When Sharon Meets His Maker
by Gilad Atzmon
"Laura and I share the concerns of the Israeli people about Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon's health, and we are praying for his recovery.
Prime Minister Sharon is a man of courage and peace
George W Bush (US President and man of courage and peace)
"He has surprised, I think, everyone with the courage and
statesmanship he has shown in recent years to work towards a long
term peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians." Jack
Straw (UK Foreign Affairs Minister and man of courage and
A man of peace is dying. Let us all pray for his quick recovery. A
man that was just about to rejuvenate the Israeli political world,
redeem for us all the Zionist state and its racist agenda. The great
man is gravely ill. Oh dear Lord, save our messiah, oh dear Lord may
you now be able to create a donkey so upright that it can carry his
A peaceful man is on his way to meet his Creator. The Lord may ask
him, just as he enters the gate of heaven, "Hey Grandpa Arik, why
are your hands so red?" Sometimes the Dear Lord pretends to be
ignorant, he loves to give his chosen followers a chance to repent.
Somehow, they tend to forget to do so while they are still amongst
the living. But Grandpa Arik is not that silly, the Dear Lord isn't
going to fool him that easily. "What red, what blood? This is me
painting your land in my favourite colour, I thought you'd like it".
Grandpa Arik winks to the Lord. The Lord is left cold, unaffected.
For more than a while, he seems to have been perplexed by the
conduct his chosen followers.
Meanwhile, down on earth, the Israelites are praying for a new
saviour, a new man of peace, a merciless general with a long-term
agenda. A term that is so long that no one can ever see where it
leads. The Israelites do not like to see a light in the end of the
tunnel because it means that they live in a tunnel.
No, it isn't easy to find a replacement for Grandpa. Indeed, as far
as filling his shoes goes, the task seems slightly easier, but as
far as the waistcoat is concerned, the mission is almost impossible.
The whole of the Israelites can fit in. The whole of the Hebraic
nation wants to wrap itself up in Grandpa Arik's flak jacket. It is
warm in the winter and it provides shadow in the summer. Somehow, it
worked for him for many years. Nothing really touched him, nothing
really stacked against the man; not the Qibya massacre, not Sabra
and Shatila, not the death toll of thousands of Palestinian and
Israeli civilians that took place under his direct command. Not even
the bizarre death of his first wife and his son.
Grandpa has managed to get away with everything. On Earth.
Grandpa was the last and the best of his kind. He was a devoted
Jewish Nationalist. For him peace wasn't an end but rather a tactic.
Arik was the last Hebraic warrior, he was the very last Israelite
knight. All his followers are merely professional soldiers. They can
kill if needed but they do not prefer to bathe in blood. They are
spoiled. Thank you peace loving old man for teaching us what the
Israelites are all about. Thank you peace loving old man for taking
leave of us. Thank you especially for teaching us what Israelis love
to love. It is a slight shame it took you so long but considering
your talent to resurrect yourself from the dead, I would just say
that it is never too late.
Sharon [was] to Scrap Roadmap, Annex West Bank Land: Report
The Maariv report said Sharon would go public with his new plan
after the Palestinian January parliamentary elections.
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, January 2, 2006 (IslamOnline.net & News
Agencies) - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon plans to scrap the
internationally-backed roadmap peace plan with the Palestinians and
seek Washington's blessing for annexing occupied West Bank land, an
Israeli daily reported on Monday, January 2.
Sharon, who is running for re-election in March under his new Kadima
party, would argue that Israel was justified in abandoning the peace
plan and unilaterally setting borders because of the Palestinians'
failure to crack down on resistance factions, said Maariv.
The report said Sharon would go public with his new plan after
Palestinian parliamentary elections, scheduled for January 25.
The daily said Israeli officials had already presented the idea to
counterparts in President George W. Bush's administration.
"(They) explained to the Americans that since there is no real
chance of any achievement in negotiations between Israel and the
Palestinians, the natural partner for this matter is Washington, the
Middle East's superpower-broker," Maariv said.
A de facto truce observed by Palestinian resistance factions since
President Mahmoud Abbas was elected in January expired with the
start of the new year.
The truce has been undermined by Israel's official resumption of its
assassinations policy, prompting resistance factions to announce
they were no longer bound by a period of calm they followed through
most of 2005.
Maariv said that even before the March 28 general election, Sharon
would propose evacuating dozens of West Bank settlements, allowing
for the creation of a temporary Palestinian state on a single
stretch of land in that territory and in the Gaza Strip.
In exchange, it said, Israel wants Bush to endorse its annexation of
other West Bank areas as well as parts of Al-Quds [occupied East
Israel captured and then annexed Al-Quds after the 1967 war but the
international community still regards the holy city, home to nearly
200,000 Palestinians, as an occupied territory.
Al-Quds is home of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam third holiest shrine, and
represents the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Bush has supported Sharon's Gaza unilateral pullout as a potential
spur for peace but has angered Palestinians by announcing that
Israel could expect to keep some West Bank land under any final
Israel also wants US backing for its demand that Palestinian
refugees be allowed to settle in the eventual Palestinian state but
never in what is now Israel.
