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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tzipi Livni: Dubes Israel Terpaksa Melarikan Diri Tengah Malam dari Banyak Negara

Kamis, 15 September 2011 07:32 WIB
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID,Ketua kubu oposisi rezim Zionis Israel, Tzipi Livni menyatakan, "Israel sudah sedemikian lemah sehingga duta besarnya di sejumlah negara terpaksa melarikan diri pada malam hari dengan mengenakan syal."

Sebagaimana dilaporkan Fars News, koran Haaretz terbitan Israel menulis, "Ketua Partai Kadima, Tzipi Livni dan pemimpin kelompok oposisi kabinet Israel, Rabu (14/9) dalam pidatonya mengritik kabinet Perdana Menteri Benyamin Netanyahu yang telah mengarahkan Israel pada kondisi politik terburuk."
Ditambahkannya, "Di saat kabinet Netanyahu membangga-banggakan kehormatan nasional, para Duta Besar Israel terpaksa melarikan diri dari sejumlah negara pada tengah malam dengan mengenakan syal."
Menurutnya, rezim berkuasa telah menyeret Israel pada kondisi politik terburuk yang pernah dihadapi Tel Aviv. "Kabinet [Netanyahu] berbicara tentang kekuatan, namun Israel sudah sedemikian lemah sehingga tidak mampu berbuat apa-apa menghadapi roket-roket yang menghujani warganya," tegas Livni.
Ditegaskannya pula bahwa masyarakat harus bertanya apakah Israel kini lebih kuat atau lebih lemah, keamanan Israel lebih baik atau sedang menghadapi ancaman lebih besar?  
Redaktur: Krisman Purwoko
Sumber: IRIB/MZ

Settler movement changing the rules of the game

By Kobi Skolnick
As the Israeli government prepares for the anticipated Palestinian bid for recognition as a state in the UN General Assembly this month, Israeli settlers in the West Bank have plans of their own: while some want to find common ground with Palestinians living there, others are looking to confront them head on, highlighting how the many lines of division that cut across Israeli society

According to a Wafa news agency report, last week, one of the founders of the Gush Emunim settlement movement and leading rabbis in the West Bank, Rabbi Menachem Froman, expressed his support for the Palestinian Authority’s move to seek recognition as a state at the United Nations on September 20.
Froman told Abbas that establishment of a Palestinian state would benefit the peace process and Israel and would achieve a comprehensive, just peace and stability for the region and the world. Froman has promoted dialogue and understanding between Jews and Muslims for years. Last week Froman met with the supporters of Land of Peace, a new settler movement that “works toward the advancement of peace and dialogue between the Jewish and Arab inhabitants of Judea and Samaria.”  They just held their first conference in the Ofra settlement to discuss how can they make peace at the grassroots level with their neighbors.
However, at the same time, another movement was on the move. Michael Ben-Ari, a Knesset member for theNational Union Party and the first outspoken disciple of Rabbi Meir Kahane (ultra-nationalist, former MK, whose party, Kach, was banned because it was deemed “racist” and “undemocratic” in 1988) announced his new initiative. In recent days he has distributed a document entitled “September the threat of an opportunity – changing the rules of the game.”
The plan is for right-wing activists and settlers to walk throughout the West Bank this month and confront Palestinians protesters. According to Ben Ari, he hopes to mobilize hundreds and even thousands of “children, women and old men as well as fighters to walk in front of Arabs.” The idea is to face each other. No more soldiers and Border Police officers in front of groups of Arab women and children, but children with children, boys with boys and women with women – “it will destroy the effect of September and we can change the equation on the ground.”
According to this published detailed plan, the new movement will include the establishment of representatives of all relevant bodies, mayors, heads of communities, and residents’ committees. Moreover, logistics, communications and legal teams will be on the ground to support families and residents who will stand against “the enemy” and convey the following message:
