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Eviction of Palestinian outpost exposes double standard on settlements

The consequences of the the Israeli government decision go beyond the action against the Palestinian community in Bab Al-Shams. By evicting the residents, Netanyahu has made a mockery of the Israeli High Court and, in turn, the rule of law.

Soldiers prevent activists from reaching the main gate of the E1 area where the Palestinian outpost “Bab Al-Shams” is located, January 12, 2013. (photo: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills)

In the early hours of Sunday morning, hundreds of Israeli soldiers stormed the newly-founded Bab Al-Shams village, evicting Palestinian and international activists. The eviction took place despite an injunction by the High Court of Justice. However, Palestinians at the site were notified ahead of time that they will be removed regardless of the decision.

The Bab Al-Shams village was created only three days ago by over 250 Palestinians and internationals as a nonviolent response to Israel’s recent decision to build settlement units in the E1 area. According to Irene Nasser, an activist who was present at the scene last night, activists at Bab Al-Shams were arrested and  later released at the Qalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah. Six Palestinians were injured during the eviction and taken to hospitals in Ramallah and Jerusalem.

The Israeli government’s decision to ignore the High Court injunction and evict the Palestinians from E1 was justified by urgent security needs. However, there was no further explanation regarding said security threat. (In Israel, the term “security threat” can often be used as a license for any oppressive actions toward the Palestinian people.) It is probably that Prime Minister Netanyahu, who ordered the eviction, made the hasty decision due to considerations having to do with the upcoming elections, rather than with security. However, the consequences of the the Israeli government decision go beyond the action against the Palestinian community in Bab Al-Shams. Netanyahu has made a mockery of the Israeli High Court and, in turn, the rule of law.

According to Haaretz, the village was built  mostly on private Palestinian land, rather than “state land.” Therefore, the government’s decision lacks any legal standing, since the Palestinians were not given a chance to defend their case in court.

Palestinians have little faith in the Israeli legal system, as those living in the West Bank are subject to a military court system and do not have the same civil rights as Israelis. Despite the fact that they have some access to the High Court, most Palestinians simply don’t trust the Israeli judiciary system. However, with just a few blunt, anti-democratic measures against Palestinians, the High Court sided with the Palestinians against the state. The eviction of Bab Al-Shams will diminish whatever trust Palestinians had in Israeli courts.

Palestinians learned today that even if the High Court rules in their favor, the Israeli government is entitled to ignore the court. If the current Israeli government can ignore the court’s decisions with no consequences, then perhaps Israel should reconsider calling itself a democracy. And at the very least, Netanyahu’s disregard for the High Court should alarm Israelis.

Israel considers over 100 of the current settlements illegal. Yet, the government turns a blind eye to these settlements, often built on private Palestinian land. Despite their illegal status, these settlements are protected by the IDF, and receive residential services and infrastructural support. Furthermore, Israel has built over 120 “legal” settlements in the West Bank while preventing Palestinians from establishing new towns or villages in Area C, which constitutes more than 60 percent of the West Bank.

The story of the Migron outpost is easily best example of the Israeli government’s double standard vis-a-vis the settlements; despite building on private Palestinian land, and a High Court decision to evict the outpost, the Israeli government ignored the eviction order. The government then became the advocate of Migron’s settlers and requested more time in order to find a “solution” that would suit the settlers. Eventually, the government agreed to move Migron to a new location.

The policy is clear: Palestinians are forbidden from building on their own land, while settlers will be given complete support for building regardless of the legality or consequences.

And although the government was successful in evicting Bab Al-Shams, it could do very little to destroy the inspiration that Bab Al-Shams has given to Palestinians. The effort to challenge the occupation through nonviolence could be a game changer in the Palestinian struggle.

Read more:
Police brings down Palestinian outpost, activists resist peacefully
Palestinians build ‘settlement’ near Jerusalem, receive eviction orders from Border Police

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  • COMMENTS

    1. directrob

      How can Palestinians inside the West Bank live on an outpost, why not use tent village in the title?

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Because it is an outpost.

        Tent village erected for political purpose.

        Purely idiotic.

        Reply to Comment
        • joe

          So.. they can’t set up tents on their own land, but settlers can illegally build a settlement on it.

          Good here innit?

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Since Palestinians managed to remain stateless for some 70 years, despite numerous offers – yeah, they can’t build anything.

            Wanna build – get a state.

            Reply to Comment
          • Palestinian

            What offers ?

            Reply to Comment
          • joe

            You might want to listen to yourself occasionally: they had a state, they own land. A state that someone else decided should be formed *somewhere else* has determined that their privately owned land is no longer theirs. Why should they ‘get a state’ when they feel that they already have one?

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Joe, they never had a state. Learn your history. Even the Palestinians don’t claim they ever had a state.

            Palestinian, read the Palestine Papers if you want to learn about the Israeli offers. The terms might not suit you, but pretending that there are no offers is just ignorant.

            Reply to Comment
          • joe

            So.. because they ‘didn’t have a state’, someone else can arbitraily decide if a) they can erect tents and b) confiscate their land?

            You need to get a logic transplant.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            First, let’s both agree that you were completely wrong when you stated that the Palestinians ever had a state.

            Second, because they never had a state they don’t have collective rights to any piece of land. If there is private land there that is owned by Arab owners then their private property should be respected. On the other hand, any public land does not belong to the Palestinians and is legitimately open for settlement.

