- No wonder Palestinians want and deserve statehood, as
well as full UN membership to be able to seek World Court redress, and
be able to sue under Genocide Convention provisions, and why not.
- Israel's lawless hypocrisy is shameless given what goes
on daily - bombings, killings, mass arrests, settlement expansions, dispossessions,
and other civil and human rights abuses on an ongoing basis. More on that
- On September 5, ahead of the September General Assembly
meeting, Netanuyahu predictably said he wants peace talks restarted with
no chance whatever of succeeding like all previous attempts for decades
because Israeli violence is official policy.
- Nonetheless, after meeting with Belgian Prime Minister
Yyves Leterme, he said:
- Abbas "can come to Jerusalem. I could go to Ramallah,
or we could both go to Brussels." In fact, the proper response to
a man spurning peace is go to hell, in diplomatic language, of course.
- Netanyahu's gambit is another attempt to pressure Abbas
to back off from seeking statehood and full UN membership.
- Plans to petition the General Assembly still stand, though
perhaps with less resolve than earlier based on recent comments and a new
- Instead of seeking recognition within 1967 borders, 22%
of sovereign Palestine, a new proposal seeks statehood with permanent borders
to be determined in later negotiations with Israel. It still wants them
as originally drafted, but with more flexibility.
- In other words, with enough wiggle room for Israel to
maneuver Palestine into an unacceptable position it can't refuse, the way
Oslo turned out. It left Palestinian rights entirely out of the final agreement
at the same time Israeli terror attacks continued then and now.
- Overnight Monday, Israeli planes raided an area west
of the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. No injuries were reported.
In recent weeks, numerous others killed or wounded scores of Gazans.
- The same day, Israeli forces detained 20 West Bank "wanted
Palestinians," for the crime perhaps of wanting freedom.
- Palestinian lawmaker Mohammed Abu Teir was also arrested
and his home ransacked. Former PA Jerusalem affairs minister Khalid Abu
Arafa expressed concern after Israel earlier revoked his city ID card.
- Then in December an Israeli court expelled him to Ramallah
for the second time after imprisoning him for four months for ignoring
a previous ban. At issue is his Hamas affiliation, Palestine's legitimate
government, wrongfully designated a terrorist organization.
- An August 30 B'Tselem report discussed earlier in the
month incidents. On August 19, an Israeli missile killed Gaza City's Mu'ataz
Kreqa', his two-year old son and brother Munzar. Others nearby were wounded.
- On August 19, a Gaza wastewater treatment facility, its
main one, was bombed north of the Nuseirat refugee camp. It was one of
many Israeli acts of vengeance against people for the crime of not being
- On August 25, the Beit Lahiya a-Salam Sports Club was
bombed, belonging to Islamic Jihad. Two civilians were killed, another
20 wounded, and the attack destroyed much of the building used as a kindergarten
and school. Nearby houses were also damaged.
- These and many other attacks are serious breaches of
international law, yet Israel gets off every time with impunity.
- Israeli Mistreatment of Jews
- Growing numbers of Israeli Jews are also treated with
disdain. An August 29 Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) report
explained headlined, "Putting Israel's Periphery in the Center,"
- "The gaps between" Israel's center and its
so-called periphery "have reached an all-time high, as a result of
- For example, the number of people with diabetes is four
times higher among periphery located poor than wealthier center of Israel
residents. The rate of families living in poverty is three times higher,
and job seeker rate in the southern city of Kiryat Gat is triple the Tel
- As a result, besides weeks of social justice protests
in cities across Israel, an August 28 march left from the Yeruham local
council in Israel's south heading towards Netanyahu's Jerusalem residence.
- Yeruham Local Council head Michael Bitton and Amram Mitzna
led it. Its purpose was to raise public awareness of extreme social injustice
in Israel's periphery.