“We’re here, this is the legacy of our forefathers! We are here to stay forever! We’re here, for the people of Israel and on their behalf!”
Many settlers would agree that this project is a divine design, and feel deeply that this religious mission is part of the redemptive plan of the Jewish people. Of course not everyone agrees with Ben-Ari’s plan, not Rabbi Froman and probably not the majority of Israelis.
Before becoming a peace activist, I lived in a settlement, in the hills of the West Bank, planting trees, cultivating the soil and studying in yeshiva. I understand the thinking of Ben Ari and his followers. I also still have family and friends there and I remain deeply connected to them.
As a former settler, it is clear to me that this plan will have bad consequences that will denigrate Israel’s image across the globe. No matter if you support the settlement project or not, Ben-Ari’s plan is not good for Israel.
Moreover, I am afraid that despite the beautiful movement for social change currently taking place in Israel, there are potent forces that need to be addressed. For example, we have seen that the violence carried out byradical settlers does not stop at Palestinians, but spills into Israel as well, targeting Israeli soldiers and civilians (today Haaretz reported that a senior Peace Now employee had her home vandalized by an anonymous person who graffitied the words “Price Tag for Migron” on her front door, alluding to the settler outpost that was evacuated by the IDF last week).
This plan and the phenomena of the hill-top youth movement on a whole, show a deeper division of interests and loyalties in Israeli society than what meets the eyes. There are deep-rooted conflicts over the interpretation of our history and what the vision of the State of Israel ought to be.  Ben-Ari and his supporters have a belief system that embraces Messianic utopianism and for years have adapted a redemptive outlook based on apocalyptic prophecies coupled with a Godly sense of mission.
For the past century, secular Zionists have proven to have more flexible worldviews, often adapted to the demands of real-world political constraints. In addition, pluralism, democracy and human rights are at the core of their belief system..
This profound cleavage in Israeli society between contemporary secular society on the one hand, and national-religious and ultra orthodox on the other, is not new. Yet, it is part of root structural causes of the internal conflict within Jewish identity, which remains untouched by most politicians. While many had hoped that time would ease these tensions, the opposite has been happening. The contradiction between traditional communal values and secular liberal ones haven’t eased over the years but rather intensified.
There is a clear need to go beyond government and political tradition, and to increase support for dialogue within Israel and between Israelis and Palestinians, and to talk candidly about our future, not only about rent and food prices.
What needs to be done? Or what could be done:
A. Strategic engagement of the public sphere in order to maintain the social fabric of relationships.  There are many voices of religious tolerance that can come together to establish long term and sustainable partnership and cooperation.
B. Organizing meetings to bring scholars, policy makers, journalists, intellectuals, civil servants, researchers, academics and politicians together to foster a better understanding of the issues.
C.  Make space for a new generation of thinkers and a new phase in diplomacy in order to meet the urgency of our time.
D. Supporting civic spaces and promoting a framework for debate, dialogue, embrace cultural diversity and civic education, If we adapted some of these, radicals from both sides would lose their grip on our lives and Israel can enter a new phase in its history.
Kobi Skolnick is Director of Leadership Development, Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University.

