Friday, March 06, 2009

Hillary Clinton Critical of Israel's Lack of Sincerity in Pursuing Lasting Peace

UPDATE: 11:40AM & 12:28 PM March 6, 2009

Hillary Clinton publicly criticizes Israel-
Is she sincere or is this just a bit of PR to appease Israel's critics
Israel to expand illegal settlements
Israelis plan demolitions of dozens of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem
Racism fuels Jewish Israelis attitudes towards all Arabs
British Scientists call for boycott of Israeli sponsored event
Obama pledges 900 million to Palestine & 30 Billion to Israel & more and better weapons
Obama like Bush shows his contempt for Human Rights organizations from the UN to Amnesty International, the Red Cross ICRC , Human Rights Watch etc.

It is disappointing that President Obama may claim that he wishes to pursue a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians but over and over again Obama has shown his unconditional support for Israel. There may at times be some public criticism of Israel but one wonders if it is just for show. So one wonders how seriously we should take the recent criticisms of Hillary Clinton of Israel in which she has voiced her doubts about Israel's sincerity in pursuing lasting peace. Is Hillary Clinton just the public relations person for the Obama administration while behind the scenes Obama reassures Israel of his unconditional support.

Obama's administration claim they will give some 900 million dollars in aid to the Palestinian authority while giving some 30 Billion dollars to Israel over the next ten years. This is quite a large difference in aid and proves where Obama's loyalties lie. Obama has also shown that like the Bush Regime he has either ignored or views with contempt Human Rights organizations which are critical of Israel. These organizations including those connected with the United Nations claim that there is a preponderance of evidence to make the case that Israel has committed War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity.

" Obama and Israel's Military: Still Arm-in-Arm " by Stephen Zunes at Foreign Policy in Focus March 5, 2009/

...Obama Tilts Right

Currently, Obama is on record supporting sending up to $30 billion in unconditional military aid to Israel over the next 10 years. Such a total would represent a 25% increase in the already large-scale arms shipments to Israeli forces under the Bush administration.

Obama has thus far failed to realize that the problem in the Middle East is that there are too many deadly weapons in the region, not too few. Instead of simply wanting Israel to have an adequate deterrent against potential military threats, Obama insists the United States should guarantee that Israel maintain a qualitative military advantage. Thanks to this overwhelming advantage over its neighbors, Israeli forces were able to launch devastating wars against Israel's Palestinian and Lebanese neighbors in recent years.

If Israel were in a strategically vulnerable situation, Obama's hard-line position might be understandable. But Israel already has vastly superior conventional military capabilities relative to any combination of armed forces in the region, not to mention a nuclear deterrent.

However, Obama has failed to even acknowledge Israel's nuclear arsenal of at least 200-300 weapons, which has been documented for decades. When Hearst reporter Helen Thomas asked at his first press conference if he could name any Middle Eastern countries that possess nuclear weapons, he didn't even try to answer the question. Presumably, Obama knows Israel has these weapons and is located in the Middle East. However, acknowledging Israel's arsenal could complicate his planned arms transfers since it would place Israel in violation of the 1976 Symington Amendment, which restricts U.S. military support for governments which develop nuclear weapon

Obama defended Israel in its recent attack on Gaza and defended Israel's disproportionate attack on Lebanon during that conflict of 2007.

...Following the 2006 conflict between Israeli armed forces and the Hezbollah militia, in which both sides committed war crimes by engaging in attacks against populated civilian areas, then-Senator Obama defended Israel's actions and criticized Hezbollah, even though Israel was actually responsible for far more civilian deaths. In an apparent attempt to justify Israeli bombing of civilian population centers, Obama claimed Hezbollah had used "innocent people as shields."

This charge directly challenged a series of reports from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. These reports found that while Hezbollah did have some military equipment close to some civilian areas, the Lebanese Islamist militia had not forced civilians to remain in or around military targets in order to deter Israel from attacking those targets. I sent Obama spokesperson Ben LaBolt a copy of an exhaustive 249-page Human Rights Watch report that didn't find a single case - out of 600 civilian deaths investigated - of Hezbollah using human shields. I asked him if Obama had any empirical evidence that countered these findings.

But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claims that the Obama administration wants to bring about a lasting peace with Israel and the Palestinians and the creation of an autonomous Palestinian State but it appears the Far Right who are taking power in Israel is not serious about such peace efforts.

Israel it appears has been planning to expand the already existing Settlements and the possibility of creating new Settlements.

