Israel’s unrecognised villages

Something we found in the Guardian’s comments section:


But With Words Sharper Than a
Two Edged Sword


Memoirs of a Nice Irish American “Girl” in

Occupied Territory

On December 1st WAWA BLOG:

I offer you an excerpt from Chapter 1:

So, What’s a Nice Irish American Girl Like Me Doing in Occupied Territory?

In January 2005, during my second journey to Israel and Palestine, seven Americans and a Brit, rode in a van through the Kidron Valley on the un-maintained bumpy winding narrow roads that Palestinians must go, in order to reach Jericho and the Dead Sea. Our guide was from Beit Jala, a Christian community on the west side of Bethlehem who told us, “Do you know what is more dangerous to the Israeli government than a journalist? A tour guide, for we always tell the truth and cannot be censored!”

I know it sounds crazy, but on that bus trip through the Kidron Valley, I saw an upside down rainbow that was inverted above the mountain tops. I wondered if it were a sign from God confirming the fact that in this Orwellian world of Israel and Palestine: wrong has become right. After the rainbow vaporized from view, my traveling guide told me, “In Israel the only law is the law of the jungle. I have to apply for a permit on a monthly basis to enter Israel but any soldier can deny me access without giving me any reason. There are 190,000 Palestinian with Israeli ID s but they are all second class citizens. They can vote in municipal elections but not for Parliament. They cannot get a Passport; they must apply for Visa s…In July 2005 the first anniversary of the International Court of Justice s historic ruling affirmed The Wall and All of the settlements are grave violations of human rights and against International Law as well as obstacles to peace. Yet Israel continues to erect The Wall and expand its settlements in the occupied West Bank.”

On my second day of my second journey to Israel and Palestine, I rode upon the treacherous and the only way to the newly recognized village of Ain Hod, home to the locally famous Albeit Restaurant. The food is so good there that even the settlers will leave their smooth well maintained by-pass roads and travel up the mountain side upon a narrow winding rocky unpaved way that edges a cliff with a 300 foot drop.

The owner of the well renowned restaurant where many settlers dine on the weekend is Mohammed Abu Haija. Soft-spoken and patient, he explained the upside down illogic of the Unrecognized Villages. In 1948 when most of the indigenous population fled their homes and property, some citizens held their ground, dug in and nonviolently endured being treated like sub-human beings.

The Unrecognized Villages are not on any map and yet these people all have Israeli citizenship, pay taxes yet receive no services. The Israeli government had deemed these scattered villages as military zones and agricultural areas so homes were demolished, and people have lived for decades without water, electricity, schools or medical care. The Israeli settlers 400 meters away have swimming pools and every comfort known to man.

On the fortieth anniversary of The Declaration of Human Rights in 1998 Mohammed and others formed the Association of 40″ and they have worked in solidarity and nonviolently through the court system to be recognized, to receive water, electricity, roads and human rights.

In 2006, in Israel, there are still 100 Unrecognized villages with over 100,000 tax paying Israeli-Arab citizens who live in third world conditions.

While I was in Ain Hod, over one hundred residents from the Bethlehem district gathered in Beit Jala to protest against The Wall being built on their land. The building of The Wall in the city of Beit Jala had begun the week prior for “security purposes”, yet its route lies deep within Palestinian territories. A Coordinator of the Celebrating Nonviolent Resistance Conference and the former Director of Holy Land Trust, Sami Awad was detained and beaten by Israeli soldiers, he stated, “The Israeli occupation is sending a clear message to the Palestinian people, they don t want us to engage in nonviolent resistance because it truly exposes them and the injustice they are doing to the world.

The Wall is composed of 25 to 30 foot high concrete slabs with razor wire, trenches, sniper towers, electric fences, military roads, electronic surveillance, remote controlled infantry and buffer zones that stretch over 100 miles wide that deny Palestinians access to their land, families, jobs, and resources.

The Wall will completely separate Bethlehem and her sister villages of Beit Sahour, Beit Jala from the northern parts of the West Bank. Because of Bethlehem s significance to and historic ties with Palestinian East Jerusalem, Bethlehem s economic demise may well mark the beginning of the end of a viable Two-State solution. If The Wall is completed in this area, 4000 dunums of the areas most fertile land will be isolated in order to accommodate for the expansion and the building of the colonies/settlements of Gilo and Har Gilo. This means Beit Jala will have no potential for expansion.