Israel evacuates embassy in Jordan ahead of protests

New York Times: Railing Against Palestinian Statehood

New York TimesLongstanding Times policy supports wealth and power; war, not peace; US hegemony and imperial rampaging; and all things benefitting Israel.

In so doing, it turns a blind eye to its most egregious violations of international law, norms and standards.
It's no surprise that Times editorial policy opposes Palestinian statehood and full UN membership. A previous article explained, accessed through the following link:
Endorsing wrong over right, it’s August 7 "Palestinians and the UN" editorial falsified and distorted key facts. It also suppressed others instead of explaining issues forthrightly.
That's never been NYT's long suit.
Its latest broadside did it again.
On September 10, Times writer Ethan Bronner headlined, "In Seeking Statehood, Palestinians Stir Concern," saying:
Days ahead of "Palestinians plan(ning) to 'defy' the Obama administration by requesting (UN) membership and statehood recognition....there is a growing fear that the Arab-Israeli conflict is entering an explosive new phase."
Despite clear benefits greatly outweighing concerns, Bronner claims "many (predict) disaster, especially after the storming of Israel's Cairo embassy and the expulsion of its ambassador from Turkey."
In fact, Washington and Israeli acquiescence would go a long way to ease, not heighten, tensions, a point Bronner omitted. Instead, he quoted an unnamed "senior Western diplomat," saying:
Israel "will react to a Palestinian statehood bid with punitive measures in the West Bank. Congress will probably cut off aid....The Palestinian Authority could collapse. We're watching a potential train wreck."
Fact check
Under military occupation, Palestinians have no rights. Gazans are suffocating under siege. Daily Israeli attacks and/or incursions into neighborhoods terrorize millions of civilians. Israel at times preemptively declares war. Its modus operandi is death, destruction and immiseration.
Statehood and full UN membership is step one for something better, regardless of how long it takes.
It's already as bad as it gets unless NATO intervenes supportively for Israel. If so, it may do to Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem what it did to Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, turning the Territories to rubble and slaughtering tens of thousands, defending the indefensible on whatever pretext it chooses.
For America, its NATO partners and Israel, it remains a frightening option, given how many previous times it was chosen.
Bronner quoted Yuli Edelstein, Israel's public diplomacy minister, saying:
"If the Palestinians go to the United Nations, it will begin a long funeral for the peace process and negotiations."
Fact check
Of course, Israel long ago buried what for decades it refused to tolerate and won't now. As a result, resurrecting a corpse makes no sense, especially when one willing side has no partner.
Bronner highlights negatives over positive statehood benefits. For example, "rocket(s) from Gaza would be cause to bring them to account."
Fact check
True enough except in self-defense, a universally accepted right. Moreover, ineffective "rockets" only follow multiple Israeli attacks. If Palestinians initiated them, Israel might declare war.
Palestinians have nothing to gain from conflict. In contrast, Israel thrives on it, knowing it can act with impunity.
Bronner also denigrated Palestine's legitimate government, saying:
If the Palestinian Authority under Abbas "ended up withering for lack of support and security cooperation with Israel, Hamas would be waiting in the wings. A Hamas 'takeover' attempt in the West Bank is not something Israel would accept lightly...."
Fact check
In January 2006, Hamas won a decisive 74 seat majority victory as Palestine's legitimate government. Fatah under Abbas got 45, and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's Third Way party won only 2 of 132 Palestinian Legislative Council seats. 
Though almost entirely rejected, he's now illegitimately second in command, serving, like Abbas, as an Israeli collaborationist.
Bronner entirely omitted that context from his article. He also excluded comments from Palestinian statehood advocates. Instead, he concluded, quoting Israeli MK Einat Wilf, saying:
Abbas "knows he is not getting a state. He knows he is not resolving anything. He is simply taking the conflict to another place. (He and other Palestinians) will take each and everybody of the UN and use it as a theater to continue this whole conflict."
Fact check
Of course, conflict persists because of Israeli and Washington obstructionism and belligerence. 
Long ago, Palestinians wanted peace, an equitable resolution of longstanding grievances, and a legitimate sovereign state they deserve after Israel stole their homeland in 1948.
Bronner didn't explain. Instead, he one-sidededly backed Israel.
So did another disgraceful Times editorial (dated 9/11) headlined, "Palestinian Statehood"saying:
"A United Nations vote on Palestinian membership would be ruinous. Yet with little time left before the UN General Assembly meets, the United States, Israel and Europe have shown insufficient urgency or boldness in trying to find a compromise solution."
Fact check
After 44 years of occupation, statehood and de jure UN membership are long overdue. Opposing it is inexcusable. Nothing less than full recognition is acceptable within 1967 borders, as well as East Jerusalem as its capital.
"Last week, the United States made a listless effort to get Palestinians to forgo the vote in favor of new peace talks. (The) best path to statehood remains negotiations."
Fact check
As explained above, for decades Palestinians have had no willing partner for peace and don't now. Moreover, Israel doesn't negotiate. It demands, with backup muscle like its Washington/paymaster partner.
Nonetheless, the editorial says America "and its Quartet partners (EU, UN and Russia) should put a map and a deal on the table, with a timeline for concluding negotiations and a formal UN statehood vote. The core element: a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps and guarantees for Israel's security."
Fact check
The same futility repeated numerous previous times. Resurrecting a corpse won't revive it. Relying on Israel and Washington assures subjugation, exploitation, and continuity, not justice or peace. 
It's long past time that ended, especially with overwhelming world support when Israel is growing increasingly isolated, and along with America, reviled on Arab streets.
