the Palestinian Authority is a revision of Lieberman's earlier calls for the forcible transfer of Palestinian citizens of Israel from their land. Lieberman stated in April 2002 that there was "nothing undemocratic about transfer."

Also in May 2004, he said that 90 percent of Israel's 1.2 million Palestinian citizens would "have to find a new Arab entity" in which to live beyond Israel's borders. "They have no place here. They can take their bundles and get lost," he said.

In May 2006, Lieberman called for the killing of Arab members of Knesset who meet with members of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.


Cheryl B (375)
Friday February 20, 2009, 6:05 am

resistance in West Bank »

February 18, 2009
Israeli election update: Livni and Netanyahu support Israeli loyalty oath to woo Lieberman
The coalition building fracas continues in Israel with the Likud and Kadima fighting over who can bring Avigdor Lieberman into their coalition. Lieberman has put forth several demands including creating a citizenship bill that requires loyalty as a condition for Israeli citizenship. Both Kadima and Likud have responded positively to Lieberman's demands:

Likud: "We believe that all Israeli citizens, let alone the country's selectmen, must profess their loyalty to the State of Israel.
Kadima: "[Vice Premier Haim] Ramon told Ynet that 90% of Yisrael Beiteinu's positions correlate with Kadima's policy. "Even on the subject of loyalty and everything concerning national service – we agree," he said."

Today, the Israeli President Shimon Peres is scheduled to officially begin the process of deciding whether Livni or Netanyahu will get the opportunity to form a government. Peres has said he will announce his choice by Friday or Sunday.

With this deadline looming the US administration is evidently getting into the act. Ha'aretz reports that, "in back-channel messages the Obama administration has made it clear it would like to see a Likud-Kadima unity government in Jerusalem over a narrow right-wing government which would in all likelihood result in a freeze in peace talks with the Palestinians." The peace process is not the only concern. Speaking at Georgetown yesterday, former U.S. ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer referred to Lieberman and admitted, "There will be an image problem for an American administration to support a government that includes a politician who was defined as racist."

Although the Israeli process is still very much in flux, Lieberman's position looks stronger than ever. Very soon the ball may be in the Obama administration's court to decide how to handle the very situation Kurtzer is afraid of.

Past Member (0)
Friday February 20, 2009, 7:56 am
Simon, Nazis invaded other countries because of their doctrine of the Third Reich, like Islamic Fundamentalists are planning now for the World Califat.

After Germany was defeated, parts of her lands were taken by the victors: Sudetland by Chechs, Kenigsberg by Russians. Victor is entitled to keep lands won in defensive wars, that's the law.

You again are trying to put rhetoric instead of facts.

Amalia Ahuva k (105)
Friday February 20, 2009, 8:17 am
Well Sashko, I'm afraid Simon a problem when it comes to manipulating information for the sake of making his point - have you read what he writes about the Bible? I can't recognize it, although we learned it at school, in Hebrew!

Past Member (0)
Friday February 20, 2009, 10:05 am
Ahuva, Simon got Quran with all the answers, so he does not anything else, including the Bible.

Sorry, I can't read Hebrew.

Pete m (67)
Friday February 20, 2009, 11:31 am
''Generation after generation, we cause them to abandon their homes, settling in them, and afterward, when the opportunity arises, take over their sanctuaries as well, and drive them away from there. Generation after generation, we feed the refugee consciousness, reconstruct the pain of displacement and expose another generation to the powerless rage of the displaced person. Afterward we face, frightened and threatened, the “return” – the life’s hope of every refuges and a stain on the settler’s conscience.

Something basic has gone awry here. If commanders, the sons of the fighters of 1948, send the grandchildren of the fighters for independence to “widen the route” – which means the expulsion of the grandchildren of the refugees of 1948 – on the pretext of existential threat, then there was something defective in the vision of the founding fathers. If after a half-century their enterprise still faces existential threat, this can only mean that they condemned it to eternal enmity, and there is no community that can for years on end survive a violent war for its existence.''

-- An Old Refrain Stabs at the Heart By Meron Benvenisti, 20 May 2004

Pete m (67)
Friday February 20, 2009, 12:03 pm
Scaredy-cat anonymous frog;''Victor is entitled to keep lands won in defensive wars, that's the law.''

Can you show me where in international law it says this guy 'Victor' can 'keep lands won in defensive wars' .

Is he a bit like the unfortunate 'Will' that soldiers are frequently told to 'fire at', perhaps?

Gillian M (218)
Friday February 20, 2009, 12:42 pm
Cheryl, being a know it all means that you do not know or understand the truth. Israel is not illegally occupying any land as I have already told you (you must have a terrible memory) all of the land that they live on belongs to them under international law which includes Gaza & the West Bank. However, you living on land that does not belong to you, it belongs to the Indiginous Native Americans/Canadians. Any comment you make is not acceptable because it comes from someone who does not practice what she preaches, it's called hypocracy.


Gillian M (218)
Friday February 20, 2009, 1:10 pm
Lili, First of all Israel does not have any occupied land unless it is covered with Palestinans. People like you and Cheryl are always saying this but you cannot be bothered to look up the truth, Israel is not on any land that does not belong to itself under International Law. However, it sounds good to vilify with untruths. You, however, are living on land stolen from the native Aboriginis, planning on handing it back? No? Then why should you, who isn't, tell someone legally living on their own property to give it to someone else.

There is no aparthid in Israel. There are people with over 60 types of ethnic origins living together in Israel all with the same access to medical care, law, protection, transport and education. In fact, terrorists have been taken to court in Israel and won their cases. 20% of the people living there are Muslim Arabs. So, unless having the same rights as everyone else is an aparthide state then Israel isn't one. On the other hand, Aboriginis are still treated badly so that makes your country far more of an aparthide state.

As for being fascist, hmm, the fact that all men/women are equal and receive equal rights sounds slightly more left than right wing.

