Israel’s illegal settlers: making the desert bloom [sic] and burning Palestinian homes.
Boy Who Survived ‘Jewish Terror Attack’ Does Not Know Family Died, Paul Goldman, NBC News – 16 Jan.
“Where are my parents? Where is my brother?”
Four-year-old Ahmad Dawabseh constantly asks his grandfather those questions — but his grandfather cannot answer.
That’s because specialists at Sheba Medical Center advise the 51-year-old not to tell Ahmad that his father, mother and 18-month-old brother were killed by alleged Jewish extremists who firebombed their home five months ago.
“Ahmad is a very smart boy and the hardest moment for me is when he asks me about his parents. How can I answer him? Where do I start?” Hussein Dawabsheh told NBC News as tears filled his eyes.
The arson attack that killed Ahmad’s parents and brother was one of the worst acts of what appeared to be Jewish extremism since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1947.
On January 3, police said they had charged Amiram Ben Uliel with the crime after he confessed to throwing a Molotov cocktail into the Dawabsheh home in the Israel-occupied West Bank village of Duma.
Paging Scarlett Johansson
Occupation, Inc. How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights, Human Rights Watch – 19 Jan.
By contributing to and benefitting from Israel’s unlawful confiscation of land, the financing, construction, leasing, lending, selling and renting operations of businesses like banks and real estate agencies help the illegal settlements in the West Bank to function as viable housing markets, enabling the government to transfer settlers there. In this way, in Human Rights Watch’s view, companies involved in the settler housing market contribute to two separate violations of international humanitarian law: the prohibition on an occupying power expropriating or confiscating the resources of the occupied territory for its own benefit and the prohibition on transferring its civilians to occupied territory. By benefitting from the preferential access to land and financial incentives for doing business in the settlements, these businesses also benefit from Israel’s unlawful discrimination against Palestinians.
How Israeli Settlements Stifle Palestine’s Economy, Nur Arafeh, Samia al-Botmeh, Leila Farsakh, al Shabaka – 15 Dec.
Overall, it is estimated that the direct and indirect cost of the occupation was almost $7 billion in 2010 − almost 85% of the total estimated Palestinian GDP. […]
While it is argued that Palestinian workers in settlements receive higher wages than in the Palestinian labor market, it is worth noting that they are paid, on average, less than half the Israeli minimum wage. For example, in Beqa’ot, an Israeli colony in the Jordan Valley, Palestinians are paid 35% of the legal minimum wage. Note that the packing houses of Mehadrin, the largest Israeli exporter of fruits and vegetables to the EU, are located in this settlement.
In short, it is effectively Israel’s settler-colonial enterprise that hurts Palestinians, much more than the EU labeling of settlements products. What Palestinians need is not more jobs in settlements or more dependency on the Israeli economy. Rather, what Palestinians need is the dismantling of Israeli settlements, an end to the occupation, and the full realization of their rights under international law. Only then can they truly strengthen the productive base of the Palestinian economy, generate employment opportunities, ensure self-reliance and self-sufficiency, and stop being dependent on foreign aid.
Welcome to the Occupation
The Beginning of the End of the Two-State Solution?
The doomsday settlement, The Economist – 16 Jan.
The area in question, known as E1, sits between Jerusalem and the sprawling settlement of Maale Adumim, 7km (4 miles) to the east. Every Israeli prime minister since Yitzhak Rabin has dreamed of building a town on these hills. It would create a salient jutting almost halfway across the West Bank’s narrow waist, slashing the route between Ramallah and Bethlehem, and further encircling Palestinian districts in East Jerusalem. One local activist calls it the “doomsday settlement”, a deadly blow to the idea of a territorially contiguous future Palestinian state.
Any construction in E1 would oblige Israel to expel 18 Bedouin tribes who live in the area. Last spring several members of these tribes received an unwelcome visitor: an emissary from the Israeli army, calling himself Farid, who urged them to register for plots at a nearby “relocation site”. It sits on the edge of a rubbish dump. […]
On December 28th an anti-settlement Israeli activist group, Peace Now, published a report claiming to have evidence that the housing ministry has quietly commissioned plans for 8,372 housing units in the E1 corridor. The government says nothing is decided, though Uri Ariel, the agriculture minister, visited the site on January 10th with a group of Knesset members and called for the building to start.
“Returning” to Zion
The Anglo Connection: Why Do So Many Jewish Terrorists Come From the English-speaking World?, Judy Maltz, Ha’aretz – 31 Dec.
The author of the upcoming book “City on a Hilltop: Jewish-American Settlers in the Occupied Territories Since 1967,” Hirschhorn has concluded that roughly 60,000 American Jews live in West Bank settlements, where they account for 15 percent of the settler population.
The number of American immigrants living in Israel, including their children, has been estimated at about 170,000.
