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WATCH: Jeff Halper On Israel Arming Its Settlers In Anticipation Of Palestine Vote

by on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 4:42 pm EDT in Middle East, World

Ha’aretz reports that Israel is now arming its Jewish settlers in the West Bank with riot gear in preparation for Palestinian ‘mass disorder’, which they say will result from a vote in favor of Palestinian Statehood at the UN General Assembly this September. 

Palestinian leaders have maintained that any and all September protests will be peaceful, but Israeli leaders — such as Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman — are conversely advancing the notion that “Palestinians [are] preparing for ‘bloodshed the likes of which we’ve never seen before'”.

The IDF are being green-lighted to shoot Palestinian protesters in the legs should they cross over an Israeli-imposed ‘red line’ which circles each of the illegal settlements. Settlers are being armed with tear gas and stun grenades, and the Israeli Army Spokesperson refused to state whether they were also being provided with additional arms.

This military buildup and arming of Israel’s most extreme right-winged elements in the occupied territories has peace activists worried:

Hagit Ofran, of Peace Now, an Israeli organisation which monitors settlement activity, said: “We hope the army is making clear that non-violent protest is legitimate and no settlers should use any violence against unarmed demonstrators.”

Arik Ascherman of Rabbis for Human Rights said there were already “serious questions and problems” with settlement security officials acting outside their designated boundaries. “We’re very concerned that [the IDF move] will not reduce conflict but increase it,” he said.

In an interview with RT News, Jeff Halper, the Co-founder of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, explains why Israel is reacting like a cornered animal in anticipation of the UN General Assembly vote to recognize Palestine:

RT: Are the preparations justified? Is the unrest as inevitable as the Defense Forces are making it out to be?

Halper: I wouldn’t call it ‘unrest’. I would call it a demonstration of Palestinian independence. Because if in fact in September the General Assembly recognizes the state of Palestine within the 1967 borders, it means that the settlements, the checkpoints, the Israeli wall — everything that Israel has is now illegally in the sovereign territory of Palestine. And there is actually no legal justification for stopping Palestinians from walking into settlements and crossing checkpoints.

And that, I think, is a real concern to Israel. That simply, they will ignore the fact the army is there. The army cannot shoot at Palestinians, because it has no legal standing there.


Halper: It is clear that Israel is not going to allow — or gonna try not to allow — September to happen. Israel has no intention of giving up its control of the occupied territory. 

Until today, Israel has managed to keep its whole settlement enterprise, because it succeeded in getting the United States to characterize the occupation as ‘disputed territories’ and not real occupation. Once the UN recognizes Palestine within these borders — now there’s no argument: This is occupation. International law applies.

Probably 140 countries will recognize Palestine, and Israel is gonna be under a lot of pressure to try to maintain the occupation. 

I don’t think the military resistance to the Palestinians is going to help. I think it is actually going to make the entire international community impose sanctions on Israel. The big campaign will be after September — getting the Israeli presence out of the sovereign state of Palestine.



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Watch: What Ethnic Cleansing Looks Like (In Occupied East Jersulem)

by on Monday, November 9, 2009 at 12:55 pm EDT in Middle East, World

Here’s a video of Jewish Settlers literally taking over a Palestinian family’s home in East Jerusalem — dumping the family’s possessions out onto the street, the furniture into their garden — while the Israeli police stand guard in case the Palestinians try to stop the settlers from taking the home for themselves.  Once emptied, the Jews move right inside, and change the locks on the doors.  Unbelievable!

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UPDATE: wrote today of the ongoing demolitions of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem:

“Make sure your father gets this,” the municipal inspector tells a 10-year-old boy at the gate of the concrete house in an alleyway in the al-Bustan quarter of Silwan, a Palestinian neighborhood right under the shadow of the walled Old City.

“This” is a court-approved demolition notice, “No. 59.” It’s for a house under imminent threat of being torn down by the Israeli authorities because it does not have the requisite building permit.

The demolition notice is headed: “To Unknown Addressee.”

“Now they refer to me as ‘Unknown.’ But they know my name very well – they address payment orders for all municipal and other taxes to me by name,” says Moussa Oudeh.

Moussa, father of five, is one of 78 householders in al-Bustan whose homes are slated for demolition. Since the election of a new Israeli mayor exactly a year ago, 10 other houses in al-Bustan have been bulldozed.


The vans park near a new seven-story block of flats. A blue-and-white Israeli banner, with a large Star of David, has been unfurled from the roof down to the alley beneath.  It’s one of several buildings in Silwan where nationalist religious Israelis have settled in recent years in a bid to boost the Jewish presence in the Arab neighborhood.

For some time, it’s been an open secret that the settlers also don’t have the requisite permit for their building.  According to Israeli press reports, after the recent demolition nearby of a small Palestinian home, human rights groups took the matter to the Israeli courts.

A city inspector called to the dock was asked by the magistrate, “How come you didn’t serve a demolition notification on the seven-story building as well?”

“I simply didn’t notice it,” replied the inspector.

The court has yet to take action on the petition against the settlers for their infraction.

How in the world can President Barack Obama — the nation’s first African American President — continue to turn a blind eye to these bigoted policies, and continue to pledge both his allegiance — which he often describes as ‘sacrosanct’ — and billions of dollars in our tax money to this morally bankrupt country?


I found this story via Mondoweiss (as reported in Haaretz) regarding these extremist settlers:

Just weeks after the arrest of alleged Jewish terrorist, Yaakov Teitel, a West Bank rabbi on Monday released a book giving Jews permission to kill Gentiles who threaten Israel.

Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro, who heads the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in the Yitzhar settlement, wrote in his book “The King’s Torah” that even babies and children can be killed if they pose a threat to the nation.

It is permissable to kill the Righteous among Nations even if they are not responsible for the threatening situation,” he wrote, adding: “If we kill a Gentile who has sinned or has violated one of the seven commandments – because we care about the commandments – there is nothing wrong with the murder.”

Several prominent rabbis, including Rabbi Yithak Ginzburg and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, have recommended the book to their students and followers.

Unbelievable!  Why isn’t any of this stuff ever reported in our main stream media?  Don’t Americans deserve to know that billions of their tax dollars are subsidizing this scary shit?