Cheryl B (375)
Friday February 20, 2009, 1:21 pm
Settlement data 'implicates Israel'

The report focuses on the about 120 settlements set up with government approval

A leaked report on Jewish settlements in the West Bank shows that the Israeli government was complicit in illegal construction on land owned by Palestinians, an Israeli human rights group says.

Yesh Din said on Friday that the classsified information, compiled by the Israeli defence ministry, would allow it to help Palestinians sue the Israeli government for damages.

Michael Sfard, Yesh Din's legal counsel, said the information was a "severe indictment" of Israel's military and government.

Israeli authorities are "systematically violating international law and the property rights of Palestinian residents," he said in a statement.

The information leaked to the group shows that in three out of every four settlements in the West Bank at least some of the construction was completed without proper permits, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported.

The daily said the database showed that, in more than 30 settlements, extensive construction of buildings and infrastructure like roads, schools, synagogues, and even police stations was carried out on private lands belonging to Palestinians.

In one settlement, Elon Moreh, 18 houses were built on private land, the reports says. In another, Efrat, a park and a synagogue were built on privateland, and in a third, Ariel, a college was built without legal approval.

Yesh Din said it would begin running advertisments in Palestinian newspapers to encourage people to take legal action, and will also offer legal counsel, the statement from the group said.

The database focuses on the 120 West bank settlements that have been authorised by the Israeli government since it occupied the territory in 1967. About 100 other unauthorised outposts have also been established by settlers.

The settlements are illegal under international law and the so-called "road map" setting the course for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations calls for a halt to their expansion.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli government on the conclusions of the report.


Cheryl B (375)
Friday February 20, 2009, 1:26 pm
Israel to Activate "Absentee Property Law" to Steal Palestinian Lands in Occupied East Jerusalem


The decision of the Israeli cabinet (June 2004) to adopt the Absentee property law in East Jerusalem came to close the chapter on the remaining Palestinian lands that were not appropriated over the past 38 years of Israeli occupation of the city. Some sources estimates that the implantation of the Absentee property law in East Jerusalem will result in the appropriation of thousands of Dunums while others have said that half of the city's property will be gone upon activating this law. Residents of the West Bank owning property located within the illegally set Israeli boundaries of East Jerusalem are the victims of this law. West Bankers' living in Beit Jala, Bethlehem and Al-Walaja (not residents of Jerusalem); along the south and southwestern boundaries of Jerusalem are the most likely to be encountered by the Absentee property law which is activated at this particular time as a direct result of the on-going Segregating Wall Israel is building around Jerusalem. The new law identifies the owners of the threatened lands as absentee even though they live in proximity of their lands. See Map 1 & Map 2.

Map 1 : Jerusalem Envelop

Map 2 : Israeli illegal expansion of Jerusalem borders after 1967

The Israeli policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territories has infamously escalated particularly during the past 4+ years of the Intifada were degradation of morality and legal aspects has reached unprecedented level; even for the Israelis. The Israeli policies and laws have contradicted humanitarian ethics and defiantly breached most of the fundamental international principles of both humanitarian and conventional. In spite of the various, peace accords signed between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO); being the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and Israel, the latter maintained a steady pace in its policy to grab more Palestinian lands and establish illegal colonial settlements to accommodate Israeli settlers in them. Furthermore, Israel regarded the settlements as a part of their God given rights in this land and as their first line of defense against any probable attack from the neighboring Arab countries.

Israeli Illegal annexation of Palestinian Territories

Sovereignty of the occupation power over the occupied territories is a dismissed concept by the international law of armed conflict. The authority practiced by the occupation does not consent it a domination over the land it occupy and certainly does not allow the occupation to annex any part of the land to its jurisdiction nor transfer parts of its population to the territory it occupy. The consecutive Israeli governments adopted a policy to acquire much of the West Bank lands to build and expand the Israeli settlements by employing different methods; most recognized of which, 'Security', which is also how Israel was able to restrict Palestinian towns' development on the remaining areas.

Different Israeli Procedures to Acquire Palestinian lands

Even though all the consecutive Israeli governments adopted the settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territories, each had a different approach to realize their shared objective and that to maintain the settlement program constantly active. The following methods employed by Israel over the years for the acquisition of Palestinian lands for the Israeli settlements.

1. Acquisition by Declaring 'State Land'

When Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, only one third of the land was registered to the people while the remaining two thirds of land ownership was proven by a Turkish issued Tabo (certificate of ownership) and an official British certificate/ registration. Purchase and/ or registrations of land made under Jordanian law prior to 1967 are also valid deed of land ownership. Fundamentally, the Ottoman land code (law) continue to govern the land holdings in the West Bank even with amendments passed during the Jordanian rule and the Israeli military orders issued since the 1967 occupation. The Ottoman land code had three main categories to classify the lands:

A) Waqf Land: Lands owned by religious bodies.

B) Mulk & Khuraj Lands: Mulk lands assigned by the Ottoman rule of the area which perceived itself as the ultimate owner by the fact of conquest to all occupied lands; to Muslim residents of the occupied area while the Khuraj lands assigned to non-Muslim residents.

C) Miri/ Matruk & Mawat Lands: These lands were all unregistered and considered by Israel as a State property and they cover the majority of the lands. The Miri lands are those, which belonged to Al-Amir or the Prince of the county and were not dedicated to any segment of the society. The Matruk lands were those lands dedicated to public usage (lands, building, etc) as for the Mawat lands; it indicated the lands remotely located from urban areas.

The objection committee is the only authority entitle to question the declaration of lands classified as ''State Lands'' and since it is controlled and administered by the Israeli military it had been impossible to alter any declaration which is made in the first place by the same source. The Israeli high court has also distant itself from the issue after its infamous ruling on the Elon Moreh case that constituted an official outbreak of the settlement program in 1979 by declaring that it will not intervene in any lands disputes unless the land in subject of seizure is privately owned. The Israeli military has arranged to acquire Palestinian lands for the Israeli settlements and controlled all procedures to cast off the objection appeals made by the Palestinian residents against any acquisition order, which paved the way for the Israeli Army to acquire hundreds of thousands of Dunums of Palestinian lands following the 1967 occupation.