Palestinians have repeatedly vocalized fears that Sharon devised the
Gaza withdrawal plan as a ruse to cement Israel's hold on most of
the occupied West Bank, where 246,000 settlers live among 2.4
Sharon has made no secret of his intention to entrench Israeli
control over parts of the occupied West Bank, especially on the
outskirts of Al-Quds, in exchange for the Gaza withdrawal. (Click to
watch a map of West Bank settlements)
"Maybe this is the wishful thinking of certain people in the Israeli
government," said Erekat.
Sharon's spokesman declined to comment, while a senior Israeli
political source dismissed the report as "pure speculation,"
A US embassy spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
But a senior Palestinian official said he doubted whether the United
States or the European Union would endorse the plan described by
"Maybe this is the wishful thinking of certain people in the Israeli
government, but I do not think the United States or European Union
would ever be a part of such schemes," chief negotiator Saeb Erekat
Sharon approved on Saturday, December 24, the creation of a security
zone in northern Gaza Strip to the outrage of the Palestinians and
chief ally Washington.
The no-go zone will be 1.5 miles deep and run along the northern and
eastern edges of Gaza, which is about 25 miles long and six miles
Please feel free to contact News editor at:
Englishnews @ islam-online.net
Israel plans 228 new homes in W. Bank settlements
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Dec 26, 2005
Israel plans 228 new homes in W. Bank settlements
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -
Israel announced plans on Monday to expand two Jewish settlements in
the occupied West Bank despite a ban on such construction in a U.S.-
led plan for peace with the Palestinians
The Housing Ministry published tenders inviting contractor bids to
develop 150 plots for single family homes in Beitar Illit
settlement. A further 78 plots were offered in Givat Zayit, part of
the settlement of Efrat.
The U.S.-led peace "road map" requires a freeze on expansion of
settlements in occupied land where Palestinians seek statehood. The
Palestinians have also failed to meet their own obligation under the
plan to crack down on militant groups.
Beitar Illit and Efrat are part of the Gush Etzion settlement bloc,
which Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon has vowed to keep under any final accord with the
U.S. President George W. Bush has said Israel could expect to keep
some settlements under any such deal.
Palestinians say this would deny them a viable state in the West
Bank, where some 245,000 settlers live among 2.4 million
Palestinians, and imperil efforts to restart peace talks.
Israel quit the Gaza Strip, another area sought by the Palestinians,
in September after 38 years of occupation.
"The Israeli government has suspended negotiations, contacts and the
peace process. The only thing that is still allowed to go on is the
settlement activities. This undermines the peace process," chief
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Reuters.
The U.S. embassy spokesman could not be reached for comment.
Figures from the Israel Lands Administration, a government agency,
showed 999 new housing units were marketed in the West Bank from
January to November. This compares with 1,075 units for the whole of
Most of the international community considers the settlements
illegal. Israel, which captured the West Bank and Gaza from Jordan
and Egypt in the 1967 Middle East war, disputes this.
Source: Human Rights Watch (HRW)
Date: 27 Dec 2005
Israel: Expanding settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
Letter to President George W. Bush
Office of the President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Bush,
I am writing to you with respect to multiple Israeli announcements
of its plans to continue expanding settlements in the Occupied
Palestinian Territories (OPT). This directly contravenes
international law and Israeli commitments under the Road Map.
You recently reiterated Israel's obligations to stop expanding
settlements when you said, on October 20, 2005,
following your meeting with Palestinian President Abbas:
"Israel should not undertake any activity that contravenes its road
map obligations, or prejudices the final status negotiations with
regard to Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem. This means that Israel
must remove unauthorized outposts and stop settlement expansion."
Israel has acted contrary to these obligations, escalating the
building of settlements in 2005. According to the Israeli Central
Bureau of Statistics, in the first half of 2005, there was a 28%
increase in settlement housing starts compared to the same period in
2004. Israel now proposes to further expand West Bank settlements in
the coming year.
We urge you to use U.S. diplomatic and financial influence to stop
this trend in 2006. On December 26, the Ministry of Housing
released tenders for the construction of 228 housing units in the
West Bank settlements of Beitar Ilit and Efrat; on December 19, ,
the Ministry of Housing published tenders for constructing 137 new
housing units in the West Bank settlements of Ariel and Karnei
Shomron; and on December 14, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz's
approved the construction of approximately 300 new homes in the West
Bank settlements of Maale Adumim, Bracha and Nokdim. Maale Adumim is
one of the largest and fastest growing settlements in the West Bank,
with some 30,000 inhabitants.
The settlement is located east of Jerusalem and adjacent to the
much-publicized area of "E-1," the last remaining site for potential
Palestinian development around settlement-encircled East Jerusalem.
