Or should I say, “space thieves”. That exactly what Israel has been doing since 1967, invading and stealing land from the Palestinians and Syrians. Israeli settlers just keep taking more and more and more land away from the native inhabitants and we let it happen. As a matter of fact, we turn a blind eye to the atrocities committed by Israel against the Palestinians. This is the middle east version of the holocaust with Israel taking on the role of Hitler and the Palestinians taking on the role of the European Jews.
Barack Obama needs to make a clear statement on day 1 that this land grab and conflict can no longer continue with the support of the United States because it is against our own best interests.
From The Nation (This article originally appeared on Uri Avnery’s website.):
The following humble suggestions are based on my seventy years of experience as an underground fighter, special forces soldier in the 1948 war, editor-in-chief of a newsmagazine, member of the Knesset and founding member of a peace movement:
1. As far as Israeli-Arab peace is concerned, you should act from Day One.
2. Israeli elections are due to take place in February 2009. You can have an indirect but important and constructive impact on the outcome, by announcing your unequivocal determination to achieve Israeli-Palestinian, Israeli-Syrian and Israeli-all-Arab peace in 2009.
3. Unfortunately, all your predecessors since 1967 have played a double game. While paying lip service to peace, and sometimes going through the motions of making some effort for peace, they have in practice supported our governments in moving in the very opposite direction. In particular, they have given tacit approval to the building and enlargement of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories, each of which is a land mine on the road to peace.
4. All the settlements are illegal in international law. The distinction sometimes made between “illegal” outposts and the other settlements is a propaganda ploy designed to obscure this simple truth.
5. All the settlements since 1967 have been built with the express purpose of making a Palestinian state–and hence peace–impossible, by cutting the territory of the prospective State of Palestine into ribbons. Practically all our government departments and the army have openly or secretly helped to build, consolidate and enlarge the settlements–as confirmed by the 2005 report prepared for the government by lawyer Talia Sasson.
6. By now, the number of settlers in the West Bank has reached some 250,000 (apart from the 200,000 settlers in the Greater Jerusalem area, whose status is somewhat different). They are politically isolated, and sometimes detested by the majority of the Israel public, but enjoy significant support in the army and government ministries.
7. No Israeli government would dare to confront the concentrated political and material might of the settlers. Such a confrontation would need very strong leadership and the unstinting support of the President of the United States to have any chance of success.
8. Lacking these, all “peace negotiations” are a sham. The Israeli government and its US backers have done everything possible to prevent the negotiations with both the Palestinians and the Syrians from reaching any conclusion, for fear of provoking a confrontation with the settlers and their supporters. The present “Annapolis” negotiations are as hollow as all the preceding ones, each side keeping up the pretense for its own political interests.
9. The Clinton administration, and even more so the Bush administration, allowed the Israeli government to keep up this pretense. It is therefore imperative to prevent members of these administrations from diverting your Middle Eastern policy into the old channels.
10. It is important for you to make a complete new start, and to state this publicly. Discredited ideas and failed initiatives–such as the Bush “vision,” the Road Map, Annapolis and the like–should be thrown into the junkyard of history.
11. To make a new start, the aim of American policy should be stated clearly and succinctly. This should be: to achieve a peace based on the two-state solution within a defined time span (say, by the end of 2009).
12. It should be pointed out that this aim is based on a reassessment of the American national interest, in order to extract the poison from American-Arab and American-Muslim relations, strengthen peace-oriented regimes, defeat Al Qaeda-type terrorism, end the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and achieve a viable accommodation with Iran.
13. The terms of Israeli-Palestinian peace are clear. They have been crystallized in thousands of hours of negotiations, conferences, meetings and conversations. They are:
Read the following bullets points at The Nation:
What the Israelis have done to the Palestinians is not unlike what the US has done to the Native Americans. They moved into a territory, used terrorist techniques to kick out the native populations and then seized territory from the native populations.
The Israelis out arm and out power the Palestinians. It’s like the guns and cannons vs the bows, arrows and spears. This conflict needs to stop.