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‘This is our land!’: West Bank village Wadi Fukin fights largest Israeli land grab in decades

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Wadi Fukin may be the smallest of the five villages threatened by Israel’s recent mass land grab, but these days it’s certainly not the quietest.

Leaders in the village of approximately 1,250 have galvanized locals into organizing Friday demonstrations against Israeli occupation for the first time in years, after 4,000 dunams (nearly 1,000 acres) in the southern West Bank was declared “state land,” by Israel.  Over a quarter of the confiscated land belongs to Wadi Fukin, which already lost most of its property to the still expanding Israeli settlements of Beitar Illit and Hadar Beitar in the north and Tsur Hadassah in the west after 1967.

“They are planning to make us an island with the settlements surrounding us on all sides,” says Ahmad Sukar, head of the village council.  He laments the effect the occupation has had on the small farming community, citing armed settlers who come to picnic in the village’s only playground, or swim in the reservoirs used to irrigate crops.

“These days we are working in two ways.  First within the law and the courts.  Second, we are protesting to send a message to everyone – settlers, Israelis, Arabs – to show them how we live in Wadi Fukin.”

An activist waves a Palestinian flag in front of Beitar Illit as additional military vehicles arrive to repress the demonstration. (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

An activist waves a Palestinian flag in front of Beitar Illit as additional military vehicles arrive to repress the demonstration. (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

Sandwiched in a fertile valley between the Green Line and the nearby settlements, Wadi Fukin bears this recent blow in the context of a unique history.  After sustaining multiple raids in 1948 by the Zionist paramilitary group, Haganah, Israeli forces completely destroyed Wadi Fukin in the early 50’s with most locals fleeing to Jordan and nearby Dheisheh Refugee Camp.

In an exceptional circumstance, villagers were given the opportunity to return to their land and rebuild in 1972 by Israeli authorities, and have since successfully restored and repopulated the village.  It currently falls within Areas B and C, land under de-facto Israeli military and civil control.

On August 31st, four days after the Gaza ceasefire, residents of the Palestinian villages of Husan, Nahalin, Surif, Jabah and Wadi Fukin found dozens of yellow placards in Hebrew and Arabic, delineating the boundaries of the 4,000 dunams of Israeli ‘state land.’  Seen by many as an effort to placate criticism from the right of how he handled the assault on Gaza, Netanyahu announced the expropriation to a flurry of international condemnation.  The land grab is the largest of its kind in three decades.

The five affected villages surround what is left of the Bethlehem governorate, some of the most aggressively settled land in the West Bank.  Plans for this land include construction on an arguably new settlement; Gvaot and allow for unimpeded passage for Israelis from the Gush Etzion settlement bloc to Jerusalem.

A young activist holds an olive tree in front of soldiers during the first Friday demonstration on September 5th. (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

A young activist holds an olive tree in front of soldiers during the first Friday demonstration on September 5th. (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

As is typical for Friday demonstrations throughout Palestine, the first protest began after midday prayers at the village mosque on September 5th.  Israeli soldiers and border police had already been positioned for over an hour on the hill where the action was to take place.

The craggy hillside has been allotted to the village’s only school, to be used as space for a playground or additional classrooms.  If the land is seized and developed, locals worry for the safety of students having settlers in such close proximity and Sukar anticipates a daily presence of soldiers not unlike what schools in the neighboring village of Al Khader face.

A military jeep parked on the hillside after the first Friday demonstration.  Activists painted Palestinian flags on rocks after Israeli authorities removed a flag previously planted by young activists. (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

A military jeep parked on the hillside after the first Friday demonstration. Activists painted Palestinian flags on rocks after Israeli authorities removed a flag previously planted by young activists. (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

A group of teenage girls had planted a Palestinian flag on the parcel of land before Israeli authorities removed it.  Activists opted for a more permanent symbol that first Friday, painting flags onto stones while others dispersed in groups, digging holes into fertile ground and planting olive tree saplings while soldiers attempted to block their efforts.  The group that pushed the farthest up the hillside was a pack of 12-year olds who successfully challenged and dismissed a soldier trying to obstruct them.

