The ethnic cleansing of the Jordan Valley

Israel/Palestine
on 25 Comments

Consider the following quotation, taking into account its moral, political and legal implications:

‘You don’t simply bundle people onto trucks and drive them away … I prefer to advocate a more positive policy, to create, in effect, a condition that in a positive way will induce people to leave’ (PDF)

This is Ariel Sharon, former Prime Minister of Israel, speaking about the Palestinians who inhabit Israel’s most prized territory after Jerusalem — the Jordan Valley. Just over a quarter of the West Bank and stretching 70km along the River Jordan from the Dead Sea in the south to Israel’s border in the north, the Jordan Valley is now home to some 50,000 Palestinians and over 9,000 Israeli-Jewish settlers, who live in what one Palestinian NGO described as ‘Parallel Realities’.

Jordan Valley 1
(Map: ARIJ) Click to enlarge.

Israel has long-coveted the Jordan Valley. Shortly after the Knesset approved Oslo II, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin declared, “the security border to protect the State of Israel will be set in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of this term.” The view of this supposedly ‘liberal Zionist’ PM is mirrored by that of current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who declared that the army “must remain along the Jordan River in any future agreement.” Reflecting the prioritisation of the Jordan Valley even over other settlement areas in the West Bank, settlers receive exorbitant incentives to move there. Israel has declared the entire West Bank, or Judea and Samaria as it stubbornly refers to it, as a ‘National Priority Area’ bringing subsidies for housing, free education and tax cuts, whilst settlers told Ma’an Development Center that the Jordan Valley remains the cheapest to move to through incentives.

The dichotomy in living standards between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the West Bank has drawn a series of analogies between the Jewish state and the apartheid state of South Africa. John Dugard, who hails from the latter and was UN special rapporteur to the Palestinian territories, has called for the International Court of Justice to rule on whether apartheid is practised there or not, and his views have been echoed by Richard A. Falk, his successor in the UN role. Yet in the Jordan Valley, elements of Israel’s policy clearly go far beyond the legal definition of apartheid. The annexation of territory and imposition of impossible living standards on the Palestinians forcing them to move most closely resembles ethnic cleansing. Or as Ariel Sharon euphemistically puts it in the earlier quotation, Israel is “inducing people to leave”.

Accusations of ethnic cleansing have also been levelled against Israel, albeit with less coverage than the apartheid analogy. Richard Falk has asked that the ICJ investigate Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, whilst Israeli historian and political activist Ilan Pappe, author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, has persuasively argued that actions by Jewish paramilitaries to forcibly transfer 700,000 Palestinians during 1947-49 merit the label of ‘ethnic cleansing’. The term is gaining ground. Given there are several reports of forced displacement and transfer of Palestinians from the Jordan Valley into other areas of Palestine, it would appear that ethnic cleansing may be taking place in that region through the slow and silent destruction of the means of life for Palestinians.

The legal definition of ethnic cleansing is somewhat vague. Unlike the crime of apartheid, which is mentioned in several conventions of international law and the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court, there is no widely acknowledged prohibition on ethnic cleansing. Palestinian legal monitor Al Haq has argued, ‘It seems that “ethnic cleansing” is a composite term that covers various violations of IHL (International Humanitarian Law), such as the grave breach of “unlawful deportation or transfer” of a civilian (Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention).’ As previously mentioned, UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk has used the term to describe Israel’s policy of creating an ethnically-pure or Jewish-dominated East Jerusalem, whilst the UN Security Council has passed resolutions condemning ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia. Additionally, the International Criminal Court regards ‘forcible transfer of population’ as a crime against humanity. When this transfer is based on ethnic criteria as in East Jerusalem, it could be argued ethnic cleansing has occurred. In the former Yugoslavia the ethnic cleansing was not just confined to massacres but as the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia stated, “Serb municipal authorities and Serb forces created severe living conditions for Muslims and Croats which aimed, and succeeded, in making it practically impossible for most of them to remain.” This is Israel’s policy in the Jordan Valley.

