Israel responds to UN vote by approving 3,000 new settlement units and plans to build in strategic West Bank corridor

Israel/Palestine
on 91 Comments
settlements
(Photo: Reuters)

Update

Here is a collection of responses to the Israeli announcement -

Haim Erlich, Executive Director of Yesh Din: Volunteers for Human Rights:

“Israel’s decision is a collective punishment that will also exacerbate the ongoing trampling of Palestinian human rights. Israel should have understood by now that such behavior, denying basic human rights of millions in contradiction to international law, will no longer be tolerated by the international community. Expanding building in the West Bank will also implicate more Israelis in committing offenses to international law. Yesh Din calls on the Israeli government to retract this decision.”

Diana Buttu, former legal advisor to President Abbas and Palestinian negotiators and former PLO spokesperson:

‘Israel’s announcement that it plans to colonize the E-1 area was expected. Israel has always punished Palestinians for demanding their rights. This time, however, Israel’s plans are also taking aim at the Europeans and the US, who for over a decade have pressed Israel not to colonize this land because it will mark the “death of the two-state solution.” With Israel’s latest announcement, the ball rests with the international community. Will it sanction Israel in an attempt to save the two-state solution, or will it revert to its usual lip service?’

Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of the Jerusalem Fund and the Palestine Center:

‘For the past 45 years, the geographic patterns of Israel’s colonial project surrounding Jerusalem have made it clear that its intentions did not match its rhetoric regarding a desire for a two-state solution. In reality, settlement blocs were placed around the city in an effort to cut it off from the remainder of the occupied Palestinian West Bank. Expansion projects have aggressively filled in the gaps making an equitable division of the city, a principle component to any just two-state outcome, impossible. Today’s announcement about expansion in the “E-1″ area fills in territory that bisects the West Bank and further closes the noose around Jerusalem.

‘Ironically, the Palestinians went to the UN because they saw no benefit in a “Peace Process” in which the US failed to restrain Israeli colonialism. Today, the response from the US has been to demand Palestinians return to these negotiations and the response from Israel has been continued land grabs. Both Israel and the US could not have done more to support the Palestinians’ rationale.’

Daniel Levy, former Israeli peace negotiator:

‘Yesterday at the United Nations the Palestinian leadership endorsed a two-state outcome. Today in its settlement decision on the E-1 corridor, the Israeli Government endorsed a one-state outcome. Israel’s American sponsors might want to inquire as to whether the one-state outcome Israel’s leaders have in mind is democratic or “apartheidist” in its orientation.

‘President Obama began his first term by calling for a full settlement freeze. The consensus in Washington is that this was a mistaken move by the new President. It was not. The mistakes began when Obama blinked first, refused to apply the huge leverage at America’s disposal, and never got the freeze. He has been stared down by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu ever since. If President Obama is not up to trying again, this time with muscle, then the conversation to start having with Israel’s leader should be about democracy rather than separation.’

Ali Abuminah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada:

‘Yesterday, amid great fanfare, the UN General Assembly voted to admit “Palestine” as a non-member state. Today, Israel announced its intention to build thousands more settler housing units on the territory of this supposed state. What now will be the international response in the wake of yesterday’s vote? Will there be real, concrete action — including sanctions — to force Israel to halt, and begin to reverse its illegal colonization of the 1967 occupied territories?

‘Sadly, that is unlikely, which means that yesterday’s vote was nothing more than a hollow gesture. Israel’s announcement should draw attention back to cold, hard reality: there is no “two-state solution.” There is one geopolitical entity in historic Palestine. Israel must not be allowed to continue to entrench its apartheid, racist and colonial rule throughout that land.’

Original Post

The Netanyahu government hasn’t wasted any time issuing a response to yesterday’s vote at the UN. The announcement that Israel plans to build in the E1 corridor is especially meaningful, because many see this stretch of land as the last hope for a contiguous Palestinian state under a two-state solution. This has been part of Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman’s plan since the beginning of their political partnership.

From Ynet:

Israel decided Thursday to approve the construction of an additional 3,000 housing units in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

In addition, the planning procedures of thousands of additional housing units in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs will be furthered, including in the segment connecting Ma’ale Adumim with Jerusalem, known as the E1 project.

State officials said Israel was considering further moves in response to the United Nations General Assembly’s recognition of Palestine as an observer state.

The decision was made by the government’s top nine ministers. A state official said the continuation of construction was done in accordance with the map of Israel’s strategic interests.

On the eve of the UN vote, the political echelon had planned to practice restraint over the Palestinian move, particularly so as not to make the world turn on Israel, but state officials said that in light of the talk of a diplomatic failure and the fact that the country is in the midst of an election campaign, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu found it difficult to avoid a significant response.

Eventually, the prime minister decided to order a massive construction boom in settlements and Jerusalem neighborhoods located beyond the Green Line.

In earlier discussions on the proper Israeli response to the move, senior sources warned that a decision to build in the settlements would be interpreted by the international community as a measure of punishment against the Palestinians.

They suggested that Netanyahu wait so that the UN vote would not be linked to the decision to build in the settlements, but Netanyahu chose to respond immediately rather than wait.

Haaretz adds:

In the beginning of his term, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the Obama administration a commitment that Israel would not build in the area. Both of his predecessors, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, also promised the U.S. administration that Israel would not build in E1.

Former US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer told Al-Monitor’s Laura Rozen, “If the announcement is real and not simply a PR move for internal politics reasons, it should spur the Administration into action, as the United States has been adamant for many years, including in the Bush Administration, that Israel not build in E-1.”
 

91 Responses

  1. Citizen
    November 30, 2012, 11:06 am

    Yeah, Bibi decided, fuc* U, we will just take some more native land; whatever we take we can use as pawns in any eventual settlement for peace–can’t beat that with a spoon! His move shows just how much and what he thinks of US leaders–not much. And rightfully so.

    • Denis
      November 30, 2012, 12:45 pm

      This may also be a follow-on to Cast Lead II. Perhaps Obama’s complicit agreement with this move will be the quid for the quo of Bibi ending Cast Lead II. Clinton will do a 90 second sound-bite shuffle about how the administration “regrets” this move, and that will be it.