Boys paint a Palestinian flag on a hillside set to be appropriated as Israeli “state land.” (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

Boys paint a Palestinian flag on a hillside set to be appropriated as Israeli “state land.” (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

“Ardna!” they yelled.  “This is our land.”

Eventually, a middle aged activist was grabbed by border police and Sukar attempted to de-arrest him, but not before being pepper sprayed in the face.  Soldiers released the activist but began firing tear gas and sound grenades toward the group of roughly 80 participants, many of whom were not used to the ubiquitous use of such methods by Israeli authorities.

For at least an hour following the protest, Israeli military and border police fired canisters directly into the village where locals scrambled to deal with the unfamiliar effects of tear gas.

An activist is detained by Israeli border police after being pepper sprayed.  He was released shortly after. (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

An activist is detained by Israeli border police after being pepper sprayed. He was released shortly after. (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

40-year-old Nejah Manasra was present at the demonstration with her three children safe at home.  As they clamored to see the commotion from their balcony, she screamed at them across the valley to go inside.

“It’s the first time this has happened in our village.  We are a peaceful village. We are a small village and you see the Israeli homes next to ours.  We don’t attack them. But the Israeli [soldiers] were preparing themselves for this and waiting for a moment to attack us,” she said.

Before Israeli forces evacuated the area, they uprooted the saplings from the ground and confiscated them, along with signs reading, “Stealing land makes you a thief, not a partner for peace.”

“Our message was peaceful, that this is our land.  It is our right to use it, to cultivate it,” said Sukar.  “Every Friday we will have a demonstration and wherever there is a land grab, they should do the same.”

Ahmad Sukar, head of the village council holds a Palestinian flag during Wadi Fukin’s first Friday demonstration shortly before he was pepper sprayed. (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

Ahmad Sukar, head of the village council holds a Palestinian flag during Wadi Fukin’s first Friday demonstration shortly before he was pepper sprayed. (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

The following week on September 12th, after midday prayers, a similar crowd gathered, this time headed toward the farmland near Beitar Illit’s sewage system, which frequently dumps wastewater into a portion of the valley where farmers cultivate the fruits and vegetables Wadi Fukin is known for.

Activists chanted in English, “1-2-3-4-occupation-no-more,” while Israeli settlers watched from homogenous beige balconies stacked atop each other.  Several soldiers and border police followed from a comfortable distance.

A horde of boys scaled the hill and painted additional flags, occasionally whistling at the soldiers on the adjacent hill.  There was no direct confrontation with Israeli forces but the same group of teenage girls that had planted the original flag two weeks prior came to join the procession as it made its way back to the village.

“Palestine is free! Wadi Fukin is free!,” they yelled toward the settlement.  Long after most activists returned home, the group of youth stayed, wrapping themselves in keffiyeh’s, chanting and pulling stones and debris onto a dirt road to blockade a possible advancing Israeli jeep.

A group of boys confront a soldier attempting to stop them from planting an olive tree.  The boys refused to stop digging and the soldier eventually retreated. (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

A group of boys confront a soldier attempting to stop them from planting an olive tree. The boys refused to stop digging and the soldier eventually retreated. (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

“If we don’t go there, who is going to look at us? They have to see us,” says 15-year-old Bera’a Manasra, whose home like most in Wadi Fukin, has a sprawling view of Beitar Illit.

It’s not yet clear if the village will reap the full spectrum of consequences involved in repression of Friday demonstrations by the Israeli military or how long the protests will continue.  But unsurprisingly, the youth seem the most passionate.

“This is our land.  And we saw what happened in Gaza.  Of course we will come back next Friday,” says Bera’a.

15-year-old Baitul sits next to her, “I will never leave,” she says.

Teenage girls chant toward the settlement of Beitar Illit following Wadi Fukin’s Friday demonstration on September 12th.  (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

Teenage girls chant toward the settlement of Beitar Illit following Wadi Fukin’s Friday demonstration on September 12th. (Photo: Kelly Lynn)

Kelly Lynn
About Kelly Lynn

Kelly Lynn is a freelance photojournalist based in Bethlehem in Occupied Palestine.