BBC: Israel 'plans settlement growth' March 3, 2009

- The Israeli government has plans to build at least 73,000 new homes for Jews in the occupied West Bank, the anti-settlement group Peace Now says.

If the plans are implemented in full it would double the number of settlers in the West Bank outside east Jerusalem, according to the Peace Now website.

Israeli officials said the plans referred to potential construction and only a small number had been approved.

Continued settlement work is seen as a major barrier to Palestinian statehood.
Correspondents say the information indicates Israel's next coalition government, currently in the process of being formed by Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, has a wide choice of projects for settlement expansion.

If coalition negotiations force him into a strongly pro-settlement right-wing government, the plans could put him in collision course with the new US government, they add.


The Palestinian Authority, which has been engaged in a revived negotiated process since November 2007, has warned Israel that it must choose between peace and settlements, but it cannot have both.

“The completion of these projects will make the plan of creating a Palestinian state next to Israel totally unrealistic,” Yariv Oppenheimer, Peace Now.

Successive Israel governments have paid lip-service to international agreements with the Palestinians to freeze settlement activity.

However settlement population has grown rapidly, as the governments have refused to curb what they call "natural growth" of the settlements - growth within what Israel defines as the boundaries of established settlements.

Peace Now said in its report that there are plans for huge construction to double the size of some settlements including Beitar Illit, Ariel, Maale Adumim and Efrat settlements.

"The completion of these projects will make the plan of creating a Palestinian state next to Israel totally unrealistic," Peace Now head Yariv Oppenheimer said in a radio interview.

What was once the Far Right extremist racist attitude towards Arabs in Israel and the occupied territories has become the mainstream view in Israel.

" Disturbing Idea of Expelling Arabs from Israeli Territory Gains Ground " By Conn Hallinan, AlterNet. March 4, 2009.

There is a growing consensus among Israelis that it would be acceptable to expel its Arab citizens to either a Palestinian state or to Jordan and Egypt.

Such sentiment is hardly new among Israeli extremists, and it has long been advocated by racist Jewish organizations like Kach, the party of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, as well as groups like the National Union, which doubled its Knesset representation in the last election.

But "transfer" is no longer the exclusive policy of extremists, as it has increasingly become a part of mainstream political dialogue. "My solution for maintaining a Jewish and democratic state of Israel is to have two nation-states with certain concessions and with clear red lines," Kadima leader and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told a group of Tel Aviv high school students last December, "and among other things, I will be able to approach the Palestinian residents of Israel, those whom we call Israeli Arabs, and tell them, ' your national solution lies elsewhere.'"

...According to the Israeli Association for Civil Rights, anti-Arab incidents have risen sharply. "Israeli society is reaching new heights of racism that damages freedom of expression and privacy," says Sami Michael, the organization's president. Among the Association's findings:

* Some 55 percent of Jewish Israelis say that the state should encourage Arab emigration;

* 78 percent of Jewish Israelis oppose including Arab parties in the government;

* 56 percent agree with the statement that "Arabs cannot attain the Jewish level of cultural development";

* 75 percent agree that Arabs are inclined to be violent. Among Arab-Israelis, 54 percent feel the same way about Jews.

* 75 percent of Israeli Jews say they would not live in the same building as Arabs.

The tension between Israeli democracy and the country's Jewish character was the centerpiece of Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu Party's campaign in the recent election. His party increased its Knesset membership from 11 to 15, and is now the third largest party in the parliament.

(and there is evidence that Israeli schools teach a racist view of the history of Israel )

Feldman polled 10 high schools and found that Yisrael Beiteinu was the most popular party, followed by Likud. The left-wing Meretz Party came in dead last.

In part, the politicalization of the education system is to blame.

Mariam Darmoni-Sharviot, a former civics teacher who is helping implement the 1995 Kremnitzar Commission's recommendations on education and democracy, told Feldman, "When I talk to a civics class about the Arab minority, and about its uniqueness in being a majority that became a minority, my students argue and say it's not true that they [Arabs] were a majority." She said when she confronted teachers and asked why students didn't know that Arabs were a majority in 1947, the teachers become "evasive and say it's not part of the material."

and :

Intercommunity tension manifests itself mainly in the Occupied Territories, where the relentless expansion of settlements and constant humiliation of hundreds of Israeli Army roadblocks fuels Palestinian anger.

