Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Binational Reality (Two Peoples living on the same land!)

Hello Dear Friend,

The following editorial by the leading progressive newspaper in Israel spells out the folly of ignoring the demographic realities in the land:

There is now a slight P majority, making Israel all the more a minority nation, occupying others' territory. The editorial puts its finger exactly on the problem. (See Highlight)

The movement for "Equal Rights" for all residents in Isr/Pal is picking up steam all over the world. There is momentum building that will sweep the Status Quo away. Forces are building to "End the Occupation".

Yes, there is controversy about it. Many groups in Isr and here in the US are upset about the request by a group from CMEP (Christians for Middle East Peace), to "investigate" if Israel is misusing US military aid, not abiding by US law.

Binational reality

Haaretz (Editorial)
October 17, 2012 - 12:00am

With the start of the election campaign, the major parties are displaying a worrying tendency to put social, economic and security issues at the top of the agenda while evading the diplomatic issue at the root of Israel's democratic identity.

As Akiva Eldar reported yesterday, according to official figures, around 5.9 million Jews and 6.1 million non-Jews live between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Thus, from the international community's point of view, there is a non-Jewish majority under Israel's control and responsibility. The unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip did not sever the enclave from its Israeli umbilical cord; in the absence of another sovereignty, international law sees Israel as the sovereign in Gaza. The Oslo Accords define the West Bank and Gaza Strip as one political entity.

In June last year, the Jewish People Policy Institute presented the forecast by demographer Sergio DellaPergola that a Palestinian majority can be expected within a few years between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. In response, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had no interest in the demographic balance between the river and sea. "I am interested in there being a solid Jewish majority in the State of Israel, within its borders as they will be defined," he said.

But Netanyahu's refusal to resume talks with the Palestinians based on the 1967 borders and land swaps, and his support for the settlement enterprise have thwarted the attempt to define Israel's borders. The loss of faith in Israel's willingness to realize a two-state solution amplifies the Palestinian voices in the territories that want the struggle against the occupation turned into a struggle for equal political rights between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.

Under the current prime minister, who vehemently demands that the Palestinian leaders recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people, a binational reality has developed in the territories under Israel's control. We should expect this grave failure to stand at the center of the election campaign.

With great folly, the Labor Party under Shelly Yacimovich has relegated this existential issue to the sidelines of the political debate. She shares responsibility for the Israeli public's loss of faith in peace and the perpetuation of the discriminatory and disastrous binational reality.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Business as Usual

Dear Friend,

What a stimulating time I had with the Isr/Pal Mission Network in Chicago this last weekend! Representatives from many groups in attendance, with a majority of Presbyterians.

If you are passionate, you will want to buy Miko Peled's latest book, The General's Son, especially the radical conclusions he is arriving at (more later).

For now, more evidence of Israeli leadership to tolerate more indignities to the indigenous population. The present Likud leadership is doing all it can to perpetuate the Occupation.

The cutting edge at IPMN is to take steps to END THE OCCUPATION. (The "Occupation" is a dirty word. Be careful where you say it. It will not make you popular in many circles, especially those circles dedicated to perpetuating the "status quo". JRK

UN envoy alarmed by attacks on Palestinian trees

Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) — The U.N. Middle East envoy says he's alarmed by attacks blamed on Israeli settlers against Palestinian farmers and their olive trees.

Robert Serry says Israel must do more to protect Palestinians and their property in the West Bank, in a statement sent to reporters Sunday. Israel's military had no immediate comment. The West Bank, claimed by the Palestinians for a state, is under Israeli military rule.

An Israeli rights organization, B'Tselem, counts 450 Palestinian-owned trees either damaged or uprooted since the harvest season began on October 10.

Every year a small number of extremist Jewish settlers carry out attacks during harvest season. Most attacks occur close to Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Olive groves provide crucial income for Palestinian farmers.