Netanyahu continues moving the goalposts – announces new settlement bloc Israel must keep in deal with Palestinians

(Image: Mondoweiss. Inspiration: The Dersh)

(Image: Mondoweiss. Inspiration: The Dersh)

Netanyahu adds another settlement bloc to the list of parts of Palestine that Israel plans to keep. And then there’s the Jordan Valley and so on.

Haaretz reports:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demanded that Israel retain a fourth settlement bloc in addition to three it has already demanded in negotiations with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been working to hammer out a framework peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

The settlement bloc in question is in the vicinity of Beit El, adjacent to Ramallah in the central West Bank. Israel has already laid claim to three other settlement blocs – Ariel, Gush Etzion and Ma’aleh Adumim. Settlement blocs refer to areas in the West Bank where the majority of Jewish communities are located.

Palestinians fiercely oppose the latest Israeli request, according to an Israeli source who has been briefed by the Americans.

Netanyahu wants to annex the four blocs but, according to the Israeli source, at this stage opposes compensating the Palestinians with a land swap of equal size and quality. The prime minister did, however, raise the possibility of buying some of the land on which the settlement blocs rest from the Palestinians and compensating them for other parts with land that is in Israel proper.

The notion that Israel can determine unilaterally which “settlement blocs” it will keep in any agreement with the Palestinians is yet another invented Israeli fact on the ground.

Any land that is now part of Palestine (in the occupied Palestinian territory, i.e., beyond the 1967 green line) is subject to discussion with the Palestinians in negotiations and potentially could be part of “mutually agreed-upon” land swaps.

Nowhere has Israel been given the right to determine unilaterally what it will “keep.” Indeed, even George Bush’s (in)famous letter acknowledging that there will be territorial changes based on realities on the ground also states that any such changes/swaps will be subject to negotiations with the Palestinians.

Sometimes, it looks as if Israel, with its endless colonial provocations, is begging to be hit with boycott, divestment, and sanctions. And it deserves to get them.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation

{ 43 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. pabelmont says:

    “The notion that Israel can determine unilaterally which “settlement blocs” it will keep in any agreement with the Palestinians is yet another invented Israeli fact on the ground.”

    Well, “fact on the ground” is one of those wonderful-awful analogies that have been over-stretched quite a bit. Israel’s ability to push the USA around is apparently a fact (or quasi-fact) but diplomacy is not what we (or I) think of as “on the ground”.

    Anyway, point taken — whatever else it is, it is an Israeli invention. And as to whether Abbas will accede to this — as to other — demands, time will tell. And what “the Palestinians” will do (and who the Palestinian actors who will assume the mantel of “The Palestinians” will turn out to be!) IF Abbas accedes to ANY Israeli proposal — also remains to be seen.

    I think the clock will simply run out, the Palestinians will (routinely) be accused of being the spoilers, and then — EU will cut back funds, stop projects, increase BDS-like behaviors and MAYBE Abbas will go to ICC. If he dares. He does not have an “iron rice bowl”, his “people” depend on Israel to continue such largess as it may be pleased to continue. And Arafat died under mysterious circumstances. (As did JFK.)

    It’s a tough world. And I bet Abbas is ignoring climate change just like most world leaders. Other things on his mind I suppose.

    • Djinn says:

      It is such a strange notion. Because we stole it (that being the fact) we get to keep it. Even stranger that so many fall for it.

  2. eljay says:

    If you remove the word “CHUTZPAH” from the top of the poster, I think there’s enough room there to fit the words “ZIO-SUPREMACIST ASSHOLE”.

  3. Ira Glunts says:

    From what I have read Netanyahu’s justification for annexing Beit El and its environs is that it is a “Jewish heritage site.” Beit El is according to Jewish biblical legend the place where Jacob dreamed about the ladder to heaven. There is a rumor that Kerry bought into this, but it is only a rumor. What bullshit!!

    One thing about the ploy of “Jewish heritage sites” is that it is also being used as a reason to annex much of the Hebron area and to maintain an Israeli presence in the city of Hebron and at the Ibrahimi Mosque. The PM mentioned Hebron and Beit El as heritage sites that he wants to keep at a Likud party meeting a week or two ago, as reported in the linked article.

