Israeli Gov’t mocks ‘Peace Talks’ with announcement of 1200 New Squatter homes in Occupied Palestine

The Israeli government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Sunday that it would take bids on nearly 1200 new housing units on Palestinian territory occupied by Israel.

The news from Tel Aviv further underlines what a charade the John Kerry-pushed “peace talks” are between a powerful Israel occupying some 4 million stateless Palestinians and the officials of the PLO (who lost the 2006 elections to Hamas before the CIA and Mossad made a coup for them in the West Bank). As RT notes, “Today, more than 100 Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank are home to some 560,000 Israelis living among 2.5 million Palestinians.” (‘Living among’ is apparently a euphemism for “stealing land from”).

The “peace talks” are supposed to lead to a Palestinian state with sovereignty over Palestinian territory, which is impossible as long as the Israeli squatters chomp away at the very land on which a state would be erected. Netanyahu’s spokesman said that the new building is only in parts of Palestinian territory that are not envisaged to return to the Palestinians from Israeli control in any negotiations. But the new building includes venues like East Jerusalem or the West Bank that Palestinians do in fact envisage recovering in any successful peace talks. Netanyahu is simply dictating beforehand what the Palestinians can have, rather as Elysium dictates to the slum-dwellers of earth in the Blomkamp film.

Negotiating with the Israelis over land they are actively stealing is like negotiating with with a glutton over a cake while he is eating it in another room. You might get some crumbs.

Israel militarily occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in 1967. The United Nations charter, to which it is signatory, forbids the acquisition of territory by military conquest. The Geneva Convention of 1949 on the treatment of militarily occupied peoples forbids the transfer of populations from the Occupying Power into the occupied territory and forbids the Occupier from altering the lifeways of the occupied population. Israel’s occupation practices diverge so profoundly from international law that the Occupation itself is now obviously illegal. The European Union, for this reason, is now applying economic sanctions to Israeli-made goods deriving from squatter settlements on the Palestinian West Bank.

Aljazeera English reports:

The USG Open Source Center translates an article from al-Ayyam for August 11, 2013, on Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat’s outrage over the Israeli announcement, coming on the eve of resumption of talks between the two sides. Excerpt:

‘Dr Saeb Erekat, chief of the Palestinian negotiating delegation, has lodged the first complaint with the US Administration against the Israeli side, which, he said, started violating the rules of the negotiations before they actually start. In a letter he addressed the day before yesterday to US Secretary of State John Kerry, Erekat said: “Without halting settlement construction, it is hard to see the negotiations advance toward reaching a peace agreement.”

The letter included a detailed explanation of the settlement plans announced by Israel after the official start of the negotiations in Washington. The plans included establishing around 800 settlement units in settlements in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, besides 63 settlement units in the Jabal al-Mukabbir quarter in occupied East Jerusalem, 110 settlements in the settlement of Shilo, 559 units in the settlement of Talmon, 38 units in the settlement of Kokhav Ya’qov, 78 units in the Galgal settlement in the Jordan Valley, 31 units in the Almog settlement north of the Dead Sea, and 60 units in the settlement of Alon Shavot located within the bloc of Gush Etzion.

In his letter, Erekat also protested the placement of 91 settlements, established in the occupied Palestinian territories, on the list of the areas of “national preference” in Israel, including four settlement outposts set up by the settlers on Palestinian lands, even without licensing by the competent Israeli authorities. He said that “approving these plans one week after announcing the resumption of negotiations is not a coincidence and points to the lack of seriousness on the part of Israel toward the peace process.” ‘

Erekat is no hard liner. The Palestine Papers leaked to Aljazeera show that behind the scenes he has been willing to give away to Israel Palestinian claims on East Jerusalem and control of the Aqsa Mosque in ways that most Palestinians found shocking.

Netanyahu likely made the announcement to mollify the extremist pro-squatter parties in his own cabinet, who denounced peace talks that might lead Israel to give up any of the West Bank as equivalent to another “Auschwitz.” Since the Israeli prime minister does not plan to negotiate in good faith or to permit Palestinians to have the dignity of citizenship in a state of their own, he may as well keep his coalition together with such frank announcements.

29 Responses

  1. St John of Kerry among the Israelites:

    “You have been weighed and you have been measured, and we have been pleased. Kind of. Well, not too damn pleased, if truth be told. In fact, a little pissed off, but what are we going do about it?

