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Netanyahu Called For Mass Expulsions of Palestinians in 1989

The Jerusalem Post of 19 November 1989 reported Netanyahu’s address to students at Bar-Ilan University in reference to the June 1989 Tiananmen Square crisis:

HIGHLIGHT: Deputy Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called for Israel to exploit political opportunities in order to expel large numbers of Palestinians from the territories. Netanyahu made the remark in a speech to Bar-Ilan University students on Thursday. In a tape recording of a portion of Netanyahu’s address obtained by The Jerusalem Post last night, the deputy foreign minister clearly states that “five, 50 or 500″ inciters should have been expelled at various times since the start of the intifada.

Netanyahu told the students that the government had failed to exploit politically favourable situations in order to carry out “large-scale” expulsions at times when “the damage would have been relatively small.

“I still believe that there are opportunities to expel many people,” Netanyahu said.

Then on November 21, 1989, the Jerusalem Post reports Netanyahu attempting to mitigate his previous, unambiguous comments:

EVERYONE KNEW WHAT I MEANT,’ SAYS NETANYAHU ABOUT EXPULSIONS

HIGHLIGHT: Deputy Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu yesterday denied that he had called for large-scale expulsions of Palestinians from the territories. Replying in the Knesset to a motion for the agenda by Tewfik Toubi, (Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) which was struck off by a large majority, Netanyahu said that in his speech to students at Bar-Ilan University last Thursday he had referred to inciters and not to the general population.

The Jerusalem Post documents cannot be reproduced without permission, but “are available on LexisNexis if you have access. They can also be purchased from the ProQuest Archiver (here and here).”

Is Netanyahu attempting to create and exploit favourable conditions by agitating for a war with Iran in order to begin mass expulsions of Palestinians now, “when the damage might be relatively small”?

Is Israel’s expulsion of thousands of Sudanese refugees a practice run?

Ethnic cleansing has notable political support in Israel – Tzipi Livni and Avigdor Lieberman have also raised the spectre of mass expulsions from Israel more recently.

Livni, often misrepresented as a “dovish” figure, has been consistent in her desire to get rid of Palestinian citizens of Israel in order to maintain Jewish ethnic purity, so much so, that even former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was shocked by Livni’s extreme views.

During Palestinian-Israeli negotiations in 2008, the Palestine Papers revealed, Livni was one of the foremost proponents of transferring areas populated by Palestinians from within Israel to the putative Palestinian state.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and other Israeli politicians openly advocate various kinds of “transfer” schemes.

Whether Netanyahu is contemplating a critical scenario enabling mass expulsions, he is already facilitating mass dispossession and displacement of Palestinians by inexorable stealth.

Professor Raquel Rolnik, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing said this month:

“From the Galilee and the Negev to East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Israeli authorities promote a territorial development model that excludes, discriminates against and displaces minorities, particularly affecting Palestinian communities.” The Rapporteur also added that “Throughout my visit I received repeated complaints regarding lack of housing, threats of demolitions and evictions, overcrowding, the disproportional number of demolitions affecting Palestinian communities side by side with the accelerated development of predominantly Jewish settlements”.

According to Prof. Rolnik, in East Jerusalem she witnessed the inadequate housing conditions and deficiencies in basic infrastructure faced by Palestinian neighbourhoods and villages. “The policies adopted by Israeli authorities severely restrict Palestinians from building legally through various means. Among others, Israel has not provided Palestinians with the necessary planning framework to ensure that their basic housing and infrastructure needs are met.” she said. Moreover, the number of permits issued is grossly inadequate to housing needs leading many Palestinians to build without obtaining a permit. As a result, numerous Palestinians homes or extensions to these are considered illegal so that the inhabitants are subjected to eviction orders and the demolition of their houses. “Currently tens of thousands of Palestinians are estimated to be at risk of their homes being demolished due to unregulated building. The mere threat of demolition has a profound impact on families and particularly on children, psychological and otherwise.” explained the Rapporteur.

In the West Bank the territorial fragmentation and the severe deterioration of Palestinian standards of living are furthered by decades of accelerated expansion of Israeli settlement units that expropriate land and natural resources. “To a certain extent, these territorial and demographic changes promoted in the West Bank, mirror changes occurred within the Israeli territory after 1948, where Palestinian presence was progressively limited in parallel to a disproportional support to the expansion of Jewish communities.” said Rolnik.Following a visit to the Arab al-Jahalin Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, UN Special Rapporteur Rolink said: “This community, among others in the area of “Greater Jerusalem”, has been informed by the Civil Administration that a master plan has been approved which would lead to their expulsion from the area where they currently live for the expansion of the Ma’ale Adumin settlement. The only school in the area, which was built by the community, is under a demolition order. The community is in great uncertainty regarding its future.”

Prof. Rolnik concluded that after the Oslo agreements, Israel retained official temporary control over the vast majority of the occupied West Bank (Area C). At present, more than half a million Israeli-Jews, have settled in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem. “Throughout my visit, I was able to witness a land development model that excludes, discriminates against and displaces minorities in Israel which is being replicated in the occupied territory, affecting Palestinian communities. The Bedouins in the Negev – inside Israel – as well as the new Jewish settlements in area C of the West Bank and inside Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem – are the new frontiers of dispossession of the traditional inhabitants, and the implementation of a strategy of Judaization and control of the territory.

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The Seacret Debate: Conflict over the Conflict

Seacret is an Israeli company that sells cosmetics made from minerals extracted from the Dead Sea.

Its products are labelled, “Made In Israel”.

The Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA) is an Adelaide-based activist group formed in 2003, which campaigns against Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people.

AFOPA accuses Seacret of stealing Palestinian resources to make its products.

Since October 2010, members of AFOPA having been regularly protesting on Friday nights outside the Seacret store in Rundle Mall.

They wear green shirts, carry Palestinian flags and hand out flyers.

“Firstly, we hope that the effects of the boycott will encourage the owners of Seacret to put pressure on the Israeli government to change their inhumane policies to the Palestinians,” AFOPA member Margaret Cassar says.

“Secondly, Seacret is an Israeli company that profits from the illegal military occupation of Palestine.

“Its use of Dead Sea minerals in its products is in direct contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention which forbids exploitation of resources in land held by an occupying power.”

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