A series of policies combine to make life as difficult as possible in the Eastern portion of the West Bank along the Jordan, including restricting movement, healthcare, water resources and stifling economic development. The combination of policies has been described by the UN’s Human Rights Council as having a devastating effect. With reference to Area C, which comprises 95% of the Jordan Valley, ‘79% of the communities surveyed recently do not have enough nutritious food; this is a rate higher than in blockaded Gaza, where it is 61%.’ Ma’an Development have carried out numerous highly informative reports on the Jordan Valley region, where they have described a contrast between Israeli settlers and Palestinians that is even more acute than the rest of the West Bank.

Ma’an reports that, ‘While the Israeli settlers benefit from generous aid from the Israeli government, Palestinians are nearly completely prevented from any sort of development in 95% of the Jordan Valley.’ Within Area C Palestinians are prevented from constructing any form of permanent structure. When they do, demolition orders are issued, and often followed through. 1,663 Palestinian structures were demolished by Israel in the Jordan Valley between 2000 and 2007, permanently displacing some 31% of Palestinians. This policy is enacted only against the ethnic group of Palestinians, not against the settlers who are encouraged to live there.

Schools and homes in the Area C Jordan Valley must be built from mud and tin, ramshackle dwellings that can scarcely represent a decent standard of living in any community. Furthermore, whilst the Jordan Valley is rich in water a third of Palestinians have none available, contrasting the settlers who use an average of over 400 litres per person per day. The World Health Organization state that 100 litres per day is necessary to sustain human life, yet Israel’s destruction of 140 Palestinian wells since its occupation began in 1967 whilst prohibiting any Palestinian use of water from the Jordan River has meant many Palestinians in the Jordan Valley live on around 10 litres per day, posing serious health risks. The UN’s Human Rights Council has noted how this water shortage leads to frequent and sometimes deadly outbreaks of diarrhoea amongst Palestinian children.

The Israeli settlements, whilst enjoying generous housing subsidies of up to 95% in addition to free education (including transport), have a destructive effect on their surrounding Palestinian villages. Near the settlement of Yitav, Palestinian canals run dry nine months of the year as settlements use all the water for agriculture. These conditions have created conditions that are barely habitable for the Palestinians there, and have forced many to move. The restrictions on movement, with no Palestinian even allowed to visit the Jordan Valley unless they possess an address there, has contrasted with the constant influx of Jewish settlers into the area. In addition, the Israeli military have refused to amend the population register (violating the Oslo accords) in the area since 2000, meaning newly married couples cannot legally live together in the Jordan.

It is imperative to note these contrasts and dichotomies between the two communities in the Jordan revolve around one distinction: one community is Jewish-Israeli, the other Arab-Palestinian. The racial policies of the state of Israel have taken on extreme dimensions in the Jordan Valley, accelerating to the stage where Palestinians are being forcibly displaced from the region in order to accommodate more and more settlements which are universally regarded as illegal (except of course by Israel). This calculated and systematic attempt at imposing unbearable conditions on the Palestinians to force them to leave has the goal of creating an ethnically-pure Jewish region in the Jordan Valley.

If final status negotiations are ever to come about, Israel will hope to have ethnically cleansed enough Palestinians from the Jordan in order to cut off the region’s natural resources, tourist sites and crucially, the border with the state of Jordan. Confined to their Area A cities by internal movement restrictions, the Palestinians will be within Bantustans in one great Israeli state from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, with any semblance of a contiguous Palestinian homeland completely killed off. Unless the international community begins to pay proper regard to Israel’s crimes against humanity, including colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing, then this unpleasant hypothesis may become an actuality.

About James Elliott

James Elliott is a British student volunteering with the Right to Education campaign at Birzeit University, who advocate for the rights of Palestinian students who are impacted by Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies.