The acquisition declaration come in a form of Israeli Ministerial decision to build a new settlement or expand existing one or to construct a bypass road that serve the interest of the Israeli settlers. The Israeli Ministry of Justice then reviews the decision for the declaration before it passes to Israel Land Authority (ILA) and to the Office of the Custodian of Absentee and State Lands for further review. Afterward the decision is mete out to the residents who wishes to appeal the declaration decision before the military Objection Committee.

The objection committee requires that each landowner submit a survey map of the targeted area, which usually exceeds 2000 Dunums, a sworn statement of ownership and all relative documents to prove an ownership, all within 30 days of the declaration. However, the objection committee will not acknowledge receipts for payment of tax on the land or registration in the tax department as permissible attestation of ownership. Land cultivation for 10 consecutive years (Ottoman Land Code) prior to the declaration is the basis of ownership the objection committee requires the appellant to submit as a proof of ownership. In most of the cases, the custodian has available proof (aerial photos provided by the military) that the targeted lands have not been periodically cultivated. On the other hand, the Israeli Authorities have always denied the Palestinian farmers the right to drill artesian wells that made them (the farmers) more dependent on the uncertain rain-fed cultivation.

The appeal process is a Byzantine and excessively expense one since the objection committee which the israeli military administer; (the party responsible for the declaration in the first place) is the rival of the appellant which makes the anticipated tribunal decision in favor of the Israeli State not only a certainty but an additional legal aspect to the declaration and make it constitutive. Even if for some reason, a Palestinian appellant was able to proof all required documents and verifications of land ownership, the objection committee will still rule in favor of the Israeli custodian based on Israeli tailored rules to counter such remote scenario. The following box includes the Israeli military order, which entitled the custodian of the Israeli government to appropriate any land in the occupied territories after 1967; it also shows the amendment of the order in 1984.


Military Order #59 (1967?) - establishes the Israeli Military-appointed position of 'Custodian of Government Property' to take over land owned by the Jordanian Government. Also, allows the 'Custodian of Government Property' to appropriate land from individuals or groups by declaring it 'Public Land' or 'State Land', the latter which it defines as land that was owned or managed by, or had a partner who was an enemy body or citizen of an enemy country during the 1967 war (amended by M.O.1091).


DATE: 29 December 1969
AMENDS: Military Order 59

by declaring that Israeli Military can appropriate land simply by declaring it 'State Lands' (according to previous definitions).

DATE: 20 January 1984
AMENDS: Military Order 59

LAW SUMMARY: 'State property' is now interpreted as including any property subject to an expropriation order. It is defined as: 1. 'Property that on the date of occupation or afterwards was registered in the name of an enemy state, or any organization or company linked or controlled directly or indirectly by a hostile state'. 2. 'Land that has been confiscated in the public interest in accordance with legislation or security legislation through or for one of the sectors/ authorities of the Israeli military forces which is not necessarily local'. 3.' All property which belongs to individuals who have requested that the official authorities administers and manages their properties, and which the official has consented to administer.'

2. Acquisition by Declaring 'Abandoned Land'

A military order passed in 1967 by the Israeli military commander of the West Bank; military order 58 to define absentee as someone who has left the area of the West Bank before, during or after the time of the 1967 war.



Military Order #58 (1967) - gives control of absentee land to Israeli military. Defines absentee as someone who left Israel before, during, or after the 1967 war. Allows Israeli Military to keep property even if the property was taken by mistake due to a misjudgment (that it was abandoned for example).

As Israel control over the land registers became absolute following the 1967 war, they were able to classify which lands maybe categorized as abandoned ''absentee'' property. However, that did not safeguard the Palestinian properties of individuals who did not leave the area before, during or after the 1967 war and whose property does not qualify as abandoned ''absentee'' property. The Israeli custodian may still take possession of the land for any purpose (mainly to build or expand settlements) and turn over the ownership to individuals or companies and if the owner of the land object, the custodian would invoke military order 58 (above) and article 17 of the Absentee property law of 1950 (below) which would allow the Israeli military to keep the property in any case.


Art.17. Any transaction made in good faith between the Custodian and another person in respect of property which the Custodian considered at the time of the transaction to be vested property shall not be invalidated and shall remain in force even if it is proved that the property was not at the time vested property.

3. Acquisition by Declaring 'Lands for Military Purposes'

Following the 1967 war, the Israeli Army issued loads of military orders that entitled the Israeli Army to seize under security pretext privately owned Palestinian lands. The military orders usually bear the following clause:

According to my jurisdictions as Military Chief Commander in the Region of Judea and Samaria, and as I believe that it is imperative for military purposes, I order the following..

Figuratively the acquired land remain under private ownership, but literally the land will remain under the military control indefinitely in-fact, the Israeli Army would later on turn the seized lands to Israeli settlers to build new settlements or expand existing ones.

4. Acquisition by Declaring 'Closed Military Zones'

The israeli Military occupation has issued many unnumbered military orders declaring certain areas of the West Bank as ''closed military zones'' under which Palestinian's movement and that of unwelcome visitors (reporters) into these certain areas is restricted. The Israeli military occupation often attributed the closed areas are used as a training ground for the Army, including firing ranges. However, considerable parts of these areas would turn later on to the Israeli settler's benefits such as the case of Kiryat Arba settlement (established 1972) in the heart of Palestinian city Hebron.

5. Acquisition by Declaring 'Expropriation for Public Services' under Military Order 321


Military Order #321 (1969) - gave Israeli Military right to confiscate Palestinian land in name of 'Public Service' (left undefined), and without compensation.