The Israeli government also has made clear that, despite U.S.
opposition, it plans to build 3,500 housing units in E-1 and to
include Ma'ale Adumim and E-1 on the western side (the "Israeli
side") of the metal and concrete barrier that Israel is building,
mostly inside the OPT (hereinafter, the "wall"). Such actions would
effectively sever the West Bank in two by cutting the already
limited Palestinian north-south access routes through the West Bank.
In addition, a wall encircling E-1 and Ma'ale Adumim would make
access to East Jerusalem, the center of Palestinian economic and
religious life, virtually impossible from the rest of the West Bank,
except through limited checkpoint crossings in the wall, most of
which Israel has not yet funded or built.
Israel's continuing settlement activity is a violation of
international humanitarian law (IHL), United Nations Security
Council resolutions, and Israel's own commitments under the U.S.-
sponsored Road Map of April 2003. The Israeli government's policy
of encouraging, financing, establishing, and expanding Jewish-only
settlements in the OPT violates two main principles of IHL:
- the prohibition on the transfer of civilians from an occupying
power's territory to the occupied territory, and the prohibition of
creating permanent changes in the occupied territory that are not
for the benefit of the occupied population.
In particular, Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention states
"[t]he Occupying Power shall not ...transfer parts of its own
civilian population into the territory it occupies." Under the road
map, Israel agreed to freeze all settlement activity,
including "natural growth," and to dismantle all settlement outposts
created since March 2001.
No one but Israel disputes the fact that its settlement policy
violates IHL. Yet the international community, including the United
States, has failed to hold Israel accountable to its obligations
under the Fourth Geneva Convention to, at the very least,
immediately cease current Israeli settlement activity.
The wrongfulness of the settlement expansion is compounded by
evidence stemming from the construction of the wall within the OPT
that suggests an Israeli intention eventually to annex the territory
Israel claims that the wall is being built for security reasons, but
the deep intrusion of the wall into West Bank territory, and the
capture of major settlements on the "Israeli side" of the wall,
suggest otherwise. The International Court of Justice, in a view
shared by many international legal commentators and every major
human rights organization in the world, concluded in its June 2004
advisory opinion that Israel's construction of the wall within the
boundaries of the OPT contravenes IHL and is tantamount to an
illegal annexation of the settlements on the Israeli side of the
Peace Now has published a list of seven settlements where large-
scale construction (hundreds of units) is occurring. All but one of
them are located on the Israeli side of the wall. In a similar list
of seventeen settlements where medium-scale construction (tens of
units) is occurring, all but three are on the Israeli side of the
wall. In addition, two Israeli human rights organizations, B'Tselem
and Bimkom, recently published a report that documents the fact that
55 settlements, including 12 in East Jerusalem, housing
approximately 75% of all settlers, would fall on the Israeli side of
The report shows that Israeli officials established the wall's route
hundreds to thousands of meters east of the existing boundaries of
these settlements to allow for maximum future expansion. The
organizations conclude that "contrary to the picture portrayed by
the state, the settlement-expansion plans played a substantial role
in the planning of the Barrier's route."
The Israeli government has recently sought to justify its
construction of the wall inside Palestinian territory, and beyond
the Green Line, as based on its sovereign duty to protect Israeli
citizens, notwithstanding their presence in settlements. But Israel
can well protect these citizens by dismantling the settlements and
bringing its settler citizens back within the legitimate borders of
its state. Such a measure would satisfy Israel's duty to protect its
citizens without undermining its duty to respect and uphold
international law and would end the severe humanitarian and economic
harm inflicted on the Palestinian population by virtue of the wall's
Even the Israeli government has now stated that the wall is not
being built just for security purposes but also to establish its
territorial claims on OPT land. On December 1, news reports quoted
Tzipi Livni, the Israeli Minister of Justice, as saying that the
future borders of Israel will roughly follow the route of the wall.
This statement by an Israeli public official was the first to
explicitly link the route of the wall with Israel's political, not
We urge you to take immediate action to end U.S. support of Israel's
unlawful policies. According to an investigative report by the
Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, based on government ministry budgets,
Israel spends about NIS 2.5 billion a year ($550 million) for the
non-military aspects of settlement maintenance and expansion.
Furthermore, the Knesset has projected that Israel will spend about
$3.4 billion in total on construction of the wall, 80% of which is
inside the occupied West Bank. (Israel has not made public a
breakdown of the portions of the costs attributable to construction
of the wall inside the West Bank, on the Green Line, or inside
Recent experience with the Rafah border-crossing deal confirms that
when the United States is determined to change problematic Israeli
conduct, Israel will comply. To avoid U.S. financial complicity in
policies that the U.S. Government opposes and that international law
prohibits, we therefore call on you and other key government
officials, first, to state in unequivocal terms that the United
States will not tolerate any further settlement expansion and,
second, to announce that the administration will deduct from U.S.
financial aid to Israel - about $2.58 billion in fiscal year 2005 --
an amount equal to Israel's expenditures on the settlements and on
the construction and maintenance of such portion of the wall that is
inside the West Bank.
Sarah Leah Whitson
Executive Director, Middle East North Africa Division
Human Rights Watch"
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