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25 Responses

  1. mondonut
    February 19, 2013, 12:18 pm

    The solution would have been to accept Olmert’s offer, the Palestinians would then have controlled the valley.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 19, 2013, 1:57 pm

      you mean the offer that was physically danged in front of him from across the table in the form of a map? one he couldn’t take home over night? you forget olmert toured the country making jokes about it to american audiences. i was in one of those audiences. don’t pretend that offer was ever on the table.

      • mondonut
        February 19, 2013, 2:53 pm

        Annie Robbins says: you mean the offer that was physically danged in front of him from across the table in the form of a map?
        ===================================
        Yes, that one. The one that Abbas and the Palestinians fully understood, map or not. The one that was discussed in detail prior to the meeting where Abbas could have signed off on the deal but chose instead to walk away. The one that divided Jerusalem and gave the valley to the Palestinians. Yes, that one. The deal that gave the Palestinians the absolute best deal they will ever see if they could only compromise (they could not).

        You consistently like to believe that not taking the map home someone invalidated the deal or that it did not exist, and you are (deliberately) wrong. It was legitimate and the Palestinians could have had their state.

        link to nytimes.com

        Mr. Olmert notes in his memoirs that his last meeting with Mr. Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, took place on Sept. 16, 2008, in Mr. Olmert’s Jerusalem home. He had presented the Palestinian leader with his map of Palestine minus the 6.5 percent that would stay with Israel. Alongside it was a map of Israel with the equivalent amount of land to be annexed by Palestine.

        “Abu Mazen said that he could not decide and that he needed time,” Mr. Olmert writes. “I told him that he was making an historic mistake.

        “ ‘Give me the map so that I can consult with my colleagues,’ he said to me. ‘No,’ I replied. ‘Take the pen and sign now. You’ll never get an offer that is fairer or more just. Don’t hesitate. This is hard for me too, but we don’t have an option of not resolving this.’

        “I saw that he was agonizing. In the end he said to me, ‘Give me a few days. I don’t know my way around maps. I propose that tomorrow we meet with two map experts, one from your side and one from our side. If they tell me that everything is all right, we can sign.’ The next day they called and said that Abu Mazen had forgotten that they needed to be in Amman that day, and they asked to postpone the meeting by a week.

        “I haven’t met with Abu Mazen since then. The map stayed with me.”

      • Hostage
        February 20, 2013, 3:43 am

        The one that was discussed in detail prior to the meeting where Abbas could have signed off on the deal but chose instead to walk away. The one that divided Jerusalem and gave the valley to the Palestinians. Yes, that one.

        You act like Olmert would have kept Israel’s promises in any event. Israel has violated the lines on every map they’ve agreed to so far. Olmert didn’t even try to live up to the pledges Netanyahu had signed in the Hebron Protocol of the Wye River Accords, much less the confidence building measures that were required under the Quartet Road Map. Israel doesn’t need permission from Abbas to withdraw the IDF from places like Hebron or before it can stop expanding settlements.

        You do realize how pathetic you sound trying to sell Olmert as a peacemaker, when we all know he belongs in the dock at the Hague for launching and directing Operation Cast Lead?

      • Hostage
        February 20, 2013, 4:08 am

        P.S. Netanyahu’s negotiator wouldn’t even discuss the Olmert map or so much as “touch” a Palestinian proposal, because he said it would have resulted in the collapse of his coalition. That would have certainly happened to Olmert too if he hadn’t kept his offer under wraps, off the record, and unofficial for all practical purposes.

        How do you see the Olmert offer as addressing Palestinian interests, especially as Ariel, Maale Adumim, Givat Zeev, Har Homa and Efrat clearly prejudice contiguity, water aquifers, and the viability of Palestine?

        How do you see the specific areas that Olmert suggested to swap from Israel to Palestine addressing the requirement to swap territory equal in size and value?