"To get full UN membership the Palestinians have to win Security Council approval."
Fact check
Previous articles explained that the Security Council  recommends. Only the General Assembly admits new members by a simple two-thirds majority. 
Times writers know it but won't say. Instead, they keep beating the same dead horse lie, plus a blizzard of others daily in print, notably on what's most important.
"Congress has threatened to cut millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority if it presses for a UN vote. Instead of just threatening the Palestinians, Congress should lean on Mr. Netanyahu to return to talks."
Fact check
True enough. Congress may withhold aid. Perhaps the 113th one will restore it after January 3, 2013. 
In the meantime, other states can and should fill the void. It's pocket change for them collectively, even during hard times, especially if they wage less war and more peace. 
For his part, Netanyahu doesn't respond to pressure. Efforts are better directed on what works, or at least has a better chance.
"Israel has said it would cut millions of dollars in tax remittances to the authority."
Fact check
Israel no longer would control policies of an independent Palestinian state, including matters relating to taxes.
The piece concludes saying "Washington and its partners will have to limit the damage" following a vote.
In fact, under the best of circumstances, Palestinians are cursed by bordering on a belligerent rogue state, menacingly there all the time.
That's a real concern, including for neighboring states knowing they, too, are vulnerable.
Shut Out of the Process Hamas Responds
On September 12, Haaretz headlined, "Hamas distances itself from Palestinian statehood bid at UN," saying:
Hamas officials said PA efforts omitted Gaza interests entirely. Abbas proceeded on his own, without consulting Hamas, Palestine's legitimate government.
Other Palestinian factions expressed their views. Islamic Jihad also opposes PA efforts. Spokesman Dawood Shihab said the "move needs to be studied to make sure it will not ignore major issues such as the right of return, and the future of the (PLO) as an umbrella for" all Palestinians.
Nothing compromises either if proper procedures are followed. In fact, the right of return for Diaspora Palestinians will be strengthened.
Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Zahar said no one "asked the people of Gaza to take to the streets showing solidarity with the so-called September bid. If the Palestinian Authority calls for that, we will oppose it because they detain people in the West Bank."
"How can I give them the right to demonstrate in Gaza while they do not give us that right in the West Bank?"
Hamas official Mushir al-Masri accused Abbas of acting "without consulting any faction."
An anonymous PA official said Abbas "was surprised by the international opposition to the reconciliation with Hamas so he decided to slow down at least until September." 
"Now, with all efforts focused on" petitioning the UN, "we want all voices to be with us. We are not giving the Americans or anyone else a reason to shun us because of the reconciliation or anything else."
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and The Palestinian National Initiative support petitioning the UN, saying it's the last (or perhaps best) chance for statehood, given the futility of peace talks.
PFLP official Kayid al-Ghoul said:
"We support the Palestinian leadership's plan to go to the UN because (it's) a natural right of the Palestinians and part of the political battle against Israel." 
"Regardless of the outcome, this step should be part of the political battle we fight against occupation. It will also be an opportunity to enlarge the circle of solidarity with the Palestinian people's rights, and to expose Israel's policies and the supportive US policy."
Palestinian National Initiative leader Mustafa Barghouti called the UN initiative "the last option for two states," adding "time has come for an alternative. There is no space or place for talks. We won't be slaves to apartheid for the rest of our lives."
He also said if South Sudan could get statehood in 48 hours (no matter that America and EU nations pushed for balkanization), why not Palestinians after decades of failure.
Why not indeed, despite opposition from Washington, Israel, and at least several key European states.
Nothing important ever comes easily. Nothing comes at all without trying. Delay is the enemy of success. Whoever said there's no time like the present got it right.
A Final Comment
Since taking office, Obama's presidency has been defined by duplicity, lawlessness and betrayal.
He proved it by waging multiple imperial wars, lying about why they're fought.
He did it by handing Wall Street giants multi-trillions of taxpayer dollars - called "emergency loans" that perhaps never were repaid. He and the Fed also refused to say how much until finally it was learned that at least $16.1 trillion was involved. 
Some observers think it's lots more, plus an open-ended checkbook for as much as they want.
He rubbed it in by demanding austerity cuts during a Main Street Depression when growing tens of millions need help, not a hammer to the back of their heads.
On September 8, his "American Jobs Act" address to Congress was, in fact, another thinly veiled wealth transfer scheme to corporate favorites and super-rich elites already with too much.
He also proposed stealth measures to weaken Social Security and Medicare ahead of destroying them altogether to free up money for more wars and bailouts.
On September 12, he reiterated his contempt for Palestinians, saying:
If Palestinian statehood comes "to the Security Council, we would object very strongly, precisely because we think it would be 'counterproductive.' We don't think that it would actually lead to the outcome that we want, which is a two-state solution."
"Counterproductive" with no "two-state solution?"
Of course, his doublespeak distorts and inverts what Palestinians want and can get if proper procedures are followed.
Obama, Netanyahu and other officials from both countries are pushing to prevent them from achieving rights they've been denied for decades.
It's high time a ground swell of right over wrong support thunderously rejects the criminal class causing so much harm to so many. 
It's time it emerges globally against these two rogue states and their duplicitous allies. 
When committed and sustained, it's how great victories are won. 
Though never easily or quickly, they're only possible by trying.

