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    Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution' (OP)


    Salaam

    With Trump in power, Netanyahu has a free hand.


    Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'


    Land grab law 'allows theft, stalls peace process'

    Law that retroactively legalises settler homes on private Palestinian land widely condemned as legitimising theft.


    Israel's land grab law that retroactively legalises thousands of settlement homes in the occupied West Bank legitimises theft, violates international law and ends the prospect of a two-state solution, according to politicians, legal experts and human rights groups.

    The so-called "Regulation Bill" instantly drew wide condemnation as it was voted in by members of the Knesset late on Monday with a 60 to 52 majority.

    The law applies to about 4,000 settlement homes in the West Bank for which settlers could prove ignorance that they had built on privately owned Palestinian land and had received encouragement from the Israeli state to do so.

    Three Israeli NGOs - Peace Now, Yesh Din and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel - and numerous Palestinians said they intend to petition the Supreme Court to cancel the law.

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday in a statement: "This bill is in contravention of international law and will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel."

    The EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement that the bloc "condemns" the law and urges against its implementation "to avoid measures that further raise tensions and endanger the prospects for a peaceful solution to the conflict".

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the law was an aggression against the Palestinian people.

    "That bill is contrary to international law," Abbas said following a meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Paris. "This is an aggression against our people that we will be opposing in international organisations.

    "What we want is peace ... but what Israel does is to work toward one state based on apartheid."

    Hollande called on Israel to go back on the law, saying it would "pave the way for an annexation, de-facto, of the occupied territories, which would be contrary to the two-state solution".

    Hours before Abbas' meeting with Hollande, Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, told the Associated Press news agency that the law puts "the last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution".

    Calling the move "theft", Erekat said the ruling showed "the Israeli government trying to legalise looting Palestinian land".

    The Arab League also accused Israel of "stealing the land" from Palestinians.

    "The law in question is only a cover for stealing the land and appropriating the property of Palestinians," said the head of the Cairo-based organisation, Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

    Palestinian owners will be compensated financially or with other land, but cannot negotiate their terms.

    The law is a continuation of "Israeli policies aimed at eliminating any possibility of a two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state", Aboul Gheit said.

    Jordan, one of the few Arab states to have diplomatic ties with Israel, also denounced what it called "a provocative law likely to kill any hope of a two-state solution".

    According to the UN envoy for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, the law crosses a "very thick red line" towards annexation of the occupied West Bank, and sets a "very dangerous precedent".

    Speaking to the AFP news agency, he said: "This is the first time the Israeli Knesset legislates in the occupied Palestinian lands and particularly on property issues."

    He also raised the possibility the law could open Israel up to potential prosecution at the International Criminal Court, a threat Israel's own top government lawyer, attorney general Avichai Mandelblit, has also warned of.

    Mladenov called for strong international condemnation of the legislation but declined to criticise the US after President Donald Trump's administration refused to comment on it.

    Trump is more sympathetic to Israel's settlement policies than previous US presidents; the Israeli government has approved plans to build thousands of new homes on occupied territory since the far-right leader settled into the White House.

    "I think that is a very preliminary statement," Mladenov said. "Obviously they do need to consult, this is a new administration that has just come into office and they should be given the time and the space to find their policies."

    White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the US was likely to discuss the law with Netanyahu when the Israeli prime minister visits on February 15, but did not comment further in a press briefing on Tuesday.

    David Harris, head of AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organisation, said that "Israel's High Court can and should reverse this misguided legislation" ahead of Netanyahu's meeting with Trump in February.

    That was also the message from Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who said last week: "The chance that it will be struck down by the Supreme Court is 100 percent."

    'Against all international laws'

    International law considers all settlements to be illegal, but Israel distinguishes between those it sanctions and those it does not, dubbed outposts.

    A Palestinian Cabinet minister also called on the international community for support.

    "Nobody can legalise the theft of the Palestinian lands. Building settlements is a crime, building settlements is against all international laws," said Palestinian Tourism and Antiquities Minister Rula Maayaa. "I think it is time now for the international community to act concretely to stop the Israelis from these crimes."

    Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called the law "unacceptable" and urged the international community to act immediately.

    "This is an escalation that would only lead to more instability and chaos," Rdeneh said.

    Palestinians want the occupied West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip - territories Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East war - for their future state.

    The international community views settlements as illegal and an obstacle to reaching peace.

    Shortly before leaving office, US President Barack Obama allowed the UN Security Council to pass a resolution declaring settlements illegal.

    Tobias Ellwood, Britain's Middle East minister, also condemned the land grab bill, saying it "is of great concern that the bill paves the way for significant growth in settlements deep in the West Bank".

    Yuval Shany, an international law professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said the law violates basic rights, interferes with property rights and is discriminatory because it regulates only the transfer of land from Palestinians to Jews.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/02/israel-land-grab-law-ends-hope-state-solution-170207143602924.html
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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

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    Salaam

    Another update

    Turkey’s Erdogan Is All Over East Jerusalem

    From the golden Dome of the Rock mosque to the ragtag stalls of the Old City’s market, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is all over east Jerusalem.