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27 Responses

  1. just
    just on September 18, 2014, 10:03 am

    Kelly– many, many thanks for your photos and report.

    Such steadfastness in the face of such a brutal war machine.

    How the US government stays silent (and worse) is to their/our eternal shame.

  2. a blah chick
    a blah chick on September 18, 2014, 11:14 am

    Meanwhile another Israeli government institution proves why it can be trusted to do right by the people it control.

    (Haaretz, Sept. 12 2014) “A Palestinian prisoner who died in his Israeli prison cell earlier this week did not hang himself, as the Israeli prison service said, but was beaten to death, a Palestinian minister said on Friday.

    Minister for Prisoners’ Affairs in the Palestinian Authority Issa Karaka said that according to information obtained by his ministry Raed Al-Jabari’s body displayed bruises, but not around the neck, disproving Israeli claims of suicide.”

    Maan news has his cellmates’s version of events. “In the morning when we arrived to Eshel, Raed and Abu Jad were taken inside the prison and I stayed in the vehicle. 15 minutes later, one of the soldiers came and told me that Raed was dead.”

    Al-Azza said that he yelled at the soldier and asked him why he had said his cellmate was dead, but “the soldier did not answer me. He hit me on my leg and shut the door of the vehicle, and then I was then taken to Ashkelon.”

    Israel, thy name is “impunity.”

  3. Kathleen
    Kathleen on September 18, 2014, 11:20 am

    For decades Israel’s actions have proven they do not want a two state solution. More evidence

  4. DoubleStandard
    DoubleStandard on September 18, 2014, 12:13 pm

    Omg it’s a not a land grab. The land is mostly empty, it’s just being municipally incorporated into an already existing settlement bloc that will remind part of Israel if an agreement ever materializes. The very fact that Israel even allows Palestinians to petition its court system is a credit to it.

    • John O
      John O on September 18, 2014, 3:19 pm

      The fact that it is (maybe) empty does not necessarily give anyone the right to incorporate it into a settlement. I would ask: why is it ’empty’? (Land appears to be at a premium in that part of the world.)

      “The very fact that Israel even allows Palestinians to petition its court system is a credit to it.”

      Why should Palestinians not have access to Israeli courts?

    • amigo
      amigo on September 18, 2014, 3:24 pm

      “Omg it’s a not a land grab. The land is mostly empty, “ds

      Where the hell do you think you are.Out in the wild west in the 1700,s .

      “The very fact that Israel even allows Palestinians to petition its court system is a credit to it – ds

      How very very democratic of Israel.Allow the victim to file a complaint and then find against them anyway.

      What a twisted evil deviant you are.I certainly would not want you anywhere near my neighbourhood.

    • eljay
      eljay on September 18, 2014, 3:28 pm

      >> DoubleStandardeee: Omg it’s a not a land grab. The land is … just being municipally incorporated into an already existing settlement bloc that will [remain] part of Israel if an agreement ever materializes.

      And that’s exactly why “Omg” it is a land grab.

    • just
      just on September 18, 2014, 6:18 pm

      “Omg it’s a not a land grab. The land is mostly empty, …”

      ‘Mostly empty’ Palestinian land is STILL Palestinian land. Any rational person would ask: why is this Palestinian land still ‘mostly empty’? Why, it’s because of the brutal, decades- long Israeli military OCCUPATION.

      Go cry omg somewhere else.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer on September 18, 2014, 7:20 pm

      It’s a land grab, pure and simple, as it’s not Israeli land. It can’t remain a part of Israel when it’s not a part of it to begin with. Whether it will become a part of Israel will be subject to Palestinian agreement. Said agreement which Israel does everything in it’s power to avoid. The general area is one which Abbas has said he will not agree to.

      I think land grab is kind. It’s pure criminal theft to my mind.

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870 on September 18, 2014, 11:12 pm

      RE: “Omg it’s a not a land grab. The land is mostly empty, it’s just being municipally incorporated into an already existing settlement bloc” – DoubleStandard (appropriately named)

      MY REPLY: Apparently, it will mostly be “municipally incorporated” into the illegal “outpost” (illegal under Israeli law) of Gvot! ! !

