“It is always a meritorious deed to get hold of a Palestinian’s possessions” – The code of Jewish Law revised and updated by Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election makes him the longest serving prime minister in Israel’s history. His 20% margin of victory (30 Knesset seats to 24 for his nearest opponent) underlines the mass base of his consolidation of power.
Most critical commentators cite Netanyahu’s racist pronouncements; his rejection of any two state solution and his overt appeal for a mass Jewish voter turnout to counteract the ‘droves of Arab voters’ for his electoral victories.
There is no question that the majority of Israeli Jewish leaders and parties support Netanyahu’s racist pronouncements and ‘no-state’ solution and joined him in a coalition government. But the larger issue is the positive mass response to Netanyahu’s call to action. Nearly three quarters of the electorate turned out (73%) to elect him. Moreover, Netanyahu has been elected prime minister for four terms: between 1996-99 and more recently 2009-20.
What is more, the opposition has not differed from the Netanyahu coalition regime’s Judeo-centric policies and pronouncements. In other words, ‘racist’ ideology per se is not what drives the Israeli majority to repeatedly support Netanyahu.
Jewish-centered racism is an integral and accepted part of Israel’s political culture.
Social Colonialism and Netanyahu’s Popularity
There is a more fundamental, ongoing material basis which accounts for Netanyahu’s electoral victories and mass appeal: His regime’s aggressive, perpetual and escalating seizure and dispossession of Palestinians land and his massive financing of Israel’s Jewish colonial towns.
In other words, Netanyahu’s appeal is rooted in the large-scale, long-term housing which hundreds of thousands of low and middle income Israeli Jews have obtained via his brutal land-grabbing policy. The so-called ‘settlers’ are in part armed Israeli Jewish colonists who engage in open theft and defend Netanyahu, because they materially benefit from his policies… It is not only those who have already colonized Palestinian land grabbed after 1967 – over 650,000 Jews – who vote for Netanyahu, but there are the hundreds of thousands of others in Israel, priced out of the Israeli real estate bubble, who cannot afford comfortable housing and look to the West Bank and Jerusalem for a ‘Jewish solution’ at the expense of the Palestinian inhabitants.
Racism, the foul language directed at Palestinians, which pervades Israeli-Jewish culture (‘Arab scum’ is one of many such common expressions) found expression even among the songs celebrating Netanyahu’s latest electoral victory. Racism serves to justify the land grabbing. Can the settler mind even imagine that an ‘inferior people’ should complain about land grabs by the ‘chosen people’ ? Modern educated Jewish professionals wax indignant that shepherds and olive farmers should hold back the development of glitzy shopping malls, million dollar community centers (for Jews only, of course), hospitals, sports complexes and high tech industrial parks.
And if they – ‘the Arabs’ – object to their own displacement, all the better: Their resistance provides an excellent pretext for armed Jewish settler thugs to invade a village, drive out the inhabitant and call in Netanyahu’s bulldozers, as a prelude to establishing an ‘outpost’, first steps to a new Jews only colony!
The key to Netanyahu’s big vote is that he responds favorably and forcefully in favor of new colonies. The self-styled Israeli Defense (sic) Force (IDF) is dispatched to protect the local vandals and to shoot live ammo at any rock-throwing Palestinian adolescent defending the family patrimony.
Netanyahu acts and speaks for the rapacious Jewish colonial masses. The opposition criticized Netanyahu on the basis of his neglect of socio-economic issues in Israel, especially, the soaring prices of housing in the major cities. But they failed to attract many Jewish voters because Netanyahu offers a more attractive alternative solution – the seizure of more Palestinian land and the construction of Jewish homes, instead of fighting powerful Jewish real estate moguls, land speculators and corporate landlords inside Israel.
Extremism at the Service of Jewish Housing is No Vice
For the mass of Israeli Jews, looking for a cheap, easy and government-financed road to comfortable middle class housing, seizing and occupying Palestinian property is a very attractive and viable ‘solution’.
Netanyahu’s ‘final solution’ for the Palestinians – no state – is a guarantee that land, which is seized and housing which is built, will remain under Jewish jurisdiction. The ‘final solution’ for Palestinians is the housing solution for the Jewish masses.