      • Shingo
        February 20, 2013, 7:46 am

        Abbas and the Palestinians fully understood, map or not.

        Understood what? That Olmert didn’t have a hope in hell of getting the Knesset to back the proposal?

        The one that was discussed in detail prior to the meeting where Abbas could have signed off on the deal but chose instead to walk away.

        A version if events both Olmert and Livni have denied.

        In fact, Olmert stated in 2012 that not only did Abbas not reject it, but that Israeli ministers were telling Abbas not to take it.

        At the Jerusalem Post Conference panel discussion on Sunday, Olmert defended PA President Mahmoud Abbas for not accepting the peace deal that Olmert himself offered the Palestinians during his tenure. “the Palestinians did not say no to my peace plan,” adding that Israeli ministers advised the PA president not to accept the plan, JPost reported.
        link to panarmenian.net

        So gee, I wonder what on earth could have caused Abbas to hesitate when Israeli ministers were wispering these sweet nothings into his ear?

        Oh and Abbas had this to say:
        “We could have peace in two days” if Olmert’s offer could be implement
        link to israeltoday.co.il

        Obviously, Olmert has no hope in hell of implementing it.

        The one that divided Jerusalem and gave the valley to the Palestinians.

        Except that it didn’t. The the “offer” did not include Jerusalem – ”negotiations to be postponed”

        Oops.

        The deal that gave the Palestinians the absolute best deal they will ever see if they could only compromise (they could not).

        Yes, having settled for 22% of Palestine, they are suppose to compromise even more – even though the international consensus is that the ’67 borders are to divide the two states.

        Those Israelis are too kind

        You consistently like to believe that not taking the map home someone invalidated the deal or that it did not exist, and you are (deliberately) wrong.

        No you are.

        Ehud Olmert, the former prime minister of Israel, says in new memoirs that he and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, were very close to a peace deal two years ago, but Mr. Abbas’s hesitation, Mr. Olmert’s own legal troubles and the Israeli war in Gaza caused their talks to end.

        It was legitimate and the Palestinians could have had their state.

        What a croc!! Olmert couldn’t even stay in office long enough to have delivered on the “now you see it, now you don’t” offer.

        Time for some facts on Olmert’s “generous offer”.

        Apart from the fact that in maintaining the settlement blocs (5.5% of the OT) Palestinian territorial contiguity (especially with Jerusalem) would have been severly compromised, and apart from the fact that a “token” number of returnees does not even begin to address the refugee issue, and apart from the fact that the “offer” did not include Jerusalem (”negotiations to be postponed”), and apart from the fact that Olmert’s government approved the construction of thousands of housing units on the settlements just as he was making his “generous offer”, the “offer” was contingent upon Abbas’ PA “regain(ing) control over the Gaza Strip, which the militant group Hamas seized from forces loyal to Abbas in June 2006″.

        Man, those Palestinians were stupid to have rejected an offer that good.

        Meanwhile, Olmert’s own party couldn’t even stay in power long enough to follow through on his now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t “offer” – despite a bid to garner popularity with the Israeli electorate by murdering hundreds of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

        Source for info on Olmert’s “offer”: link to haaretz.com

      • mondonut
        February 20, 2013, 2:18 pm

        Hostage says: You act like Olmert would have kept Israel’s promises in any event.
        ================================
        We will never know. However, what is relevant is that the Palestinians did not accept. They had the opportunity to define the terms of a peaceful settlement. Instead they chose to define their requirements as being more than what Olmert offered. Personally, I do not think that any Israeli politician will offer more.

      • Shingo
        February 21, 2013, 5:18 am

        However, what is relevant is that the Palestinians did not accept.

        No, what is relevant is that the offer was not legitimate, because it was obvious to everyone that Olmert had no chance in hell of delivering on it. If it had been a legitimate offer, Olmert would not have insisted that Abbas sign it there and then.