      We can hope that someday those California-born halakhic Jews getting the free houses on Palestinian land will be forced to go back to SF and the Palestinians will occupy the houses. What would it take for that to happen . . . Palestine being a sovereign nation and enforcing land-titles back to 1947 would probably do it.

      • Mooser
        December 1, 2012, 11:46 am

        “We can hope that someday those California-born halakhic Jews getting the free houses on Palestinian land will be forced to go back to SF”

        I though the US didn’t allow criminals to immigrate. And I’ve always been so proud of the low incarceration rate among American Jews, but I guess I’ll have to kiss that little bit of civic pride goodbye if America is invaded by illegal settlers.

      • Hostage
        December 2, 2012, 1:20 am

        I guess I’ll have to kiss that little bit of civic pride goodbye if America is invaded by illegal settlers.

        It looks like the EU is planning ahead. Haaretz reports that “EU looks to compile blacklist barring entry to ‘known violent’ Israeli settlers”: EU committee of Middle East experts recommends move in response to a report on settler violence showing their increasing strength and impunity.
        link to haaretz.com

      • Mooser
        December 2, 2012, 11:28 am

        “It looks like the EU is planning ahead.”

        Thanks, Hostage, for caring enough to try and relive my worries as much as facts warrant. While I’ve already accepted the fact that no matter how Israel is dismantled, I as am American, will pay all the expenses of doing it, and making sure no settler receives so much as a blister on his foot. But the idea of offering myself up as a victim to their criminal ideology here in the US is just a little much.
        Of course any former Zionist who has not engaged in criminal activity is welcome here. So I’ll reserve a single at the local Motel6.

      • kevin
        December 3, 2012, 1:26 am

        I’ve been a lurking member here for several years and this post, mooser, prompted me to log in and finally post “I love you man!”

  2. Karl Dubhe
    November 30, 2012, 11:06 am

    This kind of story reminds me of people who like to troll online and then blame the people who react violently. Except, of course, that most internet violence involves blowing up electrons in silly games.

    I thought it wasn’t lawful for the government of any nation to incite a riot in their own nations. Or am I thinking of ethical?

  3. seafoid
    November 30, 2012, 11:12 am

    I hope Lieberman and Netanyahu win the upcoming election and that we get 4 more years of this nihilism which should end the dream of Herzl .

    They think Israel is master of its own destiny. It isn’t

  4. Annie Robbins
    November 30, 2012, 11:27 am

    from the rozen link, classic:

    “Revenge time,” Haaretz editor-in-chief Aluf Benn wrote on Twitter, explaining that in the Israeli leadership’s view, the Obama administration apparently did not do enough to dissuade Europe from voting for the Palestinian UN measure. So, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promoting settlement building in “E1, the most controversial settlement project.”

    • Chu
      November 30, 2012, 12:10 pm

      This seems like the cynical Israel tactic to blame the goyim for all their problems.
      Miserable they are. As they kvetch about what the US does not supply them, they should be saying thanks for all you’ve done, fellas.
      While the world is rejecting their occupation in the UN, you would think they may begin to self reflect on their actions in the coming election months.
      Any opposition candidate would have a lot ammunition to say to Netanyahu ‘we need to reintegrate into the global world’ ‘We’ve taken a bad turn and need to repair our image’.

      • lysias
        November 30, 2012, 3:00 pm

        They’re acting the same way the pieds noirs European settlers in French Algeria did. Read Alistair Horne’s A Savage War of Peace, or watch Pontecorvo’s movie The Battle of Algiers.

    • Egbert
      November 30, 2012, 12:39 pm

      The same announcement would have been made if the Palestinian attempt for recognition had failed. In that case it would be described as a celebration. Zionists have the Greater Israel idea so deeply burned into their psyche that it is all they can think of, irrespective of the long term consequences.

      • seafoid
        November 30, 2012, 1:20 pm

        Back in the shtetls in Galicia any time there was an election the rabbis would ask “is this good for the Jews?”

        And I think the same question is valid today.

      • Citizen
        November 30, 2012, 3:18 pm

        @ seafoid
        I don’t see any American-made and financed bulldozers taking down Jewish Israeli homes, do you?

      • Mooser
        December 1, 2012, 11:51 am

        “Back in the shtetls in Galicia any time there was an election the rabbis would ask “is this good for the Jews?”

        Seafoid, that is a very important question, and traditionally, is only asked
        when a Rabbi is informed that the Earth will be destroyed by an asteroid in 300 million years.

    • JennieS
      December 1, 2012, 3:34 am

      Did the US not try hard enough or is it losing its influence over Europe as it has long done over Israel?

  5. talknic
    November 30, 2012, 11:46 am

    ”It will not change much for us here [but] maybe it will stop Israel building more settlements,” Mohammed Nasser, 62, a shopkeeper said. link to smh.com.au

    This illegal action by Israel immediately undermines Mr Prosors speech at the UN

  6. Taxi
    November 30, 2012, 11:47 am

    So what?! Don’t tell me you guys are surprised?

    No problem. Keep building. Buildings aren’t forever.

    The more israel illegally builds, the sooner the war. A war of choice, I may add. A war that israel will lose.

    And I gotta say here post UN Palestine upgrade: only a fool would believe that israel
    understands the language of International Law and will change it’s behavior thusly.

    Clearly, israel is fluent at the language of war. And so it will be spoken to thusly. No problemo.

    • Citizen
      November 30, 2012, 3:22 pm

      @ Taxi
      Frum (inventor of Axis of Evil) was on Bill Maher show recently, saying how latest Israeli settlements are just apartments, which will be given to the natives in the negotiations yet to come.

      • AhVee
        December 1, 2012, 4:35 am

        “latest Israeli settlements are just apartments, which will be given to the natives”

        Ah, I get it. So basically, there was a common consensus among all the affected Palestinians on this land to all have their homes razed and re-built by the Israelis because, you know, they were all starting to need a makeover, and Israel was kind enough to oblige and build them all brand spanking new apartments.
        And what Bibi really meant was that he’s building these newest settlements *cough* “apartments”… because Obama didn’t negotiate with Europe enough against the upgrade in P status at the U.N., so in other words, he’s decided to build all the wonderful Palestinians new homes, because he’s so frustrated with the fact that things went so well for them at the U.N.