            Reply to Comment
          • joe

            Nope, I don’t have to agree to anything you say. You say they had no state, you’ve got no grounds for me to agree with you. Funnily enough, you are not an authority on anything I recognise.

            Nobody said anything about collective rights anyway: the land is privately owned Palestinian land.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Joe, the funny thing about this forum is that what you say actually gets recorded.. So, when you first say something like “they had a state” and then say “because they ‘didn’t have a state’” in agreeing with my premise, you have contradicted yourself.

            Private land remains private land regardless of sovereignty. So, if your concern is about the Palestinian ownership of the land at E1, then you should then have no problem with that land and its residents falling under Israeli sovereignty presuming they get citizenship and their property rights are respected. The issue of collective rights goes back to whether the Palestinians as a group have a claim to the privately owned land and the publicly owned land that makes up most of E1 for the future state of Palestine.

            Palestinian, Olmert’s offer was in the Palestine papers. Here is a guardian link to it: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/palestine-papers-documents/4736

            Now you are going to say that the offer is insufficient or whatever and that’s fine, but again, anyone who starts talking about crap like Israel never making an offer is either lying or being willfully ignorant.

            As for your next question. The Syrians and Lebanese as groups with identities are creations of French colonial authorities. The Egyptians are products of British colonial authorities. Any collective claims these people might make on land is relatively new. This is why no one takes seriously Syrian ‘sole’ claims on Alexandretta.

            Reply to Comment
          • Palestinian

            I wanted him to give me examples,Zionists always claim that we have rejected many offers ,but what kind of offers ?!

            I have a question , who are you to decide the fate of our land ? Illegal immigrants/thieves/terrorists from Europe and Russia had and have no right to “offer” us anything ,keep that in mind.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >I have a question, who are you to decide the fate of our land?

            And who are you to claim sole ownership of this land?

            Reply to Comment
          • Palestinans

            First , who are the Syrians , the Lebanese,the Jordanians , the Iraqis ,the Egyptians,….to claim sole ownership of their homelands ?!… to be continued

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >First , who are the Syrians , the Lebanese,the Jordanians , the Iraqis ,the Egyptians,….to claim sole ownership of their homelands ?!

            As you properly noticed – they are pretty much no-one, which is why UN created states for them.

            Reply to Comment
          • Palestinian

            Why wasnt Syria given (assuming the UN had the right to) to people from Italy ?Why Lebanon is inhabited by the Lebanese not the Sudanese ? Why the Iraqi people werent given England or Malta but Iraq ?

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Why wasnt Syria given (assuming the UN had the right to) to people from Italy?
            Why Lebanon is inhabited by the Lebanese not the Sudanese ? Why the Iraqi people werent given England or Malta but Iraq ?

            [i]A fool can ask more questions in a day than a wise man can answer in a lifetime.[/i]

            Before I answer you’ll have to tell me why Kurds until now have no own country and which states are not letting it to happen.

            Reply to Comment
          • palestinian

            Although I lower myself to your level,you are unable to answer simple questions!

            Dont play Kurdish card in a desperate attempt to change the subject .Again , why wasnt Syria given (assuming the UN had the right to) to people from Italy ?Why Lebanon is inhabited by the Lebanese not the Sudanese ? Why the Iraqi people werent given England or Malta but Iraq ?

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Although I lower myself to your level

            I’m truly sorry but you technically are not capable of being any lower than you are already. No human being is.

            >Again, why wasnt Syria given (assuming the UN had the right to) to people from Italy? Why Lebanon is inhabited by the Lebanese not the Sudanese? Why the Iraqi people werent given England or Malta but Iraq?

            And again, answer my question regarding Kurds and I’ll answer yours.

            Reply to Comment
          • Palestinian

            What you said might be true in case I’m dealing with a human being ,but human standards are inapplicable to Zionist creatures.

            Isnt it exhilarating to chase Zionist creatures into corners with simple questions ?!They should learn to fight instead of flight…;)

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            You seem to have a serious problem understating written texts. Is it common to your tribe?

            Reply to Comment
          • Palestinian

            I think Palestinians have a serious problem understanding crafty language and dealing with snakes i.e Ziocreatures ,this is why we have lost our land to thieves.

            Reply to Comment
          • Rauna

            Trespasser, It was the UN who created the state of Israel.Have you forgotten? Or you probably not aware about it because you came to Israel from Poland/Russia long after its creation.

            Reply to Comment
          • ER

            I have a question. Who are you to decide that land that under International land is occupied is ‘your land.’?

            Reply to Comment
          • Er

            There was never a State of Israel, just a number of Kingdoms which warred with one another, and which were never wholly Jewish. The Israelites were polytheist Cannanites, archeology shows that that to be true.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Who are you to decide that land that under International land is occupied is ‘your land.’?

            Pardon, what?

            Who am I to decide that land that is defined as occupied land by international law is my land?

            You see, by the letter of written law (art. 49 of 4tf Geneva Convention if I remember well) the territory in question can not be considered “occupied”.

            >There was never a State of Israel… The Israelites were polytheist Cannanites, archeology shows that that to be true.

            And your point being?

            Reply to Comment
          • Rauna

            K9, One doesn’t need a state to own a property/land. You can easily purchase it even in foreign country and it’s legally yours.

            Reply to Comment
          • JG

            Wanna discuss – get brain first

            Reply to Comment
    2. me

      one more thing to make me hopeless about my country. ideas on how to help the situation are welcomed.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Yes. Make Palestinians have their own state already.

