- Israel is a repressive rogue state. Netanyahu bombs Gaza
and attacks fishermen while talking peace.
- On October 10, without provocation, Israeli jets bombed
northern Gaza. An explosion rocked Rafah city. So far, no cause is known
but Israel most likely is responsible.
- Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian home near
Bethlehem after military forces invaded Jab'a village. Palestinians were
prevented from entering or leaving.
- On October 6, Israeli forces demolished homes, barns
and barracks belonging to Palestinian shepherds in Wadi Al-Maleh and Al-Hamma
north of the Jordan Valley.
- At the same time, IDF troops stormed Beit Kahlil northwest
of Hebron. Another Palestinian home was destroyed. Olive trees were uprooted
and other property bulldozed. Soldiers fired tear gas at residents trying
to stop them.
- On October 8, Israeli gunboats opened fire on Gazan fishermen,
causing extensive damage. No casualties were reported. At-Tawfeeq Society
of Fishermen head Mahmoud Al Aassy said Israel terrorizes Gazans to deter
them from fishing to earn a living and feed their families.
- Similar incidents occurred earlier in October and many
previous times, causing damage and casualties. In addition, dozens of fishermen
have been kidnapped. Their boats and equipment were destroyed. As a result,
Palestinians risk life and limb to fish.
- Since the second Intifada began in September 2000, the
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights said Israel attacked Palestinian fishermen
229 times, killing six and injuring 22. In addition, 29 fishermen were
kidnapped and 67 boats confiscated without cause.
- Israel contemptuously flouts the most fundamental international
laws and norms, operating lawlessly with impunity. But Netanyahu wants
- Correction - he wants unconditional surrender to Israeli
demands like in decades of previous one-sided negotiations. Palestinians
only were awarded the right to enforce their own occupation.
- Nonetheless, Ma'an News said Quartet members want Israelis
and Palestinians to resume talks within days, no matter their futility.
- So far, PA officials refuse unless Israel halts settlement
construction on stolen Palestinian land. Netanyahu flatly refuses.
- On Sunday, a PA statement said:
- "The Quartet must tell Israel that it cannot pretend
to accept its initiative while flagrantly breaching its terms."
- Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said if Israel "recognizes
the 1967 borders and freezes settlements, we are ready to go immediately"
to talks. Israel wants them resumed with no preconditions so terrorizing
Palestinians can continue with impunity.
- Netanyahu's Extremist Government
- Elected in February 2009, Netanyahu's coalition government
is Israel's worst ever. Notably, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister
Avigdor Lieberman is a notorious racist ultranationalist.
- On Israeli Radio in November 2006, he called for assassinating
"militant" Palestinian leaders (meaning from Hamas and other
resistance groups), saying:
- "They have to disappear, go to Paradise, all of
them and there can't be any compromise."
- He also deplores peace, repudiates previous agreements,
calls Israeli Arabs a fifth column threat to Israel's security, and wants
them forcibly deported.
- In 1998, he called for bombing Egypt's Aswan Dam to cause
flooding in retaliation for Mubarak's support for Arafat.
- In 2001, as National Infrastructure Minister, he proposed
dividing the West Bank into four isolated cantons, denying Palestinians
free movement outside their own.
- In 2002, Yedioth Ahronoth quoted him saying in a cabinet
meeting that Palestinians should be told that "(a)t 8AM, we'll bomb
all the commercial centers. At noon, we'll bomb their gas stations. At
two, we'll bomb their banks."
- In 2003, Haaretz said he called for drowning Palestinian
prisoners in the Dead Sea, offering to provide buses to take them there.
- In 2004, he proposed annexing Israeli West Bank settlements.
He also demanded Israeli Arabs pledge loyalty to Israel as a democratic
Jewish state or be deported.
- In 2006, he called for killing Arab Knesset members who
met members of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (PA).
- Israel's current government is its worst ever. Netanyahu
is its most extremist prime minister, exceeding the worst of Ariel Sharon
and past right wing rogues. Lieberman is an embarrassment, an incendiary
racist. Majority Knesset members go along.
- Likud Party Platform
- Its "Peace & Security" chapter outlines
extremist views stating:
- "A unilateral Palestinian declaration of the establishment
of a Palestinian state will constitute a fundamental and substantive violation
of the agreements with the State of Israel and the scuttling of the Oslo
and Wye accords. The government will adopt immediate stringent measures
in the event of such a declaration."
- Moreover, the "Government of Israel flatly rejects
the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan....The
Jordan River will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel."
