Saturday, December 07, 2019

For the Record: Rashida Tlaib on H. RES. 326

Rashida Tlaib's remarks on H. RES. 326*

Ms. TLAIB. Mr. Speaker, I rise today as a proud granddaughter of a strong, loving Palestinian woman, my sity. For me to stand up for her human dignity, I must oppose H. Res. 326.

This resolution not only endorses an unrealistic, unattainable solution, one that Israel has made impossible, but also one that legitimizes inequality, ethnic discrimination and inhuman conditions. Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Likud party have actively fought against a two-state solution and took steps to ensure its demise. They increased their illegal taking of Palestinian homes, imprisoned more Palestinian children than ever before, and are building walls right now to annex the West Bank and other Palestinian villages.

Moreover, Israel’s nation-state law, which states that only Jews have the right to self-determination, has eliminated the political rights of the Palestinian people and effectively made them second-class citizens. Separate but equal didn’t work in our country, and I can’t see that it is possible in other countries. Given our Nation’s history of segregation, we should recognize when such injustices are occurring. We cannot be honest brokers for peace if we refuse to use the words: illegal occupation by Israel.

Our country and the United States Congress must condemn these undemocratic actions. We must take bolder actions to ensure that human rights are upheld in Israel and that Palestinians and Black Israelis are treated with equality every human being deserves.

To honor my Sity Mufteih who lives in the occupied West Bank, Palestine, I am unable to support this resolution today. She deserves better. 

Video is here.

------------------
* Full text

Whereas the special relationship between the United States and Israel is rooted in shared national security interests and shared values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law; 
Whereas the United States has worked for decades to strengthen Israel’s security through assistance and cooperation on defense and intelligence matters in order to enhance the safety of United States and Israeli citizens; including by finalizing in 2016 under the Obama Administration, a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding, reaffirming the United States’ commitment to annual military assistance and cooperative missile defense programs, which is in the national interests of both countries; 
Whereas the United States remains unwavering in its commitment to help Israel address the myriad challenges it faces, including terrorism, regional instability, horrifying violence in neighboring states, and hostile regimes that call for its destruction; 
Whereas the United States, under Presidents of both parties, has provided bilateral and multilateral foreign assistance to promote the security, stability, and the humanitarian well-being of Palestinians; Whereas the United States has long sought a just, stable, and lasting solution to the IsraeliPalestinian conflict that recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination and offers Israel long-term security and full normalization with its neighbors; 
Whereas for more than 20 years, Presidents of the United States from both political parties and Israeli Prime Ministers have supported reaching a two-state solution that establishes a Palestinian state coexisting side by side with Israel in peace and security; 
Whereas for more than 20 years, Presidents of the United States from both political parties  have opposed settlement expansion, moves toward unilateral annexation of territory, and efforts to achieve Palestinian statehood status outside the framework of negotiations with Israel; 
Whereas United States administrations from both political parties have put forward proposals to provide a framework for negotiations toward a two-state solution, including the parameters put forward by President Bill Clinton in December 2000, the Road Map proposed by President George W. Bush in April 2003, and the principles set forth by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry in December 2016; 
Whereas ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is vital to the interests of both parties and the leadership of both parties must negotiate in good faith in order to achieve peace; 
and Whereas delays to a political solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians pose a threat to the ability to maintain a Jewish and democratic state of Israel and the establishment of a viable, democratic Palestinian state: 

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that— 

(1) only the outcome of a two-state solution that enhances stability and security for Israel, Palestinians, and their neighbors can both ensure the state of Israel’s survival as a Jewish and democratic state and fulfill the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own; (2) while the United States remains indispensable to any viable effort to achieve that goal, only the Israelis and the Palestinians can make the difficult choices necessary to end their conflict; 
(3) it is in the enduring United States’ national interest to continue to stand by its ironclad commitments under the 2016 United StatesIsrael Memorandum of Understanding, which seeks to help Israel defend itself against a wide range of threats; 
(4) the United States, with the support of regional and international partners, can play a constructive role toward ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by putting forward a proposal for achieving a two-state solution that is consistent with previous United States proposals to resolve the conflict’s final status issues in ways that recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination and enhance Israel’s long-term security and normalization with its neighbors; 
(5) it is in the United States’ interest to continue promoting the security, stability, and humanitarian well-being of Palestanians and their neighbors by resuming the provision of foreign assistance pursuant to United States law; and 
(6) a United States proposal to achieve a just, stable, and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should expressly endorse a twostate solution as its objective and discourage steps by either side that would put a peaceful end to the conflict further out of reach, including unilateral annexation of territory or efforts to achieve Palestinian statehood status outside the framework of negotiations with Israel.


^

Monday, December 02, 2019

Are "Jewish (Re)Settlements" Legal?