        Reply to Comment
    3. The Trespasser

      Ontopic

      Really good idea. If it would became widespread Magav and IDF would have hard time running after new outposts emerging in the bloody desert.

      As of proposed non-democracy, I can’t quite agree. Democracy is the power of majority of citizens. And majority decides that these tents should be removed. What’s non-democratic?

      Reply to Comment
      • aristeides

        The majority decided no such thing. Was there a vote? Was there a poll?

        Mr B Netanyahu himself, who received not a majority or even a plurality in the last election, decided this on his very own.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          In parliamentary-type modern democracy the majority is represented by the parliament of course – not the court – which elects government to actually do stuff while parliament supposedly listens to people needs.

          If population is unhappy how government rules it can change it each 4 years or even earlier by the procedure of impeachment or similar or a revolution as a last resort.

          As of polls – as far as I know only Switzerland resort to polls on most issues, however Switzerland is not really a good example, to my sincere regret.

          Well, of course Netaniyahu had decided it himself. Did he had any choice? Not really. Certainly not before elections where he leads all middle-right.

          Besides, wasn’t that the desired outcome of this provocation? The game goes on, everybody happy.

          Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            Actually in a normal modern democracy it is severely frowned upon if a government ignores the courts.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Actually, normal modern democracies are not supplying electricity and water to a hostile entities at discounted rate or nearly free of a charge, so obviously Israel is not a “normal modern democracy”

            It is the “only democracy in the middle east”. Comes with a territory, you know.

            Reply to Comment
          • richard vajs

            If your idea of a “democracy” includes racist, land-stealing jerks who lied America into a disastrous war with Iraq, well then I guess Israel is a democracy. For myself, I resent every damn dime that comes out of my tax money that is given to these mumzers

            Reply to Comment
          • aristeides

            Moving the goalposts, T. Do you mean a “democracy” or a “modern parliamentary-type democracy?”

            Besides which, the situation is neither, as the Palestinians don’t have a vote.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Obviously Israel is not a “normal modern parliamentary-type democracy”

            It is the “only democracy in the middle east”.

            Palestinian are not legitimate citizens, thus they do not and should not have a right to vote.

            I’m really amazed how a “nation” could willingly choose to remain stateless.

            Reply to Comment
          • aristeides

            I’m really amazed at the way you promulgate that lie.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Historic facts are that Palestinians were offered statehood three times or more and denied it each consecutive time.

            The passion with which you deny these obvious facts might be a symptom of some pathological condition. I’d visit a head doctor.

            Reply to Comment
          • aristeides

            There is statehood, T, and then there is “statehood.”

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            I know that by Palestinian’s standards anything less than the state of Palestine from the sea to the river is “statehood”, i.e. not acceptable/not viable/not whatever.

            Couldn’t care any less to tell the truth.

            Reply to Comment
    4. David

      I agree that this could be a game changer if dozens of these villages could be erected. Every time the Israelis tear one down another should be built. It would also be nice to see Israeli Jews fortify these villages by joining them and offering whatever ancillary services are required.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Craig

      How can a government that does not answer to its own courts consider itself democratic?

      And its highly dubious to say that one can simply vote BB out, coalition style governments leave a bitter taste.

      And If I do recall Palestine has been trying to get a state, there might have been a vote on it last year… Israeli may or may not have voted a resounding ‘no’.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        The tents are still there. The people were removed. The Court ruled that the authorities can’t remove the structures, which they didn’t. It is a technicality yes, but nonetheless the government followed the ruling of the court.

        It isn’t dubious at all to say that one can vote Bibi out. All one has to do is get enough votes for an alternative coalition. This is actually significantly easier than any candidate at the moment actually beating Bibi head-to-head as might happen in a presidential republic.

        The Palestinians would have already had a state if Arafat agreed to a deal and had Abbas not ignored Olmert’s offers. The games they are playing at the UN bring them no closer to actual statehood.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bryan Bastille

          I’m not one to sing the praises of Arafat or Abbas, but it must be said that what was offered to them cannot be considered a “state” in any meaningful sense of the term.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >I’m not one to sing the praises of Arafat or Abbas, but it must be said that what was offered to them cannot be considered a “state” in any meaningful sense of the term.

            Care to explain what specifically was missing in 1948 or 2000 offers?

            Funny how you call it “playing with words” when someone tells the full truth, rather than cherry-picking convenient half-truths.

            >Zionists don’t deserve credit for

            No-one is talking about “credit”, silly.

            UN offered two parties to create two new states and live in peace.
            Jews accepted, Arabs declined. Period.

            >“accepting” the UN partition plan any more than Hitler deserves credit for “agreeing” to non-aggression with Stalin.

            Totally unrelated analogy.

            >I do credit you with accuracy on one point. Zionist settlers are indeed “trespassers.”

            I’m most grateful. Say, are you an American by any chance?

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan Bastille

            Yeah, it’s unconscionable that the Palestinians passed on the chance to voluntarily abandon the land where they and their families had lived and farmed for centuries, and hand it over to a newly arrived colonial-settler minority. How dare they refuse to cooperate in their own dispossession?

