Israel/Palestine: Where “Peace Process” is Sham by Design

“Things are seldom what they seem, Skim milk masquerades as cream”
— Gilbert & Sullivan, HMS Pinafore

[The ongoing repressive Israeli settler-colonial project on the Palestinian people, facing growing exposure and international opposition, has increasingly brought Zionist ideologues (an echo of American “manifest destiny” expansionists) as well as “soft Zionist” real-politicians to resort to ever-more arrogant and hyperbolic deceptions to prevent their imperial allies from thinking they’ve outlived their usefulness.  At the same time, the collaboration of the corrupt Palestinian “leadership” with the “realities” of imperial power and Israeli settler-colonialism, has spun a very thin theatrical disguise of Palestinian identity and loyalty.  Both the Israeli colonist-settlers and the Palestinian quislings (struggling to extend their credibility in their mutually-symbiotic weakened states) depend upon blasting the mutually-reinforcing lies and deceptions of each other.  The details of this slimy and shadowy faux “opposition” are revealed in this recent article by author Jeff Blankfort.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Palestinian Collaboration Overshadows Latest Talks

“Imagine for a moment, what the reaction would have been in Northern Ireland if the IRA had taken to guarding the streets of Belfast and Derry for Her Majesty’s occupation forces.”

by Jeff Blankfort, Dissident Voice, May 7th, 2014

Shortly after the signing of the Oslo accords between Israel and the PLO in 1993, the Jerusalem Post ran a cartoon that depicted a critical aspect of those accords which has rarely been discussed much less acknowledged. In the cartoon, a smiling Yasser Arafat was sitting upright on a stretcher giving a “V” sign. The stretcher bearers were Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.

Its message was clear: the Oslo agreement had come to the rescue of the PLO chairman whose reputation among his fellow Palestinians had sunk to the bottom of the barrel. The price they were to pay was dear: the legitimizing of Israel’s presence in 62% of the West Bank, what is commonly known as Area C and which Israel is quite likely to annex. Arafat’s representative at Oslo who negotiated the accords that effectively signed away West Bank land to Israel and ended the first intifada was Mahmoud Abbas.

Netanyahu, Obama, and Abbas  --  Partners in a Theatrical Crime

Netanyahu, Obama, and Abbas — Partners in a Theatrical Crime

Now, let’s jump ahead 21 years to the present where the support of West Bank Palestinians for Abbas, Arafat’s successor, has been even lower than it was for the late PLO chair and with good reason: By any definition one chooses, Abbas is a traitor, a collaborator with the enemy. His Palestinian Authority “Preventive Security” police force closely coordinates its activities with Israel’s security forces with the goal of suppressing resistance to Israel’s ongoing occupation and ethnic cleansing while leaving Palestinians without a semblance of protection against Israeli raids on West Bank towns and refugee camps. For all intents and purposes, that goal has been achieved.

Continue reading

“Israel leads global drone exports” (and marketing hype for war crime conspiracies) “as demand rises”

[For the other side of the Israeli/repressive munitions story, which AP will never disclose, see http://israelglobalrepression.wordpress.com/ where you can download the important booklet, “Israel’s Worldwide Role in Repression” in English or Spanish.  And for more information on UAV/drone warfare, see http://www.livingunderdrones.org, http://droneswatch.org/, “People & Power – Attack of the Drones: Al Jazeera Documentary” (http://youtu.be/SdQvF5xmKL4), and the recent Frontlines posting  (https://revolutionaryfrontlines.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/india-uav-proves-ineffective-in-anti-maoist-operations/).  All this runs counter to the official US government story: “The US publicly describes its drone program in terms of its unprecedented ability to ‘distinguish … effectively between an al Qaeda terrorist and innocent civilians,’ and touts its missile-armed drones as capable of conducting strikes with ‘astonishing’ and ‘surgical’ precision.” —  Frontlines ed.]

BEN-GURION AIRPORT, Israel – The Associated Press, 7 June 2013

Israel’s long record of using drones in its region of conflict has turned it into a dominant force in the industry, as the worldwide demand for the morally criticized systems has been soaring”

Drones are seen in a hangar at Israel Aerospace Industries.

