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Israel’s ‘blame the hand’ excuse for settler violence

Aaron Turgeman on
Netanyahu vows to expand the settlements during a 2015 campaign stop at Har Homa.

It is all too easy to point the finger at wild-eyed fundamentalist settlers, who have created their own version of a Biblical Wild West (Bank), terrorizing Palestinians, uprooting olive trees, vandalizing property and more recently, burning families. But let’s not forget: the settlers are not there on their own design. Without the Israeli army’s protection, without their superior legal status granted by the Israeli judicial system, without the resources and Israeli government support, they would not be there. By cracking down on “extremist settlers”, the Israeli government hopes to legitimize the ten-fold larger expansion of settlements.

Palestinian toddler killed in settler price-tag attack

Allison Deger on
Israeli arsonists attack two Palestinian homes in the West Bank village of Duma, killing one Palestinian toddler. Arsonists also tagged the Hebrew word for "revenge" outside of the home. (Photo: Reuters)

A Palestinian toddler was killed in the central West Bank village of Duma in an overnight settler arson attack that targeted two homes. Eighteen-month old Ali Saad Dawabsha died in the gasoline fire-bombings, and his mother and brother were seriously injured. The wounded were transferred by helicopter to a Israeli hospital in Jerusalem for treatment. A funeral was held in Duma this morning for Dawabsha.

Palestinian flag is an ‘enemy’ flag– Netanyahu’s latest crackdown

Allison Deger on
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during in his Cabinet meeting in his office in Jerusalem on Sunday. (Photo: Jim Hollander/AP/ABC News)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had assured that the Jewish democratic state law would not infringe on the rights of its non-Jewish citizens, but two days later his Likud party introduced a Knesset bill to ban the Palestinian flag from protests, deport Palestinians to Gaza, and strip Palestinian citizens of their citizenship or residency, and refuse to return remains of the deceased, in cases of “incitement.”

The Palestinian message to Israel: Deal with us justly. Or disappear

Jeff Halper on
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal (Photo: AP)

Until Operation Protective Edge, most of the “messaging” regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, certainly that which broke through the mainstream media, came from the Israeli side. That now has changed. Hamas not only confronted the Israeli Occupation but has also seized the political initiative from it. In stark contrast to Abbas, who has declared security cooperation with Israel to be “sacred” and who passively allows Israel to maintain its massive matrix of Israeli highways in the occupied territories spelling the end of the two-state solution, Hamas has sent a clear and forceful message to Israel: We won’t submit even if you kill us. Deal with us justly – or disappear.

The West Bank insurrection

Allison Deger on

After months of unremitting tensions in the West Bank, another Palestinian youth was killed in a run of protests Friday near the settlement of Psagot outside of Ramallah. The funeral for Mohammed al-Qadary, 19, was held Saturday following noon prayers. Afterword mourners scrambled up a hillside cut with terraces for yet another round of clashes […]

Israel announces major escalation in settlement expansion (Update)

Annie Robbins on

Israel is using the pretense of Palestine’s new unity government to do what it always does, steal more Palestinian land and expand the Jewish only settlements.  Predictably, they’re framing this next expansion project as “part of the reaction efforts”. The Construction and Housing Ministry issued tenders for almost 1500 housing units in the West Bank […]

Israel’s unending settlements ‘mortally wound idea of a Jewish state’ — Indyk

Philip Weiss on

Watch live streaming video from washingtoninstitute at Martin Indyk spoke at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy yesterday and placed most of the blame on the Israelis for the breakdown in talks and echoed Palestinian frustration. He said in essence that the Israelis aren’t serious about negotiations. They can’t even stop settlements for three […]

Israeli settlers release wild boars on Palestinian farmland to destroy crops

Kate on

Israeli settlers release wild pigs on Palestinian farms IMEMC 21 Apr by Chris Carlson — Palestinian farmers in the Salfit district appealed all to Palestinian and international bodies to stop the continued destruction of their crops caused by the Israeli pigs [wild boars] in the district. Farmers said, “We have encountered heavy losses in our […]

Israel approves 186 new settlement homes, and moves forward with plans for 2,269 more

Kate on

Israel approves 186 new East Jerusalem homes AFP 19 Mar — Israel moved forward Wednesday with plans to build another 186 new homes in East Jerusalem, a city councillor told AFP. The plans would see construction of 40 new homes in Pisgat Zeev and 146 in Har Homa.  This announcement comes as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said […]