The Israeli Army used the expropriation law to construct main roads for military use and to construct bypass roads that are distant from Palestinian towns and villages for the Israeli settlers while traveling in the occupied territories. This acquisition procedure was adapted by the israeli Army after a Jordanian law (law#2: Expropriation for public purposes of 1953) which entitled government Authority to appropriate land for public benefit only after a declaration of such intention is published in the official Gazette with specified details. The Jordanian law would also allow 15 days for objection before expropriation claim resubmitted for final approval from the council of ministries and the King. Furthermore, the government would fully compensate the landowners for in accordance to the market value on the date of the expropriation.

Israel sought to inflict amendments to the Jordanian expropriation law to make it less obvious with virtually non-requiring approval from any official authority other than the military institution. The amendments also intended to cast off jurisdictions of local courts to review the expropriation or order compensations to the damaged parties. The objection committee is the only authorized party to review any complaints made by the landowners who are sure that they will not find any justice among the military personnel that form the objection committee. The following most notable amendments over the Jordanian expropriation law are:
The right to employ the expropriation law under the Jordanian rule was only within the jurisdiction of the Jordanian government, while the Israeli high commander of the occupied territories appointed a military authority to carry out this law.
In the amendments made under Israeli Military Order 569, the military authority appointed by the Israeli high commander of the occupied territories no longer obligated to make any declaration of intent neither to expropriate any land nor to obtain an approval other than that of the Israeli high commander of the occupied territories.

DATE: 17 December 1974

Created a Dept. of Special Land Transactions where registration of lands declared to be 'state lands', or lands appropriated for security reasons occurs. Public notice of these transactions limited to notices posted within this office instead of newspapers.
The objection committee, which originates from military personnel, is the only party entitled to review any appeal made by the landowners for the expropriation or to determine any compensations if there is any.

The Israelis went further by adding the use of force against those who may resist the Israeli military control over the land in addition to imposing severe punishment that includes 5 years imprisonment or excessive fine or both.
The status of Israel presence in the occupied Palestinian territories (the West Bank & Gaza) is acknowledged as an occupying power by the international law and community which acknowledge in their turn the occupying power (Israel) under the Hague regulations 1907 as an administrator of State property.

The box below shows a set of articles of Hague regulations that indicates the extent of jurisdiction of the occupying power over the occupied territories; particularly article 55.


Article 23: To destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;

Article 46.: Private property cannot be confiscated.

Article 55: The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.

Article 56: The property of municipalities, that of institutions dedicated to religion, charity and education, the arts and sciences, even when State property, shall be treated as private property.

Evidently, Israel intention was never to seize the absentee property in trust in accordance with the rules of usufruct as stated in article 55 above as the custodian entrusted to the property illicitly transferred exploitation rights to third parties in permanent status. This comes to collaborate and carry on Zionist intentions to appropriate the territories under Israeli military occupation as inscribed in the World Zionist Organization's 'Master Plan for the Development and Settlement in Judea and Samaria, 1979-1983,' also known as the 'Drobles Plan' for its author.

Over the past 50+ years, Israel sought to conquer the Palestinian territories without its inhabitants and for that, it machinated to evict the native Palestinian inhabitants from the land. Israel manipulated the legislation with regard to the 'legal' condition of absenteeism in order to confiscate privately owned Palestinian land under the 1948 Absentee Property Law and assign it to Israeli settlers. Furthermore, Israel made sure to deplete the economy in the occupied territories especially within the agricultural sector, which use to comprise more than 60% of the Palestinian economy and 70% of the workforce at one time thus pushing the people out of the land.

Israel has strategically implanted hundreds of illegal settlements within the occupied territories, isolating in the process the Palestinian communities from each other. These Israeli settlements has also served an Israeli military purpose as stated in the Drobles plan which clearly cite the settlements as the first line of defense against any possible aggression against the State of Israel. 'Settlement throughout the entire Land of Israel is for security and by right. A strip of settlements at strategic sites enhances both internal and external security alike, as well as making concrete and realizing our right to Eretz Israel'. 'Master Plan for the Development and Settlement in Judea and Samaria, 1979-1983,'

Following the Camp David Accords signed between Israel and Egypt in 1978, Israel accelerated the pace on the building of settlements in the occupied territories, which later on proved to be landmines masterly planed and implanted, by the State of Israel and the World Zionist Movement aiming to create facts on the ground and eclipse the Palestinian dream of self-determination and independence viable State. Now the notion of implanting the Absentee property law on occupied East Jerusalem largely violates the Oslo Accord that stipulates upon the involved parties of the accord not to take any steps that might change the status of issues of the final status agreement, which questions Israel's intention of concluding a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Prepared by Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem

Gillian M (218)
Friday February 20, 2009, 1:29 pm
Simon, your hatred of the Old Testament and the Torah (don't you know the difference yet you are complaining about them) is rather interesting as is your lack of knowledge of it, unless there is a translation that we don't know about.

First of all, there is no human sacrifice by Jews in the Torah, unless you know better? There are stories of wars in there but this is part of world history, it has been full of wars where people have been killed.

As for faith, there is a difference between that, dogma and empirical scientific evidence. You obviously haven't any faith or love in your life otherwise you would understand that difference. Science does not have anything to do with religion except to confirm stories in the Old Testament.

As for the rest of the garbage that you have littered this page with, it is beneath contempt and not worth talking about further except to say that bigotted bias does not make whatever you say true.

Amalia Ahuva k (105)
Saturday February 21, 2009, 2:10 am
Well Gillian, we ought to have some mercy for the ignorant. May be we should start a sort of initiation course for those who wish to use or condemn the Bible, something simple, nothing elaborate.
To begin with, the first 5 Bible books are named the Thora. In these books, among other things, is the story of the foundation of the Israeli (= Hebrew) nation. This are the correct terms. In these books are also the laws the Israelites (= the Hebrew) must live by. Some of them include stoning for several sins (which is inexistent today!). Since at the time the tribes of Israel came back from their auto imposed migration to Egypt they found their land occupied by other, idol-worshiping tribes, they were not allowed by God to enable any of these tribes to live along them on the same land. The reason was to establish a monotheist religion and not to regress towards an idol-worshiping one. The polytheist religions used to offer human sacrifices to their idols. This is considered a terrible sin by our religion. It is strictly forbidden! It;s always been!
Simon (do you know, it's a Hebrew name from the Thora?)- are you aware of the way law punishes people according to the Muslim laws, even today?