Israel has emerged as the world’s leading exporter of the aircraft, putting it in a key position. Global spending on the technology is expected to jump from an estimated $6.6 billion this year to $11.4 billion in 2022, according to the Teal Group. AP photo

In an expansive hangar in central Israel, workers toil on one of the world’s most contentious aircraft, fitting dozens of drones with advanced sensors, cameras and lasers before they are shipped to militaries worldwide to perform highly sensitive tasks.Whereas drones are often criticized elsewhere for being morally and legally objectionable, in Israel they are a source of pride. Israel – a pioneer of drone technology – has emerged as the world’s leading exporter of the aircraft and its accessories, putting it in a strong position as the industry continues to grow.

A report produced by U.S. consulting firm Frost & Sullivan determined earlier this year that Israel is now the largest exporter of unmanned aerial systems, surmounting aerospace giants in the U.S. The report said that from 2005 to 2012, Israel exported some $4.6 billion worth of systems, including aircraft, payloads, operating systems and command and control caravans. U.S. overseas sales for the same time period were between $2 and $3 billion, the report said. Continue reading

UK: The Campaign to Boycott the Companies that Support Apartheid Israel

The companies that are being boycotted are listed and detailed at http://www.inminds.com/boycott-brands.html

The UK campaign distributes these “Boycott Cards” to remind supporters of Palestine and opponents of Apartheid Israel:

Emirates ‘has security links with Israel’

[This is an interesting story from UPI about the economic and military ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates–a rare subject for news reports in the US press.  But don’t congratulate UPI for their investigative prowess–a critical read of the article will also find this disingenuous statement, offered by UPI as a reason for these Israeli-Arab Sheik relations:  “They have also found a common adversary in Iran, whose expansionist policies and contentious nuclear program are viewed as a major threat by the Arab states in the gulf and by Israel.”  UPI thereby states, without supporting data, that Iran has expansionist policies (and does not mention the truly expansionist Israeli appropriation of Palestinian lands, and the growing Israeli “settlements”).  UPI does not report that the Emirates have turned a blind eye to Israeli expansionism.  And that is not all.  The UPI writer cites the “contentious nuclear program” of Iran (focused on nuclear power as energy, not weaponry) as a mutual concern of the Jewish state and the Sheiks, but, once again, they do not mention the hundreds of “secret” Israeli nuclear weapons already in existence, which is apparently not a subject of concern to the Sheiks–nor to UPI. — Frontlines ed.]

United Press International, Jan. 27, 2012
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 27 (UPI) — The United Arab Emirates, an economic giant and rising military power in the Persian Gulf, is reported to have discreet ties with private security companies in Israel to protect its oil fields and borders.
The Intelligence Online Web site reports that the country’s Critical National Infrastructure Authority has had business dealings with several Israeli firms since it was established in 2007, even though the emirates has no diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.
“Trade between the two countries, principally in the area of security, amounted to nearly $300 million last year,” Intelligence Online reported Jan. 12.
CNIA is based in Abu Dhabi, the main oil-rich emirate in the federation. It’s the capital of the United Arab Emirates and handles the federation’s military and security affairs. Continue reading

In Tel Aviv, An Arab Spring That Ignores The Arabs

Demonstrators In Tel Aviv take part in a protest against the high cost of living and for social justice for Israelis (but not for Palestinians), August 27, 2011

[The Israeli protests in recent weeks has taken many by surprise, and some have gleaned a hopeful nascent class struggle from the events.  But the protests have barred any involvement by those who challenge the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, the settlement/displacement programs, the Israeli apartheid wall/checkpoints/laws and restrictions, and the long-murderous  attacks on Gaza, as well as the absurd notion of a “Jewish state” making pretenses of an “inclusive democracy.”  Indeed, growing numbers are recognizing that the protests are really over a better division of the spoils of war and occupation–and of the largesse of the US, which pays for much of the unending assault on Palestine. — Frontlines ed.]

  By Greg Burris

17 September 2011
The Electronic Intifada

No one could have ever predicted that a single act of protest — the self-immolation of a desperate Tunisian street vendor — would unleash a tidal wave of collective resistance and rebellion throughout North Africa and the Middle East, threatening to topple regimes that had long been considered permanent political players.