        Yup, all of this checks out, no problem there whatsoever. Move on, nothing to see here…

  7. giladg
    November 30, 2012, 11:52 am

    How many Caterpillar bulldozers will it take to build in E1? Who cares. Build Bibi, build.

    • talknic
      November 30, 2012, 3:07 pm

      Hey giladg, why do you support these illegal acts?

      • thankgodimatheist
        December 1, 2012, 4:25 am

        “Hey giladg, why do you support these illegal acts?”
        Who? giladg? Of course not! G_D forbid! He wants peace. Wink! wink!

    • Annie Robbins
      November 30, 2012, 10:50 pm

      giladg, there’s something about your transparency, seeing your true nature so simply and clearly that’s gratifying. it makes all our work here worth it. no bs, just pure colonisation/ethnic cleansing. at least your an honest face of israel/zionism. it’s ugly/cruel for sure but it’s straight on. we know who we’re dealing with here, clear as day.

    • eljay
      November 30, 2012, 10:57 pm

      >> How many Caterpillar bulldozers will it take to build in E1? Who cares. Build Bibi, build.

      When Israel retaliates, giladgeee is all for it. But what happens when the Palestinians retaliate? Let’s see:
      >> giladgeee: Two wrongs don’t make a right.

      giladgeee remains a true Zio-supremacist.

      • Mooser
        December 1, 2012, 2:22 pm

        giladg will always be the poor little parenticide begging for mercy on account of he’s an orphan.

  8. pabelmont
    November 30, 2012, 11:53 am

    If the Israeli settlements were few and negligible, Israel could seek to make a peace based on leaving the settlements and their settlers in place. But with the settlements so numerous and so very non-negligible, there is no cure for them but total extirpation. This new 3000 units is a dare to the UNGA — do your worst, we ignore you, we ignore the mere possibility that you will try to do something to us. We are IMMUNE and IMPUNE (my word) to international law, and to the UN (or anybody else). We do as we like, and act against us and see the heavens fall.

    OK, message understood.

    Palestine’s first act should be to request the UNGA (best if in “special emergency session”) to adopt a resolution calling for the removal of the wall, the settlements, and the settlers, and lift the blockade of Gaza, all within a time certain, and with a recommendation of sanctions to be performed by the nations if Israel fail.

    I know this is tricky, because the nations have trade with the USA and with Israel and don’t want to endanger their own economies. so perhaps the resolution should start of with VERY MILD sanctions recommended, so the nations can flex their long-unused muscles without straining them. Maybe withdrawal of ambassadors and suspension of commercial airflights.

    The alternative is the nations look at Israel thumbing its nose at Palestine and at themselves as well.

    I cannot predict an outcome.

    • American
      November 30, 2012, 3:18 pm

      “I know this is tricky, because the nations have trade with the USA and with Israel and don’t want to endanger their own economies”…pabelmont

      Not so much. Especially in the case of Israel..it supplies nothing that isnt’ easily obtainable from dozens of other countries. Most of their ‘trade agreements’ with other countries (2/3 of their trade being the US and Europe) were based on ‘politics’–i.e. holocaust/Jewish state favors, not on any uniqueness of their goods or products.
      About the only country the US could really hurt in a sanctions/trade war would be China by limiting their imports to the US. And we could really be hurt if countries retaliated against us by closing their markets to us.

  9. seafoid
    November 30, 2012, 11:53 am

    Livni is pathetic. But what would one expect given what she told the Palestinians as per the Palestine papers?

    Zionism is like other forms of abuse

    link to guardian.co.uk

    “I never met anyone who I believed to be beyond understanding. However reprehensible the behaviour, it usually makes some sort of sense when examined in the context of the individual’s history. The problem with the bad or evil judgments is that they offer no strategy for intervention, other than detection and punishment. We need to understand much better what drives these people, usually men, who use children (* or Palestinians) to gratify their distorted needs. Then possibly such tendencies could be detected early enough to offer useful interventions before the behaviour has become consolidated into its final destructive form.”

    • aiman
      November 30, 2012, 5:49 pm

      So now Livni wants to administer early intervention. Yes The Hague ought to look into it before she commits further war crimes.

  10. eljay
    November 30, 2012, 11:59 am

    >> Eventually, the prime minister decided to order a massive construction boom in settlements and Jerusalem neighborhoods located beyond the Green Line.

    If only someone had bothered to place green yarn on the Green Line, all of this ugliness could have been avoided. :-(

    ;-)

    • Mooser
      December 1, 2012, 1:01 pm

      “If only someone had bothered to place green yarn on the Green Line, all of this ugliness could have been avoided. :-(“

      I’m not trying to be all crotchety, but “Liberal Zionism” has not been as much of a factor in the discussion as I expected.

  11. Chu
    November 30, 2012, 12:00 pm

    What a lackluster vision of suburban sprawl. This is the bright creative spirit of restoring the ancient Jewish homeland? Cookie cutter homes with in-ground pools?

    I think many Jews would opt for Borough Park. In the least your close to some subways. The image reminds me of some camp of a doomsday cult, although it’s a shame the civil defense sirens are out of focus.

    These new neighborhoods will always be considered the ‘doldroms’ of Israel’s late-occupation period. These lands were stolen from a weakened people who wanted a state of their own and in roll these Brooklynites and Russians claiming it ours because we say so. One day these wretched homes be a museum for visitors to wonder about Jewish settlement life.

    • seafoid
      November 30, 2012, 3:12 pm

      Zionism has been a disaster for the fragile environment of the West Bank. In fact, it is hard to say much positive about Israeli stewardship of the land they say they love. Most indicators are getting worse. The land is something to be mastered. Israelis have a very weird relationship with Erez Israel- it is there to be polluted and to kill for, but not to be taken care of.

    • justicewillprevail
      November 30, 2012, 3:55 pm

      Yes, that’s what I thought – regimented, characterless, clone suburban housing, with no connection to the architectural or indigenous history of the region. Imported, ugly blights on the landscape, there for political, aggrandising reasons – houses to shut people out, not to welcome them in. You couldn’t make a better symbol for Israel if you tried.

