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We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that, among these, are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. -July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence

 

Home arrow Blog arrow September 2009 arrow September 14, 2009

September 14, 2009
September 14, 2009: The Final Solution: End the Occupation
Israel is the largest recipient of USA military aid, and it uses it to enforce its ILLEGAL occupation and commit human rights abuses against the indigenous people of the so called holy land-which is in pieces: bantustans!

In 2002 White House Spokesperson Ari Fleischer described Israel’s missile strikes in Gaza City using U.S.A F-16 fighter jets as “a deliberate attack against a building in which civilians were known to be located” and that it was done with the knowledge “that innocents would be lost.”

The U.S. Arms Export Control Act (U.S. Public Law 90-829) prohibits the use of U.S. weapons against civilian targets and although Palestinians have attacked Israeli civilians with their dirty bombs, those weapons were not provided by the USA.

Money talks louder than words and the time is NOW for Uncle Sam to STOP sending ours to the Jewish State and put an END to the OCCUPATION!

IMAGINE how many American citizens could receive health care with the $3.4 BILLION that goes to Israel annually; and btw-in 2007 the US and Israel signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” to increase military aid by 25% over the next decade!

What follows are two exposes on the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine and how religiosity/fundamentalism is holding up evolution;

The Stages of the Soul and How Religiosity/Fundamentalism is holding up Evolution Read more...

The season is ripe for change and Godspeed on Evolution!


Dividing War Spoils: Israel's Robbery of Palestinian Property

By Dr. Salman Abu Sitta    09/13/2009


While the news headlines were occupied with the freeze or suspension of Jewish settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories or with the competition for positions in the sixth Fateh conference in Bethlehem, Israel is putting into effect the most devastating operation since the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in al Nakba of 1948. This new operation aims to eliminate irrevocably Palestinian rights and historical roots in Palestine.

 

Ironically, Arab and Palestinian leaderships remain oblivious to these cataclysmic developments. In particular, the Palestinian leadership, whose main duty is to defend Palestinian rights, is bogged down with the assignment of internal political posts and fighting what it sees as its primary enemy, Hamas.

 

The Zionist leadership in Israel felt bold enough to transform the ideological slogan of ‘Jewish Israel’ into a reality on the ground. The Knesset, the Israel Parliament, passed a law on August 3rd, 2009, after its second and third readings, which allowed the sale of “Absentees” Palestinian refugees’ land to Jewish individuals and Jewish institutions exclusively anywhere in the world. Thus, the legal right of the original Palestinian owner to his land would be severed through creating a barrier between the owner and his property.  The passing of the new law represents an audacious initiative by the current Israeli government that no previous Israeli government dared contemplate or venture into.

 

It will be recalled that the State of Israel was founded on the land it occupied in Palestine in 1948/49. The conquered area is 20,255 sq.km which represents 78% of the Mandatory Palestine.  The land Israel occupied was delineated by the armistice line defined in the Armistice Agreements signed with four Arab countries in 1949.

 

At the time, Israel contrived all kinds of intricate legal frameworks to make use of the absentee Palestinian refugees’ land short of outright legal ownership of the land out of fear of international condemnation and accountability before international courts.

 

With the exception of 1,429,000 donums (one donum=1000 sq. meters or ¼ acre) of Jewish  land according to the British Mandate records, representing a mere 7% of Israel’s area, the remainder of the land, amounting to 18, 826,000 donums, or 93% of  Israel, is Palestinian land. This Palestinian ownership includes private and public land, land for common use or usufruct and natural resources in, above or below ground.

 

Israel reverted, after 1948, to premeditated acts of systematic destruction of Palestinian villages to the ground; burning of agricultural crops; and the poisoning of water wells; all with the intention that such acts would deter the Palestinian refugees from returning home.

 

On the political front, and following the first month after the expulsion of the Palestinian refugees in 1948, Israel declared that it would not allow the return of any Palestinian refugee back to his home on the pretext that refugees return would pose a security threat to Israel. However, for the Israelis, the remaining question was how to make use of the conquered vast Palestinian land and valuable Palestinian property in 14 different cities without invoking international condemnation that could lead to the return of the Palestinian refugees and the reclaiming of their land and properties?

