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a different side of Israel

Tag: Palestinian State

West Side Story

It could be a brawl.
It could be worse.
Some may fall,
On this disputed turf…

During an upcoming militia to militia melee of sub-government warfare like the Bloods and the Crips or the Red Sox and the Yankees.

The IDF is arming and training settlers in preparation for attacks by Palestinians that will likely take place around the time the UN is asked to recognize a Palestinian state.

Stun grenades and teargas are being distributed and training sessions held with settlement security teams.

The IDF has also drawn lines on maps around Jewish settlements close to villages of Palestinians to guide troops, police and settlement security chiefs. Palestinian Protesters who cross the first line will be subject to teargas and other means of crowd dispersal. If a second “red line” is breached, soldiers are ordered to open fire at protesters’ legs.

The IDF confirmed that it was working with settlers over Operation Summer Seeds, its codename for the exercise. Palestinian leaders deny that violent protests are in the works and Ehud Barak says he expects September to pass quietly.

The IDF released a statement to OneJerusalem.com saying:

“The IDF maintains an ongoing, professional dialogue with the community leadership and security personnel throughout Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] while devoting great efforts to training local forces and preparing them to deal with any possible scenario…Recently, central command has completed training the majority of the first response teams; these exercises are ongoing. Beyond the aforementioned training, the IDF cannot comment further regarding its operational preparedness.”

According to the guardian, the IDF has stockpiled some 200,000 litres of foul-smelling liquid to be fired out of water cannon at protesters, or perhaps dropped from planes; this is with supplies of stun grenades, rubber bullets and riot gear.

According to an IDF document leaked to Haaretz, the Jewish country is expecting:

“…marches towards main junctions, Israeli communities and education centres; efforts at damaging symbols of [Israeli] government. Also there may be more extreme cases like shooting from within the demonstrations or even terrorist incidents. In all the scenarios, there is readiness to deal with incidents near the fences and the borders of the state of Israel.”

Mahmoud Abbas is calling for peaceful demonstrations in September to cheer on the Palestinians’ UN statehood bid, like cheerleaders at a college football game. He said, “I insist on popular resistance and I insist that it be unarmed popular resistance so that nobody misunderstands us…”

And speaking of protesters:

A Jewish activist who protested during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the U.S. Congress is suing four security guards whom she says attacked her.
Rachel Abileah of El Grenada, California the Middle East Coordinator for CODEPINK, has filed a lawsuit in the District of Columbia’s Superior Court against the four unnamed people for $500,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages for assault, battery and false imprisonment.
Abileah, an American/Israeli stood up in the House Gallery during the May 24 speech and opened a banner which said “Occupying Land is Indefensible” and shouted, “No more occupation. Stop Israeli war crimes! Equal rights for Palestinians!”

Dear Mr. Abbas: Good Luck in September Before the General Assembly

Abu Mazen said it! He means it! Go to the General Assembly in September and fight fight fight for statehood!

I hope he wins.

Meanwhile, too many hash smoking Hashemites need to reconsider the Palestinian refugee problem!

Jordan will reportedly be voting against a Palestinian statehood bid scheduled to be put before the UN General Assembly in September.

Et tu brute?

But these are your Muslim brothers and sisters. For many of you, your blood relatives!

One state official of the Hashemite Kingdom was quoted saying:

“Jordan’s top national interests will be in danger if the Palestinian Authority declares statehood unilaterally – especially in everything related to the issue of refugees, water, Jerusalem, and the borders…”

A unilateral Palestinian declaration of state is in Israel’s best interest, said a top-ranking Jordanian official, because it wants the state to be established “within the borders of the separation fence.” This would erase the border between the West Bank and Jordan.

Jordan vehemently opposes this.

Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit said during a press conference that this was:

“The beginning of the exposure of Jordan’s decision to publicly stand its ground before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas”.