    Amen I say to you: raise the siege of Gaza, cease the internal displacement & exile of Israeli Arabs, quit burning Palestinian olive groves in the West Bank and building those crappy Rego Park knockoffs on top of the charred stumps. I ask you in the name of all that is holy. Please. Thank you.

    And next time, I warn thee, O Israel, I’m going to read you my Letter Concerning the Persians. The whole thing.

    Shalom and good night.”

  2. This is well past the point of the absurd!
    The only possible explanation is the U.S. is complicit in the destruction of Palestine. End of story and the beginning of he end; the M.E. will ultimately be the end of us.
    And the beat goes on until it doesn’t; coming soon, to an area near you…

  3. For the Israelis, the Green Line, or the pre-’67 borders of Israel, means very little, no more than the original demarcation defining the boundaries of an a Jewish state on 55% of Palestine envisioned in UN General Assembly Resolution 184, of November 1947, which Israel invokes as its claim to international legitimacy. The ’67 borders was merely an armistice line which was negotiated with the United Nations in order to stop the fighting between warring parties in the summer of 1948.
    David Ben Gurion made it clear that, as head of the Jewish Agency, the proto-government of what was to become the state of Israel, he would accept UNGA Resolution 184 in order to gain legitimacy and a foothold in Palestine, but that he would recognize no constraints on Israel ‘right to expand to all of Palestine. Indeed, in a letter to his son, also in 1937, he stated:
    We must expel the Arabs and take their places and if we have to use force, to guarantee our own right to settle in those places ¬ then we have force at our disposal.
    “We do not seek an agreement with the [Palestinian] Arabs in order to secure the peace. Of course we regard peace as an essential thing. It is impossible to build up the country in a state of permanent warfare. But peace for us is a mean, and not an end. The end is the fulfillment of Zionism in its maximum scope. Only for this reason do we need peace, and do we need an agreement.” (Shabtai Teveth, p. 168)
    “I don’t regard a state in part of Palestine as the final aim of Zionism, but as a mean toward that aim.” (Shabtai Teveth, p. 188)
    He also stated to his son Amos in October 1937 that a “Jewish state” in part of Palestine was:
    “not the end, but only the beginning.” Its establishment would give a “powerful boost to our historic efforts to redeem the country in its entirety.” For the “Jewish state” would have “outstanding army– I have no doubt that our army will be among the world’s outstanding–and so I am certain that we won’t be constrained from settling in the rest of the country, either by mutual agreement and understanding with our Arab neighbors, or by some other way. . . . . I still believe . . . . that after we become numerous and strong, the Arabs will understand that it is best for them to strike an alliance with us, and to benefit from our help, providing they allow us by their good will to settle in all parts of Palestine.” (Shabtai Teveth, p. 188, The Complete Translated Letter translated by IPS and here is the original in Hebrew)
    The Zionist project of building an exclusive state, the State of Israel, has never diverged or wavered from the maximalist territorial ambitions formulated by David Ben Gurion almost 100 years ago. Nor did those preceding him, Theodore Herzl, Vladimir Jabotinsky envision a Jewish state on anything less than all of Palestine.
    The boundaries alluded to in UN SC Resolution 242 mean absolutely nothing to Mr Netanyahu and the Zionist project of ‘redeeming’ all of ‘the Land of Israel’.

  4. For the Israelis, the Green Line, or the pre-’67 borders of Israel, means very little, no more than the original demarcation defining the boundaries of an a Jewish state on 55% of Palestine envisioned in UN General Assembly Resolution 184, of November 1947, which Israel invokes as its claim to international legitimacy. The ’67 borders was merely an armistice line which was negotiated with the United Nations in order to stop the fighting between warring parties in the summer of 1948.

    David Ben Gurion made it clear that, as head of the Jewish Agency, the proto-government of what was to become the government of state of Israel, he would accept UNGA Resolution 184 in order to gain legitimacy and a foothold in Palestine, but that it would not sonstitute a constraint on Israel’s ‘right to expand to all of Palestine’.

    Indeed, in a letter to his son, also in 1937, he stated:
    “We must expel the Arabs and take their places and if we have to use force, to guarantee our own right to settle in those places, then we have force at our disposal.