            What was wrong with Barak’s so-called “generous offer” at Camp David? Let’s see: perpetuation of settlements, annexation to Israel of portions of the West Bank, lack of access to water supplies, Israeli control over the Jordanian border and the Jordan River valley, Israeli sovereignty over parts of East Jerusalem, failure to address refugee rights, etc. It might be easier to ask what wasn’t wrong with it. Not even the opportunist Arafat could countenance it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            What they were offered was as much a state as the Jewish state that was offered to the Zionists in 1947. It is as much a state as Singapore, Lesotho, Swaziland, Cyprus, etc.. All these states are either small, or surrounded by other more powerful states or have bases from one or more foreign powers. What precisely is missing from the offers that would have prevented the resultant entity from being a state?

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “What precisely is missing from the offers that would have prevented the resultant entity from being a state?”

            The obvious answer is that the resulting Arab state offered in the partition would have an immediate refugee crisis on its hands as the armed-wing of the Jewish Agency “transfers” its 45% Arab minority across the lines.

            Another possible answer is that Jaffa, though on the Jewish side of the partition plan, was assigned to the Arab state. So its major port would have been vulnerable to siege and on a good day all traffic to the sea would have to pass through the Jewish state. Of course the plan took that into account by proposing an economic union, so that should tell you even the UNSCOP committee didn’t expect these partitioned states to be viable on their own.

            “The objectives of the Economic Union of Palestine shall be:

            (…)

            Operation in the common interest on a non-discriminatory basis of railways inter-State highways; postal, telephone and telegraphic services and ports and airports involved in international trade and commerce;

            Joint economic development, especially in respect of irrigation, land reclamation and soil conservation;

            Access for both States and for the City of Jerusalem on a non-discriminatory basis to water and power facilities.” (From UNGA 181)

            Anyone familiar with the ideas of Ben-Gurion about international worker’s solidarity and the labor practices of Histadrut and the kibbutzim should have an idea of how gung-ho they would be over this. And you have to love the bit about access to water facilities on a “non-discriminatory” basis now that we know how the Zionist state distributes water in a de-facto one-state solution.

            Reply to Comment
    6. Although continually allocating resources to build tent villages would be draining, as well the perpetual removal of them by the IDF, David’s hope, above, has great merit.

      I plea that the Palestinians involved in this action understand that they have made a strategic entry into Israeli constiutional struggle. The State will treat the eviction as an accomplished fact. It is up to the Court to decide otherwise, and that may well need another petition to prod them.

      Real nonviolence engages the opponent as a present, enduring entity. By forcing the issue to the Court you are doing that. You may well lose this one total, but upon repetition the ground may shift. Even a loss on this State action will create dissent within the Court, dissent which may later activate elsewhere.

      Nonviolence is repetitive: the same action is done again and again to drill the point home to the opponent, world, and Palestinian community. It’s power lies in the refusal to stop, to give in, or to turn violent which will allow the IDF to mop things up to their satisfaction. As Aziz Abu Sarah says, the rule of law has lost this day. But it will come back, and there you will find allies.

      Congratulations to those who devised and implemented this action, and on the refusal of all to give in to the State’s taunt of violence. Find a way to build on this–perhaps, as David says, do it again. Keep the focus tight; know that they will make you lose many more times before you win.

      This is the most hopeful event I have seen, for both Israel and Palestine, in some time. And no one can take that away from you.

      Reply to Comment
    7. sh

      They surely knew an attempt would be made to get them out. They were making a point for the world to see and in the short time the people were there, they did. The author of the book Bab Al-Shams wrote them a beautiful letter which got additional publicity and gave them valuable encouragement.
      http://www.imemc.org/article/64872

      I saw that sympathizers more intelligent than I questioned the timing though. Bibi’s terrified of looking like a wimp and just before an election that has seen him lose support to Naftali Bennett despite his best endeavours, it was urgent for him to look masterful. Although my first thought was that voilà! Bibi’s a dictator and we now clearly do not live in a democracy, his legal counsellors probably complied with the High Court ruling in advising to evict the inhabitants without razing the tent village until the court gives permission at the end of the period they allowed it to stay. (Correct me if I’m wrong, legal heads.)

      Just one last thing, the people who erected and stayed in Bab al-Shams insisted that it was not an outpost because it was not on State land but on private Palestinian land, as stated in civil administration documents. So perhaps the word outpost should be changed to village in the title of this piece?

      A detail

      Reply to Comment
      • There is actually a reason for doing this before elections, precisely because Bibi will more likely act hot-headedly, which is what he did. One needs a confrontation between the Executive and High Court, so act when you think Bibi most worried about reaction within right leaning voters, who must pick one or another party.

        As to the technicality, demolition is considered concomitant with expulsion; you have to expell to destroy. Bibi asked his legal to come up with a way out, and they did. But a Justice could rule that the stay covered demolition and all its USUAL concomitants. A test for the High Court has been set up–by Palestinians! My worry is that, even if some of the Justices don’t like what has been done to them, they will refuse to act as the case is now moot, or so they may say.

        Martin Luther King once sent a phlanx of very young children, shouting and giggling, right towards firemen, daring the latter to turn on their hoses. They did. A few days later JFK was on national telivision promising a Civil Rights Bill. This isn’t going to happen now, of course, but the point is that nonviolence is not docile; it forces decision for later consequence, within the confines of not acting with direct violence, or supporting such. What the right doesn’t want to see is that those engaging in this act are their best long term ally in the Bank. It is extremely hard to plan and execute an action you know will fail in the usual sense. The whole idea here is to get people on both sides of the wall to consider alternative thinking. Those commenting on this site, opposed to such a thing, will deride these last days.