 

David Ben Gurion, Prime minister of Israel at the time, fearing that UN mediator Count Folke Bernadotte would make recommendations, in the report he was preparing for the UN General Assembly, for the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes, resorted to a trick; he engineered a fictitious sale agreement with the Jewish National Fund, a tax-exempt world organization, of  2.5 million donums of the most fertile and best absentee Palestinian land situated along the delineated Armistice Line.  This way, Ben Gurion would be able to claim that the absentees’ Palestinian land was no longer in the possession of the state of Israel and that Israel cannot be obliged to return it to the Palestinian refugees, the rightful owners of the land.

 

Count Bernadotte was assassinated by an Israeli zealot, and as Ben Gurion had predicted, the UN passed Resolution 194 that called for the return of the Palestinian refugees.  Israel aborted the talks with Arab countries in Lausanne during 1949/1950 that were held to discuss the implementation of UN Resolution 194.  With the failure of implementation of UN Resolution 194, Israel felt bold to dispose of the absentee Palestinian refugees’ land.

 

Meanwhile, Israel issued the law of the Absentees’ Property in 1950 that applied as well to the properties of the remaining Palestinians inside Israel who were given the oxymoron expression of Present Absentees. The law assigned the state as the bona fide Custodian in charge of all the absentee Palestinian land without the right of outright ownership.

 

In the same year, 1950, another law was enacted establishing the “Development Authority,” with the mandate to take over from the Custodian. This authority has the power to use, rent and sell the land to Jewish entities only.

 

It took the Israelis the first ten years since the founding of the state to sort out the conflict with JNF which wanted the Palestinian land to be registered in the name of “the Jewish people” in perpetuity, while Israel wanted it in the name of the state.

 

In 1960, Israel put an end to all the legal quarrel over confiscated property of   Absentee Palestinians when the law of Israel Land Administration- ILA (which should have properly read: Israel Administration of the Lands) was passed. This law combines all lands under the control of JNF and the state of Israel under one management, ILA, and under the rules of JNF which stipulate that these lands are not to be used, rented, lived in or sold except to Jewish entities.

Accordingly, 19 million dunums fell under the authority of  ILA to this day.


The new law that just recently been passed by the Knesset on August 3rd, 2009, gives the authority for ILA to sell the absentee Palestinian refugees’ land to Jewish persons that are currently leasing them and other Jews anywhere in the world. According to the new law, the Israeli Kibbutzim and Moshav, the current tenants of the largest lands, would become the legal owners of rural Palestinian lands with the right to convert their use from failed agriculture, a profession the Israelis could not master well, to the building of industrial parks and touristic centers, trade and money management at which the Jews are traditionally well known.

 

Concurrent with the enactment of the new law in the Knesset, negotiations are under way between the Jewish National Fund and ILA to swap lands.  ILA is in need of lands owned by JNF in the central area of the country for the purpose of constructing new residential complexes. In return, JNF would receive land in the Galilee in the Naqab [Negev] for the settlement of future Jewish immigrants. Clearly, neither of the two organizations possesses the unquestioned legal ownership rights of these lands.

 

Once the Fund acquires the lands in the Galilee and Naqab areas, the laws of the Fund restrict the use of the land to Jews and to the exclusion of the Palestinian citizens of Israel; a clear discriminatory ruling against the lawful owners of the land.  The first outcome of the successful consummation of the land swap between the two organizations after the sanction of the Knesset will be the transfer to complete rightful ownership of 90,000 housing units to the current Jewish tenants occupying them.

 

Naturally, the usurpation of the absentee Palestinian land and its sale is in flagrant violation of the international law. Furthermore, it is in strict violation of The Hague’s Regulations of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention (Article 147) that forbids the “extensive appropriation of property”.  In addition, these acts are in contravention with the rulings of the Nuremberg Tribunal after the Second World War with regard to Case number 10 that prohibited the confiscation of private property.

 

Besides, the United Nation issued a number of resolutions in 1996,1997 and 1998, for example resolution 52/62 entitled “Palestine refugees property and their revenues” , which obliges Israel to protect the refugees’ properties, properly document them and provide regular information about them.  UN Resolution 62/52 further stipulates that all income accruing to these properties since 1948 is the sole right of these refugees.

 

Israel is persisting in its defiance of the international law and even its American and European allies who are not taking any measures to deter Israel from the continued violations of the international law and human rights.  Israel’s defiance is reaching unprecedented proportions as demonstrated three weeks ago in the eviction of Arabs residents of Jerusalem from their homes before the very eyes of the whole world. This world did nothing other than whisper words of protest.

