Tag Archives: Palestine

Rand Paul moves to ban aid to Palestine after meeting with Jewish donors…

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United States Senator Rand Paul has introduced a Congressional bill that would cut off assistance to the Palestinian Authority so long as it seeks admission to the International Criminal Court.

The so-called “Defend Israel by Defunding Palestinian Foreign Aid Act of 2015” was the second anti-Palestinian bill introduced by Paul in as many years, according to the National Journal. Last year, he introduced the “Stand with Israel Act,” which would have terminated U.S. aid until the Palestinians agreed to a cease-fire and recognized the state of Israel.

The PA submitted the necessary documentation to become a member of the world’s permanent war crimes tribunal last week. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday its the member ship would become official on April 1.

As a member of the court, the PA will be able to pursue war crimes charges against Israel.

Hours before introducing the bill, Rand met with a group leading Jewish donors to the Republican Party, including casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, the Journal reported.

Paul’s bill would eliminate all U.S. foreign assistance, loan guarantees, and general aid to the Palestine Authority so long as it seeks to join the international court, according to an aide to the senator.

Interviewed by Fox News, Paul argued that it “hardly seems to me a good idea to give American taxpayer money to a country or an entity that is now saying that an ally of ours—that their soldiers need to be investigated for war crimes.”

The junior Republican senator from Kentucky is openly exploring a run for the White House in 2016. Observers see his bill as being part of a bid to win the support of Republican pro-Israel hawks, who tend to regard the libertarian Paul with skepticism, if not outright hostility.

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Presbyterian Church moves to divest from companies who profit off of Israel’s occupation of West Bank…

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Jewish groups predicted a rupture with Presbyterians in the wake of a close vote favoring divestment from three companies that deal with Israel’s security forces in the West Bank.

The Presbyterian Church-USA biennial General Assembly approved the measure 310-303 late Friday evening after hours of at times emotional debate. The resolution divests from three companies, Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Hewlett-Packard. A similar resolution was narrowly defeated at the last biennial in 2012.

Some of the delegates promoting the resolution were at pains to distance it from the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, noting that it targeted only American companies profiting from West Bank security systems, and successfully added amendments making the distinction clear.

Others said that the resolution, coupled with an anti-Zionist tract released earlier this year by a church committee, allied the church with groups that seek to dismantle Israel.

The “decision will undoubtedly have a devastating impact on relations between mainstream Jewish groups and the national Presbyterian Church (USA),” Rabbi Steve Gutow, the president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for Jewish public policy groups, said in a statement.

“We hold the leadership of the PCUSA accountable for squandering countless opportunities, not only to act responsibly to advance prospects for Middle East peace, but also to isolate and repudiate the radical, prejudiced voices in their denomination,” Gutow said.

Other groups anticipating a rift included the Anti-Defamation League, the Union for Reform Judaism and the American Jewish Committee. Many of the groups sent delegations to the general assembly.

Jewish Voice for Peace, which campaigned at the General Assembly for divestment, welcomed the vote.

“We are grateful the church voted not to profit from the suffering of Palestinians under Israel’s 47-year-old occupation,” said the group’s deputy director, Cecile Surasky, in a statement. “Now that U.S.-backed peace talks have proven to be ineffective, we hope that others, including Jewish institutions, will follow suit. Divestment has become one of our best hopes for change.”

The URJ’s president, Rick Jacobs, had in a personal appearance on Thursday invited the church’s leadership to join him in making the case against West Bank settlement in a meeting this week with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as long as the resolution was rejected.

Earlier Friday, the general assembly also approved a resolution that called for reviewing the church’s commitment to a two-state outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel’s Housing Minister calls for complete annexation of Palestine…

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Adhering to the continuous Zionist plans of colonisation, Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel emphasised the supremacy garnered from settlement expansion and the commitment to eradicate any remaining slivers of Palestinian territory.

Speaking at an activity commemorating the Israeli designated ‘Jerusalem Day’ which marks the commencement of colonisation of East Jerusalem in 1967, Ariel stated, “There will be just one state between the Jordan River and the sea, and that is the State of Israel.” With reference to the ongoing settlement construction, Ariel added, “There are no [construction] freezes and there will be no more freezes – we won’t allow it. We won’t accept delays and restrictions [on buildings], not in Jerusalem and not in Judea and Samaria.” Briefly, the statement confirms the ruthless adherence to the entire colonisation of Palestine while relying upon peace as a formidable camouflage for mainstream media to disseminate.

In 2012, Ariel advocated for the entire annexation of the West Bank, expounding upon the oppressive conditions of assimilation required from Palestinians affected by such a possibility. According to the Times of Israel, Ariel declared that annexation would entail the granting of Israeli citizenship to Palestinians after five years, upon condition of a citizenship test, a Hebrew language test and signing “a statement of loyalty to Israel” in order to be granted voting rights. Palestinian opposition to this coercive violence was also acknowledged by Ariel, who added, “Most would not want to do so.”

In the last few days, MKs from Likud and the Jewish Home Party declared their intentions to seek approval in order to facilitate annexation of Jewish colonial settlements in the West Bank.
With reference to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent interview with Bloomberg in which unilateral action was suggested, Naftali Bennett stated, “The era of negotiations has come to an end. I’m hearing talk about unilateral action on Israel’s part and I support that.”
Despite the lack of clarity with regard to the intention of unilateral action, Bennett’s interpretation of Netanyahu’s statement conforms to the possibility of annexation.
The farcical negotiations have been deemed a failure and a stalemate – both descriptions are inaccurate and obscure the ongoing historical reality of dwindling Palestinian territory.

Within this context, Ariel’s comments portray the benefits of negotiations on Israel’s behalf, namely the exploitation of peace to consolidate settler-colonialism. As with other political interpretations of concepts, colonial violence in all forms remains a priority for Israel. The negotiations, a form of political violence rendered subtle only due to the mainstream insistence to obscure obvious intimidation of Palestinians as necessary to peace, are nothing but an additional means for Israel to conform to early Zionist plans for complete colonisation.

Notwithstanding the continuous vociferous declarations in this regard, Israel’s international allies prefer a commitment to silence rather than acknowledge international law violations and complicity. Ariel’s comments reiterate the existence of Palestinian history and memory as elements necessitating elimination, while the compromised international community aids the enforced oblivion by rendering Palestinians insignificant through insistence upon bargaining for alleged peace in favour of Israel, depicting the absence of a challenge to colonialism.