  12. HarryLaw
    November 30, 2012, 12:01 pm

    What concerns me is while the Israelis have told the world in no uncertain terms what they are going to do, and have set about doing it, Abass say’s he is in no hurry to approach the ICC, to my mind an immediate application for membership of the ICC should be made, followed by a complaint on article 49.6 Geneva Convention, it being a war crime to transfer part of your own population into occupied territories, the World Court has already given an opinion on this matter in 2004 when it decided 15-0 that all the settlements were illegal. Abass should waste no time, the Israelis won’t.

    • Hostage
      November 30, 2012, 11:19 pm

      What concerns me is while the Israelis have told the world in no uncertain terms what they are going to do, and have set about doing it, Abass say’s he is in no hurry to approach the ICC

      Harry, the Palestinian Article 12(3) declaration from January of 2009 is still valid, whether Palestine joins the Court or not. That is a provision that grants non-member states the right to accept the Court’s jurisdiction for situations on their territory. The Justice Minister and Foreign Minister filed the declaration on behalf of the Government of Palestine for all crimes committed on their territory since July of 2002.

      The General Assembly resolution on upgrading Palestine’s status confirmed and acknowledged its 1988 UDI, the role of the PLO Executive acting as the Provisional government since then, and Palestine’s long history of full membership in a number of international organizations that only admit states.

      Professor Schabas has a good post up which deals with the subject of efforts to shield Israel from prosecution by blackmailing Palestine into promising not to go to the ICC: Why is the Practice of Amnesty not Condemned by the General Assembly Declaration on the Rule of Law?
      link to humanrightsdoctorate.blogspot.com

      • Obsidian
        December 1, 2012, 1:28 am

        I thought the ICC prosecutes individuals, not governments. I thought the ICC only prosecutes egregious crimes against humanity like genocide, etc.

        I don’t believe the ICC has ever charged anyone with property theft.

        Hostage?

      • Hostage
        December 1, 2012, 4:56 pm

        I thought the ICC prosecutes individuals, not governments. . . . I don’t believe the ICC has ever charged anyone with property theft.

        Hostage?

        All of the grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions were incorporated in Article 8 of the Rome Statute, including “Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly;”

        Article 25 of the Rome Statute limits it’s jurisdiction to “natural persons”, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t established with the intention of prosecuting the responsible officials for crimes of state, like aggression and apartheid. For example, the International Law Commission commentaries on the crime of aggression in the Draft Code of Offences against the Peace and Security of Mankind and on the Draft Statute on the International Criminal Court explained that:

        An individual cannot incur responsibility for this crime in the absence of aggression committed by a State. Thus, a court cannot determine the question of individual criminal responsibility for this crime without considering as a preliminary matter the question of aggression by a State.”

        So yes, it would be perfectly appropriate for the government of Palestine to request that the ICC investigate and prosecute officials for crimes committed on their territory as part of a joint criminal enterprise undertaken by the government of Israel. I’ve commented that the settlements are just such an enterprise on so many occasions that I’ve lost count.

      • Obsidian
        December 2, 2012, 12:05 am

        Yes, I understand that the government of Palestine could ‘request that the ICC investigate and prosecute officials'[of Israel], but my question remains, has the ICC, in it’s history, ever prosecuted anyone for property appropriation, or prosecuted anyone for ‘extensive destruction’ of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully’?

      • Hostage
        December 2, 2012, 1:40 pm

        Yes, I understand that the government of Palestine could ‘request that the ICC investigate and prosecute officials’[of Israel], but my question remains, has the ICC, in it’s history, ever prosecuted anyone for property appropriation, or prosecuted anyone for ‘extensive destruction’ of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully’?

        Yes, it has been one of the most frequently prosecuted offenses. In the situations in the Congo, Central African Republic, Uganda, Sudan-Darfur: Germain Katanga, also known as “Simba”, Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, Bosco Ntaganda, Sylvestre Mudacumura, Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Ahmad Muhammad Harun (“Ahmad Harun”), Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (“Ali Kushayb”), Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, and Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein, were all charged with multiple counts of destruction of property under article 8(2)(b)(xiii) of the Statute; pillaging under article 8(2)(b)(xvi) of the Statute; and intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population and civilian infrastructure (article 8(2)(e)(i)).

        For three years those were included in the crimes the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) was contemplating as part of the “Situation in Palestine” according to its status reports to the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights. Ocampo noted that he had received hundreds of Article 15 communications which mentioned the 2004 ICJ findings of fact regarding the illegal settlements and the intentional destruction of civilian infrastructure during the Gaza attack, e.g. See the reports of the Arab League Fact Finding Mission, the Goldstone Report, the AI report, and the HRW reports that were addressed to the Prosecutor.

        Now that the General Assembly has acknowledged the 1988 Unilateral Declaration and the role of the PLO Executive, acting as the Provisional Government of Palestine since that time, those particular charges are undoubtedly back in play. The new Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has a great deal of evidence in the form of thousands of tenders and hundreds of thousands of settlers to go along with the ICJ finding that Israel has intentionally violated Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention. That is definitely a crime which is subject to the Court’s jurisdiction and she has a declaration in hand from the victim state demanding an investigation and prosecution of all crimes committed on the territory Palestine since July 2002.

      • Hostage
        December 1, 2012, 7:49 pm

        P.S. The headline and link to the article by Professor Shabas has been changed to “Palestinian Statehood and the International Criminal Court: A Curious Condition from Whitehall” link to humanrightsdoctorate.blogspot.com

  13. Kathleen
    November 30, 2012, 12:08 pm

    Israel filling in the corridor for a two state solution…closing the door to this solution. Totally opening the door to the call and chant ONE STATE ONE VOTE. Apartheid Israel totally exposed! Israel rolling over Israel. Bulldozing the two state solution once and for all.