        Reply to Comment
    8. The zionist are just following the US and what they did to the native americans.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Yeah, and what Cro-Magnons did to Neanderthals.

        Do you realize that your ancestors had exterminated entire species to take their place? How could you live with such burden of guilt?

        Reply to Comment
        • JG

          Great gosh!
          Your knowledge of anthropology is even worser than the one of history and politics.
          Nobody genocided the Neanderthals, their genes are inside us.
          But go on with your made up “arguments”

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            JG,

            Apparently your high school biology teacher wasn’t too professional.

            “Although modern humans share some nuclear DNA with the extinct Neanderthals, the two species do not share any mitochondrial DNA,[36] which in primates is always maternally transmitted. This observation has prompted the hypothesis that whereas female humans interbreeding with male Neanderthals were able to generate fertile offspring, the progeny of female Neanderthals who mated with male modern humans were either rare, absent or sterile (in line with Haldane’s rule).[37]

            While interbreeding is viewed as the most parsimonious interpretation of the genetic discoveries, the authors point out they cannot conclusively rule out an alternative scenario, in which the source population of non-African modern humans was already more closely related to Neanderthals than other Africans were, due to ancient genetic divisions within Africa.[34]“

            Reply to Comment
    9. Mikesailor

      August: The US did abuse, brutalize and kill the natives. Your argument would be valid if you acknowledged no change, no evolution in the political and legal norms presently recognized. A world prior to the Geneva Conventions, the UN, the World Court etc. Actually this is an illegitimate excuse by Zionists to avoid responsibility and condemnation for their actions:..”Look, in the past somebody did the same or worse therefore we Zionists are excused despite our violation of present norms and legalities..”
      I would say that Bibi’s and Israel’s actions point more toward Israel’s ‘legitimacy’ as a state rather than its self-description as a ‘democracy’ or not. Can a legitimate ‘state’ exist unbound by the rule of law it itself creates? Can it be a ‘state’ without declared borders? Can it so narrowly define its citizenry so as to preclude ‘justice’ for those it deems somehow ‘unworthy’ by accident of birth? Of course it can whine about not being ‘understood’ by the world at large, but might it not be that the world at large understands this rogue for what it truly is?

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        >A world prior to the Geneva Conventions, the UN, the World Court etc. Actually this is an illegitimate excuse by Zionists to avoid responsibility and condemnation for their actions.

        You are assumptions are false, as usually.

        What is an excuse is that Arabs had declined all and any pro-Israeli resolutions, and decisions, including UN resolution 181.

        All Arabs had to do in 1948 is accept the partition plan and declare Palestinian state with capital in Jerusalem.

        But they preferred war, not peace. Well, I can only thank them for that.

        Reply to Comment
        • Yesspam

          All the Jews had to do in 48 was to agree to live in a democratic state with Arabs, but they refused to continue discussions, started ethnic cleansing, and unilaterally asked the UN to recognise an Israeli state without defined borders.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >All the Jews had to do in 48 was to agree to live in a democratic state with Arabs

            I see. By your logic Jews are not entitled to have own state on historical homeland.

            >and unilaterally asked the UN to recognise an Israeli state without defined borders.

            Which is rather poor excuse for Arabs not to do so as well.

            Reply to Comment
    10. meron

      It goes like this: in 1947, the Zionist leadership accepted the UN partition plan, and the Palestinian Arabs rejected it. Instead, they attacked the Jewish community in the country and were later joined by the regular armies of the neighboring Arab states. They wanted to throw us into the sea. They lost the war and paid the price.
      .
      Facts? Incontestable? Well…
      .
      IT IS indeed a fact that the Zionist leadership accepted the partition plan – formally. Many Zionist leaders objected, but were persuaded by David Ben-Gurion to agree to the official acceptance. However, in several secret meetings Ben-Gurion made it clear that the partition borders were unacceptable and must be rectified at the first opportunity. The minutes of these meetings are there for all to read.

      The other side of the mantra – “the Palestinian Arabs rejected” – is more complex. There was no democratically elected Palestinian Arab leadership. In the 1936-39 Arab revolt, the Arab leadership – such as it was – was destroyed, partly by the British but mostly by the foremost Palestinian leader, the Grand Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini. He had most of his competitors killed off.

      During World War II, Hajj Amin fled to Nazi Germany and the rest of the “leaders” were deported by the British. After the war, the discredited Hajj stayed abroad. A distant relative of his headed the so-called “Arab Higher Committee”, which was unelected and had shallow roots among the population. There was no effective Palestinian leadership in existence.

      No one asked the Arab Palestinians whether to accept or reject anything. If they had been asked, they would probably have rejected partition, since – in their view – it gave a large part of their historical homeland to foreigners. The more so, since the Jews, who at the time constituted a third of the population, were allotted 55% of the territory – and even there the Arabs constituted 40% of the population.

      The governments of the Arab states rejected partition, but they certainly did not represent the Palestinian Arabs, who were at the time still under British rule (as were we).

      As a matter of fact, during the war there was no effective united Palestinian Arab leadership, nor was there anything even remotely resembling a united Palestinian fighting force.

      One can interpret these facts as one wishes – but they certainly do not paint a clear picture of “the Zionists accepted, the Palestinians rejected”.