        The hypocrisy of your argument is mind numbing. When you hasbrats are confronted with the fact that Israel has turned down the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, your excuse is that it was offered as a taker it or leave it proposition. Yet you expected Abbas to accept an offer that had would have such enormously profound implications without reading the fine print?

        They had the opportunity to define the terms of a peaceful settlement.

        No they didn’t. They had to sign the deal there and then.

        Personally, I do not think that any Israeli politician will offer more.

        Personally, I do not think that any Israeli politician will offer anything acceptable.

      • Hostage
        February 21, 2013, 6:09 am

        However, what is relevant is that the Palestinians did not accept.

        They obviously did agree to schedule a meeting and discuss the offer. Olmert didn’t give Abbas anything to sign. Then Olmert decided to launch a war against the population of Gaza instead. Maybe you were living in a cave, but President Abbas filed a criminal complaint with the ICC about that a few days afterward – and of course Israel has refused to even consider making this undocumented offer the basis of any further negotiations. It wasn’t even a flash in the pan.

        Only the hasbara fellowship thinks its worth mentioning these bogus offers from Olmert and Barak. You keep running off at the mouth about it being an offer of statehood, when it didn’t even include assurances regarding the capital in East Jerusalem or guarantees that those Israel has exiled in Europe could return to the Palestinian controlled territory, much less the refugees.

      • Cliff
        February 21, 2013, 8:25 am

        Mondonut

        Produce the details of this plan and evidence that Abbas was offered something to sign.

        If this was such a miracle then why hasn’t it come up again? Why is it that these miraculous Israeli peace deals only happen once in awhile – only to be denied – and subsequently show up in rhetorical debates in a mysterious fashion?

        That’s because the offer is a lie, and you are a liar.

      • sardelapasti
        February 21, 2013, 10:15 am

        Some logic. Even if they did not accept a “proposal” *which is bullshit by its very timetable) where is the obligation to accept anything from thieves if deemed inacceptable? That very argument gives away the **zi arrogance of the invader.

      • mondonut
        February 21, 2013, 12:27 pm

        sardelapasti says: Some logic. Even if they did not accept a “proposal” *which is bullshit by its very timetable) where is the obligation to accept anything from thieves if deemed inacceptable?
        ==========================================
        They are not obligated to accept anything, and nobody has implied they were. They had a choice (to deem it acceptable) and they chose not to. They chose poorly, once again.

    • edwardm
      February 19, 2013, 2:14 pm

      Sure. You mugged me in the park and took my wallet, ID and credit cards – but it’s MY fault if I don’t accept merely the pictures of my kids and 20 bucks as an offer of “peace”. Olmerts’ offer was the same as every other – to “give” the Palestinians something that is already theirs in the first place, minus any of the bits that make having a viable state possible.
      link to lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com

    • Hostage
      February 19, 2013, 5:18 pm

      The solution would have been to accept Olmert’s offer, the Palestinians would then have controlled the valley.

      The article notes that Rabin and Netanyahu had already decided to make the Jordan Valley the security border and keep the IDF there under any agreement.

      It wasn’t the Palestinians who rejected the Olmert offer. Why do you suppose the Netanyahu government refused to accept it as the basis for negotiations? We’ve all watched Netanyahu on video claiming that he single handedly destroyed the Oslo Accords by declaring the Jordan Valley a security zone. I’m betting that’s the reason and not any reluctance on the part of Palestine.

      • mondonut
        February 19, 2013, 10:48 pm

        Hostage says: The article notes that Rabin and Netanyahu had already decided to make the Jordan Valley the security border and keep the IDF there under any agreement.
        =====================================
        It was not called the Rabin or Netanyahu offer. It was the Olmert offer, which the Palestinians chose not to accept. Netanyahu, correctly I might add, refused to accept it as a basis of negotiations for the very reason that Abbas never got a copy of the map. That is, it was never intended to be the basis of negotiations, it was the final and best offer the Palestinians are ever likely to see.