    Muslim worshipers raise his picture at Friday prayers, restaurants display the Turkish flag on their walls, and tens of thousands of his citizens have been sent to the Israeli-controlled holy city on pilgrimages to prevent its “Judaization.” Inside the cobble-stoned market, Arab merchants on Khan al-Zeit street point to once-crumbling masonry patched up by the Erdogan government, and praise Turkey for its handouts to the poor.

    Perceived as one of the few Muslim leaders still championing the Palestinian cause, Erdogan’s focus on Jerusalem is part of a broader ambition to establish Turkey as the world’s foremost proponent of political Islam and resurrect its past influence in a troubled region. His growing footprint is unsettling the three governments with a direct stake in this contested city: Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. It also presents a challenge to Saudi Arabia, whose oil wealth and status as the birthplace of Islam have long established it as a patron of east Jerusalem.

    Sacred to Christians, Muslims and Jews, Jerusalem lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israelis claim it as the undivided capital of a Jewish state but Palestinians want the mostly-Arab eastern side, home to the holiest sites, as the capital of their future state. Most countries do not recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, but with peace talks stalled and Palestinians divided, rival governments have sought to assert their influence.

    “The Saudis have Mecca and Erdogan wants Jerusalem,” says Pinhas Inbari, an Israeli analyst at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs research center. “Israel has a critical security interest in making sure that Turkey doesn’t try to exercise authority over Al Aqsa and upset the status quo.”

    A vehement critic of Israel, Erdogan is seeking to do just that. When Washington recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, over Palestinian objections, it was Erdogan who led the charge on their behalf, calling the Trump administration a ‘‘partner in bloodshed.” The Arab response was more measured. Many Arab leaders value Trump’s uncompromising policy on their regional rival Iran and it was four months before they held an Arab League summit reinforcing high-level commitment to Palestinian claims.

    Leading Champion


    Erdogan has gone as far as restoring the Islamic crescent to the Dome of the Rock’s glittering cap, which dominates Jerusalem’s skyline from the hilltop compound revered by Muslims as the Al Aqsa mosque complex and by Jews as Temple Mount, the site of their biblical temple.

    “Protect Mecca and Medina. Protect these holy lands as your honor. Protect Jerusalem,” Erdogan said in a speech last month.

    Erdogan “is a strong man who loves Palestine,” said Salahadin Nasradin, owner of a cut-rate electronics store in the market. “We pray that he will lead all Islamic countries one day.”

    Hamas Benefactor


    The Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas doesn’t share the enthusiasm for Erdogan felt in the Old City alleys, where shopowners in a cacophony of Arabic and Hebrew hawk jewelry, religious relics and T-shirts, and the aromas of cumin and turmeric mix with the smoke from sizzling chunks of lamb.

    While the Palestinian Authority welcomes Ankara’s investment in the Old City, Turkey also supports Abbas’s bitter rival, the Hamas militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, and its parent group, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. That makes Palestinian officials reluctant to speak on the record.

    “Since Erdogan took office he’s been working to restore Turkey’s role as a strategic player in the region and as a rival to Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia,” said Jehad Harb, an analyst at the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. “The Palestinian Authority wants the financial support that Turkey is offering, but is very cautious in its dealings” because of Turkey’s ties to Hamas, Harb said.

    Potential Restrictions


    Israel, whose once-warm relations with Ankara have soured under Erdogan, is watching Turkey’s growing Jerusalem foothold with suspicion, and may restrict its activities if it’s seen to be stepping up support for radical Islamist groups, said Michael Oren, Israel’s deputy minister for public diplomacy.

    “We’re monitoring it,” Oren said.

    Turkey’s foreign aid agency said in its 2015 annual report -- the last with details on Jerusalem investments -- that it has undertaken more than 500 projects valued at nearly $30 million in the Palestinian territories, 81 in east Jerusalem.

    Erdogan’s presence there has fueled concern in Jordan that he may challenge its historic guardianship over the eighth-century Al Aqsa complex. After Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war, it allowed the Jordanian religious administration known as the Waqf to continue managing the compound, with Israeli forces maintaining security control.

    “We will not accept any competition,” said Sheikh Omar al-Kiswanii, director of the Al-Aqsa mosque, from his office near the shrine, where a giant portrait of Jordan’s King Abdullah overlooks the building’s stone staircase.

    Commercial Facelift

    Turkey’s activities could also pose a challenge to Saudi Arabia, which has poured more than $6 billion into Palestinian programs since 2000 -- including $285 million earmarked for Jerusalem -- according to a statement in May by Abdullah Al Rabeeah, an adviser to the Royal Court and supervisor-general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

    The Saudi king, officially the “custodian” of Islam’s holiest mosques in Mecca and Medina, also pledged $150 million to the Palestinians in April, with a focus on maintaining Jerusalem’s Islamic heritage.

    Just as Khan al-Zeit street has been adopted by Turkey, Saudi Arabia has spruced up shops along Al-Wad Street, the artery that leads from Damascus Gate to the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews are allowed to pray. Until a few months ago, a building on the street bore a stone plaque describing the work Saudi Arabia financed there, said Ziad Ghnem, 60, who owns the adjacent toy store.