Pete m (67)
Saturday February 21, 2009, 3:36 am
''Zionism has always sold itself – right back to Israel Zangwill’s coining that catchy little phrase, “a land without a people for a people without a land” - by pretending that the Palestinian people aren’t there.

Because once you acknowledge that there are already people in Palestine, you have to acknowledge that your Zionist narrative is a very partial truth.

Zionism suddenly becomes not just a programme to build a national home for the Jewish people, but a programme to build a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, which is already home to an indigenous population – 95% of whom (at the time of the first Zionist settlement in 1882) – happen to be non-Jewish.

And once you acknowledge that, the issues Zionism raises become suddenly much more complex.

It was probably the late Professor Edward Said who did most to bring this previously-invisible Palestinian reality into a Western discourse that prior to him had determinedly ignored it.

Quietly but emphatically, Said insisted that Zionism – as long as it is conceived as Jewish sovereignty over a land where Jewish people are not a natural majority - is not just an ideology of self-determination and liberation, but also of violence, and theft, and exile.

And these realities are not incidental, unexpected accompaniments to the project, but an inevitable and integral part of it.

Simply put, there is no way to turn Arab Palestine into a “Jewish democracy” that does not involve the killing, dispossession and displacement of Palestinians on a massive scale. And Zionism has to do this to the native Arab people not because of anything they do, but simply because they exist.

Edward Said had the rare gift of being able to assert the reality of Palestinian suffering without demonizing the other side, or belittling its history, its tragedies or its national aspirations.
Not that that mattered: he was still much-vilified for daring to insist on the reality of Palestine and the Palestinians, simply because no matter how sympathetically you do it, you are inevitably opening up a whole can of worms that popular Zionism would rather not open.

Once you recognise that Zionism might be a liberation for some people, but is by its very nature an ideology of death, displacement and discrimination for others, then opposition – and resistance – to it is not so irrational at all.

Suddenly, Palestinians are not antisemites who reject Zionism because it is about Jews, but ordinary people who react exactly like anyone else would at the prospect of being forcibly evicted from their homes to make way for univited mass immigration by foreigners – regardless of whether those foreigners are Jewish, Buddhist, Martian or anything else.

That’s why Said was so vilified: he told the dirty secret that Palestinian opposition to Zionism does not originate in an irrational race hatred (which can be easily dismissed as unworthy of discussion), but is the most natural reaction in the world to being forced out of your home because you are the wrong “sort” of people (which cannot).''

Beatrice B (112)
Saturday February 21, 2009, 3:42 am
Facts: The Reality

A) Palestine is only the description given to a geographical area; which has not been a nation since Israel was conquered by Rome in 70 A.D.

B) The Turks had this area from 1517 to 1917, and made it a wasteland, causing the peasants to flee... wandering all over the Middle East seeking subsistence.

C) Even after the Roman defeat in 70 A.D. the Jews (with their Zionist dream) never vacated the Holy Land.

D) The area known as Palestine covered areas both East and West of the Jordan; and the Arabic-speaking people there thought of themselves as Syrians, Turks, or simply "Arabs"... but never as "Palestinians".

E) The Arabs did not begin to think in terms of "nationalism" until early in the 1900's. Even T.E. Lawrence was not able to inject them with "nationalism" as late as World War I.

F) Islamic religious prejudice often resulted in anti-Jewish violence, throughout the Middle East, even before Israel became a state in 1948.

G) The British later described these religious persecutions as being "Arab Nationalism", so as to justify limiting Jewish immigration from Europe.

H) The British illegally "gave" Mandate lands (specifically allocated for a Jewish national home) to the Arabs instead.

I) The Arab peasants had been rendered landless by their own Arab landlords, natural disasters, excessive taxes, and Arab money lenders.

J) In 1923 Britain illegally gave Abdulah 77 percent of Palestine (the whole "East Bank") to protect rights to Arab oil, and the Suez canal, etc. for purposes of the British Empire. This created Transjordan; which became Jordan in 1946.

K) Thus, Jordan is the "independent Palestinian state" in the area; and was carved out of what was to become Israel.

L) In 1947 the UN further carved up the 23 percent west of the Jordan, into Israel, another Palestinian state (which the Arabs rejected) and an internationalized Jerusalem.

M) The Jews accepted the UN proposal; the Arabs did not.

N) The UN has changed the definition of "Refugee" for the Arabs only; who therefore need only be in the land two years to qualify.

O) The homelands to which many Arabs fled in 1948 and 1967 include lands from which many of them had recently come.

P) It is their own Arab-Muslim leaders who are preventing Arab refugees in Israel from "returning home". They are sacrificing Arab refugees to put pressure on the UN and Israel for another "Palestinian state".

Q) Of all the adjacent Arab states, only Jordan would grant citizenship to Arabs fleeing Israel. All other Arab states refused to grant Arabs citizenship.

R) Since the state of Israel (even including the "West Bank" and "Gaza strip") would total only 23 percent of Palestine (as defined by the League of nations in granting the British Mandate) how can Arabs be said to have been excluded from a Palestinian homeland?

S) Some elements of Islam are terrorizing and intimidating the world into combined action against Israel; the real intention being to destroy both Israel and Lebanon, so Islam can consolidate the Middle East before launching out to "take the world for Allah".

Beatrice B (112)
Saturday February 21, 2009, 4:16 am
“In 2000, Israel offered the Palestinians what they had long claimed to have desired, an independent Palestinian state. They rejected the offer and have conducted a premeditated war of terror that has taken the lives of more than 600 Israelis and maimed hundreds more, mostly civilians.
“Had Yasser Arafat said yes to a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip instead of holding out for a Palestinian state in place of Israel, it is likely the Palestinians would be enjoying full independence today.

“Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians dramatic and previously unthinkable concessions. By eschewing the piecemeal approach of Oslo, Barak hoped to bring the conflict to an end, but Arafat was unwilling to make peace. "For him to end the conflict is to end himself," said Ambassador Dennis Ross [1], the chief negotiator for the U.S.”

Pete m (67)
Saturday February 21, 2009, 6:39 pm
The old 'blame it all on Arafat' argument rears its head again-

The Day Barak's Bubble Burst

''...Even according to Ben Ami, Arafat did in fact make some far-reaching compromises from the Palestinian perspective. Among these:

1. He agreed to changes in the green line and to the annexation of 2% - 3.5% to Israel.

2. He agreed theoretically to settlement blocs, which are an anathema to the Palestinians.

3. He agreed to the annexation to Israel of Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, which for Palestinians are, in every respect, settlements set up in land taken by Israel in 1967.

4. He agreed to hand over to Israel the Western Wall and the Jewish quarter in the Old City.

5. He agreed to relinquish the historical claim of the refugees to return to their homes and accepted, in principle, that Israel will only allow the return of an agreed-upon limited number.

Anyone who knows even a little about the Palestinian subject knows that these are enormous compromises. How can this be reconciled with the conclusion that they want to destroy Israel?

Camp David: Deranged Behavior

And now for the facts, (I am not comparing Ben Ami's description with those of the Palestinians, but relying solely on Ben Ami's own description):

When Barak set forth early in 2001, he offered the Palestinians 65% of the territories (which represent 14.5% of mandatory Eretz Israel).

In the spring of 2000, when the negotiations began in Stockholm, the Israelis demanded 12% of the territories (with no land swap) in addition to "security holdings" in the Jordan Valley (effectively an annexation of an additional 10%) and Israeli control over the Jordan river border area (effectively cutting off the West Bank from Jordan). Barak objected to any discussion of Jerusalem and refused to even mention Jerusalem as a topic of discussion. The refined Abu-Ala said to Ben Ami: "Shlomo, take the maps back."

The next stage was Camp David in July 2000.

From Robert Malley, Clinton's aide, we know that Arafat was coerced against his will to attend. He believed (correctly) that he was walking into a trap. Barak and Clinton were like the two arms of a nutcracker who intended to crack him open (as I wrote at the time). Arafat's sole purpose was to emerge unscathed and whole. Barak, whose government had already begun to fall apart, intended to force Arafat into an agreement that would help him get reelected. Clinton wanted to reward his long-suffering wife with Jewish votes for her election to the senate.

The Israelis placed the map of 12% annexation on the table. Orally they hinted that they would be willing to accept 8 - 10%, in addition to their claim of "temporary" control over the Jordan Valley. The Palestinians had already learned the value of oral promises from the "third withdrawal" that has, to this date, not been carried out.

Gradually Jerusalem surfaced as a central topic. Barak's offer was very different from the impression created in Israel. He was willing to grant the Palestinians control only on the "outer rim" (Abu-Dis, which he had previously promised to hand over but never did, El-Azariah, Beit-Hanina etc.).

But he intended to keep the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem proper (Sheikh-Jarah, Abu-Joz, Ras-El-Amud, Silwan etc.) under Israeli sovereignty, handing over only "functional autonomy" to the Palestinians. He was ready to grant the Palestinians "permanent guardianship" of the Temple Mount but insisted that Israel retain sovereignty over it. No Arab or Muslim leader in the world could have accepted such a "generous" offer.

The accounts of percentages (of annexation) do not tell the true story. More important than the number of dunams, was their location. The Israeli map effectively chopped up the West Bank into three unconnected enclaves, each one surrounded by settlements and soldiers. The fragile territorial continuity shown in the map does not change this reality...''

''...Then there was Taba. This is Ben Ami's last alibi. The myth of "Barak's generous offers" was exposed following the disclosures of the American Robert Malley and others. A new myth was born: although no "generous offers" were made at Camp David, at Taba the Palestinians were offered everything, and they refused. This proves that. etc.

At Taba there was, indeed, significant progress. It was agreed in principle that the number of refugees allowed to return to Israel would be limited by an agreement. This was a very significant Palestinian and Israeli compromise. What remained was the argument over the numbers: the Palestinians opened the negotiations at 150 thousand per year for ten years.

The Palestinians already knew at this stage that there was no support for the Israeli offer as elections were to take place in Israel in a few days and, according to all the polls, Barak was about to suffer a colossal defeat.

But they did not reject the Israeli offers, as Ben Ami claims. On the contrary, since then they insist that every negotiation begin at the point that Taba ended.

According to Ben Ami,Yossi Beilin offered 40 thousand (per year? In total?). The Israeli delegation presented a new map with an annexation of 5.5% to Israel. The settlement blocs were reduced in size and the topic of a swap of territories was raised. Locations were not discussed.

For the first time, Ben Ami confessed, the Palestinians presented a counter-map, which relinquished 2.34% and left the large settlements and the bypass roads to them in Israel, but without the Palestinian villages around them.

Ben Ami does not take the trouble to remind his readers how the negotiations at Taba ended: Barak instructed that they end and that all offers be retracted. This fact does not prevent Barak stating, ever since, that he turned over every stone and offered everything while the wicked Arafat responded with war.

Beatrice; I won't bother responding to your 'facts' post, considering they are taken from Joan Peters widely discredited hoax 'From Time Immemorial'. (infamous for falsely asserting the old zionist fairy tale about 'a land with no people for a people without land' )

From Time Immemorial: The Resurrection of a Myth

Blue Bunting (855)
Saturday February 21, 2009, 6:40 pm
Tzipi Livni is the daughter of an Irgun terrorist; even she knows what Ben Gurion said is true:

"If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti - Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault ? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?" -- David Ben Gurion

Blue Bunting (855)
Saturday February 21, 2009, 6:53 pm
Beatrice wrote: "Facts: A) Palestine is only the description given to a geographical area; which has not been a nation since Israel was conquered by Rome in 70 A.D."

