Sunday, March 1, 2015

Israel makes largest West Bank land grab in 30 years

[Originally posted at NOW]

Sometimes it takes the placid, sterile dispassion of the BBC to fully ram home the amazing arrogance and malevolence of the Israeli government.

Describing Tel Aviv’s declared seizure of – sorry, “decision to appropriate” – more West Bank territory than it’s snatched in one go for three decades, the BBC staff writer says with serene insouciance that, “The military-run local administration said it was a response to the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teenagers in the area in June.”

More or less everything one needs to know about Israel today is contained in that sentence. In case the full implications aren’t immediately clear: by way of response to the murder of three teens from families already settled on the West Bank (“in the area”), Israel will add five entire Palestinian villages, along with their farmland, to its already vast takings from what remains of non-Israeli land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan. (Having taken them, of course, it will then raze them to make way for more theocratic settler-colonies; in this case an extension to the Gevaot settlement.) It’s as if Mexico, in response to the killing of Mexicans living illegally in the USA, were to permanently award itself a portion of Texas.

What, for that matter, did the United States, the honest broker of the peace process, have to say about it? Surely, after all, there would be outrage were the Palestinian Authority, following the murder of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir in occupied East Jerusalem, to react by annexing five West Jerusalem neighborhoods. Condemnation, if that’s the word, came from the State Department in the form of a description of the move as “counterproductive” to the two-state solution – a statement of the obvious on par with saying fire is counterproductive to the treatment of burns. Evidently missed by the State Department was Netanyahu’s statement in July that he had “always” opposed the two-state solution; that “to pull out of Judea and Samaria [Bible-speak for the West Bank]” was something that “cannot” be contemplated “under any agreement.” Far from giving the Israeli government pause, in other words, the idea that the two-state solution has been further derailed will have been received in Tel Aviv with warm gratification.

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