This is not the first time that U.S. citizens have been associated with or convicted of carrying out terror activities in Israel. In 1994, Brooklyn-born Baruch Goldstein, a physician from Kiryat Arba, massacred 29 Palestinians while they were worshipping in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Yaakov Teitel, originally from Florida, has been convicted of various acts of terrorism and hate crimes against Palestinians, homosexuals, Messianic Jews and left-wingers. Boston-born Baruch Marzel, a Kahane disciple, has a criminal record that includes assaults on Palestinians, policemen and left-wingers. Former New Yorker Ira Rappaport, a member of the Jewish Underground that emerged in the 1980s, was found guilty of involvement in a car bombing that left the former mayor of Nablus maimed.
Already back then, American immigrants had acquired a reputation as potential extremists.
The Final Days of Team Obama
Is the Obama administration adopting a more critical tone toward Israel in the administration’s final days? The Israeli press thinks so.
U.S. Ambassador: Israel Has Legal Double Standard in West Bank, Barak Ravid, Ha’aretz – 18 Jan.
United States Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro voiced nearly unprecedented criticism against Israel’s settlements in the West Bank on Monday. Shapiro praised progress made in the investigation into the arson-murder in the Palestinian village of Duma, but emphasized the inadequate response by Israeli authorities to settler violence against.
Speaking at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) conference in Tel Aviv, Shapiro said “Too much Israeli vigilantism in the West Bank goes on unchecked,” adding that “there is a lack of thorough investigations… at times it seems Israel has two standards of adherence to rule of law in the West Bank – one for Israelis and one for Palestinians.”
Shapiro is just stating the obvious, which is taboo in American political circles; the Israeli press is just unaccustomed to it. Not even Israeli denies that occupied Palestinians live under a different legal system from Israeli settlers. Still, it’s worth pointing this fact out for American audiences. In the end, the administration might venture more criticism, but a departing upset in U.S. foreign policy – such as recognizing a Palestinian state – is highly unlikely (and would probably be overturned by the president’s successor).
Read More: Zionist Terrorism, Then and Now.
“Proper” Israeli Justice
The legal system in Israel “proper” isn’t exactly a model of equality and fairness either.
Today, 17 January 2015, the Israeli Supreme Court (SCT) issued its final decision in the case of Atir-Umm al-Hiran, an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Naqab (Negev). The Court rejected Adalah’s extraordinary motion for a second hearing on the case, which requested that the Court reconsider its decision to approve the state’s plan to evict the village’s 1,000 Arab Bedouin residents, who are citizens of Israel, in order to build the Jewish town of “Hiran” and expand the “Yatir Forest” over its ruins. The Court’s refusal to reconsider its 5 May 2015 ruling effectively means that the eviction and demolition procedures against the village can proceed.
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
U.S. Church Puts 5 Banks From Israel on a Blacklist, Rick Gladstone, New York Times – 12 Jan.
The pension board of the United Methodist Church — one of the largest Protestant denominations in the United States, with more than seven million members — has placed five Israeli banks on a list of companies that it will not invest in for human rights reasons, the board said in a statement on Tuesday.
It appeared to be the first time that a pension fund of a large American church had taken such a step regarding the Israeli banks, which help finance settlement construction in what most of the world considers illegally occupied Palestinian territories. […]
There was no immediate comment from Israeli officials.
Union members fight nullification of Israel boycott resolution, Nora Barrows-Friedman, Electronic Intifada – 15 Jan.
International executive officials at the United Auto Workers union last month overturned a December 2014 vote by its rank-and-file members to boycott Israel.
The 2014 resolution, which passed in a landslide vote by members of UAW Local 2865, called on the union’s International Executive Board to divest their holdings from Israeli state institutions and international companies “complicit in severe and ongoing human rights violations as part of the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people.”
UAW Local 2865 represents 13,000 graduate student workers across the University of California system.
December’s nullification followed a lengthy appeal, seen by The Electronic Intifada, which was authored by Stephen Brumbaugh, a graduate student at UCLA and member of Local 2865. In his appeal, Brumbaugh asserts that the boycott resolution “is injurious to the UAW International Union and the labor movement as a whole” and charges that the resolution is “illegal.”
On Thursday, rank-and-file members and executive officers of Local 2865 filed an appeal to the UAW Public Review Board demanding the nullification be rescinded.
Now Who’s Calling for Boycotts?
Israelis urged to boycott Ikea in diplomatic row with Sweden, Raf Sanchez, The Telegraph – 15 Jan.
Israelis have been urged to boycott Ikea as part of a long-running diplomatic feud between Israel and Sweden.
The move was suggested as a way of demonstrating widespread anger at Margot Wallstrom, the Swedish foreign minister, who is an outspoken critic of Israel.
Israel’s government said Ms Wallstrom was “not welcome” in the Jewish state after she called for an investigation into the deaths of Palestinians killed while allegedly trying to attack Israelis.
On a happier note, Arabs and Jews rebuke the escalating racism of the Israeli government.
Media Roundup is a regular feature of Palestine Square.