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Wertz
I have tried to remain fairly neutral in the whole Arab-Israeli conflict, but under the fascistic Likud of Ariel Sharon, that has become increasingly difficult. On New Year's Eve, it was announced that Israel plans to expand the illegal settlements in the Golan Heights (Syrian territory) by 25%, moving an additional 900 families into the region over the next three years - despite the fact that Sharon (almost as big a liar as our own president) has accepted the American-backed peace plan that calls for the removal of unauthorized Jewish outposts in Palestinian territory. Happy New Year.

To me, this is a clear indication that Israel is about as interested in peace as the Bush administration is in "humble foreign policy". This move can serve no purpose but to add fuel to the terrorist fire, to further incense Syria, and to further destabilize the entire region. Is this gratuitous incitement just a case of Israel doing whatever the hell it wants because there's no one on earth to stop them? So it would seem.

Isn't it time that we - as a global community - start enforcing the UN resolutions against Israel? If the Bush administration is to have any consistency at all in its foreign policy, shouldn't they be launching "preemptive" war against a government which has flouted UN resolutions for over a decade, murdered thousands of innocent civilians (including US and British citizens), and, armed with WMDs that put Saddam Hussein to shame even when he had them, has been illegally expanding its borders for more than a generation, violently oppressing the former inhabitants? At the very, very least, should we not be cutting off all foreign aid to Israel and discussing the implementation of sanctions against this dangerous renegade state?

What should the international response to this expansion be? What should the official US response be?

For further consideration, perhaps, now that we have a permanent military presence in Iraq, a compliant Pakistan, a cowed Iran, a conciliatory Libya, and an unholy alliance with Saudi Arabia, do we need to have Israel setting our foreign policy quite as much? Can we now afford a bit of decent, humane leadership for a change and demand that Israel start complying with international law?
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Dontreadonme
I will state that the settlements are a bad idea, no good will come of them. Sharon should accept the road map for peace (as long as the palestinians do likewise).

But speaking from what I believe is a legal standpoint, the Golan Heights were captured from Syria in 1967 and 1973. The Israeli control of the heights was solidified by the Separation of Forces Agreement Between Israel And Syria (May 31, 1974), and monitored by the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force.
So where exactly does it state that Israeli's cannot move into the region? Maybe I'm thick but how does former Syrian territory transform itself into palestinian territory?

What should the international response to this expansion be? What should the official US response be?
Nothing and nothing.

For further consideration, perhaps, now that we have a permanent military presence in Iraq, a compliant Pakistan, a cowed Iran, a conciliatory Libya, and an unholy alliance with Saudi Arabia, do we need to have Israel setting our foreign policy quite as much? Can we now afford a bit of decent, humane leadership for a change and demand that Israel start complying with international law?
Could you cite the law (not a UN resolution, but a law) that Israel is breaking? And conspiracy theories and a natural friendship with an ally aside, how is Israel setting our foreign policy? I know what the stock answers are, I read other sources that are not shall we say in line with my views, but they also fail to rise above rhetoric in claiming a shadow zionist cabal in D.C.
Ultimatejoe
Whether or not the Golan Heights are Israeli territory (the fact that they acquired them when SYRIA invaded Israel and the other points that DTOM alluded too would say that they are) I fail to see how moving 900 families into the settlements amounts to anything more than a political move. Adding these 900 families does not have a dramatic impact on the economic character of the area, nor does it increase security. What it does do is further destabilize Israeli-Syrian relationships. This sort of posturing is the precise reason why two branches of my family in Israel may end up moving to Canada this year.
Wertz
QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Jan 1 2004, 05:01 PM)
So where exactly does it state that Israeli's cannot move into the region? Maybe I'm thick but how does former Syrian territory transform itself into palestinian territory?

You are right. The "roadmap" does not specifically address the Golan settlements, but it does specify withdrawing from all outposts established since 2001 - which would presumably include any new settlements between 2004 and 2007. It also calls for an inclusive international conference to reach peace agreements between Israel and Syria and Israel and Lebannon. Everyone knows - including Ariel Sharon and Richard Perle - that there will never be peace in the Middle East until the Golan Heights are restored to Syria - as Yitzhak Rabin (and Ehud Barak) already agreed with Syrian President Assad.

QUOTE
Could you cite the law (not a UN resolution, but a law) that Israel is breaking?

The clearest and most direct piece of international law that affirms the right of the Palestinian refugees to be repatriated is Article 11 of UN General Assembly Resolution 194, ratified on 11 December 1948. Binding resolutions by the Security Council - 242 and 338 - go even further. I realize that these are UN resolutions, but they are international law. If not, then the establishment of the state of Israel was illegal from the outset - and should not exist.