This past December, settlers in Hebron attacked Palestinians after the Israeli government removed a group of Jewish families occupying an Arab-owned building. In response, the settlers launched "Operation Price Tag" to inflict punishment on Palestinians in the event the Tel Aviv government moves against settlers. Rioters torched cars, desecrated a Muslim cemetery, and gunned down two Arabs.

Settler rampages on the West Bank are nothing new, even though they receive virtually no coverage in the U.S. media. But a disturbing trend is the appearance of extremist settlers in Israel. Late last year Baruch Marzel, a West bank settler and follower of Kahane, threatened to lead a march through Umm al-Fahm, a largely Arab-Israeli town near Haifa.

"We have a cancer in our body capable of destroying the state of Israel," Marzel told The Forward, "and these people are in the heart of Israel, a force capable of destroying Israel from the inside. I am going to tell these people that the land of Israel is ours."

More evidence that Israel is not interested in a lasting peace as Hillary Clinton criticizes Israel over the demolition of dozens of Palestinian homes. Kudos to Clinton for criticizing Israel since the American Media is Pro-Israel and is anti-Palestinian. The more dead Palestinians there are the happier the Mainstream Media in America is while they get apoplectic about the death of even one Israeli Jewish citizen.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton questions the sincerity of the Israelis in pursuing a lasting peace as the Israelis demolish Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem.

US: Israeli demolitions 'unhelpful' Media With Conscience, March 5, 2009

...Jerusalem's municipality issued orders on Tuesday to demolish 55 homes in Ras Khamees in Shu'fat Camp, in the centre of Palestinian East Jerusalem.

The municipality said that the homes were built without licences, whereas rights groups have said that the move is a new episode in Israel's campaign of collective eviction against Palestinians...


Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has criticised Israel's plans to demolish dozens of Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem, describing the move as "unhelpful".

In a news conference with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, in Ramallah, Clinton said the demolition showed that Israel was not committed to its obligations towards the "road map" peace plan.

"It is an issue that we intend to raise with the government of Israel and the government at the municipal level in Jerusalem," she said on Wednesday.

The US secretary of state also reaffirmed what she called the Obama administration's "vigorous engagement" in the Middle Eastern peace process, but added: "The US supports the Palestinian Authority as the only legitimate government of the Palestinian people. In the end, it is up to the parties themselves to make peace."

Abbas, who heads the Fatah movement, said he would remain engaged in the ongoing talks with the rival political faction Hamas in Egypt to achieve a viable Palestinian government.

"We have reiterated ... our determination to achieve the peace process according to the international legal road map, the two states solution and our full commitment to achieving this process," Abbas said.

"We will seek to hold parliamentary and presidential elections by January 24, 2010.

"The incoming Israeli government ... [must] respect the road map and two-states solution and should stop all settlement activity and re-open the border crossings [into Gaza]."

Shortly after the news conference an Israeli air strike left two Palestinians dead in Jabalya, Gaza.

The air strike which took place just after the news conference appears to either be a coincidence or is Israel deliberately flexing its muscles to show Hillary Clinton and others who calls the shots. If there is to be a solution the incoming government wants it all on their terms and the Americans and Palestinians are going to have to give in to Israel's demands. The Israelis erroneously have long maintained that the land they occupy was empty when they set up the State of Israel in 1948. Yet it is historically a fact that some 400,000 or more Palestinians occupied the land at the time.

To protest Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and its recent invasion of Gaza a number of British scientists are calling for a boycott of workshops being held by Israeli representatives.

" Israelis react with fury to British boycott call " By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem The Independent , March 4, 2009

Israeli scientists and officials reacted angrily yesterday to calls by more than 400 British academics for the Science Museum to cancel educational workshops planned to promote Israeli science tomorrow.

The cancellation call and claims that Israeli universities are "complicit" in the occupation of Palestinian territories and this year's "disastrous" offensive in Gaza, reported in The Independent yesterday, were condemned as "absurd" by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Its spokesman, Yigal Palmor, said: "These calls cannot but be motivated by extreme blindness and silly ideology. This of course does not promote the good causes which the boycotters are presumed to promote – not peace, understanding, nor compromise.

once again those speaking on behalf of Israel make the implicit claim that they speak for all of the world's Jews . Then they make the claim that the boycott of Israeli scientists is a form of anti-Semitism and is beginning of Nazism. These spokespersons ignore the fact that many people outside Israel and the United States believe that Israel's actions in Gaza constituted War Crimes .Israeli officials have the audacity to point out human rights violations in Arab countries but refuse to accept that the State of Israel has also violate the human rights of the Palestinians . The world condemned the actions of Saddam's violations in Iraq as well as condemned other countries such as Burma for their Human Rights violations. Israel is the one country which no one in their view should be allowed to criticize . They also ignore that there have been boycotts of other countries in the past such as those against South Africa which eventually dismantled its Apartheid Regime while Israel claims that its Apartheid style regime is justified.