But perhaps the most surprising outcome of this regional groundswell of protest was to be seen in Israel where Jewish protesters held up placards and shouted slogans declaring that the revolutionary spirit of Cairo’s Tahrir Square had come to the streets of Tel Aviv. The Arab Spring, it seems, has turned into the Israeli Summer. Continue reading

Israeli Stock Market Plunges in Response to US Debt Crisis

[There is a kind of “gallows humor” among the juggling crisis-driven capitalists.  It produces lines like, “the company (corporation/financial group/empire) that fails last, wins.”  In the course of bi-partisan “debt” agreements this week to begin planning massive cuts and privatising of medical, environmental, social, educational, cultural programs, (leaving military and corporate support virtually intact), nary a word was said about the annual gift of $3 billion to Israel, as bi-partisan Congressional and Presidential support for that gift has not yet been challenged in any significant way.  But now, the Israel economy is getting into  some (relative) trouble, as the following “Voice of America” story describes.  Will the US government continue to not only maintain its largesse to the apartheid state of Israel, but multiply it, even as the remnants of New Deal economics in the US are under serious attack? — Frontlines ed.]
August 07, 2011
Robert Berger | Jerusalem
Brokers look at screens in the trading room of an investment bank in Tel Aviv, August 7, 2011

Photo: Reuters
Brokers look at screens in the trading room of an investment bank in Tel Aviv, August 7, 2011

The debt crisis in the United States, including the downgrading of the U.S. debt rating by a major agency, had a negative impact on the first day of the trading week in the Middle East. Stock markets in Dubai and Egypt dropped about four percent, and the effects were even worse in Israel.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange delayed its open by 45 minutes to avoid panic but it did not help. The market plunged by seven percent in response to the downgrade of the debt rating in the United States.

“It is a powerful shock,” economist Yaakov Sheinin told Israel Radio. He said U.S. President Barack Obama and the Federal Reserve should do something to calm world markets.

For Israel, the stock market plunge is the second shock in two days. On Saturday, a quarter of a million Israelis took to the streets to protest the high cost of living and low wages. Continue reading

Wikileaks: Economic Reasons Behind the Siege of Gaza

The Alternate Information Center                                                  Thursday, 10 February 2011

Shir Hever, JNews

The ripple effects of the Wikileaks documents are still being felt, but until recently Israeli officials continued to boast that the documents were ‘good for Israel’.

break-siegeAs opposed to the way the Palestinian Authority (PA) was portrayed in leaked cables, leading to scandalous revelations, for a while Israel suffered no such scandal from the documents pertaining to its conduct. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even came out in support of the leak of the papers, suggesting that the documents can do no harm to Israel’s foreign policy.

He spoke too soon. More recent cables have provided unflattering revelations about Israel’s policies in the Gaza Strip, quoting Israeli officials spelling out their attempts to keep the Gaza Strip on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe. They have also described how corruption is rife at the checkpoints through which goods are brought into Gaza.

Yet this information failed to shock. It was already well-known and widely reported by UN bodies, NGOs, scholars and journalists.

One cable, however, does contain some new information and has so far received no coverage at all.

The cable, titled “Shin Bet Talks Gaza Economics,” was written by David R. Burnett, Economic Counselor in the US embassy in Tel Aviv. It describes a briefing given to Embassy officials by senior members of the Israeli Shin Bet*, on how Israel uses the banking system in Gaza to increase the political influence of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Gaza, by attempting to starve the Hamas government of cash.

The Shin Bet informed the US embassy that banks in Gaza know that they must neither allow Hamas members to open bank accounts nor have salaries deposited into existing accounts. If the banks disobey, they will lose their stamp of approval from the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA), a branch of the PA that is under constant pressure by Israel and the US to prevent any dealings with Hamas members. The Shin Bet expressed satisfaction that the Gaza banking system has indeed been cowed into submission. Continue reading

Middle east, the fire grows: “Israel says ready for Friday protests”

Ma’an News Agency, Jerusalem
10/02/2011

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli security forces are preparing for “any fallout” from the mass protests in Tunis and Egypt, an Israeli official told the Hebrew-language website Enyan Merkazi.