QUOTE
And conspiracy theories and a natural friendship with an ally aside, how is Israel setting our foreign policy? I know what the stock answers are, I read other sources that are not shall we say in line with my views, but they also fail to rise above rhetoric in claiming a shadow zionist cabal in D.C.

If you know the stock answers, we may have to agree to disagree. Going into much detail "above rhetoric" would probably take this current thread too far off topic, anyway. For now, let me just say that every time Ari Fleischer (an Israeli citizen, by the way) offer's an opinion by "President Bush" on the Middle East (usually dictated by former advisor to Benjamin Netanyahu, Richard Perle), I shudder. I would not dismiss it as a "zionist cabal", however, it is a cabal specifically courting the Likud Party - which is not at all the same thing. If you wish to start a new thread to pursue this, though, feel free.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::

QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Jan 1 2004, 05:28 PM)
Whether or not the Golan Heights are Israeli territory (the fact that they acquired them when SYRIA invaded Israel...

Sorry, Joe, you seem to be wrong on this one - at least according to every objective history on the Six-Day War that I've read - and even according to the web site of the Israel Defense Forces. According to the IDF, in 1967, "Israel had no choice but to preempt". Whether even their "preemptive war" was warranted is probably also the stuff of another thread.

But as to the start of the war - your "when" of the Golan Heights being annexed - the IDF states pretty clearly: "The Six-Day War started with a far-reaching air attack, code named 'Moked', to shatter the Arab air forces while their aircraft were still on the ground." Again, not much room for equivocation there - and no mention of a Syrian "invasion". It was the Israelis who were doing the invading. This was an aggressive war started by Israel - quite possibly with the goal of conquest. In any event, that is what was achieved.

QUOTE
I fail to see how moving 900 families into the settlements amounts to anything more than a political move.

But to what end? This is particularly bad since Syria had recently made their first gestures toward a peaceful settlement. Could it be that the Likudniks don't want a peaceful settlement? You are too right: this move won't do a thing for Israel's economy or security (at least not a positive thing for either), but what is the political end? To invite further hostility and, again, "have no choice but to preempt"?

I am sorry to hear about your family potentially becoming displaced. The sooner the Likud is out of power and a sane government elected, the better for Israel - and the world.
Ultimatejoe
Wertz I hate to say it but you're letting my support of Israel (in a general sense since I am a citizen there) cloud your reading of my post.
QUOTE(Wertz)
but what is the political end? To invite further hostility and, again, "have no choice but to preempt"?


This is precisely the conclusion I was making.
Wertz
QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Jan 1 2004, 07:12 PM)
Wertz I hate to say it but you're letting my support of Israel (in a general sense since I am a citizen there) cloud your reading of my post.
QUOTE(Wertz)
but what is the political end? To invite further hostility and, again, "have no choice but to preempt"?


This is precisely the conclusion I was making.

I wasn't presuming you to be an unquestioning supporter of Israel (and certainly not the Likudniks), but, you're right, I wasn't clear on your conclusion. I read your "What it does do is further destabilize Israeli-Syrian relationships" as an unfortunate consequence, not as the intention. We would agree, then, that this is at least a possible reason for the expansion. Worrying...
Mustang
QUOTE
But speaking from what I believe is a legal standpoint, the Golan Heights were captured from Syria in 1967 and 1973. The Israeli control of the heights was solidified by the Separation of Forces Agreement Between Israel And Syria (May 31, 1974), and monitored by the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force.
So where exactly does it state that Israeli's cannot move into the region? Maybe I'm thick but how does former Syrian territory transform itself into palestinian territory?

First off, you are 100% correct - the Golan is not Palestinian territory - it is Syrian territory under Israeli military occupation.

The Golan was acquired by force. The Separation of Forces Agreement does not deal with the final status of the territory - that still has to be negotiated by the two states. Until a negotiated agreement is in place, the movement of settlers into the Golan is illegal under the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention, specifically Article 49, which provides, in paragraph 6: The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. Pretty simple and straightforward. While Israel may take actions necessary to meet its military needs in the Golan and to provide for orderly government during the occupation, the establishment of the civilian settlements in those territories is inconsistent with international law.
Schoolboy
Let's not forget the wall/fence they've built too. This does not stick to Israel's internationally recognized borders and so further encroaches on land it has no claim over.

Incredibly, the Israelis suggested to the US how much "aid" to withold as a "punishment" for the wall!! The US said, "fine" and on they went.

Tens of thousands of palestinians have been made homeless as Israel destroys homes either as a punishment, or to kill terrorists or simply to make way for Israeli settlements. And they somehow expect the Palestinians not to be angry about this??