    And:

    “We do not seek an agreement with the [Palestinian] Arabs in order to secure the peace. Of course we regard peace as an essential thing. It is impossible to build up the country in a state of permanent warfare. But peace for us is a mean, and not an end. The end is the fulfillment of Zionism in its maximum scope. Only for this reason do we need peace, and do we need an agreement.” (Shabtai Teveth, p. 168)

    “I don’t regard a state in part of Palestine as the final aim of Zionism, but as a mean toward that aim.” (Shabtai Teveth, p. 188)

    He also stated to his son Amos in October 1937 that a “Jewish state” in part of Palestine was:

    “not the end, but only the beginning.” Its establishment would give a “powerful boost to our historic efforts to redeem the country in its entirety.” For the “Jewish state” would have “outstanding army– I have no doubt that our army will be among the world’s outstanding–and so I am certain that we won’t be constrained from settling in the rest of the country, either by mutual agreement and understanding with our Arab neighbors, or by some other way. . . . . I still believe . . . . that after we become numerous and strong, the Arabs will understand that it is best for them to strike an alliance with us, and to benefit from our help, providing they allow us by their good will to settle in all parts of Palestine.” (Shabtai Teveth, p. 188, The Complete Translated Letter translated by IPS and here is the original in Hebrew)

    The Zionist project of building an exclusive state, the State of Israel, has never diverged or wavered from the maximalist territorial ambitions formulated by David Ben Gurion almost 100 years ago. Nor did those preceding him, Theodore Herzl, Vladimir Jabotinsky envision a Jewish state on anything less than all of Palestine.

    The boundaries alluded to in UN SC Resolution 242 mean absolutely nothing to Mr Netanyahu and the Zionist project of ‘redeeming’ all of ‘the Land of Israel’. for them, it only refers back to a temporary armistice line, and lacks the weight of what Netanyahu describes as ‘the historical right of the Jewish people to settle ‘the land of Israel.’

    • Your early history may be right, but they ran straight into a Palestinian nationalist revolution, now endorsed by the world community. No amount of settlements built to wipe Palestine off the face of the earth will solve Israel’s problems.

    • BTW. The term ‘Land of Israel’ has a Christian origin, and is first found in Mark in the New Testament written in the first century CE, if it was not a later insertion.

      This term has replaced ‘Palestine’ in the lexicon of most all Israelis.

      The ‘Land of Canaan’ occurs many times in the New Testament, or the Torah.

  5. “The Israeli government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Sunday that it would take bids on nearly 1200 new housing units on Palestinian territory occupied by Israel.”

    More evidence the current “peace talks” are a charade.

  6. From the article by independent.co.uk linked at the beginning of this article:

    Mr Netanyahu, said: “As prime minister of Israel, I will not allow the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who live in the West Bank, Golan Heights or our united capital, Jerusalem, to be harmed. We will not accept any external diktats about our borders. This matter will settled only in direct negotiations between the parties.”

    ‘Negotiations’ meaning, “We’re going to have to ask you to go ahead and be bend over, Israel is going to annex and assimilate you, like it or not”?

  7. I’m always interested to see the comments in response to Israeli/Palestinian articles printed here.
    There appears to be far fewer responses than to many other similar stories.
    Is this really the case? and if it is what is driving this- lack of interest, self censorship, fear(of being labeled anti Semite)?

  8. Secretary Kerry does not seem one to play charades in foreign policy. It will take time to unwind thirty years of US Middle East policy.

  9. For some reason, every Palestinian-Israeli negotiation (attempt) follows the same formula: free prisoners and authorize more settlements. Why do “peace” talks have to begin this way??

  10. William James Martin

    The traditional position of the Christian Church, western and eastern sees was that “Israel” meant the Christian Church after the Jews rejected Christ. This went hand in hand with the doctrine of the conditionality on obedience of the Abrahamic Covenant-to be obedient, Jews must convert to Christianity. The land of Israel might as well have meant the Land of the Christian Church,some remnant converted Jews grafted in,all told, the spiritual Seed of Abraham.
    It wasn’t until the 19th century’s premillenial dispensationalists (“Christian” Zionists) read it any other way.