Police, border guards, army, intelligence forces, and the Mossad are on alert, according to the report.

With Facebook groups calling for protests Friday, against both the Hamas and Fatah governments in the West Bank and Gaza, and Israelis protesting a recent hike in water and electricity prices, the official said there are fears that protests will spread to Palestinian areas in Israel.

Training drills were conducted during the previous week, the officials said, and preparations were made for the rapid closure of main roads across the country.

Forces will be thickest around the Palestinian population centers of Haifa, Accre, Jaffa, Lod, Ramla, Jerusalem, and Bersheba, the official said. Continue reading

Israel: New moves to segregate and ghettoize Palestinians in Israel

October 2010: Israeli police injured two Palestinian legislators and other protestors in clashes provoked by right-wing Zionists staging a march through the northern Arab town of Umm al-Fahm.

The Segregation of Jews and Arabs in Israel

 

Under the guise of the deceptively mundane name “Amendment to the Cooperative Associations Bill,” the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) has finalized a bill intended to bypass previous rulings of the Israeli High Court of Justice. If this legislation is approved by the Knesset plenum, it will not be possible to describe it as anything other than an apartheid law.

If it becomes law, the amendment will give the “acceptance committees” of communal villages the authority to limit residence in their towns exclusively to Jews.  Using polished and sanitized language, the bill would allow such committees in small rural suburbs to reject applications from families that “are incompatible with the social-cultural fabric of the community, and where there are grounds to assume that they will disrupt this fabric.”

The segregation of Jews and Arabs in Israel of 2010 is almost absolute. For those of us who live here, it is something we take for granted. But visitors from abroad cannot believe their eyes: segregated education, segregated businesses, separate entertainment venues, different languages, separate political parties … and of course, segregated housing… Such separation only contributes to the growing mutual alienation of Jews and Arabs. Continue reading

‘Economic prison zones’ exploit Palestinian labor, create dependency on Israel

 

Map of industrial zones, Israeli military bases, Zionist settlements and areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank

[This article describes the so-called industrial development zones being set up by Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Turkey, Japan and the EU imperialist powers in the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza and within Israel. The article also sets forth a plan for economic development that does not factor in:  The Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and ongoing siege of Gaza; Israel’s severe restriction of trade and movement between Gaza and the West Bank; and Israel’s slicing up  the West Bank into isolated cities and towns–all of which has made an independent Palestinian economy and state impossible. Economic development based on meeting the needs of the people in the West Bank and Gaza can only take place after Israel’s military and economic siege of Gaza is broken, the Israeli occupation forces and the 500,000 Zionist settlers are driven out of the West Bank,  the Apartheid Wall is demolished, and the corrupt and collaborationist Palestinian Authority is toppled. This could be an important step toward the liberation of all of historic Palestine by the people’s forces.–Frontlines ed]

MERIP Report, November 19, 2010

Economic Prison Zones

by Sam Bahour

When a project mixes the feel-good words of jobs, economic development and Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, how can anyone complain? These things are some of what the international community has been promising to deliver through the construction of industrial free trade zones in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The free trade zone model has been promoted locally and globally by powerful third parties like the United States, France, Germany, Turkey and Japan for two decades, but none has much to show for the enormous efforts and amounts of money spent to bring these zones to life.

Nonetheless, the project’s proponents expect the zones to constitute the economic foundation for a future Palestinian state. They hope that, by bolstering Palestine’s economy, the zones will make Palestinians less prone to social upheaval, less insistent on their national rights and more amenable to the status quo. The idea is that a peace agreement with Israel will ensue.

While this expectation is unlikely to be realized — at least not in the way that the projects’ advocates anticipate — these mega-employment projects present a serious challenge to those who strive to build an independent and viable economic foundation for a future Palestinian state. Because the zones will depend on Israeli cooperation to function, and because they will exist within an Israeli-designed economic system that ensures Palestinian dependence on Israel, they cannot form the basis of a sovereign economy. Relying on them will perpetuate the status quo of dependency. Continue reading