Saturday, December 24, 2016

Way Too Late, Way Too Little

Screen shots from an interactive map by Israeli army veterans group Peace Now of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. To view the map click here: 

When the US abstained yesterday from a vote on a United Nations Security Council resolution that condemns Israel's theft of Palestinian land via its settlement project, the US political and media establishment went berserk and cast President Obama as antisemitic and an Israel hater, an outlier of some type.

But the resolution passed 14 to 0. All the other permanent Security Council members voted for it -- the UK, France, Russia and China -- and so did all the rotating members. Among them only Obama lacked the courage to vote for it and only in that sense is he an outlier.

Israel always uses the occasional "peace talks" it's dragged into, usually by the US, as a cover to greatly step up the pace of its settlement building/land theft. It has never had any intention of making peace with the Palestinians or of allowing a Palestinian state to be established, 

Incredibly, Obama's UN abstention is being met with with horror and disgust by US politicians and the media, who act as if not covering for Israel's theft of Palestinian land is somehow immoral. Nor are any of New Mexico's cowardly politicians stepping forward to say they approve of the vote or to show any support for the president.

It's worth noting that more Israeli housing buildings have been built on stolen Palestinian land during Obama's tenure than during the George W Bush administration. As Orly Azouay, columnist for Ynet News, Israel's largest media outlet, wrote about Obama after the vote, "Never has an American president embraced Israel like he had done with aid money, the Iron Dome and other forms of security cooperation that are best kept secret." Read her candid accounting of how Israel has lied repeatedly about its intentions regarding the "peace process." This isn't unusual for the Israeli press. In all the world it's only the US media and political establishment that outright lies about what Israel is doing to the Palestinians, a national disgrace New Mexico's politicians are full participants in.

Note: Israel takes Palestinian land besides what it uses for settlements. Some land theft is for settler-only roadways intentionally placed to separate Palestinian areas from one another. Other land is taken for "military purposes." It's all part of Zionism's longstanding "greater Israel" project (see below) of getting rid of the Palestinians by making their land unliveable. The following maps show the fragmentation of Palestinian land more clearly than the one above.

For more context on the settlements see below.

Settlements In Context

What are called "settlements" are Jews only cities and towns with a combined population of more than 800,000 now, close to a fifth of Israel's Jewish population, that are built on Palestinian land; that is to say, the somewhat over half of Palestine that wasn't given to Zionist colonizers in 1948 and that was supposed to be reserved for a Palestinian state. Israel took over that remaining land in in 1967 and has been kicking Palestinians off of it ever since, acre by acre, farm by farm, hilltop by hilltop, and building settlement after settlement.

US taxpayers pay for settlement building not only by funding the Israeli military that enforces it but because most settlement building is funded by US "NGOs," groups that are tax exempt, that is, American citizens who donate to these organizations don't have to pay taxes on that money. It's all deductible, so it lowers their taxes and the rest of us have to make up the difference.

The 14,000 plus settlement buildings built during the Obama years are on stolen Palestinian land the media rather disingenuously refers to as "occupied" or as being in the "occupied West Bank" or simply in the "West Bank." It's land that is totally under the control of Israel. Palestinians can't build house there or even a shed without getting a permit from Israel, and the permits are always denied.

This "occupied West Bank," outlined in green in the maps above, is what most people mean when they say "Palestine." It's the land a supporter of Israel or a Zionist is talking about when they use the term "greater Israel," which is a wink and a nod reference to the fact that it was always the intent of Zionism to steal every bit of Palestinian land and either kill the Palestinians on it or make them go away by making daily life unbearable.

Zionists have always considered the 1948 borders as temporary. They accepted what land they got then and have been busy stealing the rest of it ever since, always with the approval and complicity of the US government, the US media, and US politicians including New Mexico's current federal delegation -- Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, Michele Grisham, Ben Lujan and Steve Pearce.

While the whole world acknowledges the immorality of the settlements and mass murder of Palestinians, in the US our public figures pretend none of it is happening. Members of New Mexico's federal delegation never acknowledge it or try to do anything about it. They always vote for the massive aid to Israel that funds the "occupation" and for those resolutions that say Israel is defending itself when it periodically slaughters thousands of defenseless Palestinians who are trapped in Gaza by Israel and can't go anywhere -- the periodic massacres that Israels call "cutting the grass," meaning trim excess Palestinian population, the most recent of which in just a few weeks in 2014 killed 2,200 Palestinians including 550 children.

Obama's "No" vote yesterday does break with the precedence of the US vetoing any resolution that criticizes Israel or even hints at the truth of what Israel has done in Palestine, but it has to be seen in context. Israel had completed one of its periodic slaughters in Gaza days before Obama took office. To that Obama uttered a mild demur. Then, during it's most recent, 2014 slaughter in Gaza, when Israel started running short of bombs to drop on Palestinians, Obama had a planeload of them rushed over.

No politician from New Mexico ever says a word about any of this.

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