    Adam they mentioned the announcement of more settlements on the Diane Rehm show international hours. Not one of the guest had anything to say and the coward Diane did not push it. Anne Applebaum repeated the lie that the PA and Hamas will not recognize that Israel has the right to exist (right is such bull)

  14. seafoid
    November 30, 2012, 12:23 pm

    I wonder if Israeli Jews will ever join the dots.

    link to haaretz.com

    From a distance, you might well think nothing’s changed. From a distance of 6,000 miles or so, it might elude notice that every single war destroys Israel. Every one, every time. Each war here is a watershed. It leaves an entirely different Israel and different Israelis in its wake.
    You can’t see it, but this war changed everyone here. Out of view, deep inside, something shifted. For some, it may have been the horrifying sense that this is what we can expect – from the other side and from ourselves as well – every couple of years. Forever. Like hurricanes in Haiti. Bombs, rockets, a new cohort of children with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And every single time, it comes closer to your own home. Wherever you are.

  15. tear-stained uzi
    November 30, 2012, 12:27 pm

    Typical tantrum-throwing by America’s spoiled child. Looking forward to the day when we can watch Palestinians driving their shiny new Caterpillar D9s through these evacuated eyesores.

    Seeing pictures of the Ziosquatters’ tracts always reminds me of:

    “Little Boxes”
    (Malvina Reynolds)

    Little boxes on the hillside,
    Little boxes made of ticky-tacky,
    Little boxes on the hillside,
    Little boxes, all the same.
    There’s a green one and a pink one
    And a blue one and a yellow one
    They’re all made out of ticky-tacky,
    And they all look just the same.

    And the people in houses
    who went to the university,
    where they were put in boxes,
    And they all came out the same.
    There’s doctors and lawyers
    And business executives,
    They’re all made out of ticky-tacky
    And they all look just the same.

    And they all play on the golf-course,
    And drink their Martini dry,
    And they all have pretty children,
    And the children go to school.
    And the children go to summer camp
    And then to the university,
    They all get put in boxes
    And they all come out the same.

    And the boys go into business,
    And marry, raise a family,
    And they all get put in boxes,
    Little boxes, all the same.
    Yeah a green one and a pink one
    And a blue one and a yellow one
    And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky
    And they all look just the same.

    Original:

    Malvina Reynolds

    Some covers:

    Pete Seeger
    The Shins
    The Decembrists
    Rise Against

    • seafoid
      November 30, 2012, 3:16 pm

      Thanks for the links. It’s a great song.

    • Avi_G.
      December 1, 2012, 2:26 am

      There is one tiny difference, however.

      The colonies are not built of ticky-tacky. They are constructed of reinforced concrete, heavy West Bank limestone and cinder blocks.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        December 1, 2012, 8:01 am

        Esthetically uninspiring as they may be, bulldozing them seems a terrible waste. Can’t they be used to rehouse refugees? They could count toward compensation.

        In any case, isn’t it an exaggeration to say that a new housing development makes a contiguous Palestinian state “impossible”? Politically more difficult and more expensive for Israel, yes, but surely not impossible. When Israelis say it’s impossible, they really mean that they refuse to pay the price. A polite euphemism for blackmail.

        In his book comparing I/P with Algeria, Ian Lustick makes the point that French settlement in Algeria was on a much larger scale than Israeli settlement in the occupied territories. I expect that is true even now. Nevertheless, the French withdrew.

      • Mooser
        December 1, 2012, 1:10 pm

        “Nevertheless, the French withdrew.”

        Well, if I was a Zionist, and I had two generations to do it, the first thing I would do is make good and goddam sure that every Israeli born there thinks Israel is his God-given and natural home, and deserves exactly that kind of patriotism. Design a culture and religion to inculcate and reinforce the idea, too.
        But if you think you can argue them out of that idea, go, go with my blessing and the generations of childrens yet unborn will sing songs to your name.

      • Mooser
        December 1, 2012, 2:19 pm

        “Nevertheless, the French withdrew.”

        Yes, but they’ll always have Paris. Is there a better place to get plastered?

      • Citizen
        December 2, 2012, 3:40 pm

        Tel Aviv?

    • john h
      December 1, 2012, 3:05 am

      Another interesting cover: Walk Off The Earth

  16. tear-stained uzi
    November 30, 2012, 12:37 pm

    While it would be nice to think Obama would finally grow a pair over this latest outrage, it’s more likely he’ll just have Susan Rice say, “See? We told you your UN gambit would be bad for the peace process. You have only yourselves to blame.”

  17. piotr
    November 30, 2012, 1:03 pm

    It nicely fits with “dinner invitation” video prepared by Israeli diplomats, featuring a table with no table cloth, cheap plates and not even a fork in sight. No chance for food at that dinner.

    I would be deeply (although pleasantly) surprised if American Administration will react. Abbas and PA will be basically forced to go to ICC. Congress will vote for the promised sanctions. Then the interesting part will start:

    Congress critters will be defending the Israeli inalienable right to expand settlements, which is actually unpopular in USA. Majority is not aware and few polls were asking a direct question. Direct focus of settlements is the vulnerable heel of our Middle Eastern Achilles. ICC is perhaps powerless, but ignoring the course of justice is much less popular than Israeli advocates hope.

    The vote in UN, and the reactions to that vote show to me how vulnerable Israel became. I was surprised how Poles hated the “abstain vote” of their governent, and British comments were somewhat similar (if a bit more “balanced” and less rude). BBC comment mentioned “only diplomatic minnows supporting USA and Israel”, hello Canada! Greetings from the mother country, my dear minnow!

    This will be the testing year. Can Americans conveniently overlook settlements that Israel pushes with great fanfares? Can the mainstream denominations be muzzled? Is there any shred of decency left in Congress?

    • eljay
      November 30, 2012, 1:20 pm

      It nicely fits with “dinner invitation” video prepared by Israeli diplomats, featuring a table with no table cloth, cheap plates and not even a fork in sight. No chance for food at that dinner.

      Actually, there was pizza on the table initially, but Netanyahu got greedy and devoured it all, and then wiped his hands clean on Obama’s trousers.

      • Citizen
        November 30, 2012, 3:33 pm

        @ eljay
        Obama could care less about it; he’s busy getting ready for his next 3 week golf vacation ($4 million dollars worth, at minimum) during the fiscal cliff “crisis.”