        Rabin or Netanyahu and Rabin were not part of the picture then and the entire valley was offered to the Palestinians. Sadly, it was not enough for them.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 20, 2013, 1:56 pm

        it was never a real offer mondonut. a real offer who have allowed him 24 hrsto respond. the palestinians did respond and were ignored. this is all on the record.

      • mondonut
        February 20, 2013, 2:30 pm

        Annie Robbins says: it was never a real offer mondonut. a real offer who have allowed him 24 hrsto respond. the palestinians did respond and were ignored. this is all on the record.
        ==============================================
        Make up your mind Annie. Did they not have enough time to respond or did they actually respond? The truth of the matter is that they did not respond, and that is what the record reflects. They could have had their state right there and then – but they chose otherwise.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 20, 2013, 3:31 pm

        on background, both olmert and plo ambassador Maen Areikat were interview by the world affairs council in SF in 09 and i heard both of them speak.
        link to jweekly.com
        i cannot find a transcript of that speech but read this first:
        Talking Points for Maen Areikat NPR Interview :
        link to transparency.aljazeera.net

        Palestinian Rejection of ?Generous Offer?

        Like Ehud Barak when he was Prime Minister at the Camp David summit in July 2000, Prime Minister Olmert based his claim of having made a generous offer on the percentage of land he proposed to give back to Palestinians.

        Using percentages of land to favorably characterize Israeli negotiating positions is a tactic that Israel frequently employs. It is misleading for three reasons.
        The percentages Israel puts forward are based on calculations that exclude both East Jerusalem and the No Man?s Land from the total land mass of the West Bank. Both East Jerusalem and the No Man?s Land are part of the occupied West Bank, meaning that Israel?s percentages are inaccurate according to the internationally accepted baseline (the June 1967 Green Line).
        No matter what percentages of land are involved, any offer that excludes occupied East Jerusalem can never be accepted by Palestinians. East Jerusalem is the heart of Palestinian economic and social life, and without East Jerusalem as its capital, there can be no viable Palestinian state.
        A viable, independent and fully sovereign Palestinian state rests on more than the percentage of territory it controls. The attributes of sovereignty include full control of our airspace, maritime space, territory, borders, water, electromagnetic sphere and other resources.

        The ?package offer? then PM Olmert proposed to President Abbas during Annapolis, was communicated verbally, with nothing committed to paper and no supporting documents or maps.

        In terms of the territory to be annexed, PM Olmert not only sought to annex the built-up areas of the main Israeli settlement blocs in the West Bank, but demanded the transfer of vast adjoining land to be used for their later expansion.

        Olmert?s offer did not deal with the status of Jerusalem, but sought to defer it to future negotiations.

        Olmert?s offer made no mention of security arrangements.

        PM Olmert refused to recognize either the principle of the right of return as outlined in UNGA Resolution 194, or Israel?s moral and legal responsibility regarding the plight of Palestinian refugees.

        PM Olmert?s proposal deviated little from facts on the ground already created by Israel, while failing to address all permanent status issues. It fell far short of the basic parameters for a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict consistent with international law and numerous UN Resolutions.

        In short, PM Olmert sought to legitimize the status quo of Israel?s military occupation and control, but with Palestinian consent.

        No Palestinian leader can accept a proposal that fails to address or satisfactorily resolve all permanent status issues, and no Palestinian leader can or will negotiate away the rights accorded to Palestinians under international law, including freedom from foreign occupation and the right to self-determination.

        during the Areikat interview, referencing olmert’s interview where he admitted he never offered abbas anything to review on paper and even made a joke of that (and the pro israel people in the audience laughed) the interviewer asked ambassador Areikat about the olmert offer. Areikat said abbas came back that night, and together with lawyers and advisors put down on paper a list of questions for olmert concerning all the undefined parts of this offer (see blockquote above) they had it delivered, thru an official israeli mediator, to olmert the next day. there was no response. nothing, not even an acknowledgement of the communication. as i recall there were a list of questions. i think around 12-14 or something, i cannot recall. there is probably a transcript somewhere. i have no reason to think he is lying. had there ever been a serious offer made, it would have been made on paper. to think olmert could, single handedly, make an offer to abbas that even israel would accept is absurd.

