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Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:08 PM

Bulldozers and More Talks: Paving the Road for a New Status Quo

By Ramzy Baroud

Monday, February 11, 2013

Despite much saber-rattling by Israel and the US administration and hyped-up expectations by the Palestinian leadership, the recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state late last year is on its way to becoming yet another footnote in protracted conflict that has endured for 65 years.

Only hours after the announcement, Israel had its own announcement to make: the building of a new illegal settlement (according to international law, all of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are illegal) in Palestinian land. The area is called the E-1 zone by Israel. A couple of European countries responded with greater exasperation than usual, but soon moved on to other seemingly more pressing issues. The US called Israel’s spiteful move “counterproductive”, but soon neglected the matter. Palestinian activists who tried to counter Israel’s illegal activities by pitching tents in areas marked by Israel for construction were violently removed.

Mahmoud Abbas’ PA is at a standstill in the same pitiful possession. It continues to serve as a buffer between occupied, ethnically cleansed and rightfully angry Palestinians. Its existence would not have been possible without Israel’s consent. Fiery speeches, press releases and conferences aside, the PA has affectively sub-contracted part of the Israeli occupation – as in maintaining Israel’s security for example – in exchange for perks for those affiliated with the PA. Examples of these privileges include easier access to business contracts or jobs. It is this symbiosis that constantly averts any serious confrontation between Israel and the PA. Both parties would lose if the status quo were seriously hampered. For Israel to reclaim its responsibilities as an Occupying Power under international law would be a huge financial and political burden that could impede its settlement constructions in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. In fact, Israel is able to maintain all the benefits of military occupation without much cost. For Abbas, shutting down the PA conglomerate would mean financial and political suicide for the branch of Fatah politicians affiliated with him.

Thus some clever manifestation of the ‘peace process’ show must be found that would help both parties save face – Israel to finish its settlement plans and the PA to sustain its enterprise.


Full Article: http://www.zcommunications.org/bulldozers-and-more-talks-paving-the-road-for-a-new-status-quo-by-ramzy-baroud

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Reply Bulldozers and More Talks: Paving the Road for a New Status Quo (Original post)
polly7 Feb 2013 OP
shira Feb 2013 #1
oberliner Feb 2013 #2
polly7 Feb 2013 #3
shira Feb 2013 #4
Jefferson23 Feb 2013 #5

Response to polly7 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:47 PM

1. Ramzy Baroud endorsed Gilad Atzmon's book - defends Greta Berlin's neo-nazi screeds

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:48 PM

2. Ramzy Baroud

It really is a small world after all. The same dozen people writing the same dozen articles.

He uses "ethnically cleansed" as a recurring adjective.

Deliberate and repeated misuse of such words is the opposite of helpful.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:51 PM

3. I agree with the 'ethnically cleansed' term.

Fits perfectly, imo. All you have to do is go back and read Israeli leaders' quotes and the maps and decades of stealing land .... collective punishment, etc. What's there to argue about?

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Response to oberliner (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:11 PM

4. He's for BDS, full RoR too. Odd how Palestinian Kahanists are popular among some progressives. n/t

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:50 PM

5. Israel approves 90 new settlement units, group says

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli government has granted approval for 90 new settlement units in the West Bank, an Israeli peace group said Monday.

The plan for the housing units in Beit El settlement received final validation on Sunday, but had been approved in August 2012 as part of a compensation plan for settlers evicted from the Ulpana neighborhood, settlement watch director Peace Now Hagit Ofran told Ma'an.

"Netanyahu chose to take advantage of the time before forming a coalition government to establish more facts on the ground," Ofran said.

Construction of the homes in the Ramallah-area settlement can legally begin on Wednesday.

"The Palestinian position is clear. There can be no negotiation while settlement continues," Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, said in response to the new Beit El construction.

Israel's Supreme Court ruled last year that Ulpana neighborhood had been built illegally on Palestinian-owned land, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promising to build 300 new homes as part of the evacuation deal.

The court had ruled that five Ulpana apartment blocs must be torn down by July 1, but then granted the state a four-month extension to demolish the properties.

The 30 families who lived in the buildings had already moved out to nearby temporary accommodation.

There are now more than 325,000 settlers in the West Bank, with a further 200,000 living in East Jerusalem.

The United Nations deems all Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be illegal.

Reuters contributed to this report

http://maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=564180

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