    Netanyahu went to Jordan today and apparently told Abdullah about wanting Beit El. There is no report on how the Jordanian King reacted. BB was in Amman to update the King on the I-P negotiations. Jordan is very concerned about having a say in any settlement agreement, especially concerning Palestinian refugee that live in the Kingdom. Also, Jordanian officials have recently expressed concern over rumors about a secret back channel between BB and Abbas which they fear will ignore Jordanian interests. The Israeli far right also has expressed the same fear and worry about its interests.

    The talk about wanting the heritage sites, the trip to Jordan, the “tonguelashing” (this is how it was described in the Hebrew press) that Ya’alon gave Kerry, the Knesset resolutions meant to block negotiations, all signal that the Kerry talks may actually lead to an agreement. Why else would there be such a fuss.

    If there is an agreement I doubt that it will be a final status deal, but it could lead to significant changes on the ground. Although Kerry and the Palestinians both say that there will be no temporary deal, it seems to me that a temporary deal is the only one possible.

    Whether that could be good for the Palestinians is an open question.

    My feeling is that the biggest obstacle to a deal is Israeli intransigence on the issue of Jerusalem. The Israelis must agree to giving the Palestinians Arab East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state and work out some solution to the Haram a Sharif/Temple Mount/Holy Basin sovereignty issue.

    And one more thing. If JStreet’s main interest was getting the 2SS as they claim, they would be out there talking about assuring Palestinian claims in Jerusalem now. They told their membership that they agreed with a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. But they won’t remind people of that now because JStreet is a lot more Obama, Democratic Party and “liberal Zionism” than the 2SS which they claim is there main goal.

    • mondonut says:

      Ira Glunts says: The Israelis must agree to giving the Palestinians Arab East Jerusalem
      ==================================================
      Really? And why must they agree to dividing Jerusalem? Apart from the reason the Palestinians want it.

      • Bumblebye says:

        Nutter:
        The Israelis are in possession of stolen goods. That does not give them title to stolen goods. You’ll recall, no doubt, that the Israelis divided Jerusalem IN THE FIRST PLACE by their OFFENSIVE war in 48, designed to steal more of the Mandate partition than they had been awarded! Returning that portion, along with all the stolen Palestinian West Bank land ‘enlarging’ the city would still leave them with more than the law allows!

        • mondonut says:

          Bumblebye says: The Israelis are in possession of stolen goods.
          =======================================
          Stolen, huh? Not that I agree but if it were it would not have been from the Palestinians. And BTW, the Israelis were not “awarded” anything by the partition, the partition never happened.

          • Bumblebye says:

            Partition never happened? So why did Israel declare its borders to be those of the Partition on 15th May 1948???

          • talknic says:

            @ mondonut “Stolen, huh? Not that I agree but if it were it would not have been from the Palestinians”

            Strange. UNSC res 476, based on International Law and the UN Charter, says

            1. Reaffirms the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem ; link to domino.un.org

            ” And BTW, the Israelis were not “awarded” anything by the partition, the partition never happened”

            Strange. The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel says

            “on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly link to pages.citebite.com

            “On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable.” link to pages.citebite.com

            The Israeli Government’s plea for recognition says

            “MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have the honor to notify you that the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947 ..” link to trumanlibrary.org

            The Russian Government’s recognition says

            Russia 17 May 1948
            Letter from Mr. Molotov: “Confirming receipt of your telegram of May 16, in which you inform the Government of the USSR of the proclamation, on the basis of the resolution of the United Nations Assembly of November 29, 1947 …” link to jstor.org

            The Australian Government’s recognition

            Australia 28 January 1949 “… on the basis of the resolution of the United Nations Assembly of November 29, 1947 …” link to trove.nla.gov.au

            The Israeli Government’s 22nd May 1948 statement to the UNSC says

            REPLIES OF PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT OF ISRAEL TO SECURITY COUNCIL QUESTIONNAIRE
            Question (a): Over which areas of Palestine do you actually exercise control at present over the entire area of the Jewish State as defined in the Resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947. link to unispal.un.org

            I guess they all got it wrong! AMAZING!

