782 Israeli Settlements
These days the world is occupied with the Trump issue, primarily: What sort of president will he be? Myself, I reckon the other issue that has been in the news just lately is even more important: The question of peace in the Middle East ... simply because that is also a question of World Peace.
This is my (unpublished) letter to the newspaper regarding the issue of Israel having been established to the detriment of the Palestinians:
Letter writer Robyn Weinberg says “Israel has been under attack from hostile Arab countries since day one …” Well, that is not really true, it’s been under attack from day 2. On day 1 occurred the small matter of Palestinians having had their land occupied.
The state of Israel was established by a UN resolution. It suits Israel to accept resolution 181(II) … well, partly. The part that gives their state legitimacy. The other part, that would give the state of Palestine legitimacy is not acknowledged, as are countless subsequent UN resolutions. These questions hang in the air:
What would you have done if - when it was deemed appropriate to find a homeland for the world Jewry - it was decided to create their state on your land? What would you and your sons do, after growing up in refugee camps since your grandparents’ house had been annexed, your family was disowned and you are left with no compensation, no home, no job, no future, no hope?
Does this shed any light on why "Israel has been under attack from hostile Arab countries since day one …”?
This issue of Israel versus Palestine has featured on my blog many times (blog 715) ... I deem it one of the most important issues in world-politics. Indeed, I believe once this issue is resolved, we'll also see the scourge of terrorism becoming a lot easier to deal with ... nothing less.
I forwarded this blog to Professor Dajani Daoudi (see blog 715); in his response he alludes to the prevailing practice that to be against Israel's Settlements is reason enough to be painted with the "anti-Semite" brush:
a Happy New Year to you too.
The issue of Israeli Settlements has become much more controversial. Though the Israeli narrative portrays the UNSC resolution as anti-Israel, in reality it is not. It is against Occupation and Settlement in Palestinian Territories. Those who claim it denies Jews to pray at Wailing Wall are wrong, it does not. You look at a painting and you see what you want to see.
Professor Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi
Founder, Wasatia Movement - Palestine
Director, Wasatia Graduate Academic Institute
Why do I engage with the professor and his Wasatia movement?
For an answer please go to the bottom of this blog.
John Kerry’s speech last week had an impact like the proverbial cat among the pigeons: Israel’s PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, reacted as though the sky was falling and the world was coming to an end. I guess if he was forced to accept UN resolution 2334 - condemning the continued construction of settlements on occupied Palestinian territories - his (political) world indeed would come to an end.
this is most of Kerry's speech, 45 minutes of it
John Kerry raises uncomfortable truths for Israel (SMH)
"The normally polite and restrained world of international diplomacy has been anything but since last Friday's United Nation's Security Council resolution condemning illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.Mr Kerry was saying Mr Netanyahu's continued support of settlements was undermining any hope of a two-state solution.
"Mr Netanyahu's furious reaction to the speech was entirely to be expected given his testy relationship with Mr Obama. That incoming president Donald Trump is a staunch supporter of Israeli settlement-building, along with most of Congress, may have added to Mr Netanyahu's pique. However, Mr Kerry's speech was no more than a statement of the obvious, which is that while Israel professes to be committed to a two-state solution, it has effectively derailed any possibility of a negotiated peace settlement by allowing Jewish settlers to build homes on land seized from Palestinians in the Arab-Israel war of 1967.
"Israel is correct in pointing out that the Palestinians' refusal to acknowledge Israel's right to exist, or to renounce violence, is a major impediment to any negotiated settlement. Nor can it be blamed for "appropriating" choice bits of conquered territory to use as a bargaining chip in peace negotiations. But Israel's ever-expanding occupation of Palestinian land – settler numbers have reached 600,000 and may top one million by 2030 – suggests peace is less of a concern than establishing a Jewish majority in Eretz Israel.
"Israel's military strength (and the unswerving support it receives from Washington) means it can ignore the UN resolution and keep expanding its settlements on Palestinian land. But no amount of legal hair-splitting can disguise the fact that this amounts to permanent occupation. That was the unpalatable fact Mr Kerry raised in hopes of restarting the peace process."
It is interesting for Kerry to make the point that, "Israel is correct in pointing out that the Palestinians' refusal to acknowledge Israel's right to exist, or to renounce violence, is a major impediment to any negotiated settlement ..."
This statement refers to Gaza's Hamas, whereas the PLO, governing the West Bank, recognized Israel's right to exist in peace, accepted UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, and rejected "violence and terrorism"; in response, Israel officially recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people.
Why does Kerry ignore the PLO and deem Hamas the dominant party in the conflict? Hamas indeed is recognized as a terrorist organization and would not likely be a partner in peace negotiations.
Goals of the Wasatia Movement
an alternative to militant Islamism
I unequivocally endorse their goals (excerpted below, for the full list click the link above):
(a) To bring a deeper and more rational understanding of Islam to Moslems as well as to non-Moslems.
(e) To strive and work for ending the Israeli military occupation through negotiations and peaceful means.
(g) ... to mitigate religious radicalism and bigotry and reduce political extremism.
(h) To bring a message of peace, moderation, justice, coexistence, tolerance, and reconciliation to Palestinian community through vocal civic leaders.
(i) To teach creative and critical thinking and open-mindedness.
(j) ... The goal of dialogue and education is to deconstruct mythologies and distortions and misinterpretations and to promote knowledge and empathy for the other.
Wasatia addresses all aspects of life: the way we eat, the way we dress, the way we spend money. Moderation is a value shared with the various thinkers and philosophers as well as all faiths and therefore could become a fruitful foundation for dialogue to achieve peace and reconciliation.