This growing ghettoization of Bethlehem is not only destroying ancient communities, but the influx of nearly 900 new settlers, and plans for 30,000 new settlers to colonize the occupied West Bank, violates the Road Map, which prohibits settlement expansion. The Wall and all of Israel s settlement colonies are illegal under International Law.

Come, let us go and see this thing that has happened in Bethlehem

In 2000, during the Second Intifada, which is Arabic for Uprising photographer Debbie Hill captured George of Beit Jala, standing in the rubble of what had been his bedroom the night before. His photo ran in the Florida Catholic newspaper, and when I looked into his eyes, I heard in my heart: “Do Something.” It persists.

I had no clue what I could do, but I put a copy of that photo in a frame and set it upon my home altar: which is a bar high table in the upper room of my home, surrounded by candles and eclectic icons. I pass by his photo dozens of times a day, and all I do is sigh and groan, for I do not know what I ought to pray, but the Spirit intercedes with groans and sighs, deeper and more meaningful than any words. -Romans 8:26

In the year 2000, in Beit Jala, west of downtown Bethlehem some hopeless militants infiltrated the previously peaceful Christian village to shoot into the illegal colony of Gilo a few miles away. The Israeli Defense Force retaliated and the bedroom of George was decimated. The shrapnel that pierced the wall of his sanctuary read “Made in USA” and was delivered from American made Apache helicopters that buzzed over his head.

I first met George of Beit Jala in June 2005, shepherded by an Internet connection, George Rishmawi, a Palestinian Christian. My first trip to Israel Palestine was via my connection to the interfaith, non-profit Olive Trees Foundation for Peace, dedicated to raising awareness and funds to help replace the olive trees The Wall has brought down. I have been drawn to return three times since in less than a year since, to bear witness and report about the Christian Exodus.

During my initial visit with George of Beit Jala, I learned that he, his sister and mother all suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome, but most governments just consider that collateral damage. George s father told me he has no bitterness about what happened even though the snipers had not even been near their home. The most difficult thing for him was the lack of employment opportunities in Bethlehem and being dependent on relatives and friends to feed his children.

In June 2005, George and his sister Ghada were both painfully shy and neither was doing well in their school studies. But, when I visited them six months later, they both greeted me with the typical Mid East greeting to a friend; a hug and kiss on both cheeks. George was doing better in school, but Ghada was still frequently depressed and struggling. When I revisited them in March and November 2006 I was awed by the resiliency of childhood; both were laughing, playing with cousins and friends and making A s at the private Christian school they both attend, tuition paid by anonymous Americans.

The only way to security for Israelis and justice for Palestinians, is to end the occupation and ensure that all people have equal human rights. No enduring peace, no security, and no reconciliation is even possible without the foundation of justice. Justice requires mercy and is always nonviolent.

Kev at the Rudder

Labor is way ahead in the polls at present and Kevin Rudd is already delineating the positives his ALP team has to offer the people of Australia – fairness in jobs, education and health and a long term workable plan for the environment.

He rightly points out the disgrace that our manufacturing sector has become under Howard and highlights the solution – brain-based industries, where Australia can pull above its weight. We expect Rudd to support this profitable vision of hope by announcing a healthy revival in funding for education of ALL Australians, not just the private school toffs, and support for these industries.

Kev is an articulate, intelligent, decent fellow. He has already successfully demolished the hollow neocon laissez faire robber baron trickle down pseudo philosophies which bankrupt ordinary Australians to benefit the already stinking rich, illustrating how immoral and hypocritically anti-family they are.

We don’t foresee any further encumbrances for the ALP – the party will unify under Rudd and totally annihilate Team Rodent at the next election.

Spies in the Sushi Bar

So what was the method of delivery of the polonium to Litvinenko?

It seems he did leave his food to visit the loo during the meal at Itsu.

“A waitress at the Itsu restaurant said Litvinenko had been served sushi in a sealed box, but that he did leave it to visit the toilet.