      Yet this mantra is being repeated endlessly in newspaper articles, TV talk-shows and political speeches as self-evident truth. Prof. Avineri is only one of a legion of Israeli propagandists to repeat it.
      http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1308952216

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        No matter how you play with words the real-life historical facts remain the same: Zionists (Jews) accepted UN resolutions and plans, Arabs (Palestinian, Jordanian, Egyptian – does not matter, they all are Arabs, are they not?) denied.

        Now they want to turn back the clock and get the initial offer.

        Obviously, well-being of the “Palestinian People” is not the root cause to the struggle.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bryan Bastille

          Funny how you call it “playing with words” when someone tells the full truth, rather than cherry-picking convenient half-truths.

          Zionists don’t deserve credit for “accepting” the UN partition plan any more than Hitler deserves credit for “agreeing” to non-aggression with Stalin.

          I do credit you with accuracy on one point. Zionist settlers are indeed “trespassers.”

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            One side accepted compromise (the Zionists) the other didn’t. You can either praise those that choose compromise over confrontation or you can continue to support the Palestinians in their genocidal desire to destroy Israel and kill or throw out the Israelis.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan Bastille

            Wow, so I can’t support Palestinian rights without supporting “genocide”? It was the Zionists who obliterated entire Palestinian villages. There is no end to the hypocrisy.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            1) You refuse to accept that only one side here is repeatedly actually willing to accept compromises. Siding with the other side in such a scenario isn’t particularly different than siding with their aims, which given an inability to compromise are pretty drastic.

            2) Both sides destroyed villages. Look up Kfar Etzion for example. The only hipocrisy here is pretending that the Arabs are entirely blameless.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan Bastille

            You’re right: I refuse to believe a lie. “Compromise,” as you use it, is only a euphemism for Zionist attempts to impose humiliating terms that fall well short of autonomous statehood. “Compromise” to Israel is offering to undo only a small portion of the “facts on the ground” that were wrongfully created in the first place.

            The aims of the Palestinian cause are not “genocidal.” From the beginning, the core issues have been about land, equal rights, and redressing past wrongs.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >From the beginning, the core issues have been about land, equal rights, and redressing past wrongs.

            Nonsense.
            When did the conflict begun in your opinion? In 1948? Why not on 1929? Or 1838?

            “Equal rights” is a term ABSOLUTELY alien to this local tribes.

            “Past wrongs”?

            Dude, you just have no idea of what you are talking about.

            The conflict was/is about land and religion.
            Arab/Muslim position on the issue is that Jews have no right for their own state on Arab land. Period. “equal rights” and “past wrongs” exists only in some of European’s heads.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan Bastille

            Oh, but I do know, “dude.”

            The conflict is NOT about religion. The presence of Jews in Palestine predates Zionist colonization. A substantial number of Palestinians are Christian as well. It’s Israel that has always wanted to make it about religion, and in fact supported the genesis of Hamas as a way of undermining the (mostly secular) PLO.

            It doesn’t take a genius to realize that specific Palestinian demands for an end to discriminatory treatment are about equality of human and civil rights.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Oh, but I do know, “dude.”

            As a matter of fact you know so little that you are not even capable to understand how little you actually know.

            >The conflict is NOT about religion.

            Yes, it is.
            Muslims are claiming that Jerusalem is one of their holy places (actually it is not and can not be, but for 1.5 bln. Muslims it is of a little importance) and control of inferior (by Quran) Jews over it is not acceptable.

            >The presence of Jews in Palestine predates Zionist colonization.

            So is the history of Muslim persecution of Jews in Palestine and elsewhere.

            >A substantial number of Palestinians are Christian as well.

            Which are subjected to persecution, like in all other Muslim countries.
            http://bit.ly/S9SQra

            Your point being?

            >It’s Israel that has always wanted to make it about religion

            Lie.

            >and in fact supported the genesis of Hamas as a way of undermining the (mostly secular) PLO.

            Nonsense.

            At the beginning Hamas was a secular movement and was supported by Israel so it could counter Islamist Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza

            >It doesn’t take a genius to realize that specific Palestinian demands for an end to discriminatory treatment are about equality of human and civil rights.

            Not really.

            Palestinians – as all Muslims or Christians (until very recently) for that matter – NEVER perceived Jews as equal. Quran clearly says that Jews failed mission given to them by Allah, the New Testament claims that Jews killed Messiah. Equality my ass.

            Until after Yom Kippur war the only demand heard from Arabs was for Jews to GTFO.

            Arabs had refused to live in a multinational state (as Mandate suggested) in 1922, they declined 1948 plan to have a state in half of the land, they declined statehood two more offers in 2000 and 2002…

            Dogs bark, caravan goes on and the pie isn’t getting any larger.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan Bastille

            Your personal insults do not intimidate me, and your rebuttals only add to the running pile of falsehoods and half-truths. Career fabricators of history are invariably well practiced at calling their opponents stupid or liars.

            The Zionist movement and the state of Israel are predicated on the expulsion and dispossession of Palestinians. The “Jewish state” could only come at the expense of the native Arab majority. To accomplish this under a guise of righteousness, it has long relied on a mythology that alternately denies the existence of Palestinians (e.g., “a land without a people for a people without a land”) and blames them for their own ill fate (e.g., denying the right of return by falsely claiming they voluntarily left their homes in 1948 under orders broadcast over the radio by Arab leaders). I’ll never forget the one Zionist who passionately urged me to read Leon Uris’s “Exodus”—a work of fiction, no less!—so that I could know the truth about what happened in 1948.