 

What’s really stupefying is for Israel to flagrantly declare the annexation of the occupied West Bank without the awareness or opposition by any party.  The significance of this move by Israel shadows the continuous expropriation of lands here and there to construct Jewish settlements on the top of the hills of the West Bank.

 

Unannounced, a new ruling  stated that the  Absentees Property Law of 1950 applies to any one in the West Bank  who is defined as “Absentee” according to this law.  According to Haaretz of August 2nd, 2009, the Judge of the Ramlah Court has issued a ruling that stipulates the application of the Absentees’ Property Law in the West Bank as well, i.e. the confiscation by Israel of the possessions of Palestinian absentees.  This ruling is in complete violation of UN Security Resolutions and the legal opinion of the International Court of Justice of July, 2004 that unequivocally states that the West Bank is an Occupied Territory that should neither be annexed nor usurped.

 

How disturbing that despite all these dramatic developments, not a single Arab or foreign body condemned Israel’s new flagrant violations.  Israel even went further by publishing an announcement in a Palestinian Jerusalemite daily (“Al-Quds”) on June 28, 2009 declaring its intention to register 139,000 donums north and west of the Dead Sea area to its name provided no one contests this registration by providing acceptable proof of  ownership rights.  With such an announcement, Israel would deprive the future New Palestinian State of its sovereign rights over the waters of the Dead Sea, its beaches, mineral wealth and borders with neighboring Jordan.  In short, Israel’s confiscation of these lands is tantamount to Israel’s official acquisition of most of the area of the Jordan Valley.

 

All this with every one acting the deaf-mute, not knowing  anything and if one knows, one keeps silent and if one speaks one does nothing.

 What this signifies is that the whole Palestinian question has been reduced to the Palestinian people living in exile, and their land is open for sale or transfer to any Jew around the world.

 

That said, however, the rightful claims on the land remain valid regardless of the occupiers’ laws or the passage of time. But  it is incumbent on those defending those rights to stand up and do what is needed.

 

First to ring the alarm of this ominous development was “Adalah,” (Justice), the Nazareth-based Legal Center for The Arab Minority Rights in Israel. Adalah served the Israeli General Attorney with a letter dated June 22nd, 2009 challenging the legality of the sale of the Palestinian possessions under international law and Israeli law. In its turn, “Itijah,” another Palestinian organization based in Haifa, issued a general declaration condemning Israel’s initiative to distribute, what Itijah termed “spoils of war” of 1948 on the World Jewry.  Itijah called for Arab and international support to stop this most flagrant theft.

 

However, a great deal yet has to be done that has not really started. Foremost, it is incumbent upon the Arab League to draft a resolution for the next meeting in September of the UN General Assembly that would call for the condemnation, the annulment and immediate halt and reversal  of the sale of Palestinian absentees’ possessions.  The draft resolution should call on the Secretary General of the United Nations to appoint a fact finding mission to visit Israel to collect information on absentee Palestinian refugees’ possessions, ensure their proper due registration of titles to the rightful Palestinian owners, and establish estimates of the accrued revenues for 62 years from these possessions that are due the rightful owners (the subject that was called for by Palestinian refugees’ lands expert Jarvis called for in 1964). The draft resolution must further call for the placing of the Palestinian refugees’ possessions under international trusteeship.

 

It is the obligation of the Palestinian Authority, as it finishes from attending to the marginal issues of allocation of posts, to take the urgent diplomatic and the practical steps to addressing this problem, for, otherwise, it would find itself, in no time, without land on which it could one day found its new state.

 

As for the Palestinian people whose census has reached the 11 million count, scattered in all the Arab and foreign countries, they would never abandon their rights to their homes despite the fact that they have not been allowed to elect their own representatives to a truly new representative Palestinian National Council.  Doubtless, the Palestinian people will ultimately create its true representative bodies that will defend its interests and put an end to the plundering of its legitimate property.


In the end, justice shall prevail with the eclipse of Zionism and the ultimate redemption of Arab Palestine.


- Dr. Salman Abu Sitta is the Founder and President of Palestine Land Society in London. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. This article was originally published in Arabic and was translated for PalestineChronicle.com by Rajai Masri.