- In other words, no Palestinian state will be allowed
in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem (22% of historic Palestine within
- Fact check
- Palestine is a state. In 1988, over 100 countries recognized
its Declaration of Independence. Today, an overwhelming majority of UN
member states do so. Only Israel, Washington and a handful of rogue partners
- Jewish West Bank/Jerusalem settlements represent "a
clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people" to
steal Palestinian land with impunity.
- Likud believes Israel is entitled to all Palestinian
territory it wishes. It calls ending the Israeli/Palestinian conflict dependent
on its leaders accepting all Israeli demands.
- "Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the
State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian
proposals to divide Jerusalem....The government firmly rejects attempts
of various sources in the world....to question Jerusalem's status as Israel's
- Fact check
- On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly passed
Resolution 181, the Palestine Partition Plan. It granted 56% of historic
Palestine to Jews (with one-third of the population), 42% to Palestinians,
with Jerusalem designated an international city (a corpus separatum - separate
body) under a UN Trusteeship Council.
- The area includes all Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Beit Sahour,
and Christian holy sites.
- Internationally recognized, including by Washington,
Resolution 181 remains binding today.
- Moreover, it called for establishing an Independent Arab
state by October 1, 1948, asking:
- "all Governments and peoples to refrain from taking
any action which might hamper or delay the carrying out of these recommendations."
It also called for the Security Council to take all "necessary measures
as provided for in the plan for its implementation."
- Israel's 1948 "War of Independence" intervened,
stealing 78% of historic Palestine. In June 1967, it took the rest, including
Jerusalem as Israel's sole capital.
- It also occupied Syria's Golan. Syria wants it back.
Israel flatly refuses. Likud's platform says Israel has sole "sovereignty
over the area. The government will continue to strengthen Jewish settlement(s)
on the Golan."
- For over 30 years, Palestinians sought peace. Israel
demands unconditional surrender. Negotiating in good faith was never its
- As a result, Palestinians never had a legitimate partner.
Netanyahu and Lieberman abhor peace. So does Washington, assuring the futility
of new talks like previous ones.
- A Final Comment
- In July and August, Israelis staged mass nationwide social
justice protests, similar to ones ongoing in hundreds of US and European
- Major grievances include:
- extreme wealth disparity;
- unaffordable housing, creating an intolerable burden
for growing numbers being priced out of a place to live;
- high food and energy prices;
- low wages and eroding social benefits;
- onerous taxes on working households;
- lack of free education and better healthcare benefits;
- weak labor rights;
- a disproportionate amount of construction funding for
settlement development, leaving too little to build affordable housing
- Israel spends double the amount per settlement resident
compared to others Israelis. In fact, since the 1990s, it's been official
government policy to encourage population shifts to West Bank and East
Jerusalem locations, depriving most Israelis in the process. In addition,
Israel spends over $700 million annually on occupation, besides an inordinate
amount on defense at the expense of social needs.
- the "high cost of raising children," the common
ignored complaint voiced by most Israelis.
- Largely dismissive, Netanyahu last August appointed former
government official Manuel Trajtenberg to head a 14-member "panel
for socioeconomic change." At the time, he said proposed solutions
must be "economically sound."
- In other words, business as usual was mandated. Trajtenberg's
establishment panel included senior government officials, assuring neoliberal
continuity with little change.
- On September 26, Trajtenberg issued his report. Social
protest leaders called it a "blatant insult," vowing renewed
mass nationwide demonstrations. On October 9, Israel's cabinet accepted
- On October 10, Haaretz headlined, "Israel protest
leaders vow to escalate fight, after cabinet approves Trajtenberg report,"
- They promised "renewed demonstrations" against
Trajtenberg's cosmetic changes, leaving vital issues poorly or unaddressed.
- National Student Union chairman Itzik Shumuli said "it
didn't do enough to increase the housing supply (especially public housing)
or reduce the cost of living and combat the widespread use of temporary
- Others want more spending but didn't get it. Instead,
small amounts of money in Israel's existing budget were shifted from defense
to social issues, but not enough to matter.
- According to protest leader Daphni Leef:
- "This committee received a limited charter, a pathetic
charter, and it fulfilled (it) completely. We asked for a root canal and
instead got our teeth cleaned. The summer of 2011 may be over, but our
protest continues....We will not be mocked any longer or taken for granted."
- For decades, neoliberal harshness harmed Israelis like
Americans and Europeans. Millions demand real change, raging against policies
- Fed up, they've occupied hundreds of cities. So did Israelis
last summer. Betrayed, they'll be out again, knowing it's them against
hardline Netanyahu extremists determined to maintain status quo pain.
- Confrontations may follow. Follow-up articles will discuss
global progress or lack of it.
- Stay tuned and get involved because everyone not super-rich
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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