Not only does Jordan deny responsibility for displaced Jordanians from the 1967 war, or for Transjordanians, Jordan is actually preparing to cancel the identification papers provided for Palestinian statesmen and their families. The decision is part of a 1988 ruling “to disengage from the West Bank and maintain Palestinian identity“.

Today, 1,951,603 Palestinian refugees are located in Jordan. 338,000 of them are still living in refugee camps. The percentage of Palestinian refugees living in refugee camps in Jordan to those who settled outside the camps is the lowest of all UNRWA fields of operations.

Former UNRWA chief-attorney James G. Lindsay said years ago:

“In Jordan, where 2 million Palestinian refugees live, all but 167,000 have citizenship, and are fully eligible for government services including education and health care.” Eliminating services to refugees whose needs are subsidized by Jordan “would reduce the refugee list by 40%.”

The Palestinian Authority: How It Looks From Here

Perhaps it is time for the Palestinian Authority to call off suicide picketing and get to work on life in their own borders. They will find this is the root to independence!

Swift economic growth in the West Bank is not enough to keep up with population growth, says a new UNRWA report. The jobless rate rose in the second half of 2010 to 25% of the region’s workforce from 21.7% in the first of the year and 23.6% in the second half of 2009. Unemployment increased even as the gross domestic product rose 7.6% last year.

Salem Ajluni, a UNRWA economic consultant said:

“There is fairly robust population growth and fairly robust labor force growth, so you need a pretty rapid rate of job creation to absorb it…You need tens of thousands new jobs each year sustainably just to maintain unemployment rates at existing levels.”

UNWRA figures however show that the number of jobs in the West Bank increased over 14,000 in 2010, or 2.6%, while, the number of people in the labor force, which the agency defines broadly to include people employed, actively looking for work as well as those who have given up, rose 4.6%.

However, the Palestinian Authority’s calculations are different.

They put the rate at 17% and say the jobless rate has been falling.

In the Gaza strip, an easing of Israel’s and Egypt’s blockade has had positive fiscal affects and foreign assistance to the West Bank, threatened by the Hamas-Fatah merger, has actually spurred a consumer and building spike.

After the threat to the PA’s foreign aid, which does make up the majority of its cash assets, it is vital to realize how the building of Jewish settlements will only increase Palestinian employment in the West Bank.

As it stands, employment in the public sector, which has been the direct beneficiary of foreign financial aid, grew by 3.6% in the second half of 2010. And in the private sector, the number of jobs declined by 1.7% while employment in Israel and in Israeli communities located in the West Bank it fell 3.6%.

Also, to further put life into the economy, all boycotts on Israeli trade must be called off.

Hey, a little self-reliance never hurt!

G8 in Bed with Hamas. Why?

Stephen Harper G8 2011Why is the G-8 in bed with Hamas? Why is it that when Abu Mazen, now serving year seven of a four year term joins forces with a true blue terror organization, the world, the West, who pays with their blood for the ideology of Islamic extremism thanks him?

Is it the same force that expelled Israel from this land 2000 years ago? That kept Jews oppressed throughout the world by the cross, by the crescent? The same force that nearly wiped out European Jewry during the Nazi regime?

The leaders of the G-8: Britain, France, Germany (the largest European sponsor of the Palestinians), Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States all agree on pressuring Israel to retreat to its pre-67 borders. Only Canada stood by its Jewish allies and were subsequently thanked by Foreign Minister Lieberman.

Meanwhile Abu Mazen will be returning to Cairo for the second time since signing the unity pact with Hamas. The talks to be held with the head of Egypt’s Higher Military Council, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, will be centered on declaring statehood at the United Nations in September.

Abu Mazen – you bad ass!

Meanwhile, after Egypt opened up the Rafah crossing with Gaza last week, a Qassam rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip landing in Israel near the Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries were reported.

That’s life.

Below, Jackie Mason rants about Israel giving away land:

Heart of a Lion!

Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salam Fayyad, suffered a heart attack while visiting the United States for his son’s college graduation. An independent, Fatah recently joined forced with Hamas, who on April 28th had insisted on Fayyad’s departure.

Palestinian Prime MinisterThe Palestinians are demanding an end to Israeli occupation. The creation of a state recognized by the UN and the EU. The Palestinians are inspired by the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring is inspired by the need and desire of a middle class in Arab countries. Fayyad wants this for his own people, who live under occupation, whose economy is in shambles, yet he sends his son to university in the United States instead of one of the many Palestinian places of higher education.

The choices for a Palestinian with such opportunities to study in their own country are as follows:

In the Gaza Strip there is Al-Aqsa University, University College of Applied Sciences, Al-Azhar University, Al-Quds Open University, Islamic University of Gaza, Universal Studies Academy, Palestine Technical College, University of Palestine, Gaza University.

In the West Bank there is, Arab American University, Al-Quds Open University, Al-Quds University, An-Najah National University, Bethlehem Bible College, Bethlehem University, Birzeit University, Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Hebron University, Ibrahimieh College, Khodori Institute and Tulkarm Palestine Polytechnic University.

Meanwhile, Fayyad is recovering and is expected to leave the Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas, later this week.

His spokesman says:

“Fayyad felt strong chest pain on Sunday and went to the hospital to be tested. He says Fayyad suffered a heart attack while in the hospital. Zakout says tests showed a blockage in a coronary artery. Doctors performed a catheterization to open the artery.”

Fayyad, a heavy smoker, has been prime minister since 2007. The political independent could lose his job as a result of a recent reconciliation agreement between political rivals Hamas and Fatah.

Fayyad studied at the American University in Beirut, Saint Edward’s University, and the University of Texas in Austin, where his son goes.

PA Unity Government Means No Cash from Israel

The World Bank says it will be providing $10 million in aid to Palestinian citizens.

According to the international body the funds will go to 5,500 families in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. A similar program in 2009 and 2010 also provided direct aid to some 25,000 families. The difference this year is the expected formation of a unity government between Hamas and Fatah.

When the World Bank donation happens it will be undermining a message much of the Western world stands for. That is ignoring a unity government whose charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish State.

UnityIn a letter to Mahmoud Abbas, Republican Representative Kay Granger and Democratic Representative Nita Lowey expressed their “serious concerns” about any efforts to seek UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state, with or without a unity government.

The message said:

“Our ability to support current and future aid would be severely threatened if you abandon direct negotiations with Israel and continue with your current efforts…”

Meanwhile, as an answer to news of the Fatah/Hamas unity government, Israel will be withholding tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority. The amount is $89 million dollars, being frozen by the Finance Ministry.

Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salaam Fayyad, however said Israel’s decision to withhold money from the PA will not stop the unity agreement.

Fayyad said the PA is:

“In contact with all international influential forces and parties to stop Israel from taking these measures…Threats … will not deter us from concluding our reconciliation process. It is our policy and we must work harder to end our divisions as soon as possible…”

Medvedev Does Jericho

They made their name – bought their reputation – killing Jews for sport. Then, with Stalin, they warmed our hearts with cute experimentation in cruel authoritarian government ala the figurative meeting of Cosimo De Medici I and Karl Marx. Threats to blow the West to smithereens underscored this nostalgic era.

After being single-handedly responsible for the formation of the largest, most dreadful Islamic terrorist organization, al-Qaeda, when they lost a war to Afghanistan; they greeted Iran’s Islamic Revolution with aiding that country to build its first nuclear reactor.

So what is Russia up to these days? Why, I’ll tell you what, after years of imprisoning their poverty-stricken Jews within the now-ruined walls of their fallen Soviet Union, they have decided to lead the world in the fight for Palestinian Statehood, along lines that defy the State of Israel.