      SEE: “Bold West Bank land grab may have been on drawing board for decades”, by Bethan Staton, MiddleEastEye.net, 9/15/14
      If developed, nearly 1,000 acres seized by Israeli authorities last month could link Israeli settlements, some that started as tiny outposts, between Jerusalem and the West Bank.

      [EXCERPT] In one of the boldest moves of its kind, Israeli authorities confiscated 4,000 dunums – 990 acres – of West Bank land in late August. A chorus of frustration and disapproval from international bodies met the declaration: on land that borders both the 1949 Armistice Green Line and Palestinian villages of al-Jab’a and Surif, the seizure is likely to pave the way for settlement expansion, and could seriously stifle Palestinian development.

      While it might change the reality of the West Bank dramatically, however, the news shouldn’t be surprising; plans for this area have long been on the drawing board of Israeli authorities. In fact, a critical look at a map of the region shows these intentions have been perceptible for years.

      Located in Gush Etzion, south of Bethlehem, the confiscated land is bordered by a scattering of settlements: Beitar Illit, Kfar Etzion and Gvot. And following this month’s land grab, the closest, Gvaot, has been cast into the settleament spotlight. Established in 1982 as an Israeli army Nahal base, where residents combined military service, volunteering and agriculture, it was turned into a religious Yeshiva community in the 1990s. Now it’s inhabited by a handful of families, and because it’s never been officially recognised by the government, the homes and buildings in the community are all technically illegal under Israeli law.

      The tenuous status of this tiny settlement means it might as well be referred to as an “outpost”: a small Israeli community established by radical, often religious groups without government authorisation, or as a military base, some distance from major settlements. After establishing a presence at these strategic points in the West Bank, these outposts are supported and developed by nearby settlements. Steps are taken to make them stronger, larger and even legal, setting the scene for a permanent presence and further expansion into the West Bank.

      This is just what the confiscation is set to do for Gvaot – and it seems clear that Israeli authorities wish big things for the tiny settlement. In the past, the Israeli NGO, Peace Now, revealed a government plan to turn it into a city of 15,000 housing units: although that blueprint was never promoted, the minister of defense has approved two separate plans that would see the construction of 584 buildings around the settlement. The seizure of 4,000 dunums will mean plenty of room for Gvaot to expand. Even more importantly, it will link the settlement up to the Green Line – creating Israeli continuity between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement blocs, and making Gvaot feel much more like part of Israel.

      The thinking behind the seizure is no secret: representatives of Gush Etzion have been quite clear about the strategy. “If you look at a map today, you can see that there are no Jewish communities between Beitar Illit and Gush Etzion,” Shani Simowitz, a resident of a nearby settlement, told Middle East Eye. “So you connect them. Those 4,000 dunums connect Gvaot, Kibbutz Rosh Tzurim and the Orthodox settlement of Beitar Illit.”

      Simowitz lives in Tekoa, a cluster of settlements to the east of Gush Etzion. She sees that community – which, like Gvaot, started life as a Israel army Nahal base – as exemplary of an outpost rationale, which strikes out “to the northernmost tip” of the area that Israeli developers and communities want to claim, before “joining the dots backwards.”

      Filling in the gaps between isolated settlements and creating continuity across the Green Line, as Simowitz describes, means that if a peace agreement is ever reached, Israel will keep Gush Etzion, said Suhail Khalilieh, who heads up the settlement monitoring team at the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), a Palestinian NGO.

      “This is playing a crucial part in the long-term claim to the greater Jerusalem area, and it will have a big effect on the geography and the demography of the area,” Khalilieh explained. “This has been planned, I think, since the Oslo Accords. It did not come out of the blue. The Israelis have been waiting for the perfect timing to fill in all the gaps. Everything is now coming into final play and everyone is revealing his own cards. The Israelis are looking to force facts on the ground that cannot be easily disputed.”

