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Sarah Bedson, Palestine Monitor 1/14/2017
Khirbet Tana - 2016 marked an unprecedented number of West Bank demolitions and displacement since OCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) records began in 2009. Throughout the course of the year, Israeli authorities demolished or seized 1,089 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank, displacing 1,593 Palestinians and affecting the livelihoods of another 7,101. Nevertheless, the first week of 2017 shows Israels determination to top previous figures, with the number of Palestinian structures targeted being over three times as high as the 2016 weekly average.Khirbet Tana is a remote Palestinian village nestled in a valley east of Beit Furik in the Nablus governorate. Approximately 250 residents live there in a variety of makeshift and permanent structures including tents and caves, beside steel structures for their cattle. This community, dotted across the hillside, has existed in the area for decades, relying on herding and agriculture for their livelihood. The majority of the people here also have a home in Beit Furik, but as there is no land for their sheep there, the Khirbet Tana region remains both their grazing area and winter habitat. At 7am on Tuesday the 3rd of January, three Israeli bulldozers and ten military vehicles rolled into the village, unannounced, for the twelfth time since 2005. They subsequently razed 49 structures belonging to 14 families, six being homes. 29 people, 15 of them minors, were left homeless. I was so frightened. They didnt even talk to us, they destroyed everything and left, a mother from the village, Salma Hanini, stated. She also explained how their car had been stolen by an Israeli soldier during the raid, just like their previous car in 2016. They put a military jeep in the road to create a flying checkpoint and didnt let anybody in or out not even journalists, Salma said. Wasif Hanini described how they always pay attention to the weather forecast because demolitions usually occur during poor weather. They know that if the lambs are out in the cold, they will die, he said. Sure enough, on Tuesday morning, it was raining. more.. e-mail It didn't have to be this way in East Jerusalem's Silwan
Hussam Abed, +972 Magazine 1/12/2017
The neighborhood of Batan al-Hawa is today the site of major friction and tensions between Palestinian residents, Jewish settlers and the massive security presence that accompanies them. But things werent always like this, and they dont have to be.
Try and imagine this: Jews move into a Palestinian village and are welcomed with open arms. They become part of the local economy, share in joyous occasions and sad ones, and together with their neighbors form a unique, rich human tapestry. The tensions are the same youd find in any society: they are not shaped along the rigid lines of ethnic, national or religious identity.
Now return to the reality I see daily as a BTselem field researcher in the neighborhood of Batan al-Hawa, where the largest expulsion effort from East Jerusalem in our time is underway. The settlers encroaching on this neighborhood, which Israel annexed in 1967, come not as neighbors but as occupiers. The foothold they have taken in Batan al-Hawa in recent years is based on a legal battle in which they claim ownership of Palestinian homes that were in Jewish hands before 1948.
This is violent dispossession rooted in discriminatory legislation: Palestinian families are being thrown out of their homes, which are then taken over for the purpose of Judaizing the neighborhood. A right of return of sorts one of the many privileges that the State of Israel bestows on Jews only. Several Palestinian families in Batan al-Hawa have already been evicted in this way, and eviction claims are pending against 81 more. The claims were filed by settler organization Ateret Cohanim, a key player in this dispossession process, which has the support and cooperation of government ministries and of the Jerusalem Municipality. more.. e-mail Zionists threaten British government over illegal settlement vote at the UN
Yvonne Ridley, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 1/12/2017
The powerful pro-Israel Zionist lobby in Britain, which wields money and influence within parliament, is threatening to bring down the entire Conservative-led government over an escalating row which has been simmering for weeks, long before last weeks Israeli Embassy scandal erupted. Zionist support for Israel has often led to accusations of political manipulation inside the British government and the accusations were apparently vindicated when an embassy official was caught on camera plotting to take down MPs who are vocal in their support of Palestine.
However, it has now emerged that while the diplomatic spat between the Israeli Embassy and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been played out in banner headlines across the front pages, a far more sinister row has been brewing behind the scenes over the British governments support for UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israels illegal settlements. In a copy of a redacted email and other material seen by MEMO, a direct threat was made to the chair of Conservative Friends of Israel, Sir Eric Pickles MP, from one of the most senior figures in the Zionist lobby. The email delivers a blunt message: Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson should be made to understand that Jewish support for the Conservative Party at the next General Election is at risk.
The explosive threat was sent to Pickles and copied in to Lord (Stuart) Polak, a long-term Conservative Friends of Israel director who was given a peerage in 2015. He stood down from his CFI role ahead of his appointment to the House of Lords.
With the bold header of UNSC Resolution 2334, the emails author whose identity is not known by MEMO wanted to record his utter dismay at the British governments decision to support the resolution, which was passed just before Christmas. The author, whose name is redacted from the email shown to MEMO, lays the blame entirely at the feet of May and Johnson.... more.. e-mail Israel Lobby: Insidious threats should be feared
Robert Grenier, Al Jazeera 1/13/2017
As Al Jazeera exposes a brazen influence campaign in the UK, a retired CIA official explores the boundaries of lobbying.
It really should come as no surprise. All the factors are there, and they are known. Anyone who follows the Palestinian issue knows that the Israeli government is currently obsessed with BDS, the worldwide movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.
The Israelis themselves have made it clear that international "de-legitimisation" constitutes the greatest threat to their state, as currently constituted, and they're hardly taking it lying down. And the fact that Israel has a potent international lobbying capacity, particularly in the US and the UK, through which the Israelis have long employed foreign organisations to leverage and enhance their influence in key foreign capitals, is hardly a secret.
And yet and yet, Al Jazeera's undercover investigation of Israel's anti-BDS covert influence campaign in the UK still manages to shock.
The shock I have in mind, though, is one which gradually grows in the mind of the viewer. It is not what one would think - the scandal on which the British press and a number of prominent political figures are focused, albeit with good reason.
Yes, the idea that a representative of a friendly power would express willingness to support an effort to "take down" a British government politician whose views are deemed inconvenient to Israel is the stuff of classic hostile espionage, and an easy outrage upon which to focus. more.. e-mail
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