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BS: Palestine

Jim Carroll 21 Sep 11 - 04:45 PM
robomatic 21 Sep 11 - 04:39 PM
Joe Offer 21 Sep 11 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,Bluesman 21 Sep 11 - 03:30 PM
akenaton 21 Sep 11 - 03:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Sep 11 - 03:22 PM
Mrrzy 21 Sep 11 - 01:51 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Palestine
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 04:45 PM

From The Irish Times this morning.
Now what was the question again!!!
Jim Carroll


As Palestinians prepare to seek UN statehood recognition, Israeli settlers have petitioned for the demolition of a school serving the children of 20 families
WE SET out from Jerusalem on Route One, Israel's fine new West Bank highway, turn off on to the narrow shoulder, plunge down a steep ravine along a slithery, sandy track, duck under a tunnel and climb to the hilltop where 20 Jahaleen Bedouin families have settled. To the right is the school that proudly proclaims itself a "primary mixed school" where 70 boys and girls study through sixth form.
During break, boys in blue T-shirts and jeans wrestle and rush about while girls in grey and white smocks, their hair neatly plaited, stroll round in threes and fours sharing packets of crisps.
The school consists of five one-storey buildings constructed by the men of the community using old tyres and plastered with mud. Here and there they left indented patches where tyre treads are exposed. The sixth and final form holds classes in a shed.
The UN Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa), which looks after Palestinian refugees, paid salaries to the men who worked 24 hours a day for a month to build the school with the help of Italian volunteers, nuns from Bethany, Rabbis for Human Rights, Israel's Peace Now movement and the Israeli Committee against Home Demolitions.
The school walls are thick, which means the rooms are cool in summer and warm in winter. A small generator stands idle near the latrine building: the Bedouin do not have $30 a month to run the motor.
On the other side of the fence marking the boundary of the school yard and just outside the window of the first-form classroom, the Israelis have placed vents for gas emitted by sewage piped to Route One from Kafr Adumim, the expanding Israeli settlement and outposts looming on the crests of hills rising high above Khan al-Ahmar. Israeli settlers have filed a petition for the school to be demolished.
The Jahaleen stopped sending smaller children to schools in Jericho because five of them were killed on the road while waiting for a bus. In any ease, families can no longer afford fares.
After the new school was built in 2010, Israel cancelled work permits for the menfolk who had menial jobs in the settlements, depriving them of their main source of income. Only the shepherd has work these days.
Unemployment is 99.99 per cent. Jahaleen men, women and children are slender and of medium height, and are totally dependent on Unrwa for sustenance. Some children have been stunted by malnutrition.
The tidy, elegant school buildings contrast starkly with the shelters where 160 members of the community live. These are ramshackle dwellings constructed on wooden frames, with walls of press board and cloth, and roofed with plastic in summer and metal sheets in winter. Israel has issued demolition orders for eight shelters, several livestock pens, and the makeshift mosque - built without permits which Israel does not grant.
The community lives in a tight enclave, bordered by the highway and the wadi below where the community's remaining 140 goats and sheep water.
Spokesman Abu Khamis, an accountant who was employed as a bulldozer driver, invites us to his diwan. Slipping off our shoes, we sit on mattresses in the shade of a mulberry tree. Kafr Adumim with its settler houses gleaming white under red tile roofs sits on the horizon. A cool breeze stirs the leaves of the the mulberry, its twin and a pomegranate, heavy with ripening fruit.
As sweet tea is served, Abu Khamis says, "We get water legally from Israel's Makarot company. Ten families have a supply, 10 do not."
Asked about power, he quips, "Is there something called electricity? We use the generator when we have a feast, wedding or funeral... Settlers come any time, day or night. Drive around, walk into the school and our houses. They sing or throw pebbles at our homes, waking us. The children scream and cry. Many wet their beds."
He shrugged when asked if the Palestinian leadership's bid for UN membership and recognition of statehood in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza could improve conditions.
"The sulta [the Palestinian Authority] and the Israelis co-operate against us."
The Jahaleen of Khan al-Ahmar are just one of 20 Bedouin communities, totalling 2,300 people, whom the Israelis intend to relocate to Jerusalem's vast rubbish dump at Bethany, the home of Lazarus raised by Jesus from the dead.
On the way back to the holy city, we pause at the dump where bulldozers have already buried the rubbish and levelled the site, which still reeks of toxic fumes.
To the east is the massive Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, to the west Jerusalem, both forbidden to the Jahaleen. The move will destroy their way of life, force them to sell their livestock and compel traditional tribal antagonists to live together.

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Subject: RE: BS: Palestine
From: robomatic
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 04:39 PM

The push for a Palestinian state at this point in time is a prime example of bad timing, at least for those in favor of it. Along with the attempt to have Israel censured for settlements which came February at the height of the Arab Spring this year.

I have no faith in anything the Palestinians push for because they have not abandoned an unrealistic policy of defeating Israel and taking the place of its current inhabitants. Their 'shoot the moon' policy is continually being encouraged by the local nations who have been at the heart of the Palestinian plight, an uncompromising lack of acceptance of Israel in their midst, and its Jewish inhabitants as, well, Palestinians themselves.

Ultimately, there will be compromise, and there will be shared territory, but we're not there at this point in time.

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Subject: RE: BS: Palestine
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 03:47 PM

Isn't Jordan a Palestinian nation? When I visited the area ten years ago, it seemed to me that Bethlehem and Jericho and East Jerusalem were quite distinct from Israel, and Israeli encrosion into Palestinian territory seemed to be mostly limited to a few pockets of right-wing settlers here and there.
Of course, there's been a wall built since then, and that would make a big, big difference. For the most part, the problem with the wall is that it restricts the ability of Palestinians to enter Israel for shopping and employment and other activities.
While there are advantages to having a Palestinian state, Palestinians will be forever impoverished if they have no access to Israel. It's a situation similar to the Mexican-US border cities - the two sides of the border need each other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Palestine
From: GUEST,Bluesman
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 03:30 PM

You mean the 51st state of America ?

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Subject: RE: BS: Palestine
From: akenaton
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 03:29 PM

Obama is finished as a political force, his speech at the UN was hesitant, his voice shaky, he did NOT believe what he was saying and if he had the guts of a real leader he would have refused to say it.

As I said a couple of years ago.....a creature of the system....sorry!

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Subject: RE: BS: Palestine
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 03:22 PM

The Israelis will never agree to a Palestinian nation.
They will continue to nibble on the west bank, completely occupy Jerusalem, and encroach on former Egyptian territory in Gaza.
Obama's support for talks just prolongs the process of "no decision" and alienates more of the Muslim world. Israel is a dangerous "ally."

There have been several threads on this. I gusee one more won't overload the Mudcat archives.

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Subject: BS: Palestine
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 01:51 PM

...has been around as the name of a region since before the dawn of history, without actually ever having been a "nation" as defined by the Europeans when they took over in the 1500's. No "white man's papers" ("papier de blanc") as was said.

So, my question for the forum is: Given that Israel was carved out of that region, should it or should it not be up to Israel to determine whether Palestine gets to be a nation now? Or, in a more open form, what do you think of the Palestinians going straight to the UN, which seems to some to be an end run around the US and Israel (I'm not sure who else is on that side of the fence)?

I am curious about the tenor of opinion here. Our views often harmonize, and we can keep our tone civil when differences of opinion become discordant. If uke'n keep to musical metaphor, even better.

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This Thread Is Closed.

Mudcat time: 18 April 11:08 PM EDT

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