  11. Livia Rokach, daughter of the former mayor of Tel Aviv, authored the Book “Israel’s Sacred Terrorism” which were based on the diaries of long time foreign minister Moshe Sharret who also briefly served as Israel’s prime minister in the 1950s. She is quoted:

    “The creation of a siege mentality in Israeli society was necessary to complement the pre-fabricated myth of the Arab threat. The two elements were intended to feed each other. Although Israeli society faced a serious risk of social and cultural disintegration under the impact of a mass imigration of Asian and North african jews into the pre-State’s ideologically homogenous community, the purpose of the siege mentality was not so much that of attaining a defensive cohesiveness in Israel’s Jewish society. It was principally calculated to ‘eliminate the moral brakes’ required for a society to fully support a policy which constituted a complete reversal of the collective ethical code on which its formal education was based and from which it was supposed to derive its vital strength. Of course, this ethical code had not been respected in the past either. Aggression and terrorism had been exercised by the Zionists before and during the 1947/48 war…….”

    The book describes how Israel uses the myth of “security” to justify a violent expansionist agenda and to cover it up with a policy of disseminating disinformation.

    Livia Rokach committed suicide in Rome in 1984, four years after the book’s publication.

  12. Mollify hardliners?

    Or blow up the talks?

    It looks, to me, very similar to the way Hamas used to carry out terrorist bombings when Arafat was about to begin talks with Israel.

  13. All of these anti-peace-talks comments seem to overlook a rather important point:

    Not engaging in talks is 100% guaranteed to result in the continued expropriation of Palestinian land.

    What’s the plan here?

    What are the steps that come between “Don’t engage in talks” and “Secure a Palestinian homeland?”

    • Nice fake conundrum, in the form of a seemingly reasonable talking point. You are a smart, subtle guy; you do that stuff well. The basic facts are that the Israeli rulers are, based on the history and the current behaviors and any other predictor I can see, just going to plow and bulldoze and chainsaw their way ahead. A “reality-based” claimant like yourself knows that darn well, and one might wonder about what you think an appropriate end point would be for this Arab-galling, destabilizing, shock-wave-and-blowback-and-“casus-impetus improvisus ac violentus”-generating US complicity in de-stating a population. And c’mon, now challenge that conclusion by demanding a string cite to establish it.

      The comments here are scarcely “anti-peace-talk,” but extra points to you for artfully dishonest framing. Talk or no talk, the pretty clear nature of the situation is that the Israeli rulers and business interests (surprisingly a mostly perfectly overlapping single set) intend to dispossess those ‘other people’ from “their” land. And I don’t know, you never say, whether your work station or just your allegiance lies in the West Wing and the alphabet soup of agencies it is appended to. But kudos for subtle Socratic regular appearances here and elsewhere to reinforce a certain set of talking points and induce “approved” modes of thought.

      This is more complete than what the Germans did in Czechoslovakia (and what was eventually done back to them), from the Armistice to the Surrender. People can learn from observing what’s worked before.

      • Uh huh, asking how this is supposed to help the Palestinians is a “fake conundrum.”

        You know, some of us actually consider the issue of getting to the establishment of a Palestinian homeland to be important in and of itself, and not merely a jumping off point for talking about how much he hate Israel and the US.

        I asked you for a plan, and you gave me angry boilerplate about what a terrible person I am for asking.

        I guess that answers that question.

      • The comments here are scarcely “anti-peace-talk,” but extra points to you for artfully dishonest framing.

        Ahem:

        More evidence the current “peace talks” are a charade.

        ‘Negotiations’ meaning, “We’re going to have to ask you to go ahead and be bend over, Israel is going to annex and assimilate you, like it or not”?

        This is how it works. Israel does what it wants. All the parties at the negotiations are just playing along.

        No, JT, everyone is absolutely *$%&ing giddy about the talks. Does anything ever happen inside your skull besides “That guy I hate on the internet must be wrong?”

        • Joe: If a doctor observed you for some period of time and made some diagnosis you didn’t like, would you take it as personal criticism? Or would you consider he might know what he is talking about and it might be a good idea to be open-minded and give his opinion some respect?

        • “Joe: If a doctor observed you for some period of time and made some diagnosis you didn’t like, would you take it as personal criticism? Or would you consider he might know what he is talking about and it might be a good idea to be open-minded and give his opinion some respect?”