          • amigo says:

            “And BTW, the Israelis were not “awarded” anything by the partition, the partition never happened.” nutter

            It did for some 24 hours, read on .

            “”As it will be demonstrated below, the decision by the Zionist leadership to accept the 1947 proposed UN GA Partition plan was nothing but a smoke screen, which was done solely to gain international recognition and support. This deception was a political ploy to gain initial international legitimacy for the existence of the “Jewish state”, and this was well known to the Palestinian people. The reader is urged to contemplate the following Zionist leaders’ quotes in an open mind. Note that most, if not all, of the quotes below are dated before the entry of any single Arab Army into British Mandated Palestine: * In a letter Chaim Weizmann sent to the Palestine-British high Commissioner, while the Peel Commission was convening in 1937, he stated: “We shall spread in the whole country in the course of time ….. this is only an arrangement for the next 25 to 30 years.” (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 66) * Ben-Gurion emphasized that the acceptance of the Peel Commission would not imply static borders for the future “Jewish state”. In a letter Ben-Gurion sent to his son in 1937, he wrote: “No Zionist can forgo the smallest portion of the Land Of Israel. [A] Jewish state in part [of Palestine] is not an end, but a beginning ….. Our possession is important not only for itself … through this we increase our power, and every increase in power facilitates getting hold of the country in its entirety. Establishing a [small] state …. will serve as a very potent lever in our historical effort to redeem the whole country.” (Righteous Victims, p. 138) * In 1938, Ben-Gurion made it clear of his support for the “Jewish state” on part of Palestine was only as a stepping ground for a complete conquest. He wrote: “[I am] satisfied with part of the country, but on the basis of the assumption that after we build up a strong force following the establishment of the state–we will abolish the partition of the country and we will expand to the whole Land of Israel.” (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 107 & One Palestine Complete, p. 403) * One day after the UN vote to partition Palestine, Menachem Begin, the commander of the Irgun gang and Israel’s future Prime Minister between 1977-1983, proclaimed: “The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized …. Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever.” (Iron Wall p. 25) * “”Shamir has said Israel must keep the territories in order to accommodate the immigrants. “A great aliyah [immigration],” he said, “requires a Greater Israel.”(5) He has insisted that, although Soviet Jews are not being directed to the territories, any Jew has the right to live anywhere in the land of Israel, which for most Israelis includes the territories.

            Do you ever get anything right nutter.

      • Ira Glunts says:

        @Mondo — Because by retaining the Arab parts of Jerusalem the Israelis are telling the Palestinians that not only that most of what the Israelis took from them and settled with Jews will remain theirs but the land which you live on and consider holy ground will remain ours if we say so.

        The reasons you request are legal, ethical and realist. The realist part is if you insist on retaining Arab Jerusalem the conflict will continue. And by the way Israel already agreed to this in previous negotiations.

        • mondonut says:

          Ira Glunts says: The reasons you request are legal, ethical and realist.
          =================================================
          The Palestinians have no legal claim to Jerusalem, it was never theirs in the first place so it certainly was not “taken” from them. And yes, Olmert offered parts of Jerusalem in his offer (an offer that many Mondos insist never happened) and quite tellingly, the Palestinians turned it down as not enough. Their intransigence is hardly a reason to divide the city.

          • Shingo says:

            The Palestinians have no legal claim to Jerusalem, it was never theirs in the first place so it certainly was not “taken” from them.

            Israel have no legal claim to Jerusalem, it was never theirs in the first place so it certainly was not theirs to give back.

            And yes, Olmert offered parts of Jerusalem in his offer (an offer that many Mondos insist never happened)

            False. Olmert’s offers suggested Jerusalem would need to be negotiated.

          • “The Palestinians have no legal claim to Jerusalem, it was never theirs in the first place”
            This blatant denial of history is demented stuff. Why do you continue to let this provocateur go on with his already thousand times debunked stuff? Kick this a00hole out already!

          • “The Palestinians have no legal claim to Jerusalem, it was never theirs in the first place”
            Looks like the nutter has made his the settlers’ “day is night and black is white” strategy in revising history. And who knows, he may well be one of them extremist nutters.