      • eljay
        November 30, 2012, 6:39 pm

        >> Obama could[n’t] care less about it

        Well, at the very least he needs to put on a clean pair of trousers… ;-)

      • Mooser
        December 2, 2012, 11:36 am

        “Well, at the very least he needs to put on a clean pair of trousers”

        I wonder if Citizen’s right hand ever gets in a fight with his left hand?

  18. Taxi
    November 30, 2012, 1:22 pm

    Juan Cole reckons this is a good opportunity for activists and supporters to hit the settlers in the money purse and bankrupt them.

    Oooh-arrrrrr!

    link to readersupportednews.org

  19. upsidedownism
    November 30, 2012, 1:32 pm

    This announcement means Obama has two options:

    A) Declare War on Israel

    B) Declare that the ‘Two State Solution’ is dead.

    Which do you think he’ll choose?

    • Citizen
      November 30, 2012, 3:37 pm

      Obama will merely go golfing, come back, and repeat the boilerplate about the need for direct negotiations between the parties, mute re the gigantic asymmetry of power of which he is enabler. Tried and true custom of US regimes.

    • thankgodimatheist
      December 1, 2012, 5:11 am

      “Which do you think he’ll choose?”
      None of these but “This is not helpful” is the usually chosen option.

  20. Dan Crowther
    November 30, 2012, 2:24 pm

    They’re building settlements in E-1 and building secret underground structures (actually it’s americans building them) in the Negev (Pincus has it at WaPo) — me thinks Israel reads “war” in the tea leaves. Fine. They’ll lose the next one.

  21. Citizen
    November 30, 2012, 4:49 pm

    Here’s Judge Judy saying if you go against Israel’s POV you don’t stand a chance: link to israellycool.com

    • Elliot
      December 1, 2012, 12:03 am

      The Jewish judge rolls her eyes at the Israeli definition that demonstrations on behalf of Palestinians are “illegal”.
      She’s right. If an international go against Israel’s POV, she may get barred from the country for 10 years.
      Judge Judy sounds quite reasonable. The guy who quotes her on his blog as anti-ISM is fantasizing.

  22. Nevada Ned
    November 30, 2012, 5:07 pm

    Why doesn’t Obama object to Israel’s power play? Because Netanyahu has more power in Washington than Obama does. And both men know it. The Israel Lobby has a lot more clout than it had in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Does anybody remember, a few months ago, when Obama begged Netanyahu to freeze the building of new all-Jewish settlements. And Netanyahu refused.

    See the interview with Rashid Khalidi in December 2011
    link to israeli-occupation.org

    “Frankly, Netanyahu has more support in Washington than the President does. He knows it, and they know it.”

    • Citizen
      December 2, 2012, 3:52 pm

      Yeah, Obama needed the Establishment jews to get a second term, and he needs them now in the Senate to accomplish anything during his second term. That’s the power of a single agenda in the US Congress. That it’s in behalf a foreign state seems the US main media does not notice.

  23. gingershot
    November 30, 2012, 7:46 pm

    This was it – the big lady sang – Israel is fully committed to ONE STATE and damn the torpedoes

    This E1 area of East Jerusalem is really the last piece necessary to quell all doubts from all quarters that Israel has indeed committed to One State

    – and here’s Israeli PM Olmert and Barak:

    Olmert: “…when the 2 state solution collapses (precisely what we have here), we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished”

    and here’s Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak:
    Barak delivered an unusually blunt warning: Israeli faces…no Jewish majority or an “apartheid” regime. “Make peace with Palestinians or face apartheid”

    OWN GOAL ISRAEL!

    My Perfect Storm is a PM Avigdor Lieberman, red faced and sweating, banging his shoe on the podium at the UN defending Apartheid and yelling at the world

    • Avi_G.
      December 1, 2012, 2:28 am

      My Perfect Storm is a PM Avigdor Lieberman, red faced and sweating, banging his shoe on the podium at the UN defending Apartheid and yelling at the world.

      I’d pay to see that.

  24. Mondowise
    November 30, 2012, 8:02 pm

    Buttu’s remarks are VERY damaging to Pals: “With Israel’s latest announcement, the ball rests with the international community.”

    NOT TRUE!!!!!! Pals can sue izrael at the ICC for this CRIME. Pals have the power now, so give it back to them, Buttu! very very irresponsible remark.

    and Ali Abuminah??? i am SHOCKED that he would so quickly devalue to zero Pals’ new statehood by saying: “Will there be real, concrete action — including sanctions — to force Israel to halt, and begin to reverse its illegal colonization of the 1967 occupied territories?……Sadly, that is unlikely, which means that yesterday’s vote was nothing more than a hollow gesture. Israel’s announcement should draw attention back to cold, hard reality: there is no ‘two-state solution.’ ”

    is he out of his mind?????? PALS NOW HAVE LEGITIMATE LEGAL RECOURSE AT THE ICC!!!!!!!! which means that yesterday’s vote was EVERYTHING!!!! what an idiotic thing for him to say, especially when he knows better!!!!!!!!! i’m so thoroughly disgusted with his truly harmful rhetoric. hey Ali, EGO CHECK!!!

    and Daniel Levy? “If President Obama is not up to trying again, this time with muscle, then the conversation to start having with Israel’s leader should be about democracy rather than separation.”

    LOLLLLLLLL, is he serious?????? izrael has NEVER been about democracy and NEVER will be, period! doesn’t matter what they spew out their mouths, izrael has been a brutal apartheid from the beginning, they do not want it any other way!! who is Levy trying to fool?? what a joke!

  25. hammersmith46
    November 30, 2012, 8:29 pm

    i doubt the u.s. govt will react greatly to this announcement or to the building itself.

  26. Annie Robbins
    November 30, 2012, 10:57 pm

    great updates. it was a swift move. for everyone who said it would be business as usual..something tells me this is a game changer. if for no other reason it speeds up the process. let’s get this show on the road, please. we cannot let palestine hang out to dry for another decade or two or three. we need action now. serious action.

  27. jimmy
    November 30, 2012, 10:59 pm

    I wonder how much longer it is going to take..before ..we(the citizens) of the USA are going to put up with a zlien group controlling our country..

