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Articles Archives - April 2010
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Saturday, April 10, 2010
IDF order will enable mass deportation from West Bank
Amira Hass, Haaretz, Israeli Occupation Archive 4/11/2010
      A new military order aimed at preventing infiltration will come into force this week, enabling the deportation of tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank, or their indictment on charges carrying prison terms of up to seven years.
     When the order comes into effect, tens of thousands of Palestinians will automatically become criminal offenders liable to be severely punished.
     Given the security authoritiesí actions over the past decade, the first Palestinians likely to be targeted under the new rules will be those whose ID cards bear home addresses in the Gaza Strip Ė people born in Gaza and their West Bank-born children Ė or those born in the West Bank or abroad who for various reasons lost their residency status. Also likely to be targeted are foreign-born spouses of Palestinians.
     Until now, Israeli civil courts have occasionally prevented the expulsion of these three groups from the West Bank. The new order, however, puts them under the sole jurisdiction of Israeli military courts.
     The new order defines anyone who enters the West Bank illegally as an infiltrator, as well as ďa person who is present in the area and does not lawfully hold a permit.Ē The order takes the original 1969 definition of infiltrator to the extreme, as the term originally applied only to those illegally staying in Israel after having passed through countries then classified as enemy states Ė Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.
     The orderís language is both general and ambiguous, stipulating that the term infiltrator will also be applied to Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, citizens of countries with which Israel has friendly ties (such as the United States) and Israeli citizens, whether Arab or Jewish. All this depends on the judgment of Israel Defense Forces commanders in the field. Related: Source -- See also: Source
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’The worst diplomatic crisis in decades’
Sayed Dhansay, Ma’an News Agency 4/10/2010
      "The worst diplomatic crisis in decades."These were the words used by Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, recently to describe the perceived rift between Israel and the Obama administration over Israel?s illegal settlement policy in occupied East Jerusalem.
     It started when American Vice President Joe Biden visited Israel at the beginning of March to launch "proximity talks" between Israel and the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) of Mahmoud Abbas. After 14 months of stalled negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians following Israel’s devastating attack on Gaza, Abbas had finally received the go-ahead from the Arab League to restart talks with Israel.
     Though the US routinely uses its veto power to shield Israel at the UN and has never taken concrete measures to curb its colonization of Palestinian land, official US foreign policy purports to favor a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines.
     On the very first day of Biden’s visit however, Israel announced the construction of 1,600 new settlement homes in yet another illegal housing project in occupied East Jerusalem. The controversial announcement attracted a storm of international criticism, triggered riots across the occupied West Bank and was seen as an insult and affront to Biden. Prominent columnist Akiva Eldar questioned in the Israeli daily Haaretz how Israel could "spit in Biden’s face" in such a manner.
     The Middle East quartet also weighed in, denouncing the Israeli move with a strongly worded statement, while one of America’s top defence officials, General David Petraeus, also entered the furor. In an unusually stark political comment from a military official, Petraeus warned that Israel’s intransigence was harming American interests and endangering the lives of American soldiers throughout the Middle East.
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Noam Chomsky, Gilbert Achcar: On the Legitimacy of the State
Stephen R. Shalom, Israeli Occupation Archive 4/9/2010
      An excerpt from Noam Chomsky and Gilbert Achcar, Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy. Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice, edited by Stephen R. Shalom (expanded edition), Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2009, pp. 143-148.
     Shalom: There has been much debate regarding the legitimacy of the Israeli state. To what extent is Israel a legitimate, or an illegitimate, state?
     Chomsky: I donít think that the notion of legitimacy of a state means very much. Is the United States a legitimate state? Itís based on genocide; it conquered half of Mexico. What makes it legitimate? The way the international system is set up, states have certain rights; that has nothing to do with their legitimacy. Every state you can think of is based on violence, repression, expulsion, and all sorts of crimes. And the state system itself has no inherent legitimacy. Itís just an institutional form that developed and that was imposed with plenty of violence. The question of legitimacy just doesnít arise. There is an international order in which it is essentially agreed that states have certain rights, but that provides them with no legitimacy, Israel or anyone else.
     Achcar: We could put the question in another way. If one tries to define the origins of the Israeli state, the formula that comes to mind is the title of a famous piece by Maxime Rodinson, Israel: A Colonial-Settler State? It points to a fact that is built into the history of the state; of course, one could say the same of many states. (Chomsky: Most.) But then you have the factor of time: Israel is a very recent colonial-settler state, and it is based on the expulsion of the original inhabitants of Palestine, not on genocide like the United States. Ironically, states based on genocide are in a more comfortable position. Not from the moral point of view, of course, but from the political point of view, in terms of the existence of a challenge to their legitimacy. In the case of expulsion, those expelled continue to challenge the stateís legitimacy; in the case of genocide, those who might be challengers have been wiped out.... Related: Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy. Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice -- See also: Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy. Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice
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Israel Shapes Its New Message
Palestine Chronicle: 10 Apr 2010 - By James Gundun - Washington D.C. The US-Israeli spat has reached a temporary conclusion. Israel has no intention of halting construction of settlements in East Jerusalem, as both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat recently revealed. The White House correspondingly went silent for Passover and the peace process remains frozen until further notice. Whether US officials have truly pressured Israel to the limit or we’re watching an elaborate show remains uncertain, though many indications lean towards stagecraft over statecraft. A new ?crisis? looms in the near future, whenever Jerusalem comes to a head again, or Gaza, or something completely new. But whatever the case, America and Israel have transitioned from defending themselves to damage control. Having won its battle, Israel is already deep into a re-branding campaign. One example was a recent Haaretz report by Zvi Bar'el explaining how a third intifada plays into Israel’s hands...more

The Dark Underbelly of Israel's Security State
Palestine Chronicle: 10 Apr 2010 - By Jonathan Cook -Nazareth What is misleadingly being called in Israel the 'Anat Kamm espionage affair' is quickly revealing the dark underbelly of a nation that has worshipped for decades at the altar of a security state. Next week 23-year-old Kamm is due to stand trial for her life -- or rather the state's demand that she serve a life sentence for passing secret documents to an Israeli reporter, Uri Blau, of the liberal Haaretz daily. She is charged with spying. Blau himself is in hiding in London, facing, if not a Mossad hit squad, at least the stringent efforts of Israel's security services to get him back to Israel over the opposition of his editors, who fear he will be put away too. This episode has been dragging on behind the scenes for months, since at least December, when Kamm was placed under house arrest pending the trial. Not...more

Can Lebanon Come in from The Cold
Palestine Chronicle: 10 Apr 2010 - By Franklin Lamb More than six decades after their expulsion from Palestine, Lebanon's unwanted refugees just might be granted some basic civil rights. Part I: Hiba's Story, Ein el Helwe Palestinian Refugee Camp, Lebanon Granting even the most elementary and normally taken for granted civil rights to Palestinians in Lebanon won't be easy and it may not be pretty. Yet there is undeniable and growing Lebanese and international resolve for Lebanon's politicians to end a dark bleak chapter in Arab brotherly relations. The disturbing paradox of Lebanon depriving its refugees of the most elementary civil rights, some of which are even granted Palestinians by their arch-nemesis, the Zionist occupiers of their own country, is increasingly being condemned in Lebanon. In addition, there is the gaping contradiction between the sweet words and the clarion trumpeting calls by groups wanting to liberate Jerusalem and all of Palestine and enforce the internationally mandated...more

Articles Archives - April 2010

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