- ACRI attorney Tali Nir, Director of its Social and Economic
Rights Department, said:
- "(T)he economic logic, upon witch the Israeli economy
is founded, is based on the assumption that market forces will generate
a trickle-down effect from the rich to the rest of Israel's citizens. But
this trickling is limited and meager."
- "Thanks to the economic growth, wealth has been"
concentrated in a few hands in Israeli's center, "and does not reach
the south, the north, or" even most Israelis in the center.
- "This is an inequality-promoting policy. The current
socioeconomic policy helps those who are powerful to become even more powerful,
and those who are weak to become even weaker."
- Moreover, those in the middle keep getting weaker and
are gradually "vanishing. Unfortunately, in recent years the term
'periphery' has begun to serve as a euphemism for the term 'the majority
of the citizens of Israel.' "
- How wide is the gap, ACRI asked?
- In 2008, Tel Aviv had 5.5 doctors per 1,000 persons compared
to 1.6 in the North and 2.1 in the South per 1,000 population.
- In Israel's center, the rate of "expert physicians"
among doctors was 72%, 82% in Tel Aviv. In the North and South respectively,
it was 58% and 57%.
- In Israel's center, individuals with no private or supplementary
health insurance was 11%. In Jerusalem it's 31% and 23% in Israel's North
(except for less adequate public coverage).
- In Israel center, 6% of its residents skipped a doctor
appointment because of cost. In Israel's North, it was 16%, 12% in Jerusalem,
and 10% in the South.
- Diabetes among wealthy Israeli is 4%. Among Ethiopian
immigrants, it's 17%. In Ethiopia, it was zero. Among Israel's poor, it's
- Average life expectancy in the wealthy city of Raanana
is 83.7 years. In Nazareth, a northern Arab city, it's 75.7 years.
- In 2009, those eligible for a high school diploma was
66%. In Raanana, it's 76% In poorer areas, it's 47.3% and among Arab Israelis
it's 34.4%. In Lod, it's 37%.
- For the 2008-09 academic year, the college graduate rate
among 20 - 29 year olds in Tel Aviv was about 20%. In Or Yehuda, it was
- In 2009, poverty in Israel's center was 13%. In Jerusalem
it was 33.7%, 32.3% in the North and 23.6% in the South.
- In 2009, the percent of workers paid less than minimum
wage was 35.5% in Israel's center and 38% in Tel Aviv. In Jerusalem it
was 45.7%, 44.9% in the North and 44.1% in the South.
- In 2010, 3.1% of Tel Aviv residents were job seekers.
In Kiryat Gar, it was 10.4%.
- In 2007, 57% of workers in high tech jobs lived in Tel
Aviv and other Israeli center cities. Only 5% live in Jerusalem and its
- In 2008, 0.83% of Tel Aviv area residents got income
support. In Kiryat Malachi, it was 3.83%.
- In 2008, 140.7 applications per 1,000 population sought
social services help in Israel's center. In its periphery, it was 184.2.
- In the past decade, Israel's high tech industry thrived
mainly in its center. Not only don't periphery residents benefit, they
aren't getting the required education or training to do it.
- As a result, a self-perpetuating socio-economic gap defines
the two areas. According to University of Haifa Dean of the education faculty
- "You have a shortage of good teachers, a lack of
laboratories and facilities, less choice of subjects, and it translates
to lower levels of opportunities" in periphery areas.
- Despite various efforts to improve opportunities through
special programs outside of conventional classrooms, most education leading
to high tech and other good employment takes place in them.
- As a result, for periphery areas to keep up, resources
must be allocated for them. Efforts are being made to do it, but much more
needs to be done.
- So far, Israel's wealth gap and privileges with it remain
extreme, leaving most Jews socially and economically deprived.
- It's shown up for weeks with hundreds of thousands of
Israelis protesting for long denied social justice they'll have a long
struggle ahead to get because Netanyahu and other officials will go to
extremes to deny them.
- Only continued pressure may turn the tide. It remains
to be seen if most Israelis are in the struggle for the long haul. It's
their only chance.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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