Resolve of West Bank Settlers May Have Limits
By ETHAN BRONNER and ISABEL KERSHNER, New York Times

HAVAT GILAD, West Bank — Of the hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers in the West Bank, those who live in unauthorized hilltop outposts like this one, a hardscrabble unpaved collection of 20 trailers, are considered the most dangerous.

They are fervent believers that there is a divine plan requiring them to hold this land. With many of them armed and all of them furious over the 2005 withdrawal of Jews from Gaza and four West Bank settlements, they live by the slogan: “Never forget! Never forgive!” The building of a Palestinian state would require them to move, and Israelis fear that any attempt to force them out could cause a bloody internal clash.

But scores of interviews over several months, including with settler firebrands, produced a different conclusion. Divided, leaderless and increasingly mystical, such settlers will certainly resist evacuation but are unlikely to engage in organized armed conflict with the Israeli military. Their belief that history can be best understood as a series of confrontations between the Jews and those who seek their destruction, and their faith in their ultimate triumph, make them hesitant to turn against their own, even in dire circumstances.

“We are idealists, but we are not crazy,” said Ayelet Sandak, who was removed from her Gaza settlement home and is helping to build an unauthorized outpost, Maoz Esther, with the goal of both expanding the Jewish presence and diverting the military. “By building outposts we are keeping the army away from the main settlements. We are sure that if we are strong, we will not be forced to move.”

As part of its commitment to a two-state solution, Israel has promised to dismantle two dozen outposts like this one in the coming months. The Obama administration’s Middle East envoy, George J. Mitchell, is back in the region trying to set up a summit meeting for new peace talks. Yet officials have been slow to act on these outposts, worried that the move could break this society in two.

Certainly, some settler leaders speak in ominous tones. “They’ll have to kill us to get us out of here,” said Itay Zar, founder of Havat Gilad, sitting in the outpost’s unpaved central square, a pink sun setting over the majestic Samarian hills before dropping into the Mediterranean.

And Boaz Haetzni, who lives in Kiryat Arba near Hebron and is part of a movement to repopulate destroyed settlements, said, “People no longer view the army and state as holy.”

Jewish terror is not new. A religious student assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, and a settler, Baruch Goldstein, killed 29 Muslims at prayer in Hebron in 1994. Yitzhak Fhantich, who used to lead the Jewish section inside the Shin Bet security agency, said that based on recent history and the goals of extremists, “I cannot exclude that there will be violence, that the prime minister could be targeted or that mosques could be attacked. They are looking to stop any peace process.”

But interviews with settlers suggest that the threat of violence is largely a political strategy. The great majority say they realize that if the bulldozers arrive, their fight is over.

“We cannot allow ourselves to wait until the soldiers are at our doors,” noted David Ha’ivri, a spokesman for the northern West Bank settlers. “We must prepare strategic maneuvers in advance.”

By that, he mostly means politics. If the soldiers do come, the settlers are unlikely to fight. “People won’t leave their homes peacefully but they will not shoot soldiers,” predicted Shaul Goldstein, who is the leader of the regional council of the Gush Etzion settler bloc and is considered a moderate.

A senior Israeli general in the West Bank agreed. He said the army was awaiting orders to evacuate the two dozen outposts and was preparing for everything, including soldier refusal and settler bloodshed directed both at Palestinians and at security forces. But, he added, speaking under army rules of anonymity: “I don’t think there will be a lot of resistance. Deep inside, most settlers love Israel and love the Israeli Army.”

A Nation’s Moral Core

That assertion may seem surprising, especially after the army’s removal of 8,000 settlers from Gaza four years ago, an operation that burns in the hearts of the settler community. But there are several reasons to take it seriously.

First, the Gaza operation splintered the settlers, discrediting the traditional leaders in the eyes of the new generation.

Second, many settlers believe that they and their supporters are inheriting the mantle of Zionism, so promoting an internal war would be counterproductive.

Finally, the direction that many of the most radical settlers have taken has been toward the esoteric, not combat.

Settlers tend to believe they inhabit the Jewish nation’s moral core, that they are the rightful heirs to the kibbutz farmer-soldiers who founded the country and whose descendants, they say, have grown soft with materialism and individualism.

Effie Eitam, a former minister, rightist politician and himself a settler in the Golan Heights, promotes this view. He says Israel’s religious conservatives, with their blend of modern savvy and traditional values, will inherit the country’s leadership. The settlers will therefore do everything they can, he argues, not to contaminate themselves with the blood of their brothers.

