Monday, August 01, 2011

Israel‘s Illegal Land Grabs

Tom Maertens     From the Mankato Free Press

David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, once asked: “Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it’s true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?”

Ian Lustick reported in “Arabs in the Jewish State“(1980) that the average Arab community inside Israel lost between 65 and 75 percent of its land. The Israeli government database shows that 38.8 percent of Israeli settlements are built on Palestinian land. Israel confiscated another 12% of the occupied West Bank with its 470-mile defensive wall.

Israel justifies those land grabs by citing the ancient legends of a primitive nomadic tribe which apparently practiced human sacrifice, but conveniently claimed that God promised their forefathers the land. But that land belonged to other people’s forefathers, too, also “children of Abraham” who lived there continuously for over 2000 years and established their own claims.

The International Court of Justice has determined that the Israeli government’s land confiscations, house demolitions, creation of enclaves, and other restrictions on Palestinians’ movement and access are violations of international law.

Rudy Boschwitz, a board member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the self-described “pro-Israel lobby,” blames the Palestinians for the Mid-East conflict because they “refuse to take ‘yes’ for an answer” (Maertens Wrong about Israel, July 5). They should say “yes” to land confiscations and the house demolitions?

Boschwitz claims Arab Israelis are the only Arabs living in a democracy. Nobel Laureate Jimmy Carter has written that Israeli policy in the West Bank represents even worse apartheid than formerly practiced in South Africa — roads built solely for Jewish settlers, for example, that Palestinians can’t use or even cross. For this, predictably, he was labeled anti-Semitic.

Boschwitz misrepresents the refugee problem, as well, including the reasons they fled, such as Jewish militias killing hundreds of Palestinians at Deir Yassin and elsewhere. He then cites their “shame” at not returning, without mentioning, for example, Israel’s collaboration with its Phalangist allies in the massacre of as many as 3500 people in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, or its 2009 attack on Gaza that killed a thousand Palestinians.

Christian Zionists usually take literally the Jews’ founding myths, understandably, or the entire New Testament would collapse. Jerry Falwell once claimed there were 70 million Christian Zionists, who bankroll hundreds of Jewish settlements. Falwell was rewarded by Israel in 1979 with a Lear jet for his services, essentially paid for by American taxpayers whose $4.5 billion-per-year assistance in the ‘70s worked out to $1500 each for 3 million Israelis. Last year, in contrast, the U.S. gave Israel $5.5 billion; the Camp David subsidy of $2.5 billion and a promised $3 billion worth of F-35s.

Boschwitz denies that the Israel lobby wants war, but I worked with Israel and its agents in my capacity as NSC Director for nuclear nonproliferation in the Clinton and Bush White Houses, and watched them represent one Muslim country after another as major threats to U.S.security. To date, they have supported attacks on Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, and Afghanistan, as well as Israel’s attacks on Syria and Lebanon…nine Muslim countries, creating ever more potential terrorist recruits. Bob Baer, a former CIA officer, says that senior Israeli intelligence officials believe it a “near certainty” that Netanyahu will attack a tenth, Iran, probably before the September UN vote on establishing a Palestinian state.

If that happens, Congress will immediately demand that America attack Iran, as several senators have done already. I know how it works: AIPAC once invited me to a dinner for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (subsequently cancelled) along with 90 U.S. Senators and hundreds of congressmen invited to troll for dollars. In exchange for such “campaign funds,” Congress showers taxpayer money on Israel and standing ovations on Benjamin Netanyahu, and protects Israel at every turn. I was present when Israeli negotiators justified their sale of classified F-16 technology to China by claiming they had “changed” the technology. Pat Buchanan reported in American Conservative Magazine that Israelalso sold the U.S. Patriot and Phoenix missile systems to China. There were no congressional investigations.

For the Israel lobby, no cost is too great for Americans to pay to protect Israel. And no Muslim country is safe from attack.

(Boschwitz’s piece is at http://mankatofreepress.com/letters/x925652850/Maertens-wrong-about-Israel)

Article sent to WAMMToday by Coleen Rowley
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By Published On: August 7th, 2011Comments Off on Israel’s Illegal Land Grabs, by Tom Maertens

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