" Professor Amnon Yogev, a former professor of laser chemistry at the Weizmann Institute, said that "freedom of speech is one of the basic principles of democracy". He said that singling out Israel on human rights issues when so much of the Arab world, Iran and Afghanistan had "no human rights" was "an illness". He added: "If you look back at history you will see that when they want to stop people communicating their ideas, it starts with the Jews, then goes on to other minorities and then you can't stop it."

Also see:

"The Definitive Statement on The Israel-Palestine Issue " ( eassay by King Abdullah 1947) from Media With Conscience, March 4, 2009

Summary- This fascinating essay, written by King Hussein’s grandfather King Abdullah, appeared in the United States six months before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In the article, King Abdullah disputes the mistaken view that Arab opposition to Zionism (and later the state of Israel) is because of longstanding religious or ethnic hatred. He notes that Jews and Muslims enjoyed a long history of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East, and that Jews have historically suffered far more at the hands of Christian Europe. Pointing to the tragedy of the holocaust that Jews suffered during World War II, the monarch asks why America and Europe are refusing to accept more than a token handful of Jewish immigrants and refugees. It is unfair, he argues, to make Palestine, which is innocent of anti-Semitism, pay for the crimes of Europe. King Abdullah also asks how Jews can claim a historic right to Palestine, when Arabs have been the overwhelming majority there for nearly 1300 uninterrupted years? The essay ends on an ominous note, warning of dire consequences if a peaceful solution cannot be found to protect the rights of the indigenous Arabs of Palestine.

For more on KACH & Meir Kahane see:

Kahane won By Gideon Levy at Feb. 8, 2009

Rabbi Meir Kahane can rest in peace: His doctrine has won. Twenty years after his Knesset list was disqualified and 18 years after he was murdered, Kahanism has become legitimate in public discourse. If there is something that typifies Israel's current murky, hollow election campaign, which ends the day after tomorrow, it is the transformation of racism and nationalism into accepted values.

If Kahane were alive and running for the 18th Knesset, not only would his list not be banned, it would win many votes, as Yisrael Beiteinu is expected to do. The prohibited has become permitted, the ostracized is now accepted, the destestable has become the talented - that's the slippery slope down which Israeli society has skidded over the past two decades.

and :

" The racist's best friend " By Shahar Ilan at, March 4, 2009

And KACH party designated as a terrorist organization:

Kach and Kahane Chai at Terrorism 101

" U.S. Appeals Court Affirms Designation of Kahane Chai, Kach as Terrorist Groups " By The DC Investigative Journalism Collective Feb. 2007

In fact, over the past 30 years, Kahane Chai has operated both in Israel—especially the occupied territories—and the U.S. In his book The False Prophet: Rabbi Meir Kahane, From FBI Informant to Knesset Member, the late Village Voice reporter and Kahane movement expert Robert I. Friedman describes how in 1971 Kahane, a Brooklyn native under investigation by the FBI, fled to Jerusalem, where he opened an office of his Jewish Defense League (JDL).

Soon, Friedman wrote, the JDL was ”firebombing Christian churches and bookstores in Jerusalem.” Kahane refused to join right-wing Israeli parties wooing him, however, and instead formed his own party, Kach (“thus”), with the blunt platform of expelling the Arabs from Israel.

Riding the tide of the growing Israeli settler movement and anti-Arab extremism, evidenced by bombing campaigns against Palestinian mayors as well as a sophisticated plot to blow up Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock, Kahane was elected to the Knesset in 1984. “Kahane’s victory-drunk supporters carried the exultant rabbi through the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem,” Friedman wrote, “smashing shops and heads with equal abandon, while shouting ‘Death to the Arabs!’”

" Lieberman was a member of the Kach Terrorist Group " at International Middle East Media Center , Feb. 4, 2009

When the movement was established, it set its goal to have a Jewish state in both banks of the Jordan River, which means taking over Jordan and Palestine.

Lieberman is well known for his ideas and speeches against Arabs and Palestinians. He considers them as demographical threat to the state of Israel and has always called for the massive expulsion of all Arabs and Palestinians from "Greater Israel".

and so it goes,

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