            I’ve heard and examined many of these Zionist myths over the years, but the claim that Hamas is of secular origin is a first for me. Please cite a source; I would like to check it out. In my experience, Zionists usually either remain silent on the topic or deny that Israel ever supported Hamas, though a few acknowledge it (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123275572295011847.html).

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Bryan,

            >Your personal insults do not intimidate me

            These are not insults but facts. I understand what some might be offended by facts (How old exactly was Aisha when married?) but there is nothing I can to do to help them besides spreading some light of knowledge.

            >calling their opponents stupid or liars.

            Did I call you “stupid” or “liar”? Now. I only said that you know way less than you should to be able to have any semi-legitimate opinion.

            >The Zionist movement and the state of Israel are predicated on the expulsion and dispossession of Palestinians.

            Now, you’ll have to back your words, or I’ll have to call you a liar.

            >The “Jewish state” could only come at the expense of the native Arab majority.

            Then why Arabs rejected multinational state in 1922?

            >To accomplish this under a guise of righteousness

            No guise is needed once one knows most facts.

            >it has long relied on a mythology that alternately denies the existence of Palestinians

            Because no “Palestinian” exists. There are Palestinian Jews, Palestinian Arabs, Palestinian Armenian, Palestinian Samaritans and few others, but there is not, neither was ever in history, any “Palestinian people”

            >”a land without a people for a people without a land”

            Irrelevant.

            >and blames them for their own ill fate
            Arabs declined TWO state offers – in 1922 and in 1948 – and unleashed war. Can’t see any other to blame really.

            >denying the right of return by falsely claiming they voluntarily left their homes in 1948 under orders broadcast over the radio by Arab leaders

            1 – RoR is denied by multiple reasons. First and foremost – because there is no law by which all groups of refugees must be returned to their homes at all costs.

            2 – You can not deny that there were calls by Arab leaders for Palestinian Arabs to leave the Palestine.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_the_1948_Palestinian_exodus#The_.22Arab_leaders.27_endorsement_of_flight.22_explanation

            >I’ve heard and examined many of these Zionist myths over the years, but the claim that Hamas is of secular origin is a first for me. Please cite a source

            Err… I have to admit that I’ve made up some of it.

            Obviously it was religious from the beginning – a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and now it is not possible to hide the fact that Israel supported Hamas to a certain degree.

            What is interesting however is why Israel would do something like that?

            “A look at Israel’s decades-long dealings with Palestinian radicals — including some little-known attempts to cooperate with the Islamists — reveals a catalog of unintended and often perilous consequences. Time and again, Israel’s efforts to find a pliant Palestinian partner that is both credible with Palestinians and willing to eschew violence, have backfired. Would-be partners have turned into foes or lost the support of their people.”

            http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123275572295011847.html

            Reply to Comment
          • Er

            Dude, Jewish views are that the Paestinans have no right to a homeland, and that Eretz Israel is theirs. The Paestinans accepted a two state solution long ago, but Israel refuses to discuss peace.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Dude, Jewish views are that the Paestinans have no right to a homeland

            No. Jewish views are that Palestinian Arabs are not the only Palestinians who have a right to a homeland.

            >and that Eretz Israel is theirs [homeland].

            Yes. What’s wrong with that?

            >The Paestinans accepted a two state solution long ago

            They rejected one multinational state in 1922, they rejected two states for two nations in 1948, 2000 and 2002.

            What and when did they accepted?

            >but Israel refuses to discuss peace

            Israel only refuses to discuss it’s own destruction.

            It’s really not our fault that for some peace is only reachable after Middle East is made Juden Frei.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan Bastille

            Well, this is rich. “Trespasser” says I don’t know enough to have a “semi-legitimate opinion” but, when cornered on an untenable claim, he admits to making it up.

            When a confirmed fabricator calls me unknowledgeable, I can only take it as a sign that I’m on right track.

            For years Israel peddled the fiction of the “Arab radio broadcasts” causing Arab civilians to flee. Historian Erskine Childers exhaustively searched for evidence of these alleged radio broadcasts, evidence that Israeli officials repeatedly insisted they had and would provide soon but, alas, never did.

            After Childers’ findings were published in The Spectator, a lively debate played out in a series of letters by the Zionist denier and Childers and others. It is quite illuminating; look up “The Spectator Correspondence”

            So why would the Zionists knowingly propagate the lie about the radio broadcasts? If in fact there had been clear instructions (conveyed by means other than radio) from Arab leaders to flee, why fabricate the story of radio broadcasts and spend years insisting on evidence that never existed?

            The inevitable answers are not charitable to Zionists’ cause.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Since you weren’t able to refute any of my other arguments I’m doing really not that bad.

            >Historian Erskine Childers exhaustively searched for evidence of these alleged radio broadcasts.

            1 – the lack of evidence does not mean that such events never took place

            2 – BBC never claimed to have a complete record 100% of broadcasts on all frequencies

            3 – Childers does not know Arabic, so it does not clear how exactly was he able to understand anything at all.

            Besides, listening to ALL broadcasts of ALL stations during entire year would take considerable time; Childers never mentioned that it took him long or that he hired translators to help him.

            4 – Childers’ claims contradict reports of people who at least speak the same language
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_the_1948_Palestinian_exodus#The_.22Arab_leaders.27_endorsement_of_flight.22_explanation

            >look up “The Spectator Correspondence”
            Looks pretty much like any comments section on any modern website.

            >So why would the Zionists knowingly propagate the lie about the radio broadcasts?