    My guess at least 25 yrs

  28. clubroma
    December 1, 2012, 4:10 am

    The Isreali’s complain that there is a world-wide campaign to ‘deligitimise’ the State of Isreal. There right!!! and the campaign is being lead by Isreal. The new settlements announcement is basically spiting in the face of the UN. I think we all need to realize that Isreal is not a member of the international community. Isreal is beyond internatinal law. They do what they want and if you don’t like it, talk to the jewish colony known as the United States of America. They are a law unto themselves. Afterall, they are ‘Gods Childeren’. But the UN vote proves that the ‘world’ has had enough of Isreal.
    The ‘theme’ of a lot of the entries on this web-site are about Isreal’s future. I think that its important to know that we already basically know what Isreal’s future is. Some historians talk about , ‘being on the right side of history’. Let me assure you, as a historian, that all the historical ‘pointers’ , are seriously against Isreal. Some people will be shocked, as a result of Isreals properganda machine, but most people will just sit back and say ‘ they asked for it’.
    I can’t change history, I can only tell you wants coming. The decision to expand the settlements is just another step in the road to Isreal’s ultimate future.
    May God bless their souls.

    • Mooser
      December 2, 2012, 11:41 am

      “They do what they want and if you don’t like it, talk to the jewish colony known as the United States of America. They are a law unto themselves. Afterall, they are ‘Gods Childeren’”

      You wanna say that to my face mo—rfu–er? I bet you don’t. Mondoweiss, of course, will just shuffle its feet, and look away.

  29. seafoid
    December 1, 2012, 7:28 am

    Khalaas ya’ni

    link to ft.com

    According to Shimon Stein, a former Israeli ambassador to Berlin, the UN vote was indicative of a long-term erosion in Israeli-European relations. “I think the writing has been on the wall for quite a long time. Something has been going wrong for quite a few years,” he said.

    Mr Stein, who is now a fellow at the Tel Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies, said Israeli policies were no longer attuned to the broader European “zeitgeist”. The two sides, he argued, differed fundamentally on philosophical issues such as international law and the acceptability of using armed force, but were particularly divided regarding Israel’s approach towards the Palestinians.

    “What you can say is that there has been a shift in mood. That is clear. And you can see it on many fronts, for example with regard to Israeli settlements or the fact that we now talk about international humanitarian law [with regard to Israeli policies in the West Bank],” said one European diplomat on Friday.

    “The frustration with Israel is incredibly high, and that is the case almost everywhere in Europe.”

    The diplomat added that at least part of that frustration was linked directly to Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister: “I would be surprised if you found anyone [in European diplomatic circles] who believes that Netanyahu wants a two state solution. And that was different a year ago.”

  30. Citizen
    December 1, 2012, 9:26 am

    It would be interesting to see what would happen if, in the USA, Canada, UK, EU, a popular referendum on Israeli settlements was given, along with a map of settlement expansion over the decades. Clearly, the Western democracies are such in name only.

  31. American
    December 1, 2012, 10:30 am

    I have been trying to figure out exactly how Palestine can use the ICC to reclaim their land, which ought to be their first goal. I would not if I were Palestine go after the other war crimes involved becuase it would become a mess of tit for tat arguements since both sides could be said to have committed war crimes in attacking civilians.
    As I understand it the ICC can only prosecute ‘individuals’ for war crimes not states.
    The ICC can issue international arrest warrants for individuals found guilty for instance but they have no ‘enforcement mechanism” against states.
    To prosecute for the Rome Statute war crime of moving the occupiers population onto the land, in effect settling the occupied land, Palestine would have to name and prosecute the Israeli individuals who ordered this, meaning all the Israeli leaders under whom the settlements were established.
    So let’s say Palestine limited their ICC actions to the case of the war crime of confiscating land and all the appropriate Israeli officials were found guilty.
    The ICC could issue arrest warrants for them but that appears to be limit of their powers. Iow there is no international military force they could order to go in and clear out Israel’s settlements and settlers and return the land to Palestine.
    If Palestine did this it would basically be another step in establishing for the ‘State of Palestine’ the illegality of Israel’s settlement.
    Whether they could then take that to the UN and the UN has some mechanism for triggering some actual force like the international peace keeping forces of nations willing to participate I don’t know.
    Clearly both the UN and ICC do need some specific ‘enforcement’ power or access to some military force to carrying out findings in war crimes cases for more than just individuals.
    If there is no ICC or UN enforcement entity for moving the Israeli settlers off the land then the only other way after a ICC ruling would be for Palestine to take it back by force themselves…and they would need the military support of other ME nations willing to challenge Israel to a war by going into the settlements and running out the settlers and re establish Palestine jurisdiction over the land.
    Maybe someone here can shed some more light on the problem of Palestine actually getting their land back.

    A commenter over at Cole’s quoted Professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, Francis A. Boyle, as listing a few other things Palestine could do with it’s new status that might also help them:

    ** “Palestine can join the Law of the Sea Convention and get its fair share of the enormous gas fields lying off the coast of Gaza, thus becoming economically self-sufficient;

    **“Palestine can join the International Civil Aviation Organization and gain sovereign, legal control over its own airspace;

    ** “Palestine can join the International Telecommunications Union and gain sovereign legal control over its own airwaves, phone lines, bandwidths.”

    • piotr
      December 2, 2012, 2:14 am

      Additionally, USA would withdraw from those organizations, which will be quite a headache. I guess our stupid law that dictates it may be reexamined.

    • Mooser
      December 2, 2012, 11:45 am

      “I would not if I were Palestine go after the other war crimes involved becuase it would become a mess of tit for tat arguements since both sides could be said to have committed war crimes in attacking civilians.”

      No, only one side has an Army (It’s called the IDF) and can commit “war crimes”. The other side may have some individuals who have resisted violently, as is their right.
      Why do you favor the Zionists?

  32. randclark
    December 1, 2012, 1:25 pm

    I am reminded of Sitting Bull:

    Yet hear me, friends! we have now to deal with
    another people, small and feeble when our
    forefathers first met with them, but now great
    and overbearing. Strangely enough, they have a
    mind to till the soil, and the love of
    possessions is a disease in them.