Under Netanyahu, from 2013 to 2015, two-thirds of new housing construction (for Jews only) has taken place on stolen Palestinian lands. His regime spends $252 million dollars a year on Jews-only colonies (‘settlements’). The Netanyahu regime spends $950 for each Jewish colonist in the West Bank, double what is invested for each Jewish Israeli resident in Tel Aviv. For the most aggressive Jewish colonists, those who destroy the productive olive groves, torch Palestinian homes and who establish ‘settler outposts’, Netanyahu spends $1,483 a year . . . with promises of roads, electricity, schools, swimming pools and air conditioning to come!
Owning the Holy City Secures the Unsavory Vote
Netanyahu’s big vote in Jerusalem can be accounted for by the fact that over 300,000 Jews have been the beneficiaries of land grabs and sparkling high-rise condos in what had been centuries-old Palestinian neighborhoods.
Netanyahu assures the Jerusalem Jews that ‘their city’ is and always will be the capital of Israel, an undivided Jewish city.
Sticking his finger in the eyes of the EU and US officials, who claim otherwise, energizes and emboldens the Jewish voters
Netanyahu’s ethnic cleansing is unrelenting: That is why he is re-elected over and over again. Israeli colonial settlements grew by over 5% each year from 2009 – 2015. There is no backtracking with Bibi Netanyahu: at this rate of ‘erasure’ all of historical Palestine will be Judified by 2050 at the latest!
Netanyahu claims that Israeli Jews must have their ‘lebensraum’ . . .
Israel and other colonial powers, like England in the 19th century and Germany in the 20th century, ‘solve’ their domestic social problems and social unrest by exporting populations across borders. The attractiveness of this solution is that it preserves the power and privileges of the domestic economic elite and provides an ‘escape valve’ for the local disaffected masses.
Emigration to settler colonies requires violent dispossession of the local inhabitants. If stiff resistance emerges – the imperial powers resort to genocide; extermination of native peoples by the English, Slavic peoples by the Germans, Palestinian Arabs and other non-Jews by the Israeli Jews.
Long past is the notion that Israeli Jews would solve their social -economic problems via a collectivist economy and popular struggle against Jewish plutocrats.
Today Jewish-Israeli millionaires flourish alongside orthodox, secular, Sephardic, Ashkenazi, Sabra and Russian emigrant colonists. The former exploits labor and markets, while the latter dispossesses Palestinians. Netanyahu has discovered a formula for uniting quarrelsome Jewish parties, leaders and voters and for winning elections.
Moreover, Netanyahu has secured the financial and political backing of numerous overseas Jewish-Zionist billionaires. He has secured the unconditional support of tens of thousands of middle class Israel-First activists, academics and professionals who operate AIPAC and dozens of similar propaganda mills in Washington and Christian Zionists throughout the US. Netanyahu’s overseas backers ensure that the US government may grumble and criticize, but will never disrupt Netanyahu’s ‘plan’ of an ethnically pure ‘Greater Israel’ with Jerusalem as its ‘eternal’ capital. Obama may whine and talk to the press about ‘reconsidering US-Israeli relations’ but he has assured Israel and Netanyahu that military and economic ties will remain intact.
Netanyahu has succeeded in setting a colonial agenda for all Israeli-Jewish parties (bar one).
He has established the fact that competitive elections and opposition political parties are compatible and even facilitate violent colonial expansion.
He has established the fact that Israel and its people embrace a racist ideology and receive the endorsement of most Western leaders, and mass media and the unconditional support of its overseas fifth column.
Israel’s project for Palestine, the creation of a single Jewish state, is far more than the demented vision of one man. It has been taken to heart by the great mass of the Israeli-Jewish people and their overseas supporters. The victory of Netanyahu and his supporters marks a historic victory for all those regimes and people across the world who believe and fight for an imperial dominated world.
An extreme right-wing Jewish hate preacher has issued a ruling which urges Jews to hold their prayers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque. Rabbi Dov Lior is one of the most influential of the hard-line national-religious rabbis. He served as chief rabbi of the Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron, home to mass-murderer Baruch Golstein, who massacred 29 Muslims while they were praying in Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994.
Following Lior’s ruling, another extremist, Rabbi Jacob Heydimann, performed the Purim prayer inside the mosque compound with police protection. The mosque guards were removed by the Israeli police. The latest declaration encourages extremist Jewish groups who have increased their calls to enter Al-Aqsa by force and hold more prayers within the Noble Sanctuary.