Scotland Yard pinpointed the Sushi bar after tracking the former KGB agent’s movements from his home in Muswell Hill, north London.

By using information from his mobile phone records, Oyster travel card and CCTV footage, detectives plotted his route through London to Piccadilly tube station.

Locations along the way have been tested for radiation contamination, but all proved negative.

Ela Malek, 22, a Polish waitress who said she served Litvinenko, told the Sun he arrived alone before being joined by a man – Scaramella. She was convinced Litvinenko’s meal could only have been spiked after it was presented to him.

“The food is prepared in the kitchen and is put in a box with a clear lid, which is sealed with a label.”

“I know everyone in the kitchen and there’s no way they would be involved in this. Once the box is sealed it is taken straight to the customer.”

“At one time I think Litvinenko went to the toilet, leaving his food on the table. I suppose anyone could have slipped something in then.”

This NZ story at least gets the timeline right, as opposed to the Times and BBC.

The 12 locations where traces of contamination have been discovered:

* Itsu sushi restaurant, Piccadilly – Believed to be where Litvinenko was poisoned with radioactive Polonium 210. Litvinenko met Mario Scaramella, an Italian academic, for a meal on November 1, the day he fell ill.

* Millennium Hotel, Grosvenor Square – After the sushi meal Litvinenko met two Russian contacts – Andrei Lugovoy, a former KGB bodyguard who runs a security company, and a man named Andrei Lugovo. (My comment: There were supposedly three men there – Lugovoi and two business associates, Dmitri Kovtun and Vyacheslav Sokolenko.)

* Litvinenko’s home, Muswell Hill, north London – Accommodation provided by Boris Berezovsky, an exiled Russian millionaire and critic of President Putin.

* A car in Muswell Hill, north London – Used by a neighbour of Litvinenko to take him to hospital.

* Barnet General Hospital – Several hours after his meetings on November 1, Litvinenko complained of feeling sick and was admitted to the hospital in north London.

* University College Hospital – On November 18 Litvinenko was transferred to the hospital in central London as his condition deteriorated.

* 25 Grosvenor St – Traces of Polonium 210 have been found at this address which houses the headquarters of international security company Erinys, visited by Litvinenko. (My comment: Erinys has associations with Haliburton)

* 58 Grosvenor St – Office buildings found to be contaminated, not clear what links with Litvinenko.

* 7 Down St – Traces of Polonium 210 found in the office of Berezovsky. (My comment: Lugovoy went there.)

* Sheraton Hotel, Park Lane – Low level radioactive contamination found at the five-star hotel. One of Litvinenko’s contacts is thought to have visited there. (My comment: Luguvoy has admitted this and says he’s being framed – Lugovoy may have been contaminated from Oct 25)

* Low levels of radioactive traces found on two grounded British Airways Boeing 767 aircraft at Heathrow.

Berezovsky has thrown the scent toward Lugovoy. Lugovoy says he’s being framed.

Jimmy Carter on Israel

Brave Jimmy Carter has written a book about the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people to which most septics and aussies turn a blind eye in deference to the repulsive Israel-first lobby. On Larry King he said:

“You never hear anything about what is happening to the Palestinians by the Israelis. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the worst cases of oppression that I know of now in the world. The Palestinians’ land has been taken away from them. They now have an encapsulating or an imprisonment wall being built around what’s left of the little tiny part of the holy land that is in the West Bank.

In the Gaza, from which Israel is not withdrawing, Gaza is surrounded by a high wall. There’s only two openings in it. One into Israel which is mostly closed, the other one into Egypt. The people there are encapsulated. And the deprivation of basic human rights among the Palestinians is really horrendous and this is a fact that’s known throughout the world. It’s debated heavily and constantly in Israel. Every time I’m there the debate is going on. It is not debated at all in this country. And I believe that the purpose of this book, as I know, is to bring permanent peace to Israel living within its recognized borders, modified with good faith negotiations between the Palestinians for land swaps. That’s the only avenue that will bring Israel peace.”