      Gvaot’s potential story, of a tiny, illegal outpost evolving into a densely-populated, red-roofed city, is not an unusual one. Since 1967, the tale of settlers striking out independently to set up tents that claim land for the Jewish state has been a narrative that’s shaped the West Bank. Ma’ale Adumim’s website, for example, is proud to state that the settlement was founded in 1975 by 23 families who worked “diligently” and without government authorisation to build a city in the newly occupied West Bank. Today, Ma’ale Adumim is a settlement of some 39,000 people, built on thousands of dunums of confiscated Palestinian land.

      “Gvaot is a military post that’s become civilised officially and they have plans that it’ll become a big city: this is the story across the West Bank,” Lior Amihai, at Peace Now’s Settlement Watch, said.

      The policy of allowing, and even encouraging civilians to set up outposts, Amihai explained, began in the 1990s, when the government decided to stop establishing new settlements. It was at that point that Ariel Sharon, then Foreign Minister, urged Israelis to “run and grab as many hilltops” as they could.

      “Everything we take now will stay ours,” Sharon said at the time. “Everything we don’t grab will go to them.”

      Many obeyed the call quite literally, establishing small, isolated caravan communities on the West Bank’s rugged hills: according to Peace Now statistics, 99 outposts are now home to over 4,000 settlers.

      “These outposts would be supported from the settlement regional councils with roads, water, electricity and so on,” Amihai says. “But the official policy was to disregard them: to say they’re illegal, they’re small, insignificant, they don’t have the power to change the political situation. So the outposts continue to grow. This begins with illegal construction, so the buildings have demolition orders, but they won’t actually be destroyed. On the contrary, they’ll be allowed to expand.” . . .

      SOURCE – http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/bold-west-bank-land-grab-may-have-been-drawing-board-decades-1775426459

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870 on September 18, 2014, 11:43 pm

      P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA (Beitar Illit):

      Beitar Illit (Hebrew: בֵּיתָר עִלִּית; officially Betar Illit; “Illit” is pronounced “ee-leet”) is an Israeli settlement and city in Gush Etzion, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south of Jerusalem,[2] in the Judaean Mountains of the West Bank.[3] Beitar Illit is one of Israel’s largest and most rapidly growing settlements.[4] As of July 2013 it had a population of approximately 45,710.[1] The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this.[5][6][7][8]
      Beitar Illit was established in 1984 on the lands of the Palestinian village of Husan
      [9] by a small group of young families from the religious Zionist yeshiva of Machon Meir. The first residents moved in, in 1990.[10] . . .

      Status under international law
      Main article: International law and Israeli settlements
      Like all settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories, Beitar Illit is considered illegal under international law,[7][8] though Israel disputes this. The international community considers Israeli settlements to violate the Fourth Geneva Convention’s prohibition on the transfer of an occupying power’s civilian population into occupied territory. The Israeli government disputes that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the Palestinian territories as they had not been legally held by a sovereign prior to Israel taking control of them.[6] This view has been rejected by the International Court of Justice and the International Committee of the Red Cross.[17]

      Controversies
      At an international conference in Karlsruhe in November 2010, Jawad Hasan claimed that sewage and urban runoff from Beitar Illit have contaminated the local hydrological system.[18] The Palestinian Authority claims that sewage flows into neighboring Palestinian fields and orchards.[19] Farmers from Wadi Fukin have complained that since the establishment of Beitar Illit in 1985, 11 natural wells have gone dry and they have suffered from overflow from the settlement’s backed up sewers. The Israeli government has ordered Beitar Illit to address these sewage problems.[20]
      In 2010, the Israeli interior ministry announced plans to build 112 new apartments during a visit by U.S. vice-president Joe Biden, leading to widespread news coverage that embarrassed the Israeli government.[21]
      Beitar Illit was one of four cities named in a petition to the Israeli High Court in December 2010 alleging a pattern of discrimination against Sephardi girls in the local Haredi schools. A Beitar Illit spokesman denied the charges, stating that the percentage of Sephardi girls in the school matched the percentage of Sephardim in the settlement.[22] . . .

      SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beitar_Illit

    • talknic
      talknic on September 19, 2014, 6:19 am

      @ DoubleStandard “The land is mostly empty”

      Like mostly not pregnant. I understand your need. Can’t imagine what it’s like 4u2 have a crap

      “it’s just being municipally incorporated into an already existing settlement bloc..”

      to be precise, an illegal settlement block in territory that is not yet Israeli

      ” that will remind part of Israel if an agreement ever materializes”

      ” if an agreement ever materializes” So, it is not yet Israeli …. glad we got that sorted out .. do they dock your wages at Hasbara central for screwing up

      ” The very fact that Israel even allows Palestinians to petition its court system is a credit to it”

      Uh huh. Why should Palestinians have to even address a court system that has absolutely no legal jurisdiction in non-Israeli territory over a matter of land that is not yet Israeli?

    • Shingo
      Shingo on September 19, 2014, 7:53 am

      Omg didn’t anyone ever explain to you that when you take comething that does not belong to you, it is stealing?

      The land is empty because Israel won’t allow the Palestinians to build on it. But hey, the Negev is largely empty. How do you feel about half a million Palestinian refugees moved into all that empty space?

      I also have to laugh at the claim that the land will remain part of part of Israel if an agreement ever materializes, when we know there will never be one and that the Palestinians have not agreed to this arrangement.

      The very fact that Israel even allows Palestinians to petition its court system is a credit to it.

      Funny how you think that the existence of a kangaroo court is credit to an apartheid, fascists, solonist state.

    • Raksha
      Raksha on September 19, 2014, 10:51 am

      I didn’t recognize your screen name, so when I first read your post I honestly thought you were an anti-Zionist being sarcastic. And then I read the replies, evidently from people who know you better than I do. All I can say is that you certainly picked an appropriate screen name. “Double Standard” is right!

      You ziobots get better at caricaturing yourselves by the day.

      • chocopie
        chocopie on September 20, 2014, 8:56 pm

        Me too! I thought it was someone lampooning Israeli excuses: OMG it’s not a land grab, it’s just a longer, more convoluted phrase for a landgrab. I didn’t steal the necklace, it was just sitting there and nobody was wearing it so I’m keeping it.

        Can’t really expect them to see how it’s a land grab, after all their whole damn country is stolen.

    • kma
      kma on September 20, 2014, 1:40 am

      I guess taking the West Bank away from Palestine is not a “land grab” if you consider the West Bank already taken by Israel. But what are the Palestinians still doing there? I call that apartheid, and what Israel is doing to the Palestinians is called ethnic cleansing.

      not “land grab”, just “genocide”.

    • Sulphurdunn
      Sulphurdunn on September 20, 2014, 1:44 pm

      You need to take a little stroll down international law lane and bone up on your non-existent knowledge of the obligations of occupying military forces and the rights of people under occupation. The part about it being a credit to Israel that Palestinians are allowed to petition such a government for redress of its arrogant violation of the rule of international law is particularly condescending.

  5. seafoid
    seafoid on September 18, 2014, 12:15 pm

    Wadi Fukin says Wudyu Fukoff to Rabid Judaism

    the Scots vote today on independence. the vote was taken for granted by the Government in London but they started to panic 10 days ago. Some instructive lessons for complacent Israeli Jews regarding popular will and historical trends here

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/df8e3328-34df-11e4-ba5d-00144feabdc0.html

    Electoral outcomes are driven by fundamentals, and the cold truth about the union/Israel’s unbreakable bond with the US is that the fundamentals binding it were weakening before Mr Alexander was born 46 years ago. The British empire/Holocaust, existential threats from the continent/Middle East, Protestantism/Judaism, the armed forces/IDF morality – the first two of these great adhesives have gone, the last two are not quite what they were. The substance of the union has been thinning out since 1945/2001.
    The UK/Israel is not an immutable fact of nature; it is a human design that can be undesigned when the circumstances that gave rise to it no longer obtain. The break-up of the union would be sad and a practical ordeal that would suck up years of work in both Westminster and Holyrood/DC and West Quds. But it would not be an aberration. Historical forces make it explicable.
    The coward’s way out is to avoid dwelling on the underlying trends that have chipped away at the union/Zionism for half a century, and to blame a few campaign chiefs instead. This is a lousy way of understanding what is happening in Scotland/The levant , and an even worse way of preparing for political movements to come.
    Trends point to the rise of English/Palestinian nationalism – already here in the disguised form of the UK Independence/Hamas scaring the shit out of Yossi I party – and demands by London/the Palestinians for more autonomy. Our obsession with the particular and the personal will blind us to these forces until they strike us in the face.