West Bank villagers' daily battle with Israel over water

Al-Amniyr villagers in the West Bank face a catch-22: if they obey the law they cannot collect water. But if they fail to water the land, they lose it anyway
Israeli military remove water pipes and cisterns near West Bank city of Hebron
Israeli authorities use Israeli army machinery as they destroy a water reservoir used by Palestinian farmers in Hebron, in the West Bank village of Yatta, near the Israeli settlement of Sosia. Photograph: Abed Al Hashlamoun/EPA
The South Hebron Hills, sweltering in 34C heat and in its second consecutive year of drought, is a landscape of brutal contrasts. There is enough water here to support lush greenhouses, big cattle sheds, even ornamental plants. It arrives in large, high-pressure lines. And there appears to be no limit to the bounty it can bring.
Cheek by jowl with the water towers and red roofs of the Israeli settlers in this area of the West Bank is a landscape of stone boulders, tents and caves. The Palestinian village of al-Amniyr looks from afar like a rubbish tip until you realise that the rubbish is people's dwellings, which have been destroyed in attacks targeting their water cisterns.
The villager Mohammed Ahmad Jabor's water cistern has been destroyed three times this year. The last time was by the settlers. The settler attacks come generally at night and where they cannot destroy water cisterns they poison them by putting chicken carcasses in them.
The second time Jabor's cistern was destroyed was by Israeli soldiers who destroyed seven tent dwellings and a sheep pen.
Jabor has gone to the Israeli courts repeatedly, which have upheld his and fellow villagers' ownership of the land, a title he claims that dates back to Ottoman times.
But the ruling of the court has had no effect either on the determination of soldiers and settlers to stop anyone or any animal living in al-Amniyr. The land has been declared as agricultural, a designation which prohibits residents from constructing structures of any kind, especially cisterns.
Constructions need permits, which are all but impossible to obtain. Where they are obtained, it is in areas such as quarries, which are impossible to exploit. And under another law, if the land is not used for three years, it reverts to Israel.
So the inhabitants of al-Amniyr, at-Tuwani and the other villages that comprise Susiya, are faced with a catch-22. If they comply with the law they cannot build cisterns and collect even the rainwater. But if they fail to use their land agriculturally, they lose it anyway.
"We are without tents and without water, so how can we live here?" Jabor asks. Walking past the roots of a ripped-up olive grove – the replacement seedlings are already planted – Jabor answers his own question. A blue plastic sheet in an entrance to the rock, conceals a heavy, metal door. Beyond lies a cave, complete with a crying kitten, chickens and a metal stove for the winter. This is home for him and his seven children.
Most villagers date the start of their battle over water with Israel to 1982, when Ariel Sharon, then minister of defence, transferred all the West Bank water systems to Mekorot, the Israeli national water company for the nominal price of one shekel.
The Oslo accords created a Joint Water Management Committee, which grants Israel a veto over water resource and infrastructure in the West Bank. The committee issued a joint declaration in 2001 "for keeping water infrastructure out of the cycle of violence".
The Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene group (EWASH), a multinational consortium of NGOs funded by the European commission, accuses Israel of breaking this declaration, although there is a long list of other obligations under humanitarian law as an occupying power. In the past two years, it has logged the destruction of 100 water, sanitation and hygiene structures, 44 cisterns, 20 toilets and sinks, 28 wells. This year alone, 20 cisterns have been destroyed. Most of this is happening in Area C, which is under full Israeli military control.
The effect of the water shortage on the Palestinian population is not disputed. The average use of water by Palestininians is 50 litres a person a day for domestic purposes, one-fourth of the Israeli use. Rates of diarrhoea are high, particularly among children in herder communities. One survey found that 44% of children between six months and five years had diarrhoea in the two weeks before. Bodies such as the World Bank, UNRWA, Unicef and the World Food Programme have all carried out studies on it.
Where Palestinian villages are permitted, villagers complain of weak water pressure or the high price of tankered water. In Susiya it comes in at 35 shekels a cubic metre.
The Palestinian Water Authority issued a statement in May this year condemning the demolition of cisterns as a violation of numerous bilateral agreements and declarations between Israel and the PLO as well as between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Israel disputes it is responsible for the unequal distribution of water in the West Bank, and accuses Palestinians of letting untreated sewage flow into the water table and of lowering the level of table with unauthorised wells. It said that under Oslo accords water resources were divided between Israel and the PWA, each side was held responsible for the water it consumes and a bilateral committee was set up as a mechanism to monitor the use of water and approve new projects. The last time the bilateral committee met 65 new water projects were approved, mostly for the Palestinians.
The Israeli embassy in London said: "Unfortunately there is a limited supply of water in the region. This is the fairest system for allocation through a bilateral committee." He called reports about Israeli settlers poisoning the water supply of palestinians "unacceptable behaviour" and was by no means government policy. Asked about the use of water by Israeli settlers, he said that as they paid for it, it was up to each individual how they used it.