AIPAC’s 2-state lip-service: conference featured university in settlement

Alex Kane on

The annual policy conference for the premier Israel lobby group earlier this month featured lip-service to the two-state solution, an indication of how a once-taboo idea has become the dominant model for ending the Israel/Palestine conflict. “We have worked for the day when a Jewish state of Israel is living in peace and security with […]

Palestinians in Hebron demand Israel ‘Open Shuhada Street’ and protest twentieth anniversary of Ibrahimi mosque massacre

Allison Deger on

On Friday around one thousand Palestinian and Israeli activists protested in the West Bank city of Hebron to reopen a central downtown street twenty years after it was first closed by the Israeli military. The Open Shuhada Street demonstration began at a mosque near the entrance of the former hub of Palestinian economic activity, what […]

10,000 Israeli teens follow mother-hen of extremist settler movement in anti-Kerry protest

Allison Deger on

Days before John Kerry is poised to arrive in the Middle East for another round of direct negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, ten thousand Israelis marched in the hills east of Jerusalem in a protest organized by a founder of extremist settler groups. The event was led by Daniella Weiss, 69, a three-decade veteran […]

Facts on the Ground Peace Index: Volume VI

Institute for Middle East Understanding on

The Institute for Middle East Understanding has compiled a “Facts on the Ground Peace Index” to track Israeli actions on the ground since new talks were announced over the summer. For Volume I see here. For Volume II see here. For Volume III, click here. For Volume IV, see here. And for Volume V, click here. Covering Period: January 2, 2014 to February […]

Why Palestinians don’t want settlers in their midst

Henry Norr on

An anonymous “well-placed official” in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office set off a brouhaha in Zionist politics the other day by telling journalists he would insist that settlers left on the Palestinian side in a potential division of the West Bank have the option of choosing to remain in their homes and live under Palestinian […]

‘Guard the state, no surrendering to Kerry’ — right-wing Israeli campaign

Ira Glunts on

Today the Yesha Council, which is the regional representative of the West Bank settlements, and other right wing organizations, opened an aggressive campaign against U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, according to the Israeli news site, Walla (Hebrew).  The campaign is reported to be a reaction to fears among the settler community that the current peace […]

Sharon’s death is ‘perfect time’ for settler siren’s new Miley Cyrus parody, ode to Gaza settlers

Allison Deger on

Israeli-American Orit Arfa has followed up her Miley Cyrus pro-settler anthem (parody?) “Jews Can’t Stop” with “Gaza Wrecking Ball.” Filmed in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, a pantsless Arfa portrays an uprooted Gaza settler knocking rubble from a demolished house, a pantsless Israeli Defense Forces soldier, and a pantsless Palestinian sporting a bra-top made from […]

Sharon’s lasting legacy: the West Bank separation barrier

Alex Kane on

Ariel Sharon was once opposed to the building of a separation barrier in the West Bank. The idea of constructing a physical wall to separate West Bank Palestinians from Israeli Jews had long percolated in Israeli political circles, but Sharon was fearful that a barrier would become a permanent border, scuttling his dream of a […]

Dutch pension giant ditches Israeli banks over involvement with settlements

Alex Kane on

Major Israeli financial institutions woke up to the news today that a Dutch pension fund has pulled out its investments because of the banks’ involvement in the occupied West Bank.  The move, first reported by Haaretz‘s Barak Ravid, means that tens of millions of euros from the fund would be pulled out from five Israeli […]

A bible park grows in (occupied) Jerusalem

Allison Deger on

Situated a short walk outside of Jerusalem’s stone walls is the excavation site for the biblical city of Jewish kings. The dig enfolds into a safari experience for the “City of David.” Visitors can take a guided tour, as I did, to explore the mystic past that today falls past the Green Line. Other options […]

Lessons in desert blooming

Jimmy Johnson on

“This life as a simple citizen and laborer has its benefits not only for the person himself but perhaps also for his country. After all, there is room for only one Prime Minister, but for those who make the desert bloom there is room for hundreds, thousands and even millions” – David Ben Gurion, 1954 […]

Israel approves 829 new settlement units near Jerusalem

Allison Deger on

Two weeks ago Prime Minister Netanyahu announced then quickly cancelled an order to build 20,000 new settlement units. He had angered American officials, pressed their limits, and then tabled Israeli expansion into the West Bank when it seemed the negotiations process was on the line. But today Peace Now announced Netanyahu is moving forward with […]