Lawyer Aviad Visoli, who represented US-born Jewish extremist Yehuda Glick when he was banned by the police from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque, claimed that every Jew has the right to pray on the “Temple Mount” [Al-Aqsa Mosque compound]. “Praying there is no longer considered a legal violation after the Israeli Supreme Court ordered Glick to be paid half a million shekels in compensation for removing him from the Temple Mount [sic] for performing his biblical prayers there,” said Visoli. “The police must act to allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount [sic] freely.”
It is on that basis, he added, that Lior has issued his latest ruling.
According to Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, member of a local follow-up committee, large numbers of Israeli troops and municipality inspectors escorted bulldozers and excavators into the southeastern outskirts of the town, where they demolished stone walls and steel structures used by local farmers as store houses and livestock barns.
Abu al-Hummus said the bulldozers “deliberately” ruined the dirt roads used by farmers to access their fields.
The land is located in an area Israeli authorities have earmarked for a national park, in a controversial plan known as “11092”, which aims to turn 700 dunums of land in the Palestinian towns of al-Issawiya and al-Tur into Israeli parkland.
A statement from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in 2013 previously stated that “the plan is part of the Israeli government’s plans to create a Jewish demographic majority in the occupied city.”
In September 2014, an Israeli planning council suspended the plan until the needs of the Arab towns could be assessed. However, the council, which previously approved the annexation of the 700 dunums, said that approval of the plan could be justified and was not fundamentally illegal.
According to Abu al-Hummus, the local Israeli municipality has ignored the plan’s suspension.
“Israeli forces brush aside court decisions and decisions made by different committees when it comes to implementing settlement expansion plans,” he said.
The land leveled on Tuesday is owned by the Abu Asab, Ubeid, Dari, Abu al-Hummus and Ulayyan among others.
East Jerusalem was seized by Israel along with the West Bank in 1967 during the Six-Day War, and since then, the Israeli government has undertaken a policy of “Judaization” across the city, constructing Jewish settlements and demolishing Palestinian homes.
There are now believed to be more than 300,000 Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem.
The international community views East Jerusalem as part of the Palestinian territories and recognizes the annexation and settlement programs as illegal under international law.
The Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine, Theophilos III, denounced on Thursday what he called “repeated” attacks on Christian and Muslim places of worship in the Palestinian territories by extremist Jewish settlers.
“The targeting of churches and mosques is caused by pervasive racism and hatred,” he said in a statement.
Earlier Thursday, Jewish Settlers set fire to part of a religious school affiliated with Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Church, Which they sprayed with anti-Christian graffiti. On Wednesday, settlers torched and sprayed graffiti on a West Bank mosque.
Theophilos III said Christians represented an “integral part” of the Holy Land, its history and its future, going on to assert that the Greek Orthodox Church was one of the world’s most important churches.
“Criminals will not intimidate this church or its flock,” he declared.
He called on government agencies to address repeated settler attacks on places of worship.
Earlier Thursday, The Palestinian Foreign Ministry called on both the Vatican and the international community to protect Islamic and Christian places of worship from what it described as “Jewish extremism.”
“We strongly condemn these acts,” the ministry said in a statement. “Yesterday a mosque near Bethlehem was torched and today a church in Jerusalem [was attacked].”
Extremist Jews, the ministry asserted, continued to attack Muslim and Christian places of worship while the Israeli government did nothing to stop them.
The ministry went on to blame the Israeli government for the trend, calling on the Vatican, the international community and the UN to help protect local religious sites.
On Wednesday, Jewish Settlers set fire to a mosque near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, Which Also they covered with anti-Arab and anti-Muslim graffiti.
Several instances of settler attacks on Muslim places of worship have been reported recently, both in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and in the self-proclaimed Jewish state itself.
JERUSALEM – A right-wing Jewish organization called the Western Wall Heritage Foundation has circulated an invitation for bids to conduct excavations in tunnels under the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a top Palestinian official said Sunday.
Ahmad Qurei, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said the work would start on Feb. 20.
In a statement, Qurei, who chairs a PLO department for Jerusalem affairs, described the move as dangerous. He said that Israeli engineers and contractors had toured the al-Aqsa mosque compound secretly a few days ago to explore the location before they submit their bids.
The Israeli occupation government, added the statement, through these “aggressive excavations,” plans to create new paths and chambers under the Western Wall of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in order to enhance its grab on the Old City of Jerusalem and eventually transform it into a Jewish city both physically and demographically.