Plus, the price of Kettle One, has just gone up! Bummer…

Dmitry Medvedev & Mahmoud AbbasDmitry Medvedev reaffirmed his recognition of a Palestinian state, saying Moscow has no reason to change the position adopted by the former Soviet Union when they first recognized an Arab State in Palestine under Arafat in 1988.

The Russian President went down to old Jericho last week and said:

“Russia’s position remains unchanged. Russia made its choice a long time ago…We supported and will support the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to an independent state with its capital in East Jerusalem.”

Mahmoud Abbas thanked Medvedev and his country for being “one of the first states in the world to recognize the state of Palestine in 1988“.

An al Jazeera journalist realized:

“This surely has raised a lot of hopes and a lot of optimism among Palestinians that this kind of recognition would boost their efforts and might influence the upcoming quartet meeting in February…”

Next month, the Middle East Quartet of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and of course Russia will meet in Munich to shock the peace process back to life.

Medvedev also said:

“We discussed the possible prospects of resuming the dialogue…In order to do that, we need to express maximum moderation. This in the first place relates to the freezing of settlements…”

On top of the political significance of Medvedev’s visit, at least three agreements were signed between Abbas and Medvedev; and $30m was allocated to media, agriculture and sports in the region, promising much more Russian involvement in Palestine’s “nation-building.”

Perception and Statehood

The blues are catchy, I know. Usually, make me wanna take out my harmonica and blow along with the poetry of oppression. Usually, but not today. Not here. Not in the Middle East, where hope is still alive.

Palestinian stateExcuse me for being a party-pooper, but isn’t it time Palestinians quit singing sorrow-songs and instead celebrate statehood? Forgive a cliché, but the Palestinians are faced with a glass of water filled to the half-way point. Is this glass full or empty? If they say it is empty, they may never have a nation like the other ones they see on the map; and alas, they will have their own greed and pessimism to blame. If they say it is full, they can march in a parade and proudly wave their flags high.

The anti-Israel vibration is a hypnotizing drone of murmurs, cries, actions and vindictive sneers. Though, it would not behoove the Palestinian’s self-interest to become entranced by it. That would be self-defeating. Why instead don’t the Palestinians count their blessings; measure their power? They might be pleasantly surprised by what they find.

Today the Palestinian Authority has political factions with domestic and foreign recognition. They have a president and a prime-minister. They have a treasury, banks, schools, colleges, hospitals and mosques. The Palestinian Authority is divided into sixteen separate geographical parts, each under its own sovereign governance. And I shan’t forget to mention the Palestinian soccer team!

All of the above are qualities of a state, which, for all intents and purposes, yield ‘stateness’ or ‘statehood.’ In fact, the Latin word for ‘idea’ is ‘forma’, the same as the word for ‘form’ in Latin and almost the same as the word for ‘form’ in English. Therefore, if the idea of a state has been resembled, well, you’ve got yourself a formal state. Indeed, the Palestinians possess all things resembling a ‘state.’ They have, in this sense, and perhaps in any true sense, achieved, ‘statehood.’

Last week, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, announced their recognition of the Palestinian state. I can understand frustration by the Israeli government, and most of the time, when they are feeling frustrated, I am too. Though, not this time. This time I smiled to myself and silently said, “It seems as though the Palestinians have finally, albeit unilaterally, achieved statehood.”

In August of 2011, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salaam Fayyad, plans to declare his country’s independence. When he does this, he will have achieved just that: independence, in the truest sense of the word. An independence which cannot be defeated by other country’s pretending such a declaration never happened, or by any military occupation. Even without such an official declaration and the inevitable consequence of angry cries by Israel and perhaps the United States because their peace-talks failed, the Palestinians already possess, ‘statehood.’

The big question is as follows: will this – such a declaration – be good enough for the Palestinians? Are they willing to, at this point, take their half-filled glass of water and declare that it is half-full? Or will they continue singing sorrow-songs and beating down their own self-esteem; fanning the flames of violent Jihadist insurrection in future generations, which will get their cause, nowhere, but thrown back down the stairs of statehood.

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