Are you writin gor reading revisionist history, Beatrice?

Israel DI NOT exist in 70 A.D.

Israel’s Lies
Henry Siegman

Western governments and most of the Western media have accepted a number of Israeli claims justifying the military assault on Gaza: that Hamas consistently violated the six-month truce that Israel observed and then refused to extend it; that Israel therefore had no choice but to destroy Hamas’s capacity to launch missiles into Israeli towns; that Hamas is a terrorist organisation, part of a global jihadi network; and that Israel has acted not only in its own defence but on behalf of an international struggle by Western democracies against this network.

I am not aware of a single major American newspaper, radio station or TV channel whose coverage of the assault on Gaza questions this version of events. Criticism of Israel’s actions, if any (and there has been none from the Bush administration), has focused instead on whether the IDF’s carnage is proportional to the threat it sought to counter, and whether it is taking adequate measures to prevent civilian casualties.

Middle East peacemaking has been smothered in deceptive euphemisms, so let me state bluntly that each of these claims is a lie. Israel, not Hamas, violated the truce: Hamas undertook to stop firing rockets into Israel; in return, Israel was to ease its throttlehold on Gaza. In fact, during the truce, it tightened it further. This was confirmed not only by every neutral international observer and NGO on the scene but by Brigadier General (Res.) Shmuel Zakai, a former commander of the IDF’s Gaza Division. In an interview in Ha’aretz on 22 December, he accused Israel’s government of having made a ‘central error’ during the tahdiyeh, the six-month period of relative truce, by failing ‘to take advantage of the calm to improve, rather than markedly worsen, the economic plight of the Palestinians of the Strip . . . When you create a tahdiyeh, and the economic pressure on the Strip continues,’ General Zakai said, ‘it is obvious that Hamas will try to reach an improved tahdiyeh, and that their way to achieve this is resumed Qassam fire . . . You cannot just land blows, leave the Palestinians in Gaza in the economic distress they’re in, and expect that Hamas will just sit around and do nothing.’

The truce, which began in June last year and was due for renewal in December, required both parties to refrain from violent action against the other. Hamas had to cease its rocket assaults and prevent the firing of rockets by other groups such as Islamic Jihad (even Israel’s intelligence agencies acknowledged this had been implemented with surprising effectiveness), and Israel had to put a stop to its targeted assassinations and military incursions. This understanding was seriously violated on 4 November, when the IDF entered Gaza and killed six members of Hamas. Hamas responded by launching Qassam rockets and Grad missiles. Even so, it offered to extend the truce, but only on condition that Israel ended its blockade. Israel refused. It could have met its obligation to protect its citizens by agreeing to ease the blockade, but it didn’t even try. It cannot be said that Israel launched its assault to protect its citizens from rockets. It did so to protect its right to continue the strangulation of Gaza’s population.

Everyone seems to have forgotten that Hamas declared an end to suicide bombings and rocket fire when it decided to join the Palestinian political process, and largely stuck to it for more than a year. Bush publicly welcomed that decision, citing it as an example of the success of his campaign for democracy in the Middle East. (He had no other success to point to.) When Hamas unexpectedly won the election, Israel and the US immediately sought to delegitimise the result and embraced Mahmoud Abbas, the head of Fatah, who until then had been dismissed by Israel’s leaders as a ‘plucked chicken’. They armed and trained his security forces to overthrow Hamas; and when Hamas – brutally, to be sure – pre-empted this violent attempt to reverse the result of the first honest democratic election in the modern Middle East, Israel and the Bush administration imposed the blockade.

Israel seeks to counter these indisputable facts by maintaining that in withdrawing Israeli settlements from Gaza in 2005, Ariel Sharon gave Hamas the chance to set out on the path to statehood, a chance it refused to take; instead, it transformed Gaza into a launching-pad for firing missiles at Israel’s civilian population. The charge is a lie twice over. First, for all its failings, Hamas brought to Gaza a level of law and order unknown in recent years, and did so without the large sums of money that donors showered on the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority. It eliminated the violent gangs and warlords who terrorised Gaza under Fatah’s rule. Non-observant Muslims, Christians and other minorities have more religious freedom under Hamas rule than they would have in Saudi Arabia, for example, or under many other Arab regimes.

The greater lie is that Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza was intended as a prelude to further withdrawals and a peace agreement. This is how Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass, who was also his chief negotiator with the Americans, described the withdrawal from Gaza, in an interview with Ha’aretz in August 2004:

What I effectively agreed to with the Americans was that part of the settlements [i.e. the major settlement blocks on the West Bank] would not be dealt with at all, and the rest will not be dealt with until the Palestinians turn into Finns . . . The significance [of the agreement with the US] is the freezing of the political process. And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state and you prevent a discussion about the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package that is called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed from our agenda indefinitely. And all this with [President Bush’s] authority and permission . . . and the ratification of both houses of Congress.

Do the Israelis and Americans think that Palestinians don’t read the Israeli papers, or that when they saw what was happening on the West Bank they couldn’t figure out for themselves what Sharon was up to?

Israel’s government would like the world to believe that Hamas launched its Qassam rockets because that is what terrorists do and Hamas is a generic terrorist group. In fact, Hamas is no more a ‘terror organisation’ (Israel’s preferred term) than the Zionist movement was during its struggle for a Jewish homeland. In the late 1930s and 1940s, parties within the Zionist movement resorted to terrorist activities for strategic reasons. According to Benny Morris, it was the Irgun that first targeted civilians. He writes in Righteous Victims that an upsurge of Arab terrorism in 1937 ‘triggered a wave of Irgun bombings against Arab crowds and buses, introducing a new dimension to the conflict’. He also documents atrocities committed during the 1948-49 war by the IDF, admitting in a 2004 interview, published in Ha’aretz, that material released by Israel’s Ministry of Defence showed that ‘there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought . . . In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them, and destroy the villages themselves.’ In a number of Palestinian villages and towns the IDF carried out organised executions of civilians. Asked by Ha’aretz whether he condemned the ethnic cleansing, Morris replied that he did not:

A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population. It was necessary to cleanse the hinterland and cleanse the border areas and cleanse the main roads. It was necessary to cleanse the villages from which our convoys and our settlements were fired on.