Israel has already excavated dozens of tunnels under the Old City as part of its efforts to displace the indigenous Palestinian residents and replace them with Jewish settlers, according to Qurei.
One of the tunnels, he said, runs from Ein Silwan to the western wall of the al-Aqsa mosque. Another major tunnel runs from the wall to the Omari school in the Muslim quarter. A third tunnel runs from the Muslim Quarter to the Western Wall of the al-Aqsa mosque.
In addition, added Qurei, there are ongoing excavations in attempts to connect between illegal settlement outposts in the Old City.
More than 20,000 Palestinian homes in Jerusalem have been shortlisted to be demolished by the Israeli occupation authorities, Jerusalem Centre for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) has revealed.
The centre’s head, Ziad Hamouri, said that the reason these homes have been shortlisted for demolition is that they were built without building licences issued by the Israeli municipality in the occupied city. Applications for such licences from Palestinians are rarely approved.
According to Hamouri, the Israelis use the licence issue as a pretext to get rid of the centuries-old Palestinian existence in Jerusalem. Few Palestinians can afford a building licence even if an application is approved. “The Israeli demands for a construction licence are punitive financially and procedurally,” said Hamouri. “Every licence takes from five to eight years to be issued and they cost from $30,000 t0 $50,000 each.”
Such measures do not apply to Jews living in the city, who even find apartments ready-made for them to move into and are exempt from frequent and very high taxes.
The Palestinian Authority has called for the international community to stop Israel taking ever more Palestinian land by stealth.
JERUSALEM – An Israeli settler on Wednesday morning assaulted a teenage Palestinian boy from the al-Thuri neighborhood near Silwan in Jerusalem while the boy was walking to school, the boy’s father says.
Jamil Gheith told Ma’an that the settler attempted to kidnap his son Ibrahim, 14, but he managed to run away.
Gheith explained that a group of settlers from one of the illegal outposts in al-Thuri stopped their private car and one of them stepped out and brutally attacked Ibrahim. The settler then tried to drag the boy forcibly into the car, but the boy started to scream for help and managed to run away, the father added.
Family members and other residents in the nearby houses heard the boy screaming and rushed to help him. At that point the attacker ran to the outpost and his escorts sped away, the father added.
Locals called Israeli police who arrived and instead of looking for the attacker they started to beat the Palestinian residents who were at the site, including family members of the assaulted boy.
The victim was then taken to Shaare Zedek medical center in West Jerusalem for treatment and his father filed a complaint at an Israeli police station.
An Israeli police spokesman said he was looking into the report.
Mayor of al-Ram Ali Maslamani told Ma’an that Israeli forces arrived in the early morning hours and closed the northern entrance to the town with huge concrete cubes. The closure, he said, crippled the traffic at the busiest entrance to al-Ram.
The mayor added that his town is densely populated as it has about 60,000 residents the majority of whom use the northern entrance almost every day.
The northern entrance, says al-Maslamani, is the main exit to several other towns and villages.
“Closing the entrance will strangle the town more after it has been segregated by the separation wall,” added al-Maslamani.
He said that more than 100,000 people from neighboring areas visit the town every day to do shopping or visit banks and public service offices.
JERUSALEM – Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabir on Wednesday, locals told Ma’an.
Israeli forces raided the neighborhood and surrounded a house belonging to Ulayyan Jalal Rabaya before a bulldozer destroyed the property.
Rabaya said he had begun renovation work on the interior of the house some months ago to live there with his fiance, who he is due to marry.
Jerusalem municipality workers posted a demolition order on the property last Monday saying that it lacked a building permit.
Two other house belonging to the Rabaya family are also slated for demolition, with a court decision expected Friday.
Local organizations in the neighborhood called for a sit-in protest outside the Israeli Supreme Court to protest the demolition.
Around 150 demolitions orders are pending in the Jabal al-Mukabir neighborhood, a local official Suleiman Shqeirat said. Most are issued under the pretext that they lack building permits.
Israeli forces stormed the East Jerusalem town of al-Isawiya before dawn Tuesday and demolished a Palestinian house allegedly being built without a license from the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem.
Israel rarely grants construction permits to Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and regularly demolishes structures built without permits.
Israeli bulldozers demolished at least 359 Palestinian structures in the West Bank in 2014, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.
During the 1967 war, Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan, occupied it, and later annexed it in a move never recognized abroad.