Indeed, viewed outside their conflict with the Palestinians, many settlers can seem a model of selfless devotion, choosing to live in great modesty with little comfort, dedicated to children and community. Many are professionals — doctors, lawyers and teachers.

That said, the approach of some of them toward neighboring Palestinians, especially around Nablus in the north and Hebron in the south, has often been one of contempt and violence. Sometimes placing their communities between Palestinian villages and the villages’ farmlands, the settlers block the villagers’ routes and then take over the “abandoned” areas. Settlers have also set fields on fire and used their arms and power to frighten and push back Palestinian farmers.

The Shin Bet has worked in the past year to reduce such attacks, and violence from both settlers and Palestinians has declined markedly, but law enforcement remains lenient with settlers.

Blood has been spilled on both sides. Many of the West Bank outposts were set up in what the settlers called a “Zionist response” to Palestinian attacks.

Havat Gilad was established after Mr. Zar’s brother, Gilad, was killed by Palestinian gunmen in 2001. Mr. Zar says the outpost sits on land bought by his father, Moshe Zar, a well-known West Bank land dealer who was himself convicted of belonging to a Jewish underground that killed and maimed Palestinians in the early 1980s.

At the same time, the younger ideological settlers are increasingly mystical and have little concern about whether they are causing conflict. They view their goals as at the center of global history. Beards and sidelocks are longer than in the past and the fringed shawl and phylacteries normally reserved for morning prayer are now worn by some all day long.

Their main sources of guidance are ancient Jewish texts and rabbinical pronouncements. After the 2005 withdrawal, Mr. Zar said, his generation of settlers started living increasingly by the motto “God is king.”

Such settlers have also increasingly focused their energies on the veneration of holy places like Joseph’s Tomb, a tiny stone compound in the heart of the Palestinian city of Nablus — or ancient Shechem — that many Jews believe is the final burial place of the son of Jacob, the biblical patriarch.

Once a month, busloads of settlers go at midnight under heavy guard. It is a moment of unparalleled joy for them.

And they view Torah study as among their main weapons. Nearly every day, for example, Rabbi Elishama Cohen and a group of students sneak into Homesh, one of the destroyed settlements in the northern West Bank, to pray and study.

Since Israel forced its residents out of there four years ago in a gesture to the Palestinians, getting back in requires driving through farm fields to evade Israeli military checkpoints.

Stripped of all it once had — houses, a pool, streetlights — Homesh, with its overgrown weeds and stray bits of concrete, feels today like the remnant of a nuclear winter.

But that has not dimmed the devotion of those who keep coming or their conviction that doing so will change the strategic equation.

“We never leave Homesh empty,” said a man who gave his name as Zvi Yehuda as he prepared surreptitiously to spend the night there, revolver on hip. “The creator of the universe gave us this land. It is a commandment to live in it and settle it. Anyone who stands in our way — whether pharaoh or Obama — will be punished by God.”

There are 300,000 settlers in the West Bank (another 200,000 Israeli Jews live in East Jerusalem) and they are not monolithic. A third are politically and socially indistinguishable from most of Israel and moved there for suburban-style housing and close-knit communities. Another third are ultra-Orthodox and do not consider themselves settlers or Zionists, wanting only to live together in an appropriate environment somewhere in Israel.

The remaining 100,000 are ideologically (and, most of them, religiously) committed to staying. They have a fairly uniform view of the situation: most believe that there is no such thing as a Palestinian nation; that if the world wants a state for Palestinians, it should set it up next door in Jordan; that all of the West Bank, which they call by the biblical name Judea and Samaria, is a central part of the Jewish homeland; and that Arabs will do everything they can to destroy Israel in any borders, so staying in the West Bank is a matter not only of history but of security.

Salvation Through Land

While the ultra-Orthodox say life comes above all else, ideological settlers say that holding onto what they consider the entire land of Israel is the essence of life; through redemption of this land comes Jewish salvation.

But half of them live in settlement blocs close to the boundary with Israel that are likely to remain in a deal involving land swaps with the Palestinians. Ideological settlers who live deep in the West Bank number about 50,000.

Taking what they say at face value suggests no room for compromise. One of the five principles of a radical organization called Mishmeret Yesha says: “Every grain of sand and every stone in the Land of Israel are holy to the nation of Israel. No authority is allowed to relinquish any portion of the land.”