In “Palestine – Peace Not Apartheid” Carter clearly and correctly puts the onus on land-thieving, apartheid, oppressive Israhell to honour its previous commitments and abide by international law :

“There are two interrelated obstacles to permanent peace in the Middle East:

1. Some Israelis believe they have the right to confiscate and colonize Palestinian land and try to justify the sustained subjugation and persecution of increasingly hopeless and aggravated Palestinians; and

2. Some Palestinians react by honoring suicide bombers as martyrs to be rewarded in heaven and consider the killing of Israelis as victories.

In turn, Israel responds with retribution and oppression, and militant Palestinians refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Israel and vow to destroy the nation. The cycle of distrust and violence is sustained, and efforts for peace are frustrated. Casualties have been high as the occupying forces impose ever tighter controls. From September 2000 until March 2006, 3,982 Palestinians and 1,084 Israelis were killed in the second intifada, and these numbers include many children: 708 Palestinians and 123 Israelis. As indicated earlier, there was an ever-rising toll of dead and wounded from the latest outbreak of violence in Gaza and Lebanon”.

Carter points the finger at the ‘submissive’ United Stupids who have bowed to the Zionist thieves:

“The overriding problem is that, for more than a quarter century, the actions of some Israeli leaders have been in direct conflict with the official policies of the United States, the international community, and their own negotiated agreements. Regardless of whether Palestinians had no formalized government, one headed by Yasir Arafat or Mahmoud Abbas, or one with Abbas as president and Hamas controlling the parliament and cabinet, Israel’s continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land. In order to perpetuate the occupation, Israeli forces have deprived their unwilling subjects of basic human rights. No objective person could personally observe existing conditions in the West Bank and dispute these statements.

Two other interrelated factors have contributed to the perpetuation of violence and regional upheaval: the condoning of illegal Israeli actions from a submissive White House and U.S. Congress during recent years, and the deference with which other international leaders permit this unofficial U.S. policy in the Middle East to prevail. There are constant and vehement political and media debates in Israel concerning its policies in the West Bank, but because of powerful political, economic, and religious forces in the United States, Israeli government decisions are rarely questioned or condemned, voices from Jerusalem dominate in our media, and most American citizens are unaware of circumstances in the occupied territories. At the same time, political leaders and news media in Europe are highly critical of Israeli policies, affecting public attitudes. Americans were surprised and angered by an opinion poll, published by the International Herald Tribune in October 2003, of 7,500 citizens in fifteen European nations, indicating that Israel was considered to be the top threat to world peace, ahead of North Korea, Iran, or Afghanistan.

The United States has used its U.N. Security Council veto more than forty times to block resolutions critical of Israel. Some of these vetoes have brought international discredit on the United States, and there is little doubt that the lack of a persistent effort to resolve the Palestinian issue is a major source of anti-American sentiment and terrorist activity throughout the Middle East and the Islamic world.”

Israel must give back what it has stolen or it will never know security.

“Jonathan Kuttab, Palestinian human rights lawyer: “Everybody knows what it will take to achieve a permanent and lasting peace that addresses the basic interests of both sides: It’s a two-state solution. It’s withdrawal to 1967 borders. It’s dismantlement of the settlements. It’s some kind of shared status for a united Jerusalem, the capital of both parties. The West Bank and Gaza would have to be demilitarized to remove any security threats to Israel. Some kind of solution would have to be reached for the refugee problem, some qualified right of return, with compensation. Everyone knows the solution; the question is: Is there political will to implement it?”

The bottom line is this: Peace will come to Israel and the Middle East only when the Israeli government is willing to comply with international law, with the Roadmap for Peace, with official American policy, with the wishes of a majority of its own citizens and honor its own previous commitments by accepting its legal borders. All Arab neighbors must pledge to honor Israel’s right to live in peace under these conditions. The United States is squandering international prestige and goodwill and intensifying global anti-American terrorism by unofficially condoning or abetting the Israeli confiscation and colonization of Palestinian territories.

It will be a tragedy “for the Israelis, the Palestinians, and the world if peace is rejected and a system of oppression, apartheid, and sustained violence is permitted to prevail.”

Naturally the reprehensible Zionist lobby has taken its cudgels to Carter post haste. However when a man of Carter’s impeccable stature stands up and speaks the truth, more will follow.

Meanwhile, Cheney goes to Saudia

Whilst the intrigue of Litvinenko’s poisoning titillates and frightens the British public, the Great Game continues quietly and malevolently elsewhere.

