USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

Israel’s Elections Promise To Bring More Hatred and Aggression

Posted by uscsjp on February 9, 2009

Israel’s elections and U.S. policy

“Israel is holding its national elections tomorrow. Not only is it virtually certain that the right-wing militarist Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud Party will become the new Prime Minister, but it is highly likely that the ultra-right, anti-Arab nationalist and West Bank settler Avigdor Lieberman of the racist Yisrael Beitenu (Israel Our Home) Party will perform scandalously well.  Polls show Lieberman’s party winning between 15 to 20 of the 120 seats in the Knesset, perhaps even surpassing Israel’s Labour Party for third place and even an outside change for second place.  Lieberman’s party will form a vital component of Netanyahu’s ruling coalition and will secure a key Cabinet post for Lieberman himself.

So extreme and repugnant is Lieberman that even Marty Peretz’s New Republic this week called his party ‘an extremist right-wing party’ and said that Lieberman ‘has focused much of his campaign inciting public anger against Israel’s Arab minority.’  In that article — headlined:  ‘The alarming rise of radical nationalism in Israel’ — former IDF soldier Arik Ben-Zvi described just some of the disgraceful lowlights:

Under the catchy slogan ‘No citizenship without loyalty’ (it rhymes in Hebrew), Yisrael Beiteinu is pushing for a new law requiring all citizens to swear an ‘oath of loyalty’ to the state. Israeli-Arab citizens or others who refuse could have their citizenship stripped from them…”

–Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com, 9 February, 2009

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/02/09/israel/index.html

Democracy Now! Latest Headlines:

UN Halts Gaza Aid Delivery in Hamas Dispute

“In Israel and the Occupied Territories, the UN says it’s stopped aid deliveries into Gaza after Hamas forces seized a shipment for the second time. United Nations Relief and Works Agency spokesperson Christopher Gunness said Hamas seized ten trucks on Friday.

UNRWA spokesperson Christopher Gunness: ‘The people of Gaza have suffered enough. They have gone through twenty-two days of conflict, and now we have a situation where their aid is jeopardized because their aid is being confiscated. This is a situation which must end immediately. The aid must be given back by the Hamas government.’

Hamas called the incident a misunderstanding and said it won’t be repeated. Much of Gaza’s 1.5 million population depends on aid for survival. Meanwhile, Israel continues sporadic military attacks in Gaza. Earlier today, a Palestinian militant was killed near the town of Beit Hanoun when an Israeli tank fired from across the border…”

–Democracy Now!, 9 February, 2009

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/2/9/headlines#13

See Also the following video from the BBC:

Families destroyed by Gaza conflict

“Three weeks of conflict in Gaza inflicted devastating damage.

Jeremy Bowen met a brother and sister who have lost their family…”

–BBC News, 8 February, 2009

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7878079.stm

Daily Trojan Letter to the Editor

“I take offense at the publication of a previous letter that begins, ‘Israel justified in defending itself.’ A sentence later, this letter introduces two entirely false claims: that last Monday’s protest was ‘anti-Israel’ and that its participants ‘perpetrated untruthful information about the current situation in the Middle East concerning Israel and the Gaza territory.’

I must insist that vague, derogatory terms like ‘anti-Israel,’ are improperly directed at the three respectable student organizations involved in Monday’s ‘Let Gaza Live’ rally: the Muslim Student Union, Students for Justice in Palestine and Food Not Bombs. To suggest that the rally was ‘anti-Israel’ is a misleading libel. By description, our rally intended ‘to raise awareness of a new SJP campaign to ask for USC divestment from Israel, in hopes that by alienating the Israeli state and withdrawing our money we will be able to influence its actions and help lead to a peaceful and just resolution to the problem that allows both sides to live in peace.’ If the idea of a boycott seems unproductive to some, we kindly ask students across campus and within all campus organizations to help us come up with a more creative, effective alternative. What else could end the violence between the Israelis and Palestinians? What else will work to end the occupation? Until a legitimate alternative is raised, our effort to initiate divestment from Israel stands…”

–Marwa Katbi, Daily Trojan, 8 February, 2009

http://www.dailytrojan.com/opinion/letter_to_the_editor-1.1358846

And Finally, from Ha’aretz:

Secret Israeli database reveals full extent of illegal settlement

“Just four years ago, the defense establishment decided to carry out a seemingly elementary task: establish a comprehensive database on the settlements. Brigadier General (res.) Baruch Spiegel, aide to then defense minister Shaul Mofaz, was put in charge of the project. For over two years, Spiegel and his staff, who all signed a special confidentiality agreement, went about systematically collecting data, primarily from the Civil Administration.

One of the main reasons for this effort was the need to have credible and accessible information at the ready to contend with legal actions brought by Palestinian residents, human rights organizations and leftist movements challenging the legality of construction in the settlements and the use of private lands to establish or expand them. The painstakingly amassed data was labeled political dynamite.

The defense establishment, led by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, steadfastly refused to publicize the figures, arguing, for one thing, that publication could endanger state security or harm Israel’s foreign relations. Someone who is liable to be particularly interested in the data collected by Spiegel is George Mitchell, President Barack Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East, who came to Israel this week for his first visit since his appointment. It was Mitchell who authored the 2001 report that led to the formulation of the road map, which established a parallel between halting terror and halting construction in the settlements.

The official database, the most comprehensive one of its kind ever compiled in Israel about the territories, was recently obtained by Haaretz. Here, for the first time, information the state has been hiding for years is revealed. An analysis of the data reveals that, in the vast majority of the settlements – about 75 percent – construction, sometimes on a large scale, has been carried out without the appropriate permits or contrary to the permits that were issued. The database also shows that, in more than 30 settlements, extensive construction of buildings and infrastructure (roads, schools, synagogues, yeshivas and even police
stations) has been carried out on private lands belonging to Palestinian West Bank residents…”

–Uri Blau, Ha’aretz, 1 February, 2009

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1060043.html

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