A second principle states that independence for Israel will be achieved only by bringing Jews to the land “and the removal of all hostile elements from the land.”

Mishmeret Yesha, which stands for “Guardians of the Jews of Judea, Samaria and Gaza,” trains armed response teams in settlements to fight off Palestinian invaders, plants vines and olive trees around the West Bank to claim it for Jews and keep it away from Palestinians, and pushes the creation of jobs and development for Jews. It rejects working with or acknowledging any legitimacy to Palestinians.

“The Arabs have to understand that they can’t stay here,” asserted Israel Danziger, who runs the hard-line organization and rejects the word “Palestinian.” “There is no in-between possible.”

Mr. Danziger spoke as a dozen men in their 20s were training with M-16 automatic rifles in the settlement of Yitzhar. Most had served in the army, all were religiously observant and all rejected any legitimacy to the idea of being moved to make room for a Palestinian state.

They also firmly believed that the Palestinian security force being trained with American money and spread through the West Bank would one day turn its firepower onto the settlers who would have to defend themselves.

Some settlers have engaged in, and vow more of, what they call “Price Tag,” meaning that any time Israeli security forces move against settlement outposts, the settlers exact a price from Palestinians, mostly by burning Palestinian fields and orchards or by blocking roads.

Still, they said they would not redirect their training away from the Palestinian threat toward the Israeli Army or police. Mr. Danziger said it would never happen. But he added that he rarely felt so betrayed as on the day in 2005 that the state sent thousands of troops into Gush Katif, the main Jewish settlement grouping in Gaza, to remove Jews. It is his goal, as it is of others, to make sure that never happens in the West Bank.

A Museum of ‘Expulsion’

The military evacuation order delivered to the 8,000 settlers in Gaza four years ago hangs today in the Gush Katif Museum in Jerusalem. The deadline it bears for leaving is Aug. 14, or in the Hebrew calendar of that year, the Ninth of Av, a fast day associated with a string of calamities in Jewish history.

The settlers call the withdrawal the “expulsion.” The new museum, visited by scores daily, contains keys from destroyed houses, poetry of mourning and bottles of sand from the abandoned shores of Gaza. The museum’s theme is a conscious echo of the post-Holocaust theme of the entire country: Never Again.

In fact, most Israelis now see the evacuation as having been a disaster. It led to the Hamas takeover in Gaza and increased rocket fire at Israel. And the former settlers, many of whom vowed to stay together as communities, have fared poorly.

Their advocates say that only about one in 10 is in permanent housing. Some 3,000 are still living in cramped mobile homes in a desolate, temporary neighborhood north of Gaza. This makes talk of another, larger removal of settlers from the West Bank seem a cruel fantasy to some — it could bring rockets to within range of its major population centers and lead to tens of thousands being in homeless limbo.

A few of the younger evacuees from Gaza and their sympathizers have even refused to enlist for compulsory army service or to perform annual reserve duty.

“The state does not exist for me,” said Ofir Ben Hamo, 32, from the razed Gaza settlement of Bedolah. Mr. Ben Hamo, a former tank commander, last did reserve duty four months before the Gaza withdrawal — “like a sucker,” he said.

All this has compounded the settlers’ conviction that no Israeli government would risk a similar undertaking in the West Bank. But as international pressure for a Palestinian state here grows, there is deep worry.

“We can talk as aggressively as we like on the right,” said Anita Toker, a spokeswoman for the Gaza evacuees, “but how many people are we?”

Ms. Toker, a founder of the first civilian settlement in Gush Katif, believes that only the mobilization of the Israeli masses can prevent a further withdrawal. But she is not optimistic. “So far everything is polarized,” she said.

Other settlers are banking on a refusal by Israeli soldiers to obey orders. But in a sign of the divisions racking the settler movement and given the grave external threats to the country, many reject that approach.

“Above all we are dealing with the existence of Israel,” said Israel Harel, a leading intellectual of the settlement enterprise, who established the settlers’ council in the 1970s and whose son, Itai, helped found a nearby outpost.

“Once soldiers do not obey orders,” Mr. Harel said, “it is the beginning of the end of the Jewish state.”


   
 
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UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.


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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa


“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has ceased...to obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946



The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
Establishment of Israel
"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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posted 3/25/2009

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