- On December 23, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid headlined,
"EU voices protest over Israeli policies in East Jerusalem, West Bank,"
- "A day after four European Union members of the
UN Security Council strongly criticized Israel's decision to speed up construction
- "EU ambassador to Israel Andrew Standley on Thursday
submitted a formal protest to the Foreign Ministry over evacuating Bedouins
and tearing down Palestinians' houses in the E1 area near" Ma'aleh
- Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) Director
Jeff Halper called it a major development, saying:
- "The significance of this development is not only
the creation of a greater Jerusalem that controls the center of the West
Bank, but the emergence of Israeli Occupation territorial contiguity, that
effectively eliminates the two state solution."
- ICAHD's Co-Director Itay Epshtain added:
- "ICAHD has long cautioned about the emergence of
a greater Jerusalem linking the Judaization of East Jerusalem and displacement
of Bedouins in E1, with the development of Ma'aleh Adumim, all the way
to the Jordan Valley."
- On December 20, Washington vetoed a Security Council
resolution condemning Israel's latest settlement expansion plans. In response,
all 14 other SC members rebuked America's decision.
- Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin called the move
"historic." Dismissing a 14 - 1 vote, Washington called the SC
divided. In fact, nearly the entire world's on one side, America and Israel
on the other. The same's held earlier for decades. Palestinians are denied
- Israel denounced EU members' criticism. A Foreign Ministry
statement said they should refrain from "interfering" in Israel's
"internal" affairs, and focus solely on restarting peace talks.
- UK, French, German and Portugese officials said Israel's
settlement expansions undermine efforts to do it. In a joint statement,
- "Israel's continuing announcements to accelerate
the construction of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,
including East Jerusalem, send a devastating message."
- They called for halting them immediately. They also want
settlers responsible for violence prosecuted. Without explicitly naming
Washington, Russia's Churkin suggested America dismisses efforts to restart
peace talks, saying:
- "There is one delegation which would not want to
hear anything about it, any kind of statement, which believes that somehow
things will sort of settle themselves somehow miraculously out on their
- Standley expressed profound concern over deteriorating
conditions in Israeli controlled Area C. He cited increasing numbers of
home demolitions to make way for settlement expansions.
- E1 is located between Ma'aleh Adumim and Jerusalem. Israel
plans developing Mevasseret Adumim neighborhood. At issue is establishing
territorial contiguity and creating a greater Jerusalem by Judaizing Palestinian
- All 27 EU foreign ministers protested after learning
about deteriorating conditions on the ground, including growing Palestinian
distress and Israel's intention to relocate 2,500 Jahalin tribe Bedouins
near Ma'aleh Adumin to an Abu Dis village garbage removal site.
- Two weeks ago, European Commissioner for International
Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva,
expressed deep concern in a letter to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
- Six months ago, she visited Israel, met Barak and General
Eitan Dangot. At the time, he said:
- "We're dealing with preliminary work. No one is
being evacuated at this stage and there is no Israeli conspiracy or plot.
Israel is a state of proper conduct, and when we have plans we will not
conceal them from anyone and update the international bodies."
- He lied like Israeli officials always do. Plans include
Judaizing East Jerusalem entirely. Palestinians will be displaced even
though they're citizens and hold city IDs. However, they're revokable for
anyone living outside city boundaries long enough or assuming another citizenship,
- Preventing a Two State Solution
- In mid-December, a new border crossing opened in East
Jerusalem's Shoafat neighborhood. Days later, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat
said Palestinians with Israeli ID cards should relinquish their residency
- In addition, work is underway on separate Israeli and
Palestinian roads between Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumin. At issue is separating
Palestinians from Israelis to facilitate building Mevasseret Adumim. The
new road system will connect Ma'aleh Adumim to Jerusalem.
- Shoafat and other Jerusalem area crossings serve 70,000
Palestinians with Israeli IDs. Israel's Separation Wall cuts them off from
the city. Barkat wants them displaced, saying:
- "The municipal boundary of Jerusalem and the route
of the separation fence must be identical to allow for proper administration
of the city." In other words, doing it involves total Judaization
because changing the boundary means canceling Palestinians' residency.
- Migration into Jerusalem will follow to retain what Palestinians
don't wish to lose. According to an East Jerusalem hospital director:
- "We are Jerusalemites. We're used to Jerusalem.
If something like that happens, everyone will want to move to within the
city. People will live on the street if they have to."
- Given Israel's plans, staying may involve that and more.
Israel's spending enormous sums building elaborate infrastructure, including
roads, electricity lines, traffic circles and E1 development lots in place.
Everything needed for construction is there, but completing it will prevent
a two state solution by preventing territorial continuity.
- According to Council for Peace and Security/Geneva Initiative
leader Col. (res.) Shaul Arieli, Israel's road "complex is burning
through a sea of money and a sea of people to serve a plan based on a delusional
working assumption: that (East) Jerusalem will remain under our sovereignty,
and greater Ma'aleh Adumim, including E1, will as well."
- Ir Amim's Ahmad Sub Laban said Israel wants to divide
the West Bank in two parts, explaining it wants territorial contiguity
between Ma'ale Adumim and Jerusalem to give settlers city access without
checkpoints. However, doing so divides the West Bank in two, destroying
a two state solution.
- Hebron is also affected. According to settlement expert
Abdul Hadi Hantash, plans are to displace thousands of Palestinians from
20 nearby towns and villages.
- Large land areas east and south of Hebron were stolen
to enable Ammon, Susiya and Carmel settlement construction and satellite
- Palestinians are getting demolition orders to vacate
and leave. Israel wants seized areas entirely emptied for Jews only development.
Expect other neighborhoods to face similar threats.
- A Final Comment
- Israel wants all valued West Bank land and East Jerusalem
Judaized. Palestinians will be left isolated in scrub land cantons without
rights and few resources.
- For decades, they've resisted Israeli repression valiantly.
Growing millions worldwide support them. Washington and Israel face growing
- One day Palestinians will prevail. What can't go on forever,
won't. Long denied justice will be achieved, but not without years more
pain and suffering.
- Liberation requires struggle. Getting it's worth the
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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