    “They took it down because people would line up outside hoping to get some money,” Ghnem said, chuckling amid piles of knockoff Barbie dolls, beach balls and toy guns.

    Seesawing Acceptance

    Israel’s acceptance of Turkish and Saudi activities has seesawed in line with diplomatic developments, said Alon Liel, a former Israeli envoy to Turkey. Erdogan was given a relatively free hand after the countries mended their rupture over a deadly 2010 Israeli naval raid on a Turkish ship challenging the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The detente fell apart in December.

    By contrast, Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Jerusalem is being encouraged as secret business ties and communications through the Trump administration and other intermediaries blossom, Liel said. While Trump’s Middle East peace team has consulted closely with the Saudis, Erdogan has been among the president’s harshest critics.

    “The Saudis are friends now,” Liel said. “They probably have our blessing.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-20/turkey-s-erdogan-is-all-over-east-jerusalem

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update


    UK Labour Party to Debate Palestine and Arms Embargo on Israel





    The issue is in the top four of all issues to be discussed Tuesday in Liverpool. It gained more votes than the issues of Brexit, and the National Health System (NHS).

    Delegates of the U.K. Labour Party have voted to debate Palestine at the party’s annual conference in Liverpool. The motion was backed by 188,000 votes from local party members. The debate, a first in many years, will also include a motion for a U.K. arms embargo against Israel.

    Palestine solidarity campaign director Ben Jamal said, commenting on the overwhelming response from members, “Ordinary members of the party want Labour to stand up for Palestinian rights. And today for the first time in many years a Palestine motion is on the agenda of the conference."

    The issue is in the top four of all issues to be discussed on Tuesday in Liverpool. The vote to debate Palestine was fourth after housing, school systems, and justice for the Windrush generation. It gained more votes than the issues of Brexit, and the National Health System (NHS).

    During the debate on Palestine, the party will also deliberate on U.K. arms sales to Israel, suggesting they end until an independent investigation into the killing of more than 180 protesters in Gaza since Mar. 30 can be carried out.

    Though conference votes are not binding on leaders, Jeremy Corbyn, a supporter of the Palestinian cause, has promised to recognize Palestine as a state if his party comes to power. A new Labour and Palestine parliamentary group will be launched at the conference.

    Amidst the cries of anti-Semitism that has engulfed the party in recent months, this decision is welcomed by party members. Labour’s General Secretary Jennie Formby said, “We must not allow the voices of Palestinians to be silenced and members must be able to speak out about the terrible injustices they face.” But she added that nobody would be allowed to be anti-Semitic while speaking about Palestine.

    The anti-Semitism charges against Corbyn were rejected by him, his supporters, and Palestinians, citing Israel's attempt to shut down any criticism of its policies and abuse against Palestinians and its occupation of their land.

    “If you pass racist laws, if you operate in a racist way, there is nothing racist in calling you a racist state. If Israel wants to stop that accusation, it needs to end the occupation and stop operating in a racist way,” said Jamal.

    But not all Palestinians are overjoyed with the polls. Some are critical of the U.K.’s stand on the Oslo agreement which supports the creation of two states. For U.K.-based Palestinian author and academic, Ghada Karmi said during a Palestine Solidarity meeting that Labour cannot go on supporting a “defunct idea”. She also asked the party to stop being apologetic about Israel’s atrocities and to confront Israel and call out its actions against Palestinians.

    According to Hazem Jamjoum, a Palestinian-American academic, the British empire helped create the state of Israel. Hence, it has a greater responsibility to support Palestine. He also warned that Israel’s impunity regarding apartheid, racist laws and ethnonationalism is creating precedences all over the globe which is witnessing an increasing identity-based nationalism in each country.

    https://www.telesurtv.net/english/ne...0924-0004.html



    Last edited by Junon; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:47 PM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    The Hasbra operations are getting more and more desperate.





    Jewish establishments reaction to Corbyns speech.







    Bad news.

    Last edited by Junon; 3 Weeks Ago at 09:51 PM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    The massive support at the Labour conference for Palestinian solidarity. Looks like they are determined to show the Pharisees and the Optimates that they won't be cowed by the threat of being branded antisemitic. Chances are the usual suspects are going berserk right now spamming the Labour Party with reports of antisemitism

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update

    Defying Israel lobby, Labour votes for arms freeze

    In a historic move, the Labour Party’s annual conference on Tuesday voted to end UK arms sales to Israel.

    But The Electronic Intifada has learned that Emily Thornberry, the woman who would become foreign minister were a Labour government elected tomorrow, had privately tried to scupper the motion.

    Although Thornberry is a close ally of Labour leader and Palestine solidarity veteran Jeremy Corbyn, she is also a supporter of Labour Friends of Israel and opposes an arms embargo.

    Amid a sea of waving Palestinian flags, and chants of “Free Palestine,” delegates debated a motion condemning Israel’s killing of Palestinian protesters – more than 140 to date – since the Great March of Return protests began on 30 March.



    The motion, passed with almost no votes against, calls for an immediate freeze on UK arms sales to Israel.

    Since 2014, the UK government has approved licences for exports to Israel of arms and other military technology worth $660 million, including components for aircraft missiles, drones and sniper rifles, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign stated in a press release.