    (I mis-remembered it as “possession”, probably from the Tom Hayden book, which would be a little more appropriate)

  33. TwoRedDogs
    December 1, 2012, 10:38 pm

    NYT scrubbed Dani Dayan’s comments re two state solution being an EXISTENTIAL THREAT TO ISRAEL from Jodi Rudoren’s article which was posted yesterday at NYT online. Found a version from SMH website.

    But Dani Dayan, leader of Israel’s settler movement, welcomed the news, saying it was ”a very important Israeli interest to develop E1”.

    He described the two-state solution as ”an existential threat to Israel” and said the E1 development was ”beneficial for peace because a two-state solution is a prologue for another bloody confrontation”.

    ”The fear to develop the communities is not rational,” Mr Dayan said. ”The opposition to the settlements has become a kind of religious dogma for the West.”

    But Mr Dayan said he did not like the idea of expanding settlements ”as a sort of retaliatory or punitive step”.

    ”Under the circumstances that we understand the government operates, I think it’s OK,” Mr Dayan said. ”We have a legal and a political and a moral right to build. It’s strategic for Jerusalem; to strengthen Jerusalem is the only horizon. We don’t see it as an obstacle to peace.”

    link to smh.com.au

  34. Accentitude
    December 2, 2012, 6:43 am

    Gee, that was a big surprise. `Took them long enough, huh? I’m shocked that the Israelis didn’t just interrupt Abbas’ speech mid-sentence at the UNGA to announce this move. Can this now be considered an state invading and annexing lands of another “state”?

    • seafoid
      December 2, 2012, 3:47 pm

      If Israel goes ahead with E1 it will be the end of support from Europe.

      Haaretz:

      Europe has been putting heavy diplomatic pressure on Israel to reverse its decision to proceed with development plans for a new neighborhood in the area between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem, known as the E1 corridor. Since Friday, five senior European ambassadors have communicated strong words of protest to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, all bearing the same main message: the European Union’s demand that Israel reverse its decision.
      British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould and French Ambassador to Israel Christophe Bigot called Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Rafi Barak and other senior officials at the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday, a senior European diplomat said a short while after Israel announced it was going to accelerate the construction plans on the E1 corridor as a response to Palestinian push for UN recognition.
      On Sunday morning, the Netherlands’ Ambassador to Israel, Caspar Veldkamp, European Union Ambassador Andrew Standley, and the German deputy ambassador all called the Prime Minister’s office.
      The British, French, and Dutch letters of protest were very strongly worded. Both the French and British ambassadors stressed their call to Israel to go back on its plans to erect 3,000 housing units and not proceed any further with any plans for the E1 corridor. “London is furious with the decision over the E1 corridor,” a British diplomat told Haaretz.
      The Dutch ambassador, whose country abstained from last week’s vote by the United Nations’ General Assembly to give Palestine observer status, warned that if Israel moves forward with its construction plans in the E1 corridor, his country will be unable to help Israel and to support its policies in future votes at the UN and other international organizations. The deputy German ambassador had a similar message. A German diplomat said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to hear serious objections to the plan from Chancellor Angela Merkel when he visits Berlin on Thursday.
      EU Ambassador Standley asked officials at the Prime Minister’s Office for clarifications concerning the decision, adding that the move contradicts the statements made by Israel before the UN vote. Moreover, it ignores the explicit requests of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton to refrain from making any moves that would further escalate the situation.

  35. giladg
    December 2, 2012, 10:26 am

    The Oslo Accords did not state that settlement activity has to stop. The Oslo Accords do state that neither side will take unilateral action of the type the Palestinians took at the UN last week. Most of the building Israel undertook over the past 4 years was to add housing unit inside preexisting settlements. Whether you like some or any or no settlements, this actions was not unilateral. Also, whether a settlement has 500 families or 550 families, makes zero different to the final talks, if and when they happen.
    But what the Palestinians did was to say to Israel agreements are not worth the paper they are written on.
    The seriousness of this breach of Oslo cannot be understated. Again, the Palestinians are not being held to the fire regarding responsibility.

    • Hostage
      December 3, 2012, 5:59 pm

      The Oslo Accords did not state that settlement activity has to stop. The Oslo Accords do state that neither side will take unilateral action of the type the Palestinians took at the UN last week.

      Correction:
      1) Any treaties conflicting with a peremptory norm of general international law (“jus cogens”), like the right of self-determination would be null and void. See Article 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. link to untreaty.un.org
      2) The Oslo Accords did not mention Palestinian Statehood at all, even as a final status issue.
      3) The UN General Assembly had already acknowledged the Palestinian Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1988 and the Interim Agreement with Israel in 1995 specified that neither party shall be deemed “to have renounced or waived any of its existing rights, claims or positions” (Art. 31-6).
      4) The ICJ included the Oslo Accords in its legal analysis in the Wall case. It nonetheless advised that Israel had established the settlements in violation of the prohibition against an occupying power facilitating the transfer of part of its own population into the occupied territory contained in Article 49(6) of the Forth Geneva Convention. The commentary on the Convention explains that those provisions safeguard the rights of the protected population. Article 8 of the Convention stipulates that the Occupying Power cannot conclude “special agreements” with the local authorities that would renounce in part or in entirety the rights secured to them by the Convention.
      5) The Quartet Road Map requires Israel to stop settlement construction in line with the Mitchell report. The Security Council adopted the plan as part of a binding series of decisions to end the conflict contained in resolutions 1515, et seq.

  36. chinese box
    December 2, 2012, 10:40 am

    These settlements are always so bland looking.

  37. William deB. Mills
    December 2, 2012, 1:01 pm

    If Ms Rice wishes to argue that the only way forward is via negotiations, then, to avoid exposing herself as a hypocrite (or the servant of one), she must follow through by clearly condemning the construction of the new illegal housing as unacceptable. When Israel steals Palestinian land on the West Bank for illegal Israeli immigration, this is not “negotiation.”

    Unilateral decisions to engage, as stated in one of the quotes in your article, in collective punishment do not constitute “negotiation.” Rather, they constitute a slap in the face of the U.S. officials who are publicly claiming to be supporting a two-state solution. In fact, what we have is a two-faced solution…one that does the Obama Administration no credit.

  38. Citizen
    December 2, 2012, 3:59 pm

    The US regime will rubber stamp Israel’s whims.

Leave a Reply