Following the latest US policy decision on the Jewish civilian residency communities in Judea and Samaria of November 18, declared by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, which reads:


Turning now to Israel, the Trump administration is reversing the Obama administration’s approach towards Israeli settlements.
U.S. public statements on settlement activities in the West Bank have been inconsistent over decades.  In 1978, the Carter administration categorically concluded that Israel’s establishment of civilian settlements was inconsistent with international law.  However, in 1981, President Reagan disagreed with that conclusion and stated that he didn’t believe that the settlements were inherently illegal.
Subsequent administrations recognized that unrestrained settlement activity could be an obstacle to peace, but they wisely and prudently recognized that dwelling on legal positions didn’t advance peace.  However, in December 2016, at the very end of the previous administration, Secretary Kerry changed decades of this careful, bipartisan approach by publicly reaffirming the supposed illegality of settlements.
After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, this administration agrees with President Reagan.  The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.
I want to emphasize several important considerations.
First, look, we recognize that – as Israeli courts have – the legal conclusions relating to individual settlements must depend on an assessment of specific facts and circumstances on the ground.  Therefore, the United States Government is expressing no view on the legal status of any individual settlement.
The Israeli legal system affords an opportunity to challenge settlement activity and assess humanitarian considerations connected to it.  Israeli courts have confirmed the legality of certain settlement activities and has concluded that others cannot be legally sustained.
Second, we are not addressing or prejudging the ultimate status of the West Bank.  This is for the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate.  International law does not compel a particular outcome, nor create any legal obstacle to a negotiated resolution.
Third, the conclusion that we will no longer recognize Israeli settlements as per se inconsistent with international law is based on the unique facts, history, and circumstances presented by the establishment of civilian settlements in the West Bank.  Our decision today does not prejudice or decide legal conclusions regarding situations in any other parts of the world.
And finally – finally – calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law hasn’t worked.  It hasn’t advanced the cause of peace.
The hard truth is there will never be a judicial resolution to the conflict, and arguments about who is right and wrong as a matter of international law will not bring peace.  This is a complex political problem that can only be solved by negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate peace, and I will do everything I can to help this cause.  The United States encourages the Israelis and the Palestinians to resolve the status of Israeli settlements in the West Bank in any final status negotiations.
And further, we encourage both sides to find a solution that promotes, protects the security and welfare of Palestinians and Israelis alike.
I add more to previous lists of opinions (here; and here;) supporting the full legality and legitimimacy of Jewish residency in Judea and Samaria:

Talia Einhorn.

Douglas Feith.

Observation of Amnon Lord.

Dore Gold.

Matthew Mainen.

Eugene Kontorovich.

UPDATE

Gill Troy.

Ken Cohen.


^

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Palestinism and Palestinianism

As Vic Rosenthal writes

Palestinism? It is the belief that the Palestinian Arabs were unfairly victimized, dispossessed, colonized, raped, punished, expelled, murdered, degraded, castrated, etc. by the Zionist Jews who created the State of Israel, which continues to do all these things to them. Palestinism holds that this is the single greatest injustice in the world today, and only the replacement of the world’s only Jewish state by an Arab state can rectify it.

I use a parallell term, Palestinianism, since at least 2011.

Palestinianism is that ideology which promotes a nationalist myth that there is an Arab Palestinian nation.  It is different from all other Arabs.

That they have resided in the area of Palestine for 5000 years.

That Palestine was never a Jewish homeland. 

That, for example, the Temple never existed. And if it did, it was not erected in Jerusalem.

And on and on.

^

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Forcing Language Down Our Throats - UPDATED

The decision of the EU Court in the Psagot Winery case contains this language:


"foodstuffs originating in territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin, accompanied, where those foodstuffs come from a locality or a group of localities constituting an Israeli settlement within that territory, by the indication of that provenance... as regards the issue whether the indication ‘Israeli settlement’ is mandatory, the Court first of all underlined that the settlements established in some of the territories occupied by the State of Israel are characterised by the fact that they give concrete expression to a policy of population transfer conducted by that State outside its territory, in violation of the rules of general international humanitarian law. The Court then held that the omission of that indication, with the result that only the territory of origin is indicated, might mislead consumers."

From that it seems that any winery or factory for that matter must use the term "settlement" on its label.

But why is that the term to be employed?

Why not "community"? Or another synonymous term?




Why is "indication of their territory of origin", which plainly refers to a geographical location, to be solely defined as "settlement" rather than actual geography?

The geographical terms "Judea" and Samaria" after all appear in the UN's 1947 Partition Plan to delineate borders. Here:


...The boundary of the hill country of Samaria and Judea starts on the Jordan River at the Wadi Malih...at a point on the district boundary between Haifa and Samaria west of El Mansi...From here it follows the northern and eastern boundaries of the village of Ar'ara, rejoining the Haifa-Samaria district boundary at Wadi'Ara

Can this: "Produced at the Psagot Winery, in the territory of Samaria", be used?   

