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Israeli Settlements and Obama's Offer
Ongoing Judaization Schemes

By Saleh Al-Naami

October 7, 2009

The Misri family, living in the old town of occupied Al-Quds (Jerusalem), are extremely sad after being notified by the municipal council of Al-Quds headed by Jewish extremist Nair Barakat that their house will be demolished within a month under the pretext that it had been established without a license.

This family like many other Palestinian ones in occupied Al-Quds could not obtain a building permit because the occupation does not grant Palestinians such a license. 

Consequently, they have been compelled to build their houses. However, the Misri family says that the goal of destroying their house is not to reinforce the law that had been promulgated, in the first place, to serve Jews in Al-Quds.

Instead, the law serves the "Utayrat Kohanim", the extremist Jewish religious organization responsible for settlement projects aiming at Judaizing the city.

The "Utayrat Kohanim" is going to establish a new settlement district in the region where the Misri family house is situated. 

Therefore, this house must be destroyed along with other houses. 

The tragedy of hundreds of Palestinian families in Al-Quds is dragging on in this way while there are indications that both Israel and the United States have agreed to confer legitimacy on West Bank's settlements in an unprecedented way.

The US Hoax

The number of housing units that will be built during the first year of Obama's presidency would amount to 5450 housing units. 

Both the US President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced this agreement during the tripartite meeting of Obama, the Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Again shortly after the meeting, the United States asserted it would no longer demand Israel to stop or freeze the establishment of  settlements , but to "rationalize it".

The Israeli media revealed the details of this unwritten deal between Washington and Tel Aviv, which entitles Israel to complete the construction of 2,500 housing units until mid-next year.

These units are currently under construction, in addition to building 2950 housing units according to the recent approval of the Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

In other words, the number of housing units that will be built during the first year of Obama's presidency would amount to 5450 housing units, which will accommodate 43600 new settlers on the grounds that the average number of the members of a religious family living in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank is eight people.

This means that according to the verified agreement, Israel will build a number of housing units in the settlements that exceeds the number of housing units built in any year since 1967.

The of Israeli Peace Now movement revealed that the current Israeli government has allocated 1 billion shekels in the 2009ľ2010 budget for the construction of settlements in the West Bank.

The Peace Now's report asserted that this figure includes only items identified in the budget clearly as related to the construction of settlements, but does not include other elements that covertly relate to settlements.

The movement disclosed that Israel has allocated financial aids for the Council of Jewish Settlements in the West Bank equivalent to 9 percent of the funds allocated to the municipal councils all over Israel while settlers constitute 4 percent of the total number of the population.

Israel's Obduracy on Settlements 

the Obama Administration recognizes Israel's right to deduct 50 percent of the West Bank land.

Peace Now monument confirmed that the Israeli government has ever been deliberately misleading in settlements built without government authorization.

There is evidence that the Israeli government have provided support to these illegal settlements.

In addition, Ehud Barak, Israel's defense minister, ordered the confiscation of 139 thousand dunums of Palestinian property located in the Dead Sea area, east of the settlement of Maale Adumim located northeast of Al-Quds, in order to be used for the construction of industrial zones and tourist areas.  

Netanyahu, on his part, does not miss an opportunity to emphasize his demand that Palestinians must recognize Israel's Judaism. He always stresses Israel's famous NOs of rejecting the Palestinian refugees' right of return, refusing to withdraw to pre-1967 borders, and insisting on having Al-Quds as the eternal Israeli "unified" capital.

Furthermore, he stresses upon Tel Aviv's right, in any future political settlement, to retain the settlements in the Jordan Valley as well as the regions lying west of the separation wall and the mountains' peaks, in addition to the regions that contain the reserves of freshwater. 

This means that Israel will not grant the Palestinians any settlement more than 45 percent of the West Bank.

Moreover, Israel, backed by the United States, insists on depriving any Palestinian entity that may exist in the West Bank of becoming a sovereign one.

In other words, such an entity must be disarmed and deprived of establishing foreign relations with any neighboring countries and of controlling its borders.

Ironically, Israeli officials no longer hide the agreement between President Obama and  Netanyahu, as the Israeli government's spokespersons ascertain that the Obama Administration recognizes Israel's right to deduct 50 percent of the West Bank land.