    The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee, the steering group of the international BDS movement, praised the Labour Party vote for “rekindling hope that Israel’s South Africa moment is getting closer.”
    “Review” or “freeze”?

    Thornberry has said in the past that a Labour government would “review” arms sales to Israel – far short of the freeze called for by Tuesday’s motion.

    She repeated her promise to review arms sales to Israel at a meeting of Labour Friends of Palestine at the conference on Monday night, a campaigner told The Electronic Intifada.

    But multiple sources told The Electronic Intifada that Thornberry had put pressure on Labour activists behind the motion to make changes to its text that would have gutted it.

    Not only did Thornberry demand that the call for an immediate arms trade freeze be removed, she had wanted a line mentioning “Palestinian victims of the Nakba” taken out as well – a reference to Israel’s expulsion of some 800,000 Palestinians to establish a “Jewish state” in 1948.

    The proposers of the motion declined to comment on the record.

    But sources with knowledge of the discussions told The Electronic Intifada that during an hour-long meeting Thornberry and her people pressured the activists from Harlow and Wolverhampton South West local Labour parties to water down the draft.



    Proposer Colin Monehen made a thinly veiled reference to Thornberry’s interference in his speech to delegates.

    As Thornberry sat on the stage nearby, he stated: “There are those that are nervous about the word Nakba. But the Nakba did happen and those people were forcibly removed from their homes, and there has to be a recognition of that.”

    Thornberry’s pressure tactics failed and, if anything, the final motion ended up slightly stronger. The original draft stated that the arms freeze was pending the results of an independent investigation into Israel’s killings in Gaza, while the adopted text doesn’t make the freeze conditional on an investigation.

    The Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s director Ben Jamal stated: “This incredible show of support and this historic motion demonstrate the strength of feeling at the grassroots of the party. Labour members want to show real solidarity with Palestinians.”

    “Given Israel’s continuing use of live fire to kill unarmed Palestinian demonstrators, it is no surprise that there’s clear support for an immediate freeze of arms sales to Israel,” Jamal added.

    There is no Labour Friends of Israel stall at conference this year. Pro-Israel newspaper the Jewish News reported this was the first time in “recent memory” the LFI stall was absent.

    An anonymous source claimed to the paper, that “Last year the LFI stand at conference became a magnet for conspiracy theorists and young staff members were put in uncomfortable positions.”

    In January 2017, undercover footage shot by Al Jazeera at the LFI stall at Labour conference in 2016 revealed that the Israeli embassy had promised LFI’s Joan Ryan that lawmakers would receive “more than one million pounds” ($1.3 million) worth of propaganda junkets to Israel.

    The footage also revealed that Ryan had outright fabricated an instance of “anti-Semitism” arising out of a discussion at the stall, where a Labour Party activist had questioned Israel’s colonization of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank in violation of international law.

    Shut down


    During the debate academic Hilary Wise was shut down by the chair after encouraging delegates to watch the Al Jazeera film, The Lobby.

    Rhea Wolfson chided Wise: “I would ask you to be very careful with your language.”

    Wolfson is a member of the Jewish Labour Movement, a group with intimate ties to the Israeli embassy.

    The massive level of popular support for Palestine at the Labour grassroots put into stark relief the failure of the Israel lobby’s attempts to court support within the party.

    As it has become clear how isolated pro-Israel activists are within Labour, some appear to be turning to ever more extreme tactics.

    On Tuesday night, a film screening focusing on Black anti-Zionist Jewish activist Jackie Walker was cut short after a bomb threat.



    The Political Lynching of Jackie Walker was due to be premiered at a conference fringe showing on Tuesday night. The screening got only 15 minutes in before the venue was forced to call off the event.



    Walker told The Electronic Intifada that a phone call to the venue from an unknown person claimed that “There are two bombs in the building that will kill many people.”

    Walker has been a vocal critic of the Labour Party’s witch hunt against anti-Zionists, and was suspended from the party for her views.

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/defying-israel-lobby-labour-votes-arms-freeze

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update. Ahed Tamimi honoured by Real Madrid football club.



    The predictable Israeli response.



    Everything they 'disapprove' of is 'terrorism'.
    Last edited by Junon; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:01 AM.
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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update

    The Spectacular Zionist Boomerang

    All that is left for us to do is to thank British Zionist institutions, the BOD, the CAA, the Jewish Chronicle and the Zionist stooges within British media for making the British Labour party not only the biggest and most united political party in Europe but also a party united behind its leader Jeremy Corbyn and unequivocally opposed to Israeli criminality.

    Christians United for Israel, an ultra Zionist outlet, complained that “hundreds of Palestinian flags were flown on the main floor of Labour’s Party conference yesterday despite the British flag not being allowed. The flags, which were flown with approval of the Labour leadership, were handed out to delegates by activists before the Conference passed a motion demanding a freeze on arms sales to Israel and an investigation into the deaths of Palestinians on the Gaza border.”

