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Tag Archives: middle-east
Max Keiser WW3 is on as Wall St. banks plunder economy
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Max Keiser Obama financially lynched by racist GOP
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Max Blumenthal on Syria and the Peace Movement
Max Blumenthal, journalist author of “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel,” sat down with Danny Postel, Associate Director of the University of De…
By: DU Center for Middle East Studies
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The West Bank (Arabic: , a-iff l-arby, Hebrew: , HaGadah HaMa’aravit) is a landlocked territory on the west bank of the Jordan River and on the west side of the Dead Sea in the Middle East. To the west, north, and south the West Bank shares borders with Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River and Dead Sea, lies Jordan.
The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has a land area of 5,640 km2 and 220 km2 water, the northwest quarter of the Dead Sea. It has an estimated population of 2,622,544 (June 2012). More than 80 percent, about 2,100,000, are Palestinian Arabs, and approximately 500,000 are Jewish Israelis living in the West Bank, including about 192,000 in East Jerusalem, in Israeli settlements. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.
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Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel, and never mind saying it,as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality. (A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King Jr., HarperCollins 1991, pg. 670)
[T]he equivalence simply isn’t true. Israel is not an apartheid state. …
Whereas apartheid was established through a series of oppressive laws that governed which park benches we could sit on, where we could go to school, which areas we were allowed to live in, and even whom we could marry, Israel was founded upon a liberal and inclusive Declaration of Independence. South Africa had a job reservation policy for white people; Israel has adopted pro-Arab affirmative action measures in some sectors.
Israeli schools, universities and hospitals make no distinction between Jews and Arabs. An Arab citizen who brings a case before an Israeli court will have that case decided on the basis of merit, not ethnicity. This was never the case for blacks under apartheid. (Z Word, March 2008)
Apartheid is dead in South Africa but the word is alive in the world, especially as an epithet of abuse for Israel. Israel is accused by some of being ‘the new apartheid’ state. If true, it would be a grave charge, justifying international condemnation and sanctions. But it isn’t true. Anyone who knows what apartheid was, and who knows Israel today, is aware of that. Use of the apartheid label is at best ignorant and nave and at worst cynical and manipulative. …
“Apartheid” is used in this case and elsewhere because it comes easily to hand: it is a lazy label for the complexities of the Middle East conflict. It is also used because, if it can be made to stick, then Israel can be made to appear to be as vile as was apartheid South Africa and seeking its destruction can be presented to the world as an equally moral cause. (From the December 2005 issue of Focus, published by The Helen Suzman Foundation)
For those who haven’t heard, the first week in March has been designated as Israel Apartheid Week by activists who are either ill intentioned or misinformed. On American campuses, organizing committees are planning happenings to once again castigate Israel as the lone responsible party for all that maligns the Middle East. …
My perspective is unique, both as the vice consul for Israel in San Francisco, and as a Bedouin and the highest-ranking Muslim representing the Israel in the United States. I was born into a Bedouin tribe in Northern Israel, one of 11 children, and began life as shepherd living in our family tent. I went on to serve in the Israeli border police, and later earned a master’s degree in political science from Tel Aviv University before joining the Israel Foreign Ministry.
For other places with the same name, see West Bank (disambiguation).
The West Bank is a Palestinian territory under Israeli occupation with areas of Palestinian Autonomous Control pockmarked with Israeli military/civilian settlements in the Middle East between Israel and Jordan, to the north of the Dead Sea. It forms the larger portion of the semi-autonomous Palestinian Territories (the smaller being the Gaza Strip). Depending on where one travels the area is controlled by Palestinian authorities, Israel, or even both. It has been under Israeli administration since 1967 with its future status uncertain and still to be resolved, between Israel and the PA.
It is known as the West Bank because it lies on the western bank of the Jordan River. This part of the world is steeped in biblical history and contains many sites of religious and archaeological significance.
About 2 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers reside in approximately 100 official and unofficial Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Within the political dispute between the Palestinians and Israelis there are at least two presentations of the West Bank:
In Israeli terms it is called the regions of Judea, Samaria, and Benjamin. Some Israelis see the West Bank territories as historically Jewish land and claim a biblical/historical birthright to resettle it by building settlements there. Israel is also building a huge concrete barrier and/or fence system partly within the West Bank, officially aimed at preventing the infiltration of Palestinians into Israel’s official pre-1967 borders and to isolate Jewish settlements from Palestinian populated areas.
This move has been deemed illegal under international law. Israel unofficially is accused by Palestinians as an unilateral Israeli attempt to draw the borders and annex Palestinian land. The barrier cuts off Palestinians from each other, vital farm lands, and most of all: physically separates West Bank Palestinians from the Palestinian districts of East Jerusalem and its holy sites.
The Palestinians and the PNA claim this region, in addition the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, as the territory of a future Palestinian state, the State of Palestine. There are 400,000 Jews and around 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank in addition to the 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza and another 208 thousand in Jerusalem (though there are also Arab-Israelis that live in Jerusalem) (Est. 2011). As of November 2012, Palestine is formally recognized as an independent state by the UN, still deemed under Israeli occupation until a final peace agreement between the two above parties.
Temperate; temperature and precipitation vary with altitude, warm to hot summers, cool to mild winters.
Mostly rugged dissected upland, very hilly and mountainous, heavy vegetation is very common in most places.