Obama's Verbal Diplomacy 

"The US criticism against the Israeli decision is no more than a "verbal tax" paid by the Obama Administration to satisfy the Arabs," said Ben Eliazer. 

This means that the prospective Palestinian state heralded by Obama will not be more than cantons separated by Jewish settlements.

When asked to interpret US angry statements about settlements on the eve of the tripartite meeting issued by the White House, Israel's Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben Eliazer said, "The US criticism against the Israeli decision is no more than a "verbal tax" paid by the Obama Administration to satisfy the Arabs."

He was hinting that all details relating to the construction of settlements had been agreed upon between Ehud Barak and US envoy George Mitchell.

This is exactly what had made the hardliners in Netanyahu's government, such as Avigdor Lieberman, Moshe Ya'alon, and Benny Begin, to notify Netanyahu of their support for the notion of "rationalization" of settlement reiterated by Obama and Clinton.

Even in the most horrible nightmares, it has not been expected that both the United States and Israel would deal with what they call the "axis of Arab moderation states" at that degree of frivolity and disregard.

All of a sudden, after Obama had warned Israel in his Cairo speech that it must freeze settlement, he is now threatening Arabs that they need to normalize their relations with Israel while the leaders of Israel go beyond all limits and insist on their extremist and disdainful stand of the conflict issues.

The amazing paradox lies in the fact that Washington asks Arabs not only to reward Israel by normalization, but by bestowing the legitimacy upon Israel's settlements in the West Bank and Al-Quds as well.

The Arabs' approval of this agreement means conferring legitimacy on the construction of settlements that has been going on so far in the West Bank

For maximizing the disregard of the Arabs and of their awareness, Ehud Barak stated clearly that the degree of Israel's commitment to the temporary cessation of settlement depends on the degree of the "signs of good intention" Arabs are willing to show to Israel.

Against Iran?

What provokes violent vexation of the US conduct is the fact that Obama has pledged Israel to obtain first-rank strategic achievements.

As seen by analysts in Israel, "signs of good intention" are not confined to  normalization only, but also to the extent of the Arab readiness to provide assistance to Israel in fighting Muslim movements or what Barak calls "the world of jihad powers", and to support Tel Aviv to improve its capacity to target the Iranian nuclear program.

What provokes violent vexation of the US conduct is the fact that Obama has pledged Israel to obtain first-rank strategic achievements.

In return for the fallacy of "rationalizing" settlements, Obama will persuade all the countries of the world to impose serious sanctions on Iran to force it to stop its nuclear program.

At the same time, he would ensure that Arab states would normalize ties with Israel.

In order to avoid any possible misunderstanding, it should be pointed out that the right-wing governments of Israel have never encouraged normalization with Arab countries.

However, Netanyahu's government insists on considering "normalization" as a prerequisite for its approval of "rationalization", since normalization in the opinion of the Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Silvan Shalom must ensure the readiness of the naturalizing Arab governments to cooperate with Tel Aviv in facing the Iranian nuclear program.

The danger of Obama's plans is not confined only to granting Israel all these achievements at the expense of the victimized Palestinian people , nor at the expense of the interests of the Arab world whose governments have granted Obama the boldness of this behavior.

However, the danger lies also in the fact that Obama has granted the right wing in Israel a phenomenal momentum. The right wing led by Netanyahu can, justifiably, say that their policies and programs have proved to be in place and that Israel could achieve its strategic interests on basis of these programs and policies.

That is why it is not deplorable that there are voices raised within the opposition party of "Kadima" demanding to join the Netanyahu government, which has proved successful in the face of Obama.

Consequently, Obama would ensure the survival of the right-wing party in power in Israel for a long time.

It is therefore important to listen to what the Israeli thinker Gideon Levy, as he says, "Obama has simply reneged on all the promises he had made to the world about his program of change."

Saleh Al-Naami is a researcher and journalist. Among numerous reputable publications, his work has appeared in Alhayat Newspaper of London and the Middle East Studies Center of Jordan. Al-Naami also published a book entitled "Press and the Military in Israel," Dar Al-Shorouk, Egypt. For more info check his website www.naamy.net

:: Article nr. 58679 sent on 08-oct-2009 11:41 ECT


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