    It is worth mentioning that Israel doesn’t actually need obsolete British weapons. Likely the British army would also benefit by avoiding the use of locally manufactured lethal toys. But what is crucial is that despite the relentless Zionist campaign against Corbyn and the British media’s shameless compliance with the Zionist call, the Labour party has prevailed magnificently. It is more focused and united than it has been in the past five shameful decades.

    Noticeable of late is that Israel firsters are changing their strategy. Tossing antisemitsm accusations against Corbyn and the Labour party was counterproductive, the accusations only ended up contributing to the popularity of Corbyn and the party. So now the Zionist clan is trying to mobilize new opposition by accusing the Labour party and its many supporters of being ‘unpatriotic.’ “Shockingly, earlier in the week Labour constituencies chose to debate ‘Palestine’ with more than 188,000 votes – making it the only international issue to receive a dedicated debate in Liverpool and thousands more votes than for concerns such as the NHS, the welfare system, or Brexit.”

    Labour party members waved the Palestinian flag en masse grasping that by now -We Are All Palestinians-like the Palestinians we aren’t even allowed to utter the name of our oppressor. I suspect that blaming Labour for holding a meeting that Israel’s supporters claim failed to pay sufficient attention to the NHS or welfare is not going to work, but obviously, I welcome the new Zionist strategy. As we have seen, each and every one of their acts boomerangs spectacularly.

    https://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2018/9/27/the-spectacular-zionist-boomerang

    Right on cue.


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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    This book has been released recently.



    Blurb

    Finding peace in the holy land is a perfectly timed memoir told with brisk honesty and sharp humour. Sweeping from the suburbs of North London to the olive groves of Palestine, it explores a life of excess-to-spirituality impacted by the struggle of a distant people.

    Paddling the celebrity shallows of the 1990’s as ‘Tony Blair’s sister-in-law’, Lauren Booth explored everything city life had on offer; appearing on reality TV shows and at the opening of a paper bag (if i meant freebies). Yet, as a cautious Christian, she was drawn to the Holy Land too.

    Given the chance to visit Palestine, instead of finding the faith of her Catholic heritage, she became embroiled in the people’s struggle, accidentally breaking a deadly siege by land and sea, playing handball with Hamas and witnessing daily acts of patience and courage which would change her forever.

    Above all Finding Peace in the Holy Land is a witty personal odyssey calling the reader to consider the universal question; ‘what’s this life thing all about?’


    Last edited by Junon; 2 Weeks Ago at 12:13 AM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update

    Jerusalem municipality to remove UN agency for Palestinians from city


    City's mayor says cut in US aid to agency creates 'rare opportunity to replace UNRWA's services with services of the Jerusalem municipality'

    Jerusalem's mayor has said he plans to remove a UN agency for Palestinian refugees from the city, accusing the body of operating illegally and promoting incitement against Israel.

    Nir Barkat said on Thursday schools, clinics and sports centres, among other services operated by UNRWA in occupied East Jerusalem, will be transferred to Israeli authorities.

    The municipality did not provide an exact timeline but it said schools serving 1,800 students would be closed by the end of the current school year, the AP news agency reported.

    Barkat, who is set to step down following municipal elections at the end of the month, said the US decision at the end of August to cut $300 million in aid to the agency prompted the move.

    Seen by the Palestinians and most of the international community as providing a valuable safety net, the European Union has called on Washington to reconsider its ending of funding to UNRWA.

    "The US decision has created a rare opportunity to replace UNRWA's services with services of the Jerusalem municipality," Barkat said in a statement, claiming the schools and clinics were illegal and operate without an Israeli license.

    "We are putting an end to the lie of the 'Palestinian refugee problem' and the attempts at creating a false sovereignty within a sovereignty."

    Jerusalem's municipality said the move was coordinated with the Israeli government.

    UNRWA did not immediately respond to a request for comment, AP said.

    Founded in 1948, UNWRA was established to deal with the mass displacement of approximately 700,000 Palestinians, following the establishment of the state of Israel, to Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt.

    Since then, the descendants of those Palestinians who continue to be displaced have benefited from several UNRWA initiatives, including educational facilities.

    'Political attack'

    Last month, Israeli news outlet Channel Two reported that the Trump administration wanted to redefine the status of the agency, as well as the definition of Palestinian refugees, with the ultimate aim of eventually closing down the agency.

    Officials familiar with the decision told the Washington Post that the new definition would exclude the descendants of those originally displaced, reducing the current five million figure to fewer than a tenth of that number.

    Palestinian groups continue to demand the right of return for refugees and their descendents who were displaced since 1948.

    In the absence of a solution, the UN General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA's mandate.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said UNRWA should be abolished and its responsibilities taken over by the main UN refugee agency.

    Last month, UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said the US funding cuts were a "political attack" on the Palestinian people and the agency, but that only the UN could change the status of refugees and UNWRA's mandate.

    "You cannot airbrush out of history 5.4 million people who belong to a UN-protected community, you cannot wish away their rights, their right to education, their rights to health and their rights to self determination," he said.

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/jerusalem-remove-un-agency-palestinians-city-1601472090

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update

    Bus stop posters calling Israel a 'racist endeavour' condemned by London Assembly

    'A concerted effort by racist, antisemitic and politically motivated people to intimidate London’s Jewish communities'




    Illegal posters put up in London bus shelters declaring Israel a “racist endeavour” have been unanimously condemned by the London Assembly.