            Not proven to be a lie so far.

            >If in fact there had been clear instructions (conveyed by means other than radio) from Arab leaders to flee

            1 – You’ve never heard ANY of recordings, neither did I, so we have to rely on other who’ve allegedly did.
            2 – Although some calls to remain put apparently took place, there are reports on other broadcasts, which although were not direct calls to leave, contributed much to create panic. Ex. alleged translation by Radio Damascus on 13.9.48

            >why fabricate the story of radio broadcasts and spend years insisting on evidence that never existed?

            Too bad Jamal Husseini was not aware of that in August 1948
            “The withdrawals were carried out pursuant to an order emanating from Amman. The withdrawal from Nazareth was ordered by Amman; the withdrawal from Safad was ordered by Amman; the withdrawal orders from Lydda and Rale are well known to you. During none of these withdrawals did fighting take place.”

            >The inevitable answers are not charitable to Zionists’ cause.

            The inevitable answer is that Arabs never sought equality and peace with Jews. Not that damaging to our cause.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan Bastille

            “Trespasser,” an admitted falsifier of historical fact, would now have us believe that his word is reliable.

            Regarding the elusive evidence of “radio broadcasts”: If someone claims to have evidence to back up an assertion, but then is found to have lied about the existence of such evidence, any later claim that the assertion is true despite having lied about the evidence is, to put it kindly, dubious.

            The overwhelming evidence as to the cause of Arab flight points to the terror generated by the combination of massacres such as Deir Yassin and Zionist psychological warfare. Benny Morris, himself a Zionist historian, allows that Arab evacuation orders may have accounted for no more than 5% of the 1948 flight.

            A point-by-point rebuttal of Trespasser’s lies, distortions, and cherry-picking is neither necessary (considering he’s a confirmed liar) nor appropriate to this forum (given space limitations implicit in a comments section). But if other readers are somehow still interested, I’d be willing to provide more through rebuttals in a blog-style format elsewhere.

            Otherwise, it’s time for the confirmed falsifier to move on to the next hasbara carpet-bombing operation.

            Reply to Comment
    11. michael hall

      This has been going on since 1948. Whoever is surprised is not paying too much attention. Remember what happened in South Africa and Rhodesia? Same thing will happen here…real soon..Justice delayed but justice one day…

      Reply to Comment
    12. I have one final comment. One of Gandhi’s most brilliant moves was the Salt March, where he marched over days to the sea and symbolically picked up salt, thereby violating the British monopoly law on salt production. Soon throughout Indian shops were making salt and selling it or giving it away, causing an enforcement nightmare for the British.

      This action is the first instance I know of coming close to that kind of creativity in the Bank. It is important to note that Gandhi’s action creating mimics everywhere. I’m not saying there will now be villages set up in many places; I suspect not. But the timing and execution of this action has something of the daring and scope of the Salt March.

      Of course, I believe in nonviolence, and many will laugh this off. But at least I can say that those involved in this action are very impressive, to me.

      Reply to Comment
      • joe

        Gandhi had several things going for him, not least that the British attempted to manage the whole Indian state with a ruling class of a few thousand expats. This is not the same in Palestine.

        I’m not sure, therefore, that the Salt March can usefully be cited as anything other than vague inspiration in this situation.

        Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        I realize that you are a sentimental fellow but you really are making a mountain out of a mole hill. You are going to be disappointed.

        Gandhi and the salt march are really bad examples here. The British relied on Indian cooperation to maintain control. Israel neither relies on or expects Palestinian cooperation to maintain control. Not only that but were the Palestinians to withhold cooperation it wouldn’t exactly be ground breaking.

        Reply to Comment
      • Joe and K9, I was not arguing for the Salt March as direct exemplar, but noting its creativity in the environment of its time. My view is that the present action exhibits, to me, a high degree of creativity in its environment. Nonviolence does not repeat tactics from the past directly, but learns how the past responded to its environment of the time, asking then how creativity can be forged in the present. Martin Luther King had no Salt March as such.

        Instead of looking for direct analogies to India, consider that nonviolence is always tailored to its present. Certainly those who went to this tent village knew what would happen; they went nonetheless. And they thereby foraged a symbol without harming anyone.

        Just a week ago one as K9 would have laughed off that any such event as this was even possible. The conservative needs to convince that only what is and was can be. I do not know what will be. But I do believe this event as reported by 972 shows that what will be is as yet undetermined, and that people of very high political, social and moral resolve exist in the Bank. I said to you some time ago, K9, that the nonviolent movement was not over. Laugh. It is a major tool.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          Don’t be silly Greg. I would have laughed off the entire nonviolent movement as ineffective, not dead. Nothing has happened to change this analysis. This isnt even the first Palestinian outpost, just the most widely publicized. But you go on believing in hope or change or whatever makes you feel all tingly all over.

          Reply to Comment
          • Those who use derisive laughter as a weapon are ugly in their lives. No matter what happened to you before entering Israel, it is no warrant for destroying others’ hope.

            Look at the photos by ActiveStills. I see pride, hope, celebration, a little joy; I see effectuality, a refusal to be trapped without the ability to create; a reaching out to one another to build.

            I see your enemy.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >it is no warrant for destroying others’ hope.

            Jews destroyed what Palestinian hopes exactly?

            Reply to Comment
          • Why not ask those who errected this tent village?

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Why won’t you tell me, if you are so active on their behalf. Surely you must know.

            Reply to Comment
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