Israel is the only country in the world not to have ever signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. It is, in fact, the only nuclear power in the region and it is sharing its knowledge with the muslim-hating Hindhu Indian government with the blessing of America. Israel is the only country in the region to have invaded its neighbours and not handed all its captured land back. Israel has had more UN resolutions passed against it than any other nation in the region and it has accepted/followed none. Indeed, the US has vetoed UN resolutions condemning the recent attacks on Syria and the building of the wall.

Bush claimed that the US would be neutral but, as usual, it is anything but. Do you see $6bn a year in military aid going to Palestine?
cusbilla
Umm, lets rewite history some more..only this time lets check the facts. Israel was attacked. Israel did not "invade" the other countries that attacked them to start the war(s). While I don't condone everything Israel is doing or has done I am not here to propagate ignorance and "pile on". I leave that for most the Bush haters here on AD..but I digress.

Palastinians are hated and despised throughout the Arab world. They are most noticably in Jordan. I find it ironic that the people that say they support them despise them.

cusbilla
Mustang
QUOTE
Bush claimed that the US would be neutral but, as usual, it is anything but. Do you see $6bn a year in military aid going to Palestine?

You are exaggerating a bit - its just about a third of the amount you state. The FY04 Budget gives Israel $2.2 billion in military aid and $480 million in economic aid. By contrast, what there is of the PA gets $20 million in aid. Even Albania, Romania and Bulgaria get more than the Palestinians, with $28 million each.

(FYI, Egypt gets $1.1 billion in military aid and $575 in economic assistance this year and Jordan gets a combined total of $456 million)
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Schoolboy
OK, I was a bit out. But the point remains the same:

The total amount of direct US aid to Israel has been constant, at around three billion dollar per year for the last quarter century. A new plan was recently implemented to phase out all economic aid and provide corresponding increases in military aid by 2008. This year Israel is receiving $2.04 billion in military aid and $720 million in economic aid. In addition to nearly three billion dollar in direct aid, Israel usually gets another three billion dollar or so in indirect aid : military support from the defence budget, forgiven loans and special grants. It is safe to say that Israel's total aid amounts to at least five billion dollars annually.

From: http://nation.ittefaq.com/artman/publish/article_6846.shtml
Weegie
QUOTE(cusbilla @ Jan 19 2004, 06:42 PM)
Palastinians are hated and despised throughout the Arab world.  They are most noticably in Jordan.  I find it ironic that the people that say they support them despise them.

cusbilla

This is errant nonsense I have lived and travelled extensively in the Arab world. The Palestinian diaspora provides high numbers of the regions doctors, engineers and management professionals . They are respected for their educational levels and worldly outlook.
CruisingRam
Well, if we are to be consistant, an immediate demand for weapons inspectors, sanctions, total blockade, no fly zone, and calling for a regime change, and making Sharon liable for war crimes need to be implemented immediately. I guess the Isrealis have better lobbyists than the PLO hmmm.gif
moif
What should the international response to this expansion be? What should the official US response be?

They should be one and the same. Cut off economic aid to Israel for as long as Israel is supporting its illegal settlements.


For further consideration, perhaps, now that we have a permanent military presence in Iraq, a compliant Pakistan, a cowed Iran, a conciliatory Libya, and an unholy alliance with Saudi Arabia, do we need to have Israel setting our foreign policy quite as much? Can we now afford a bit of decent, humane leadership for a change and demand that Israel start complying with international law?

Yes. Why should Israel be an exception?
Wertz
QUOTE(cusbilla @ Jan 19 2004, 09:42 AM)
Umm, lets rewrite history some more... only this time lets check the facts.

Good idea. A few are referenced above.

QUOTE
Israel was attacked.

No, it wasn't. Check the facts.

QUOTE
Israel did not "invade" the other countries that attacked them to start the war(s).

Yes, it did. Check the facts.

Let's not rewrite history, okay? ermm.gif
Padraig_Pearse
The state of Israel needs to be picked up and slapped around the ears - it has lost the run of itself

Ben-Gurion begged the Knesset after the '67 "war" to withdraw from the occcupied territories - He was laughed at.

Einstein and Arendt signed an open letter in 1947 begging American Jews NOT to fund Begin and the Irgun.

Sharon is facing corruption charges - hopefully the great inspiring spirit of Zionism might yet disgrace and exile the warmongers (If only these scumbags weren't being so heavily subsidized by Tom DeLay and the rest of the so-called Christian Zionists who support Sharon for no better reason than that his aggressive policy will bring on their strange cultic belief in End Times)


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