    On Wednesday, bus stops in at least four different sites across the capital were spotted featuring the statement “Israel is a racist endeavour” - apparently in protest at Labour’s decision to adopt all internationally recognised examples of antisemitism.

    The posters were a reference to one of the examples of modern antisemitism as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

    Labour’s adoption of the IHRA document came after months of prevarication that threatened to further engulf the party over accusations of deep-rooted antisemitism.

    Mr Corbyn, in a rare defeat, was forced to withdraw a clarification, because he lacked support, which argued it should not be “regarded as antisemitic to describe Israel, its policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist”.

    On Thursday, the Assembly passed the motion condemning the posters and thanking London mayor Sadiq Khan for his “swift criticism of this vandalism”. It also urged Transport for London and the police to “ensure that those responsible are identified, found and brought to justice."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/anti-israel-posters-london-bus-stops-assembly-antisemitism-labour-jeremy-corbyn-a8526486.html

    In contrast.



    Varied reactions.







    Last edited by Junon; 2 Weeks Ago at 07:45 AM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam



    Blurb

    We are witnessing before our eyes an act of consummate evil by #Israel as it engages in the ethnic cleansing of #Palestinians from Khan al Ahmar. Hundreds of officials and professionals across Europe have expressed outrage. But in America, the media is totally silent.



  16. #492
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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update

    Dr M: Want to end terrorism? Recognise Palestine and stop Israeli atrocities

    Recognise Palestine and stop Israel’s blatant atrocities to stand a chance of ending terrorism.

    Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the present war against terrorism would only be elongated if the root causes were not addressed.

    “This present war against the terrorists will not end until the root causes are found and removed and hearts and minds are won.

    “What are the root causes? In 1948, Palestinian land was seized to form the state of Israel. The Palestinians were massacred and forced to leave their land.

    “They tried to fight a conventional war with help from sympathetic neighbours. The friends of Israel ensured this attempt failed. More Palestinian land was seized.

    “Frustrated and angry, unable to fight a conventional war, the Palestinians resort to what we call terrorism,” Dr Mahathir said at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, today.

    No country and individual, he said, was safe because of this.

    “To fight the 'terrorists', all kinds of security measures, all kinds of gadgets and equipment are deployed. Big brother is watching. But the acts of terror continue.”

    He said the world had done nothing to stop Israel’s indiscretions.

    “The world does not care even when Israel breaks international laws, seizing ships carrying medicine, food and building materials in international waters. The Palestinians fired ineffective rockets which hurt no one.

    “Massive retaliations were mounted by Israel, rocketing and bombing hospitals, schools and other buildings, killing innocent civilians including school children and hospital patients.”

    Ironically, he said the world rewarded Israel including deliberately “provoking Palestine by recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel".

    “It is the anger and frustration of the Palestinians and their sympathisers that cause them to resort to what we call terrorism. But it is important to acknowledge that any act which terrify people also constitute terrorism.

    “And states dropping bombs or launching rockets which maim and kill innocent people also terrify people. These are also acts of terrorism.

    “Malaysia hates terrorism. We will fight them. But we believe that the only way to fight terrorism is to remove the cause.

    “Let the Palestinians return to reclaim their land. Let there be a state of Palestine. Let there be justice and the rule of law. Warring against them will not stop terrorism. Nor will out-terrorising them succeed.”

    Dr Mahathir also criticised the Myanmar government and Aung San Suu Kyi for the massacre of the Rohingyas.

    “I believe in non-interference in the internal affairs of nations. But does the world watch massacres being carried out and do nothing? Nations are independent. But does this mean they have a right to massacre their own people, because they are independent?” he asked

    https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/09/415935/dr-m-want-end-terrorism-recognise-palestine-and-stop-israeli-atrocities

    This man has a spine



    Meanwhile

    Israel to reduce Gaza fishing zone by one-third

    Israel's defence ministry said that it will reduce the fishing zone from nine nautical miles to six nautical miles.


    Israel has announced further reductions of the Gaza Strip's fishing zone, stating it was in response to the weekly protests near the fence east of the coastal enclave.

    Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman's office said in a statement on Saturday that the fishing zone will be reduced from nine nautical miles to six nautical miles.

    Lieberman cited Friday's "riots" at the fence dividing Gaza and Israel as contributing to his decision, in addition to the midweek beach protests in which fishing boats and protesters gathered at the northwest end of the Gaza Strip.

    Three Palestinians, including a 12-year-old boy, were killed in Friday's protest, bringing the total death toll to at least 183 Palestinians since the demonstrations began on March 30.

    Fishing zone restrictions

    Under the Oslo Accords, fishermen are supposed to be allowed to operate up to 20 nautical miles off the coast.

    However, Israel has restricted Palestinian fishing boats to a much smaller area since it imposed an economic blockade on Gaza in 2007.

    Palestinian officials have accused Israeli forces of opening fire at fishermen off the Gaza coast based on claims they have violated the set fishing zone.

    Earlier on Saturday, Israeli naval forces also detained two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of northern Gaza City.