Or can "Produced at the Locality of Psagot" be used?

If not, why?

Why is the Court obligating, as regards "indication", that only the specific term "settlement" is mandatory?

By the way, in French, "settlement" is translated as colonie (see here). That truly would be a matter of bad English with unnecessary negative connotation.

This is, in addition to all else wrong with the decision, stuffing langauge down or throats.

__________

P.S.

Yes, I am aware that the issue the Court addressed was whether the products made in Judea and Samaria can be labelled "Made in Israel".  See this as an example of addressing that.

P.P.S.

If the wine, or whatever, produced in Judea & Samaria cannot be labeled as "Made in Israel", it equally should not be labeled as "Made in Palestine" so, is it "Made in the Disputed/Occupied/Liberated Territories of Somewhere or Other"?

UPDATE

The full judgment (I was relying on the press release) reads:


For products from Palestine that do not originate from settlements, an indication which does not mislead about the geographical origin, while corresponding to international practice, could be “product from the West Bank (Palestinian product)”, “product from Gaza” or “product from Palestine”.

P.P.P.S

The Court also observed that 


the country of origin or the place of provenance of a foodstuff must...be indicated where failure to indicate this might mislead consumers into believing that that foodstuff has a country of origin or a place of provenance different from its true country of origin or place of provenance. In addition, it noted that, where the origin or provenance is indicated on a foodstuff, it must not be deceptive.
and

For products from the West Bank or the Golan Heights that originate from settlements, an indication limited to “product from the Golan Heights” or “product from the West Bank” would not be acceptable. Even if they would designate the wider area or territory from which the product originates, the omission of the additional geographical information that the product comes from Israeli settlements would mislead the consumer as to the true origin of the product. In such cases the expression “Israeli settlement” or equivalent needs to be added, in brackets, for example. Therefore, expressions such as “product from the Golan Heights (Israeli settlement)” or “product from the West Bank (Israeli settlement)” could be used.’


If so, how can anything produced by Arabs in the same territory be labled "Made in Palestine"? The Court suggests the Shiloh Winery located 1.5 kilometers from Turmos Aya are in two different geographical provenances?




Much more deceptive as Palestine doesn't actually exist. 

^

Monday, November 11, 2019

Temple Mount Double Header

Two recommended videos.

Here's me explaining the historical and political issues related to the Temple Mount.

And here, you can take a tour of the Temple Mount.

^

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Begin, Carter and Shiloh


"Prime Minister Begin: I want to discuss the question you raised about settlements. This is a very serious matter for us. I want to speak with candor. No settlements will be allowed to become obstacles to negotiations. Jews and Arabs live together in Jaffa, in Haifa. There are many towns named Hebron in the United States, and many named Bethel and Shiloh.
President: Just 20 miles from my home town there is a Bethel and a Shiloh, each of which has a Baptist Church!
Prime Minister Begin: Imagine the Governor of a state declaring that all American citizens except Jews could go to live in those towns. Can we be expected, as the government of Israel, to prevent a Jew from establishing his home in the original Bethel? In the original Shiloh? These will not be an obstacle to negotiation. The word “non-negotiable” is not in our vocabulary. But this is a great moral issue. We cannot tell Jews in their own land that they cannot settle in Shiloh. We cannot do that. This is a serious issue to us. One day I hope you will come to visit Shiloh.
President: I have already been to Bethel.
Prime Minister Begin: You will find it interesting to see Shiloh. There are many Biblical stories about it."

'Settlers' Cutting Down Olive Trees?

No.

Arabs trimming them. Near Qaryut. Assisted by a solidarity activist.

Can you tell the difference?




^

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Balzac in Brody

My mother's family is from Brody.

Did you know that Balzac passed though Brody?

Twice?

It was the major railway crossing point into Russia from Eastern Europe, as the two tracks were of different gauge and a transfer was required from one to the other.

From this book: 

"Brody: A Galician Border City in the Long Nineteenth Century" by Börries Kuzmany



The source is here.

And this:

Jews celebrated their feast; and when the Jews celebrate their rituals, commercial life ceases. Everything from Brody is in the hands of the Jews. I have not read in any work the exact news about this conquest of Poland by the Hebrews. The Jew rules and doesn't rule! It is certain. (...) Jews in Brody, even for millions, would not neglect their rituals, so it was impossible to make a deal for my trip from Brody to Berdyczów, I expected a Jewish banker from Berdyczów, an old Halperin who prayed and addressed my letter of recommendation. This king Berdichev said that he would not leave the synagogue before evening; I had to go to the exchange office of the rich company Hausener, where I exchanged napoleons for rubles, half rounds, third, fourth, fifth and tenth parts of the ruble. What did not tell me the factor of the Russian Hotel, which showed me around Brody!

I seem to recall a Haaretz story on this. In it Balzac adds that he was amazed at the way the Jewish women paraded the streets in their finery and in all their jewels.


^