Also Wednesday, the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem police detained three Palestinians.
They were identified as Ziad al-Qaq, Mousa Audah and his brother Naji.
By Maher Abu Tair | Addustour | January 5, 2015
The Jerusalemite’s human shield around the city of Jerusalem is quite a marvellous human shield indeed. If it were not for the rather substantial presence of the Palestinian Hebronites in the city, it would have been exposed to extreme danger. It is enough that we see hundreds of thousands of worshippers line up daily in prayer in all Al-Aqsa willing to sacrifice their life and their blood to protect the city.
Israel is concentrating all of its efforts on dividing the people of Jerusalem into individual factions and they have a plan to target each of these factions in an individual way. Israel’s plan of attack is being implemented slowly so that it can permanently phase out the Palestinian presence in the city, little by little and gradually in a frantic war over the city.
Among the groups of Jerusalemites created by Israel is the group that fears for the very essence of its existence as they worry that they will lose their Israeli residency permits, which allow them to live in Jerusalem. There are also groups of people who are being targeted with high taxes, a group forced into labour in the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements, a group of people avoiding everyday murder attempts and finally, a group of people that is simply preoccupied with the complexities of everyday life.
In addition to all this, a number of strange reports have been leaked on the reality of the problems that are currently facing Palestinian Jerusalemites and this includes unfortunate stories of the city’s youth who have allowed themselves to become the new recruits of Israeli gangs that specialise in automobile thefts among other crimes. One cannot forget to mention the unusual emergence of drug rings in Jerusalem, which have taken over the city in quite an unusual way.
The facts that have been presented on the ground indicate that the presence of drugs in the Jerusalem area is quite a catastrophic development which will have many dangerous consequences on the city’s inhabitants. Perhaps the most significant consequence of all is the decreasing presence of the city’ inhabitants around the holy sites and the fact that their addiction and dependence on drugs ensures that they remain financially drained and without any definite sense of security.
The spread of drugs within Jerusalem’s Arab circles indicates that the occupation has infiltrated the city on many levels and that the end goal behind these destructive policies is ultimately to destroy the city’s popular infrastructure via many different means such as, drugs, high taxes, increasing debt and the increasing threat of imprisonment etc.
Moreover, there are no Arab institutions present that could counter or balance these racist policies against Jerusalemites. Thus, the challenge of standing up to Israel’s policies remains the sole responsibility of the city’s Palestinians; that it is an individual struggle that each Jerusalemite has to ultimately face on his or her own.
Despite all of these unfortunate circumstances, one cannot generalise or label Palestinian Jerusalemites as one particular type of people. We must remember that they are human beings that are being forced to act and respond to unfortunate circumstances on a superhuman level. One cannot deny that there are thousands of Jerusalemites who are willing to sacrifice their lives and their safety to protect Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock Mosques in the face of its many confrontations.
One must recognise that the occupation aims to turn Jerusalemites into two different types of people, ones that are forced into cheap labour that aids the occupation’s expansion and others who become the victims of drugs, debt and suffocating taxes. The goal of all this is to break the human shield that the Palestinians have created to protect Jerusalem.
Israel has used all of its power to take over Jerusalem and we have aided this process by allowing Israel to do whatever it wants. The biggest proof of how we are all culpable is that none of us have asked Jerusalemites what they truly need. We merely throw them into the jaws of the crocodiles and ask them from afar: why do you not rise up in anger?
Translated by MEMO
JERUSALEM – Israeli forces on Wednesday afternoon shot a 5-year-old Palestinian child in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet in East Jerusalem as he was getting out of a school bus on his way home, relatives said.
“An Israeli soldier fired a black rubber-coated bullet at the child from a close distance, injuring him under the eye,” the uncle of 5-year-old Muhammad Jamal Ubeid told Ma’an.
The incident reportedly took place in the East Jerusalem village of al-Issawiya, where Muhammad’s family lives.
The child’s uncle said that Muhammad and his 14-year-old sister stepped out of a school bus and had started to walk home when the Israeli forces shot him.
The uncle said there were no confrontations at all in the area between Israeli forces and Palestinians at the time of the shooting.
An Israeli police spokesman did not return a request for comment.
Muhammad was evacuated to the nearby Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus where medical authorities said he had a fracture in the bone below his eye.