    Around 50,000 Gazans earn their living from fishing, according to Palestinian estimates.

    After Israel's devastating military offensive on Gaza in the summer of 2014, in which some 2,150 Palestinians were killed, Israel began allowing Palestinian fishermen to fish up to six nautical miles off the Gaza coast, up from the previous three nautical miles.

    Last May, Israeli authorities increased the fishing area to nine nautical miles.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/israel-reduce-gaza-fishing-zone-181006152457024.html

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update



    Councillor who criticised Labour over Palestine flags apologises for “misunderstanding”

    A Peterborough councillor who appeared to criticise Labour members’ support for Palestine at the Conservative Party conference this week has insisted that she supports the Palestinians and has apologised for any “misunderstanding.”

    Shazia Bashir told Conservative delegates in Birmingham: “Recently in the media I’ve been watching the Labour conference and them raising the flag of Palestine. Jeremy Corbyn, you can’t pour from an empty jug. Charity begins at home.”

    Bashir was referring to the huge support for Palestine at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool last week which included a large number of Palestinian flags being flown in the conference hall.

    But later Bashir issued a statement on Facebook explaining that she supports Palestine but feels the issue is being used for political purposes.

    In the statement on Facebook, Bashir said: “First of all I’m a Muslim, my pain and love for oppressed Muslims and countries as Palestine, Kashmir, Burma, Syria is the same as my fellow brothers and sisters.

    “My point was that the Palestinian cause is a very serious issue where men women and children are being displaced and killed every day by the Israelis. I object to this issue being used for electioneering and political gain purposes. Empty words of support and gestures are nothing more than paying lip service to a cause that deserves our wholehearted support and action.

    “Under the last Labour government we did not see the Palestinian issue as being an important part of their foreign policy and even now we have not seen a robust policy brought forward by the Labour Party and so I object to these empty and meaningless gestures designed to win sympathy from Muslim voters.

    “Secondly I am a local councillor for the Conservatives. As a member of the party I defended my party as I feel the opposition use the Palestinian cause for political gain. Charity comes in all forms.

    “We are all aware that most UK Political Parties policies for Muslims are similar. Palestinian Cause is sensitive and should not be used by anyone for any personal gain.

    “I have always supported the Palestinian cause and will continue to do so but not for political gain. However, I sincerely apologise if anyone felt offended due to misunderstanding.”

    https://5pillarsuk.com/2018/10/04/co...understanding/

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'



    The Safawi Republic of Iran never has been nor will it ever be an ally to Islam, Palestine, Arabs or anyone with virtue, humanity and dignity.
    Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'


    يا قافلة الخير
    "The Persian aggression against Iraq was a result of the arrogant, racialist and evil attitudes of the ruling clique in Iran."
    -Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid at-Tikriti -
    العراق جمجمة العرب ورمح الله في الأرض



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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Oh dear more talk about 'peace'. Perhaps we will have another 'peace process' that drags on and on and on.

    Saudi cleric calls for faith leaders to travel to Jerusalem 'for peace'

    Sheikh Muhammad Al-Issa, who is close to Saudi crown prince, urges three main religions to join forces to resolve 'Palestinian crisis'


    An influential Saudi cleric, who is close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), has called on faith leaders to travel to Jerusalem in a bid to quell tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories.

    Speaking at an interfaith conference in New York, Sheikh Muhammed Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Saudi-funded Muslim World League (MWL), urged Christian and Jewish representatives to join Muslim leaders to launch a "peace caravan" to resolve the "Palestinian crisis".

    "This convoy should represent the three religions to visit all the holy places in Jerusalem," said Issa.

    "The crisis cannot be tackled except by great influential men powered with logical wisdom and justice.

    "Leaders attending should have no political agenda whatsoever. They will be more influential without a political agenda because they are independent."

    Such a convoy "is not from Saudi Arabia and it should not represent Saudi Arabia. It comes from the Muslim world, the Christian world and the Jewish world. It has no relevance to any country whatsoever," Issa said.

    The plea is unusual given that Riyadh has no formal diplomatic relations with Israel and that most Arab nations do not recognise Israel and reject its claims to Jerusalem.

    Issa called for the Jerusalem visit at the New York MWL's second "Cultural Rapprochement Between the US and the Muslim World" conference.

    During his remarks at the conference, Issa also stated that the prospective meeting in Jerusalem would be to "keep extremists" from taking advantage of the deteriorating political situation.

    "The chief role of this conference is to keep extremists from taking any advantage of any intellectual holes that they can use to promote their extremist ideologies and have the opinions of well-established scholars," said Issa.

    "The extremists are not happy with this conference. We encourage civilized dialogue with the United States, and this does not make the extremists happy. We are here to thwart this extremism."

    While Israel and Saudi Arabia have no formal diplomatic relations, Israeli officials have previously claimed mutual cooperation over combatting Iran's growing presence in the Middle East.

    Earlier this year, MBS hinted at supporting the idea of an Israeli state during an interview with the Atlantic magazine, saying that Israelis have "the right to exist on their own land".

    Issa's call followed pleas for peace by Jewish and Christian American religious leaders at the conference.