          Your response to Joe, taken at face value and not as an analogy, has merit, Mr. Bodden. As an analogy, however, it fails utterly. the metaphorical “doctor” to whom you refer, and to whose comment Joe was responding, has demonstrated neither open-mindedness nor respect for opinions that are not in accord with his own. He spews contempt for those with a different viewpoint. Such a “doctor’s” diagnosis does not deserve any more respect than he deigns to give others’ opinions.

        • I think I see what you’re saying now, Bill.

          If the doctor’s “diagnosis” was that I was a charade and a fraud, yes I’d take that as personal criticism. You wouldn’t?

          But here’s the thing: I didn’t write anything about the merits of the anti-peace talks points. I asked a different question, one about prescription, not diagnosis.

        • Joe claims to think, with unspecified others, that establishing a Palestinian homeland is “important in and of itself.” Very well and good. The “talking” remedy proposed as I guess part of his plan has proven about as worthless as Krebiozen to a cancer patient: Take this stuff if you can stand it, belieeeeve, and all the while the cancer eats away at your vitals. link to en.wikipedia.org

          If Joe is among those who think that Palestinian homeland is a actually a good idea, and more important if he is plugged in as implied and able to influence actual Imperial behavior, then how do you stop the endless thumbsucking and handholding and bootlicking by the US administration, which if it was a priority should (other than those pesky 4-500 nukes and all the arms we have paid for that make up most of the IDF’s inventory and whatever the various spies have turned up on our Rulership’ personal and professional defalcations and predations and prevarications) be a relatively straightforward item on the checklist.

          Don’t make it personal, Joe. “Hate the sin, but love the sinner.” This actually, even though mostly impotently, is what many folks here and in the rest of the chattering universe have in their hearts: They see Business As Usual, in which they find themselves so inextricably bound and wired, is F___ED UP, and killing people and societies and the planet, and are groping toward an understanding, to follow another metaphor, of the disease process. Like the medical types are struggling to do with cancer, that multifaceted Hydra of a horror, and HIV that morphs as you look at it just as you think you’ve found the “OFF” switch, and the rest. Seen the satellite photos of Syria, before and now durrent? That conflict is not “sui generis,” it;s the product of stuff that has gone on for centuries to the advantage of the Few and loss of the Many. “War is Heaven” for the Brass and their suppliers. The Imperial-Militarist-Corporate framing that is imposed and heavily promoted has the intent and effect, as far as I can see, of FOSTERING the disease process to the advantage of the parasites, pathogens and malignancies. And there are lots of very subtle people who find it in their interest, consciously or not, to help the HIV and tumor cells hide their real nature and intent from whatever is left of homeostasis and meta-stability and the immune system.

  14. This is how it works. Israel does what it wants. All the parties at the negotiations are just playing along. The Israeli population and government have walled themselves off and will continue the subjugation at full speed The Palestinians hold no leverage and know it. The US congress acts like an Israeli client state. The US executive is beholden to swing state voters in Florida. Lastly the G-8 or G-20 or G-whatever standby knowing that crazy Jews are preferable to crazy Arabs, who, were it not for AIDS infected sub-Saharan Africa, would be the most destitute people on the planet.

  15. Dear Professor Cole

    Mr Kerry has insulted my intelligence this morning.

    The US has urged the Palestinians “not to react adversely” to Israel’s approval of 1,200 new settlement homes only days before peace talks resume.

    The Israelis are holding the detainees hostage.

    link to m.bbc.co.uk

    US State Department has thrown the Palestinians under a bus.

    Are we complicit in this crime if we do not protest?

  16. Well, Israel is releasing some terrorist prisoners in exchange. Also, many of these “squatter” homes are built in Jerusalem, which Israel has made clear it will not divide (the Arab residents of the city largely don’t want to be transferred to Palestinian sovereignty either, and a divided city is usually a mess, especially economically), and the settlement blocs that it intends to keep. Even the Palestinians say that Israel can keep these areas if it commits to land swaps. I don’t see what the problem is here.

    • The problem is that Israel, via the current administration, is making a point of sabotaging the peace talks by unilaterally giving the go ahead to build new structures on land that they have no legitimate ownership of.

      Whether the Palestinians are willing to trade away those areas is less significant than the fact that no such agreement has been struck, and that the move signals – intentionally – that Israel has no interest in negotiating with the Palestinians who have no leverage to achieve their own interests.

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