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FW: "Stop the deceit and whitewashing," By Haaretz Editorial, Haaretz, Fri. January 30, 2009

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  • abe.hayeem
    The Defence Ministry s Data Base reveals that that settlements are built on privately owned Palestinian land - so what is the US, EU and the UN doing about
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 30, 2009
      The Defence Ministry's Data Base reveals that that settlements are built on
      privately owned Palestinian land - so what is the US, EU and the UN doing
      about that? It's been known way before now, but this time it's from the
      horse's mouth.

      The detailed article by Uri Blau can be found on:


      Stop the deceit and whitewashing

      By Haaretz Editorial, Haaretz, Fri. January 30, 2009


      Almost four years after attorney Talia Sasson published a report exposing
      the cooperation, by commission and omission, of successive Israeli
      governments in the establishment of dozens of settlement outposts, an
      internal defense document reveals that even settlements deemed legal by
      Israel are in part, and sometimes in large part, effectively illegal

      The Defense Ministry's database documents illegal construction in more than
      30 settlements, including such veteran settlements as Ofra, Elon Moreh and
      Beit El. Worse, the document - which is being revealed today for the first
      time in an article by Uri Blau in Haaretz Magazine (in Hebrew) - details a
      scandalous amount of land theft by the "legal" settlements. Schools,
      synagogues and even police stations have been built on private Palestinian

      This is not another report by Peace Now or another investigative report by
      the media. It is an official document, drafted by a retired senior officer,
      Baruch Spiegel, on orders from former defense minister Shaul Mofaz. It casts
      a heavy shadow over Israel's pro-peace statements, while raising questions
      about its official position that "the use Israel makes of land for the
      settlements accords with all the rules and norms of international law.
      Privately-owned land has not been expropriated for the sake of establishing
      the settlements."
      The harsh findings were hidden from the public for two years due to the
      brazen argument that their exposure would undermine the country's security
      and its foreign relations. But is the revelation of Israel's ongoing land
      theft and its seizure of territory supposedly under negotiation what
      undermines its security, or the crooked behavior itself? Is enabling the
      public to exercise its right to know that the authorities are systematically
      violating their international commitments to stop settlement expansion,
      especially outside the "blocs," what undermines Israel's foreign relations,
      or the very fact that such deceit is occurring?

      Responsibility for this lawless policy rests with all Israeli governments
      for generations. But first and foremost, it rests with ministers Tzipi
      Livni, who previously headed the ministerial committee charged with
      implementing the Sasson Report, and Haim Ramon, who currently heads this
      committee, and has for more than a year. The Labor Party's representatives
      on the panel also contributed their bit to obliterating the report's
      recommendations with regard to tightening supervision over construction in
      the settlements, improving deterrence and stiffening penalties.

      All construction in the settlements should be frozen immediately until
      deeds of ownership and building permits have been checked for every
      neighborhood and building. The Knesset must demand detailed explanations
      from the defense establishment for the sins of commission and omission
      documented in the Spiegel report, as well as for their subsequent
      whitewashing. And the state comptroller should open a comprehensive
      investigation into the behavior detailed in this document.

      It is not possible to demand that the Palestinians demonstrate transparency
      in their battle against the infrastructure of terror while at the same time
      throwing sand in the world's eyes over the deepening of the occupation's
      infrastructure. Or in the words of U.S. envoy George Mitchell's report from
      May 2001: "The kind of security cooperation desired by the GOI [Government
      of Israel] cannot for long coexist with settlement activity."

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