    go Palestine! History is on your side

  6. seafoid
    seafoid on September 18, 2014, 4:58 pm
  7. ivri
    ivri on September 18, 2014, 5:45 pm

    Indeed, signs are that the Israel-Palestine conflict is moving to yet another phase – this time in the West-Bank/Jerusalem region. The area has recently become immensely restive, with almost routine stones throwing and worse, and Israelis don`t visit anymore Arab neighborhoods. Until now Israel tried to avoid escalation by highly restrained counteracts but that is not a sustainable approach – it must break at some point The unstable détente that has held since the end of the second Intifada is gradually coming apart – the deep scares of it, which held off aggression until now (for about a decade and a half) are fading. The Gaza war played a role too in galvanized the West-Bank given Hamas` meaningful political influence there.
    Israelis and Palestinians are walking steadily into resumed violence – Intifada style – and in that they join an already turbulent region (which may have had its own impact here) – adding another active conflict flash-point. Time will tell how this round unfolds – but it it can`t be nice.

    • talknic
      talknic on September 19, 2014, 6:27 am

      @ ivri “Indeed, signs are that the Israel-Palestine conflict is moving to yet another phase .. “ … of the same territorial theft by the rogue state of Israel. Nothing has changed in over 66 years

      ” Israelis don`t visit anymore Arab neighborhoods. Until now Israel tried to avoid escalation by … “ … taking more land illegally and continuing to ignore International Law, the UN Charter and relative conventions

      You’re fooling yourself pal. Israel has never made any attempts to resolve the issue

    • eljay
      eljay on September 19, 2014, 1:15 pm

      >> ivrieee: Until now Israel tried to avoid escalation …

      …except on those occasions when the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” has engaged in stealing, occupying and colonizing Palestinian land and oppressing, torturing and killing Palestinians. IOW, since Day 1 and for over 60 years.

    • Shingo
      Shingo on September 19, 2014, 10:07 pm

      Until now Israel tried to avoid escalation by highly restrained counteracts but that is not a sustainable approach

      Yes, your idea of a highly restrained counteract is when a rapist punched his victim after she tried to stratch him.

      • annie
        annie on September 19, 2014, 11:14 pm

        The area has recently become immensely restive

        from 2012 ..a timeline: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/12/hebron-video-alleging-announcement-of-3rd-intifada

        These provocations seem aimed at sowing discord inside the Palestinian community at a time when Fatah and Hamas are trying to work out a unification deal and rallies approved by the PA celebrating Hamas’s 25 Anniversary are taking place is cities all across the West Bank

        curious how things just happen to get “restive” whenever fatah and hamas work towards unification.

        Until now Israel tried to avoid escalation by highly restrained counteracts but that is not a sustainable approach

        …..It rubs the Lotion on its skin it does this whenever it’s told (credit to seafoid)

    • annie
      annie on September 19, 2014, 11:27 pm

      Time will tell how this round unfolds – but it it can`t be nice.

      yes, we already know that. thanks for rubbing it in ivri

  8. on September 18, 2014, 8:24 pm

    What a refreshing article!
    Ms Lynn, keep up the good work

  9. Talkback
    Talkback on September 19, 2014, 8:10 am

    The “Jewish democracy” has NEVER EVER cared about the question, if land in hist. Palestine belongs to Gentiles or not. Whether this land is inside or outside of the borders in which it declared statehood. It just keeps on dispossesing, confiscating, expelling and enclaving.

    Whether the Gentile lives in Israel (25% of Arab Israelis have the status “present absentees” and no access to their land); whether he is a Gentile refugee whose land who according to customary international law, huan rights law and UN Resolution 181 should be a citizen of Israel; or whether lives in the occupied territories in which a third of the settlements are build on confiscated land.

    Has this ever happend to Jews? If yes, you know exactly with which kind of system we are dealing with here and what should be the necessary international reaction.

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