Note that if the Litvinenko affair is an attempt to discredit Putin and to restrict Russia’s power on both negotiations on supply of energy to Europe and sanctions on Iran, this would be an ideal time for Cheney to attempt his coup de grace. Cheney does have connections with Scaramella via the Environmental Crime Prevention Program (ECPP) cum black ops front Washington-based organisation which Scaramella heads.

Ugly it is, but quite credible considering the criminal machinations emanating in the past few years from the Cheney clique. Machiavelli has nothing on Cheney. Divide and conquer and perpetuate eternal war to bolster the only industry keeping the United Stupids afloat financially – armaments.

From :

“A well-placed and highly reliable source has provided the following account of Vice President Dick Cheney’s Nov. 25, 2006 visit to Saudi Arabia. The report coincides with other evidence of a scheme to induce the United States to self-destruct. While the source may have missed some elements of the picture emerging from the Cheney visit, the essential details appear to be accurate.

1. The essential message delivered to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah by Vice President Cheney was that there is no basis for dialogue with Iran. The U.S. position in the region has been weakened, and therefore a new security architecture must be established, particularly in the Persian Gulf, to contain and counter Iran’s growing influence. Already, NATO has been in dialogue with Qatar and Kuwait, in pursuit of closer, upgraded cooperation. Cheney proposed to establish a new regional balance of power, through a Sunni Arab alliance with Israel, to confront the Iranian threat. Cheney argued that to negotiate with Iran at this time would be tantamount to surrender. A new military organization will be built, involving the Gulf Cooperation Council states, Egypt, and Jordan. NATO and the United States will be closely involved, and Israel will be a de facto participant. These moves led by Cheney obviously aim to preempt adoption by the Bush Administration of any recommendations from the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group, to initiate diplomatic talks with Iran.

2. Cheney took the lead in proposing this new security architecture. There is, at this point, a consensus inside the Bush Administration to pursue this policy. When President Bush arrives later this week in Amman, Jordan, to meet with Iraq’s Prime Minister Maliki, he may also hold secret talks with several senior Syrian officials. In that meeting, President Bush will bluntly offer Syria the opportunity to break its ties to Iran and join in the emerging Sunni Arab bloc.

3. The approach to Syria coincides with a major effort, within Lebanon, to force Michel Aoun to break his alliance with Hezbollah, in the wake of the assassination of Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel. Over the weekend, there was a meeting of leading Maronites, sponsored by Patriarch Sfeir, aimed at tightening the pressure on Aoun to break with Hezbollah, and join a Sunni Arab, Christian, Druze coalition to counter Hezbollah’s power. Were the Syrians to accept the Bush offer (highly unlikely), they would be expected to pressure Hezbollah to disarm, as a condition for negotiations to get the Golan Heights back from Israel.

4. Condi Rice’s planned meeting with Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert is aimed at kick-starting the Israeli-Palestinian talks. But the key to the Israeli policy will be to complete the construction of the wall, and to build similar walls of separation along the border with Lebanon. The argument is that both Hamas and Hezbollah represent extensions of Iran’s influence into the areas bordering on Israel, and they must be contained. The “peace” offer being put on the table will center on these walls of separation.

5. Iran is already aware of these Cheney-led initiatives. While Arab governments will assume that Iran will react and respond to the attempt to create this Sunni Arab-U.S.-Israel security architecture to confront Iran by playing for sectarian conflict in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere, sources caution that Iran is taking a more sophisticated view. Recurring statements by President Ahmadinejad are calculated to instigate an Israeli attack on Iran’s purported nuclear weapons sites. Iran anticipates some kind of attack on these sites–either by the United States or Israel. Iran would prefer an Israeli attack for several reasons. First, the U.S. has far more significant military capabilities to strike Iran than Israel does. Second, any Israeli attack on a Muslim country would trigger a revolt on the Arab streets. Iran carefully studied the response of the population throughout the Persian Gulf and Arab world to the Israeli attacks on Lebanon this summer. They anticipate massive Arab support, across the sectarian Shi’ite-Sunni divide, for Iran, in the event of an Israeli strike.”