          • ziusudra says:

            Greetings Mondo.,
            ….Jerusalem was ne’er theirs…..
            Historical Schalim (Jerusalem) 4K BC was a walled in City founded by the Canaanites.
            Other Semites such as the so called Hebrew & Arab Tribes also lived there from 1200BC onward.
            First under King Saul in 1029BC than under King David, all conjectual do we have biblical Talmudic writings of Jerusalem first being an unwalled village with 2K inhabitants, first written in 536BC in Cuneiform of the Pharisees in Babylonia..
            Oy Weh! That’s history?
            ziusudra
            PS After 1029BC to 722BC, the Kingdom Israel & 586BC, the Kingdom Judea, all conjectual, all 12 tribes were driven off, not conjectual!
            This territory was owned & ruled from 4K BC to 1948AD by foreign powers!

          • Djinn says:

            The Palestinians have no legal claim to Jerusalem, it was never theirs in the first place so it certainly was not “taken” from them

            By what process or leap of logic is it Israel’s?

          • talknic says:

            @ mondonut “The Palestinians have no legal claim to Jerusalem “

            UNSC res 476, based on International Law and the UN Charter, says you’re spouting bullsh*t!

            1. Reaffirms the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem ; link to domino.un.org

          • talknic says:

            ziusudra “Oy Weh! That’s history?”

            Irrelevant history as of the moment Israeli independence took effect at precisely 00:01 May 15th 1948 ME time, when Israel was “proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947″ link to trumanlibrary.org

            No territories “outside the State of Israel”…”in Palestine”" link to pages.citebite.com was or is Israeli. The Jewish state has never legally acquired any further territory link to pages.citebite.com

      • talknic says:

        @mondonut ” And why must they agree to dividing Jerusalem?”

        UNSC res 476. Just one of EIGHT reminders to Israel of UNSC res 252. You still haven’t read it? What an amazing glutton for ignorance!

        • mondonut says:

          talknic says: UNSC res 476. Just one of EIGHT reminders to Israel of UNSC res 252. You still haven’t read it? What an amazing glutton for ignorance!
          ===================================================
          Of course I have read it, it is just that like so many of your bizarre interpretations, few people agree with you. Certainly not me.

          None of which you reference make Jerusalem the territory of a Palestinian State, none declare that the city should remain or be divided and none preclude Israel from retaining Jerusalem under a peace agreement.

          • talknic says:

            @mondonut Of course I have read it, it is just that like so many of your bizarre interpretations, few people agree with you. Certainly not me.”

            “few people” Strange. It has been reiterated by the majority in subsequent UNSC resolutions on the matter. You, Israel and other denialists are a tiny minority.

            “None of which you reference make Jerusalem the territory of a Palestinian State”

            It isn’t Israeli. corpus separatum was never instituted. Jerusalem was never separated from what remained of Palestine after Israel was declared independent of Palestine, which is why UNSC res 476 for example tells us its Arab territory

        • Talkback says:

          Talknic says:@ mondonut “The Palestinians have no legal claim to Jerusalem “

          UNSC res 476, based on International Law and the UN Charter, says you’re spouting bullsh*t!

          He knows, he is. You have told him the same over and over again. He’s just another member of the “Lie for Israel” club.

        • eljay says:

          >> Exactly. It never happened.

          Sure thing, John.

      • puppies says:

        @mondonut – Because they are the owners of all Palestine. Including everything from the river to the sea, squatter.

    • Djinn says:

      The “heritage sites” argument is as flawed as any other supremacist justification. There are Roman heritage sites over most of Europe, that doesn’t mean Italy gets to claim it. There are Norse heritage sites all over my “homeland” but that doesn’t mean Norway gets to claim Lerwick. The Rift Valley is likely to be a heritage site for the whole of mankind but we can’t all claim it. These heritage sites are also based on archeological fact rather than dubious sky god myths but they are still not valid.

      Why on earth should Jewish heritage sites hold any more water? It’s probably anti-Semitic to even ask.

  4. Pamela Olson says:

    “Jewish heritage site”? Um… What about the many, many Muslim (and Palestinian, and Christian) heritage sites inside the ’48 borders of Israel?

