Indefensible and Illegal Israeli Land Seizure Given Laughable Reasoning

Yesterday, Israel showed the world just how much it wants peace in its land by taking more land away from the Palestinians, a move sure to make matters worse.  And they did this by giving a stunningly laughable reason for the seizure:

Israel Radio said the step was taken in response to the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teens by Hamas militants in the area in June. (Emphasis added)

This reasoning begs the question: if Israel gets more land for the killing of three teens, how much land does Palestine get for Israel’s killing of over 2,000 people, including nearly 600 children, in recent weeks?

The move is, of course, completely illegal according to international law, as noted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

“The seizure of such a large swathe of land risks paving the way for further settlement activity, which — as the United Nations has reiterated on many occasions — is illegal under international law and runs totally counter to the pursuit of a two-state solution,” he said in a statement Monday. (Emphasis added)

A map provided by Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, clearly shows the territory being across the Green Line, the border derived between Israel and Palestine in 1949.

The U.S. response, at this point, has been typical: nothing.  An anonymous official made a statement that is sure to let Israel know the U.S. has absolutely no problem with further illegal Israeli expansion:

“We have long made clear our opposition to continued settlement activity,” said the State Department official, who declined to be identified.

“This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve and construction tender they issue, is counterproductive to Israel’s stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians,” the official said.

If the U.S. government did truly agree the expansion was illegal and Israel should stop this action along with its violence against Palestinians, it might stop arming Israel or, at the very least, call for damaging economic sanctions against the country.  But it doesn’t because it is clearly okay with the seizure along with all past Israeli actions.  Actions that will continue in the future, without a doubt…

6 thoughts on “Indefensible and Illegal Israeli Land Seizure Given Laughable Reasoning

  1. I am a bit curious… and this is a serious question.. not sarcasm for passing my political opinion. I’m likely better informed (which means, better swayed by cable news networks) than most Americans, in general, but all these years of hearing about Israeli West Bank settlements popping up makes me wonder.
    Why would anyone in that area of the world want to settle in a place called a “settlement” anyway? It sounds so… remote and rural… and in the middle of desert scrub brush. From pictures I have seen these settlers are not out to engage the land in some agricultural production like farming but rather their homes seem to be built in an urban neighborhood fashion. That begs the next question.. where do these settlers work?

    Also, if I were Israeli and raising a family what in God’s name would make me want to live in an area where everyone around me wants to kill me? I mean, I just don’t see what the attractiveness is in living in the West Bank like a sitting duck. Just the idea of not having the creature comforts of nearby shopping and junk food would be a deterrent enough for me to avoid living there. Why would anyone WANT to live there?? (Who would you call if you needed 911? In fact, who do you call if you need the military to back you up?)

    Ok.. well, trying to use some measure of common sense I’m guessing the housing is either free (just so the Israeli government could say they have people there to protect) or cheap. The distance to drive to the nearest mall or McDonalds looks a distance on a colorful map but in reality maybe the distances are much less. Just guessing here.

    Anyone wanna set me straight?

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    1. A lot of elements to this situation but I can clear up a few things.

      One, yes, the Israeli government does subsidize settlers to move and stay in Palestinian areas. Here’s an older article covering a portion of that: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/08/201282211420708214.html

      Two, while most of the southern portion of Israel is desert, the north is much more hospitable. Wiki has a great satellite pic that gives you a better idea of that here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel#mediaviewer/File:Satellite_image_of_Israel_in_January_2003.jpg

      Three, it’s been debated a bit but Netanyahu’s party, Likud, has rejected any notion of a Palestinian state in the past and put that in their party platform. They refuse to entertain the idea and pushing more settlers in Palestinian areas helps that to never happen. This link directly quotes the platform and discusses it: http://www.juancole.com/2014/08/charter-destruction-palestinian.html

      Four, stating the obvious but part of the move is about the religious areas that are sacred in both Judaism and Islam. There are a lot of the same people that appear in both the Bible and the Koran and these sites have meaning for both religions. These type of sites are all around the Middle East and even ISIS has been busy destroying sites sacred to both Muslims and Christians.

      Five, one of the most overlooked and least talked about aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is water. This first link gives a summarized version of a lot of the aspects of it: http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/water.html

      This second link also gives some good points and I would highly recommend reading the last two questions on the second page since it deals with the devastation of the Israeli blockade on Palestinian water, a heavily ignored but critical point: http://www.cjpmo.org/DisplayDocument.aspx?DocumentID=1001

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      1. Thanks for your detailed reply and links. I gotta suggest that most Americans are not even aware of all these elements in such detail (and you’ve indicted there are more). But I think many, like myself, have some basic understanding that (from your point #4 above) a number of religions, most directly Islam and Judaism, share holy places in the region. But I had the idea that these shared holy places were sites in and around certain cities. Looking on a map of West Bank settlements are you suggesting that all these plots of land seemingly in random areas are shared holy places? Plots of sage, forest, or hill? Maybe I am missing something about simple living in that area. What draws an Israeli family to live near some sacred remote landmark smack in the middle of a place where people around them want to kill them, and how do they make their living? It’s one thing that the politics of the situation may encourage new settlements in order to prevent a Palestinian state… but there’s got to be some draw for families to want to risk their lives going there.
        Again.. I will digest what you have provided and I thank you for taking the time to include all that. 🙂

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