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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Palestinian/ Israeli update 12/29/2016..eulogy for two-state solution

Israel: UN resolution 'declaration of war'

Kerry: U.S. voted according to its values at UN security council

US defends decision on anti-settlement resolution

Kerry gives eulogy for two-state solution

Outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry delivered some of the harshest criticism ever heard from a US official of Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank, in a closely watched speech in Washington on Wednesday. But whether he intended it or not, Kerry also delivered a eulogy for the two-state solution and set the stage for the emergence of the one-state solution as the most realistic path to justice and peace in historic Palestine. Speaking for more than an hour, Kerry defended the US decision to abstain in last Friday’s UN Security Council vote, thereby allowing the body to pass a resolution that for the first time in years demanded that Israel halt settlement construction. (video) “The vote in the UN was about preserving the two-state solution,” Kerry said. “That’s what we were standing up for: Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living side by side in peace and security with its neighbors.” “Let’s be clear: settlement expansion has nothing to do with Israel’s security,” Kerry said, arguing that the land grabs are motivated by “ideological imperatives,” including preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state.

One-state reality

“The two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” Kerry insisted. But in attempting to make that case, Kerry proved the opposite. He described in detail how Israel’s settlements are “increasingly cementing an irreversible one-state reality.” “Today … there are a similar number of Jews and Palestinians living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea,” Kerry said, referring to the land that makes up present-day Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. “They can choose to live together in one state, or they can separate into two states. But here is a fundamental reality: if the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic – it cannot be both – and it won’t ever really be at peace.”

Kerry’s insistence that a one-state solution would be a disaster is supposedly self-evident conventional wisdom. But it ignores the ideas that many Palestinian, Israeli and other writers and scholars, including this one, have discussed and developed over many years, based on lessons drawn from South Africa, Ireland and other places. “If there is only one state,” Kerry warned, “you would have millions of Palestinians permanently living in segregated enclaves in the middle of the West Bank, with no real political rights, separate legal, education and transportation systems, vast income disparities, under a permanent military occupation that deprives of them of the most basic freedoms. Separate and unequal is what you would have.”

This powerfully evokes the language of US segregation and the civil rights struggle against it. But what Kerry was describing is already the reality in historic Palestine. His two-state solution would cosmetically repackage this injustice as Palestinian “independence,” without fundamentally altering it.

What he offers Palestinians is a demilitarized bantustan with the singular pupose of preserving an all-powerful Israel as a racist state with a permanent Jewish majority. Kerry’s parameters for a two-state solution make clear that its goal is ethnic gerrymandering: it would have to include Palestinian “recognition of Israel as a Jewish state,” which means, in effect, recognizing Israel’s right to discriminate against Palestinians and anyone else who is not Jewish.

Kerry called for “a just, agreed, fair and realistic solution to the Palestinian refugee issue.” But he made clear that “the solution must be consistent with two states for two peoples, and cannot affect the fundamental character of Israel.”

In plain English, this means that Palestinian refugees would not be allowed to go home, solely because they are not Jews. There is nothing just or democratic about that. It is raw racism that tramples universal human rights.

By contrast, the US-brokered 1995 Dayton peace agreement that ended the war in Bosnia guaranteed the right of refugees to return to their homes, even if they were in areas ruled by authorities dominated by a different ethnic community – that is as it should be.

Kerry posed the following scenario under the supposedly nightmarish one-state reality: “How would Israel respond to a growing civil rights movement from Palestinians, demanding a right to vote, or widespread protests and unrest across the West Bank?” A better question is, how should Israel respond?

If Israel actually held democratic ideals, the obvious answer would be for everyone to have the right to vote in a decolonized, nonsectarian state. Instead of urging Israel to move in that direction, Kerry called for “advancing the process of separation now” – another term for that would be apartheid.

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Criminal investigation ordered against Israeli PM

Your Morning News From Israel - December 29, 2016

Palestine documentary stirs controversy in Germany

People demonstrate. Israeli soldiers give chase. Sometimes they use lethal force. On the sidelines, Israeli settlers stand by, grinning under the protection of the soldiers. It is just another day in Nabi Saleh, a small village in the central occupied West Bank, as captured in Even Though My Land is Burning, a new documentary by Israeli filmmaker Dror Dayan, who now lives in Berlin. The film portrays the lives of Palestinian villagers under occupation and how some anti-Zionist Israeli Jews support their cause and their resistance. It shows how the organized resistance works in Nabi Saleh. The choice of Nabi Saleh as the film’s focal point was deliberate. The village has been a center of unarmed resistance to Israel’s occupation for years now, but while it is just one small part of a bigger, more complicated picture, it is an important one, according to Dayan.more here..........

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