    Shawki Allam, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, said he hoped to make a "positive contribution in the effort to place the foundation of a holistic approach to dialogue".

    Meanwhile, Charles Small, president of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy, said the greatest victim of antisemitism in the US today were Muslims.

    Quoting the late Elie Wiesel, the Jewish writer and Holocaust survivor, he said that "while antisemitism begins with Jews it doesn't end with Jews".

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/s...ace-1388550536

    Meanwhile back in the real world.









    Last edited by Junon; 1 Week Ago at 05:11 PM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Last edited by Junon; 1 Week Ago at 08:57 PM.

  22. #497
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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update

    Asked if he would also instruct the army to shoot and kill Palestinian children who breach the border fence, Bennett said, “They are not children — they are terrorists. We are fooling ourselves. I see the photos.”

    Bennett says IDF should shoot to kill Gazans who cross border

    Stepping up attacks on defense minister, Jewish Home leader says Israel must destroy homes of terrorists, not just prepare them for demolition


    Education Minister Naftali Bennett said Monday that if he were defense minister, he would instruct the IDF to shoot and kill any Palestinians who cross into the country from Gaza or send arson balloons toward Israeli border communities.

    Speaking both on Army Radio and at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Bennett, who heads the Jewish Home party, said not enough was being doing to prevent terror attacks from the West Bank, claiming that there were 102 homes of terrorists that had been prepared for demolition and were still standing.

    “We need to destroy the home of the terrorist. Not measure, destroy,” Bennett said, in a swipe at Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

    Bennett was speaking shortly after visiting the home of Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 28, who was killed in a terror attack Sunday along with 35-year-old Ziv Hajbi in the Barkan Industrial Park in the northern West Bank.

    The Israel Defense Forces said Sunday that it had measured the home of Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alowa, the suspected gunman in the attack, ahead of its eventual demolition.

    Bennett, who is a member of the security cabinet, also said that the state had to prevent the Palestinian Authority from paying terrorists, claiming that the family of the suspected terrorist in Sunday’s shooting will begin receiving NIS 15,000 a month starting in November.

    “This must be stopped,” Bennett said in reference to the PA’s policy of paying monthly stipends to families of security prisoners.

    Following days of verbal sparring with Liberman, Bennett was asked by Army Radio what he would do differently if he were defense minister.

    “Everything,” he replied. “I would not allow terrorists to cross the border from Gaza every day… and if they do, we should shoot to kill. Terrorists from Gaza should not enter Israel… Just as in Lebanon, Syria or anywhere else we should shoot to kill.”

    Asked if he would also instruct the army to shoot and kill Palestinian children who breach the border fence, Bennett said, “They are not children — they are terrorists. We are fooling ourselves. I see the photos.”

    He also said that the army should shoot to kill anyone sending incendiary devices over the border.
    “If someone sends arson balloons from Gaza, we should shoot to kill… Tactically, we need to shoot those who send arson balloons from Gaza,” he said. “We did not deal with the problem when it was small. Now they are sending thousands of kites at us. Eventually, we will do what we should have done half a year ago, only with interest.”

    Bennett added that Israel should not make any further territorial concessions to the Palestinians.

    “I would not give another centimeter to the Arabs. We have to drop the idea that if we give them more territory the world will love us,” he said. “The defense minister is ready to give up Nokdim, his home, for a Palestinian state. I am not prepared to do this.”

    Liberman’s party, Yisrael Beytenu, hit back at Bennett, mockingly calling him a “hilltop youth,” a reference to far-right groups that set up illegal settlements in the West Bank.

    “The hilltop youth from Ra’anana and big talker from Jewish Home continues to play political games at the expense of the security of Israeli citizens,” it said in a statement.

    Gaza border riots, dubbed the “Great March of Return,” have increased dramatically in recent weeks. They began as weekly events from late March through the summer, but appeared to slow as Hamas entered indirect talks with Israel aimed at a ceasefire.

    As the talks have stalled, Hamas has increased the pace of rioting and demonstrations against Israel, and created new units tasked with sustaining tensions along the border fence including during nighttime and early morning hours.

    The clashes along the border, which Israel maintains are being directed by Hamas, have included regular rock and Molotov cocktail attacks on troops, as well as shooting and IED attacks aimed at IDF soldiers, and attempts to breach the border fence.

    Gazans have also launched incendiary kites and balloons into Israel, sparking fires that have destroyed forests, burned crops, and killed livestock. Thousands of acres of land have been burned, causing millions of shekels in damages, according to Israeli officials. Some balloons have carried improvised explosive devices.

    At least 140 Palestinians have been killed during the protests since late March, according to AP figures. Hamas has acknowledged that dozens of the fatalities were its members.

    On Monday, thousands of Palestinians were demonstrating along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, with the Hamas-run health ministry saying some 30 people were injured in riots in several locations. Meanwhile, dozens of boats challenged the Israeli blockade and were intercepted by Israeli Navy boats.

    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2018/10/10/asked-if-he-would-also-instruct-the-army-to-shoot-and-kill-palestinian-children-who-breach-the-border-fence-bennett-said-they-are-not-children-they-are-terrorists-we-are-fooling/

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