The boy was later transferred to the Hadassah Medical Center in the Ein Karem neighborhood in West Jerusalem for treatment.
East Jerusalem neighborhoods like al-Issawiya have seen months of heavy police presence and widespread protests amid increasing anger over the Israeli occupation and perceived discrimination.
Palestinians in East Jerusalem have residency rights but not citizenship since Israel occupied the city in 1967, despite the fact that the vast majority are born and raised in the city and trace their heritage back generations.
Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognized abroad. The international community sees East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory.
Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti criticized on Monday the UN resolution submitted to the Security Council by the PLO, urging the Palestinian Authority (PA) to reword the proposal.
In a letter sent to Ma’an news agency from jail, Barghouti said the UN resolution is an “unjustified fallback which will have a very negative impact on the Palestinian position.”
The senior Fatah leader said he always urged the leadership to take the question of Palestine to the UN to obtain a security council resolution, but any proposal must be in line with inalienable national principles.
Barghouti urged the leadership to comprehensively revise the wording of the draft resolution to focus on the major issues of settlement expansion, Jerusalem, prisoners, and the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
He added that any talk of land swap will weaken the sovereignty of any future Palestinian state on the lands occupied in 1967, and its right for self-determination, noting that such a measure would be used to legalize settlement building.
Barghouti urged the PA to insist on the illegality of the Israeli settlements across the occupied West Bank and annexed East Jerusalem, slamming settlement building as a “war crime.”
According to the Fatah leader, the PA should continue to assert on the centrality of East Jerusalem as a capital of the state of Palestine and the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their former homes in Occupied Palestine as stated in UN General Assembly resolution 194.
Moreover, Barghouti criticized the UN resolution’s lack of emphasis on the issue of Palestinian prisoners.
“The PA should make it clear that freeing all prisoners is an absolute right and a precondition for peace.”
He also said the draft resolution must include an article demanding the immediate lifting of Israel’s “crippling siege” on Gaza.
“Unless all these demands are ensured, we should put an end to these useless negotiations,” Barghouti stated.
A senior figure within the Fatah, Barghouti was arrested in 2002 and sentenced two years later. He is serving five life sentences for alleged involvement in attacks on Israeli targets.
Barghouti’s letter comes after Jordan presented a resolution draft to the UN Security Council last Wednesday.
The PA has sought Arab backing for a draft UN resolution that would set a two-year deadline for reaching a final settlement with Israel and pave the way for a two-state solution.
The draft resolution calls for a “just, lasting and comprehensive peace solution that brings an end to the Israeli occupation” of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and “fulfills the vision” of a Palestinian state, within the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the “shared capital.”
The measure also provides for a phased Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 according to a timeframe that doesn’t “exceed the end of 2017.”
If the resolution is to be put to vote, the US State Department will most probably use its right to veto.
Many international players have long insisted that a promised Palestinian state must come through negotiations with Israel. Palestinians have retorted that repeated rounds of talks have gone nowhere, with Israel unwilling to compromise on the issues of illegal settlements and prisoners.
European politicians have become more active in pushing for a sovereign Palestine since the collapse of US-sponsored peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in April, and the ensuing conflict in Gaza, where more than 2,000 Palestinians, at least 70 percent of them civilians, and 72 Israelis were killed this summer.
Sweden’s decision in October to recognize Palestine preceded non-binding votes by parliaments in Britain, France, Ireland, and Spain in favor of recognition demonstrated growing European impatience with the stalled peace process.
The roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-infamous “Balfour Declaration,” called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Zionist state – a move never recognized by the international community.
In 1988, Palestinian leaders led by Yasser Arafat declared the existence of a state of Palestine inside the 1967 borders and the state’s belief “in the settlement of international and regional disputes by peaceful means in accordance with the charter and resolutions of the United Nations.”
Heralded as a “historic compromise,” the move implied that Palestinians would agree to accept only 22 percent of historic Palestine in exchange for peace with Israel. It is now believed that only 17 percent of historic Palestine is under Palestinian control following the continued expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.
It is worth noting that numerous Palestinian factions and pro-Palestine advocates support a one-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians would be treated equally, arguing that the creation of a Palestinian state beside Israel would not be sustainable and that it would mean recognizing a state of Israel on territories seized forcefully by Zionists before 1967.
They also believe that the two-state solution, which is the only option considered by international actors, won’t solve existing discrimination, nor erase economic and military tensions.