In other words, when Jews target and kill innocent civilians to advance their national struggle, they are patriots. When their adversaries do so, they are terrorists.

It is too easy to describe Hamas simply as a ‘terror organisation’. It is a religious nationalist movement that resorts to terrorism, as the Zionist movement did during its struggle for statehood, in the mistaken belief that it is the only way to end an oppressive occupation and bring about a Palestinian state. While Hamas’s ideology formally calls for that state to be established on the ruins of the state of Israel, this doesn’t determine Hamas’s actual policies today any more than the same declaration in the PLO charter determined Fatah’s actions.

These are not the conclusions of an apologist for Hamas but the opinions of the former head of Mossad and Sharon’s national security adviser, Ephraim Halevy. The Hamas leadership has undergone a change ‘right under our very noses’, Halevy wrote recently in Yedioth Ahronoth, by recognising that ‘its ideological goal is not attainable and will not be in the foreseeable future.’ It is now ready and willing to see the establishment of a Palestinian state within the temporary borders of 1967. Halevy noted that while Hamas has not said how ‘temporary’ those borders would be, ‘they know that the moment a Palestinian state is established with their co-operation, they will be obligated to change the rules of the game: they will have to adopt a path that could lead them far from their original ideological goals.’ In an earlier article, Halevy also pointed out the absurdity of linking Hamas to al-Qaida.

In the eyes of al-Qaida, the members of Hamas are perceived as heretics due to their stated desire to participate, even indirectly, in processes of any understandings or agreements with Israel. [The Hamas political bureau chief, Khaled] Mashal’s declaration diametrically contradicts al-Qaida’s approach, and provides Israel with an opportunity, perhaps a historic one, to leverage it for the better.

Why then are Israel’s leaders so determined to destroy Hamas? Because they believe that its leadership, unlike that of Fatah, cannot be intimidated into accepting a peace accord that establishes a Palestinian ‘state’ made up of territorially disconnected entities over which Israel would be able to retain permanent control. Control of the West Bank has been the unwavering objective of Israel’s military, intelligence and political elites since the end of the Six-Day War.[*] They believe that Hamas would not permit such a cantonisation of Palestinian territory, no matter how long the occupation continues. They may be wrong about Abbas and his superannuated cohorts, but they are entirely right about Hamas.

Middle East observers wonder whether Israel’s assault on Hamas will succeed in destroying the organisation or expelling it from Gaza. This is an irrelevant question. If Israel plans to keep control over any future Palestinian entity, it will never find a Palestinian partner, and even if it succeeds in dismantling Hamas, the movement will in time be replaced by a far more radical Palestinian opposition.

If Barack Obama picks a seasoned Middle East envoy who clings to the idea that outsiders should not present their own proposals for a just and sustainable peace agreement, much less press the parties to accept it, but instead leave them to work out their differences, he will assure a future Palestinian resistance far more extreme than Hamas – one likely to be allied with al-Qaida. For the US, Europe and most of the rest of the world, this would be the worst possible outcome. Perhaps some Israelis, including the settler leadership, believe it would serve their purposes, since it would provide the government with a compelling pretext to hold on to all of Palestine. But this is a delusion that would bring about the end of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

Anthony Cordesman, one of the most reliable military analysts of the Middle East, and a friend of Israel, argued in a 9 January report for the Center for Strategic and International Studies that the tactical advantages of continuing the operation in Gaza were outweighed by the strategic cost – and were probably no greater than any gains Israel may have made early in the war in selective strikes on key Hamas facilities. ‘Has Israel somehow blundered into a steadily escalating war without a clear strategic goal, or at least one it can credibly achieve?’ he asks. ‘Will Israel end in empowering an enemy in political terms that it defeated in tactical terms? Will Israel’s actions seriously damage the US position in the region, any hope of peace, as well as moderate Arab regimes and voices in the process? To be blunt, the answer so far seems to be yes.’ Cordesman concludes that ‘any leader can take a tough stand and claim that tactical gains are a meaningful victory. If this is all that Olmert, Livni and Barak have for an answer, then they have disgraced themselves and damaged their country and their friends.’

Amalia Ahuva k (105)
Saturday February 21, 2009, 11:05 pm
Well BB, I hope you don't renegade the Bible. Because if you do, you might as well stop reading now.
In the Bible, the PLYSHTYM are being mention as people who invaded OUR TERRITORY coming from the Mediterranean sea. This word merely means in Hebrew (the original language of the Bible), invaders!
It is deriver from the verb LY-PHLOSH=to invade. They settled themselves in several spots on the coast, and there were a lot of wars between them and my ancestors, in order to prevent them from entering deeper, and to try and make them live. The Romans burnt down our temple in Jerusalem, and evacuated us from our land as their slaves (punishing us for our revolt against them, because we didn't agree to leave our monotheist religion). Then, as a further punishment, the name of the country was changed to Palestina, it has always been before that, Judea (even in roman documents:"Judea capta" on a roman ancient coin commemorating their conquer of our country).
The people who adopted this name today, and use it as their own HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ORIGINAL PLYSHTYM! They originate from Arab tribes, mostly from the Arab peninsula. Actually, it always makes me reflect of the kids' story who tells about the wolf who disguised itself in a sheep coat, so that the lambs would let him in in order for him to devour them!!!

Blue Bunting (855)
Sunday February 22, 2009, 2:18 am
Ahuva, do you really think you can use the Bible to defend I$rael's behavior? Don't try to set us all up with your faulty style of thinking. Fixate upon a couple of simple minded moralistic principles, then let the Amygdala rip whenever either principle is violated. You learned this from the psychologists. It is a great way to market to people with limited low information.

Israel did NOT exist before the 1940s.
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