    Oh, right. Only the Jewish religious claim to the land actually matters, for some reason which has still never been made clear to me. Christians, Muslims, Baha’i, Samaritans, and others also have religious and historical ties to the Holy Land. Why do only the Jewish ones matter?

    • Ira Glunts says:

      Pamela, Another Jewish heritage claim that hasn’t gotten enough opposition, in my opinion, is the claim to the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif. I mean seeing is believing. The mosques are real, they are there and have been for a long time. The temple may have been there 2000 years ago. When Arafat told Clinton at Camp David that he questioned the existence of the temple at that site, Clinton went into a snit and snapped “it was there because my minister told me it was there.” And people say this is a solely secular conflict???!!

      Can you image what the world’s reaction would be if the situation were reversed? What if at a temple which Jews prayed at continuously for 1400 years and consider of great importance, the Palestinians suddenly wanted sovereignty because they claimed that there was an all important Muslim holy site buried under the ground which was destroyed over a millennium ago. How far would that Muslim claim go in polite Judeo/Christian/secular society?

      And the importance of the Mount has increased markedly with the growth of the religious nationalist movement and cannot be separated from it. Religious Jews were always prohibited from going up there because they might tread on holy ground on which the temple stood. I think the head rabbis still prohibit Jews from going up to the mount. The idea of rebuilding the temple and the importance of the site is more a nationalist than religious idea.

      It should never have been part of the Israeli demands. Neither Netanyahu or Sharon or Rabin gave a shit about the mount outside its political value.

      • Pamela Olson says:

        There have been several attempts by both Jewish and Christian fanatics to destroy or desecrate the Muslim holy sites on the Haram al Sharif. It would be hearthbreaking and terrifying if they succeeded.

        • Ira Glunts says:

          Pamela, Yes it truly would. My guess is that the security is tighter now than in the past. I remember there was a gang of settlers that made a serious attempt in the 80s. The chief rabbi of the IDF asked General Uzi Narkis to destroy the Dome of the Rock in 1967 when the Old City was conquered. Narkis refused and did not make the story public until the end of his life.

        • Bumblebye says:

          Yesterday:
          Jewish Organisations Call for Storming Of Al Aqsa Mosque
          link to imemc.org
          Today:
          Settlers Storm Al Aqsa Courtyards
          link to imemc.org

          Strange how Israeli law enforcement is completely absent, totally fails to prevent this. Perhaps invading mosques isn’t against Israeli law?

          • mondonut says:

            Bumblebye says: Strange how Israeli law enforcement is completely absent, totally fails to prevent this.
            ===================================================
            Prevent what? A bunch of old fat Israelis standing around in the sun? Being “provocative”?

          • talknic says:

            @mondonut ” A bunch of old fat Israelis …” illegally standing around in non Israeli territory

      • RoHa says:

        “The mosques are real, they are there and have been for a long time. The temple may have been there 2000 years ago.”

        As I have said before, we should apply the RoHa scale for holiness.

        link to mondoweiss.net

  5. For some reason, that photo of Netanyahu reminds me of Mike Myers playing Dr. Evil.
    Go figure!

  6. talknic says:

    ATT Hasbara Central

    mondonut‘s pathetic dialogue is a thorough failure. Can you please send us someone interesting?

    Thx

  7. seafoid says:

    The Jews of Israel have to give up Hebron or they have to give up their state.
    It doesn’t matter if Ibrahim the Iraqi or whoever was there according to the book. The Serbs had to let go of Kosovo. even thought it was some battle in 1389 there that forged the Serb nation.

    Get the fuck over it, Zionism, or risk it all.

  8. talknic says:

    “The prime minister did, however, raise the possibility of buying some of the land on which the settlement blocs rest from the Palestinians and compensating them for other parts with land that is in Israel proper”

    ‘Israel proper’ is per the frontiers of UNGA res 181 as proclaimed by the Israeli Government in its plea for recognition. Israel has never legally acquired any further territory. No further territory has ever been legally annexed to or recognized as Israeli.

    Also note the language, “land”. International Law, the UN Charter, conventions and UN/UNSC resolutions speak of “territory”, not ‘land’. Israel is drenched in deceit.