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From the early 16th century through 1917, the area now known as the West Bank fell under Ottoman rule. Following World War I, the Allied powers (France, UK, Russia) allocated the area to the British Mandate of Palestine. After World War II, the UN passed a resolution to establish two states within the Mandate, and designated a territory including what is now known as the West Bank as part of the proposed Arab state. Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War the area was captured by Transjordan (later renamed Jordan). Jordan annexed the West Bank in 1950. In June 1967, Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War. With the exception of East Jerusalem and the former Israeli-Jordanian border zone, the West Bank has remained under Israeli military control. Under a series of agreements signed between 1994 and 1999, Israel transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA) security and civilian responsibility for many Palestinian-populated areas of the West Bank as well as the Gaza Strip. Negotiations to determine the permanent status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip stalled after the outbreak of an intifada in mid- 2000. In early 2003, the “Quartet” of the US, EU, UN, and Russia, presented a roadmap to a final peace settlement by 2005, calling for two states – Israel and a democratic Palestine. Following Palestinian leader Yasir ARAFAT’s death in late 2004 and the subsequent election of Mahmud ABBAS (head of the Fatah political party) as the PA president, Israel and the PA agreed to move the peace process forward. Israel in late 2005 unilaterally withdrew all of its settlers and soldiers and dismantled its military facilities in the Gaza Strip and redeployed its military from several West Bank settlements but continues to control maritime, airspace, and other access. In early 2006, the Islamic Resistance Movement, HAMAS, won the Palestinian Legislative Council election and took control of the PA government. Attempts to form a unity government failed, and violent clashes between Fatah and HAMAS supporters ensued, culminating in HAMAS’s violent seizure of all military and governmental institutions in the Gaza Strip. Fatah and HAMAS in early 2011 agreed to reunify the Gaza Strip and West Bank, but the factions have struggled to implement details on governance and security. The status quo remains with HAMAS in control of the Gaza Strip and the PA governing the West Bank. Since the collapse of direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians in late 2010, President ABBAS has reaffirmed that he will not resume negotiations until Israel halts all settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Middle East, west of Jordan, east of Israel
32 00 N, 35 15 E
total: 5,860 sq km
land: 5,640 sq km
water: 220 sq km
note: includes West Bank, Latrun Salient, and the northwest quarter of the Dead Sea, but excludes Mt. Scopus; East Jerusalem and Jerusalem No Man’s Land are also included only as a means of depicting the entire area occupied by Israel in 1967
slightly smaller than Delaware
total: 404 km
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StandWithUs helps students fight against Israel Apartheid week. Resources on apartheid and the Middle East are here: http://www.standwithus.com/FLYERS/?type=focus&wc=21 To find out how you can help visit www.standwithus.com Go to www.youtube.com/standwithus to see our videos including our expose of the BDS groups Join us on Facebook at: http://on.fb.me/hFHKrk
This video features Arab-Israeli StandWithUs volunteer Ranya.
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Is Israel an apartheid state?
In the last few years, its become common to hear Israel called an apartheid state a label that alleges that Israel maintains an oppressive legal system like the one once used in South Africa that institutionalized segregation, discrimination, and domination based on race.
Is there any truth to the charge? In apartheid-era South Africa, black citizens were totally disenfranchised, subject to oppressive laws that controlled every aspect of their behavior, and completely segregated from the ruling white minority. In Israel, on the other hand, Jewish and Arab citizens have equal protection under the law, enjoy freedom of religion and speech, and possess full voting rights. (In fact, Israels 120-member parliament, the Knesset, currently includes 12 Arab Israeli members.)
The Israel-South Africa comparison is so inapt that it would be laughable if it werent so insulting. What could possibly motivate those who apply this label and its evil connotations to the only democracy in the Middle East? Benjamin Pogrund, a South African Jew now living in Israel who saw firsthand the oppression and misery caused by the apartheid system in his native country, sums it up: Apartheid is a lazy label for the complexities of the Middle East conflict. If it can be made to stick, then Israel can be made to appear to be as vile as was apartheid South Africa and, therefore, seeking its destruction can be presented to the world as an equally moral cause.
Using human terms, Pogrund describes the vast difference between apartheid-era South Africa and Israel: Two years ago, I had major surgery in a Jerusalem hospital, he says. The surgeon was Jewish, the anesthetist was Arab, the doctors and nurses who looked after me were Jews and Arabs. Jews and Arabs share meals in restaurants and travel on the same trains, buses and taxis, and visit each others homes. Could any of this possibly have happened under apartheid? Of course not.
Those who protest Israeli apartheid usually have a noticeable lack of public indignation to express toward those countries and regions where real human rights violations are all too common. In Saudi Arabia, for example, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly simply dont exist and women are second-class citizens (and thats being generous). In Iran, politically motivated killings and kidnappings are common, ethnic and religious minorities harshly repressed, and freedom of the press is non-existent. In Zimbabwe, government security forces imprison, torture, and murder opponents. In Hamas-controlled Gaza, as well as parts of the West Bank controlled by the Palestinian Authority, a residual community of Christians is regularly harassed, intimidated, and even subject to murder by radical Islamists. During 2009, the regimes in both Gaza and Saudi Arabia expressed their approval of crucifixion as a punishment under the law.
But those who protest Israeli apartheid are silent about all that. Why? Because their real agenda is not to improve the plight of Palestinians, but rather to attack Israel. The apartheid slur is just another tool for Israels enemies to delegitimize and undermine the Jewish states right to exist. The comparison of Israel, the Middle Easts only democracy, to the brutal discrimination of a fallen, evil regime is false. Those who offer it simply reveal their own agenda.
Max Keiser China to beat IMF to Italy's gold
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