      • Hostage
        February 20, 2013, 9:09 pm

        It was not called the Rabin or Netanyahu offer. It was the Olmert offer, which the Palestinians chose not to accept.

        The record is clear that Israeli regimes have repeatedly reoccupied areas after signing agreements to withdraw its armed forces from them. The inhabitants of the Sinai, Hebron, Jericho, the Syrian DMZs around Lake Kinneret, and the fishermen working in the coastal waters off Gaza can all attest to that fact. Olmert’s offer wasn’t, and still isn’t, worth the paper it was written on so far as Netanyahu and his henchmen are concerned.

        It certainly had no propaganda value to Olmert at the time. It’s utter nonsense to pretend that any Israeli government could have implemented it without being tossed-out as a result of a no confidence vote the very next day.

      • Hostage
        February 20, 2013, 9:20 pm

        They could have had their state right there and then – but they chose otherwise.

        I don’t recall Olmert claiming that he ever offered the Palestinians a State. There are lots of maps attached to the Oslo Accords and the subsequent Wye protocols. But that never meant Israel recognized the Palestinian areas as a State. Your whole line of argument is pretty much nonsense.

    • talknic
      February 19, 2013, 10:35 pm

      mondonut “The solution would have been to ..” …”be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations” and discharge ” the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law.”

  2. Nubia
    February 19, 2013, 6:16 pm

    Nubia,
    A long overdue article. And to see the process in action anytime take a look at “Last Shepherds of the Valley” 47 minutes.
    link to aljazeera.com

  3. kayq
    February 20, 2013, 3:34 am

    The Nakba did not end in 1948, it is currently ONGOING. This is ridiculous, and i’m sure the whole priviledges case thing is currently visible in the rest of the West Bank too. Settlers enjoy full privileges, which also includes travel into ’48 areas of Palestine as well as Jerusalem. Palestinians? They have none of this… while they also have restriced movement, not enough water, constant settler terror etc.

    As to the ethnic cleansing of the Jordan Valley, the Jordan Valley rightfully belongs to Palestinians, and I don’t see why Israel would need to protect “its borders” when those are the borders of a viable Palestinian state anywyay… I often feel that the excuse of taking land to set up military zones is just an excuse to annex more land.

    I mean, if Israel is successful in annexing the whole of Palestine, then I bet you there would be no need for occupation, thus no need for military zones, and that annexed land? Even more cities will be built for Jews to live in.

  4. pronomad
    February 20, 2013, 6:48 am

    “Mr. Olmert notes in his memoirs that his last meeting with Mr. Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, took place on Sept. 16, 2008, in Mr. Olmert’s Jerusalem home. He had presented the Palestinian leader with his map of Palestine minus the 6.5 percent that would stay with Israel. ”

    And I’ll bet that “measly” 6.5% just so happens to be the strips of land that a) contain significant water resources, and/or b) prevent territorial contiguity of the Palestinian state.

    • Woody Tanaka
      February 20, 2013, 2:31 pm

      “And I’ll bet that ‘measly’ 6.5% just so happens to be the strips of land that a) contain significant water resources, and/or b) prevent territorial contiguity of the Palestinian state.”

      Of course. It’s the same lie the israelis have been pushing for decades. They’re the masters of deceit and lies. If they and the Palestinians were arguing over much of the Palestinians’ swimming pool the israelis would steal, they would paint themselves the victims by saying that the Palestinians rejected an offer that would have permitted them to go anywhere in 90% of the swimming pool without noting that the part the israelis intended to keep was the 10% from the surface of the pool downward.

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