Palestine (Arabic: Filasn, Falasn, Filisn; Greek: , Palaistin; Latin: Palaestina; Hebrew: Palestina) is a geographic region in Western Asia between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. It is sometimes considered to include adjoining territories. The name was used by Ancient Greek writers, and was later used for the Roman province Syria Palaestina, the Byzantine Palaestina Prima, and the Umayyad and Abbasid province of Jund Filastin. The region is also known as the Land of Israel (Hebrew: Eretz-Yisra’el), the Holy Land or Promised Land, and historically has been known as the Southern portion of wider regional designations such as Canaan, Syria, as-Sham, and the Levant.

Situated at a strategic location between Egypt, Syria and Arabia, and the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture, commerce, and politics. The region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, the Sunni Arab Caliphates, the Shia Fatimid Caliphate, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mameluks, Mongols, Ottomans, the British, and modern Israelis and Palestinians.

The boundaries of the region have changed throughout history. Today, the region comprises the State of Israel and Palestinian territories in which the State of Palestine was declared.

Modern archaeology has identified 12 ancient inscriptions from Egyptian and Assyrian records recording similar sounding names. The term “Peleset” (transliterated from hieroglyphs as P-r-s-t) is found in five inscriptions referring to a neighboring people or land starting from c.1150 BCE during the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt. The first known mention is at the temple at Medinet Habu which refers to the Peleset among those who fought with Egypt in Ramesses III’s reign, and the last known is 300 years later on Padiiset’s Statue. Seven known Assyrian inscriptions refer to the region of “Palashtu” or “Pilistu”, beginning with Adad-nirari III in the Nimrud Slab in c.800 BCE through to a treaty made by Esarhaddon more than a century later.[4] Neither the Egyptian nor the Assyrian sources provided clear regional boundaries for the term.[i]

The first clear use of the term Palestine to refer to the entire area between Phoenicia and Egypt was in 5th century BC Ancient Greece, when Herodotus wrote of a ‘district of Syria, called Palaistin” in The Histories, which included the Judean mountains and the Jordan Rift Valley.[ii] Approximately a century later, Aristotle used a similar definition for the region in Meteorology, in which he included the Dead Sea. Later Greek writers such as Polemon and Pausanias also used the term to refer to the same region, which was followed by Roman writers such as Ovid, Tibullus, Pomponius Mela, Pliny the Elder, Dio Chrysostom, Statius, Plutarch as well as Roman Judean writers Philo of Alexandria and Josephus.[12] The term was first used to denote an official province in c.135 CE, when the Roman authorities, following the suppression of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, combined Iudaea Province with Galilee and the Paralia to form “Syria Palaestina”. There is circumstantial evidence linking Hadrian with the name change, but the precise date is not certain and the assertion of some scholars that the name change was intended “to complete the dissociation with Judaea” is disputed.

The term is generally accepted to be a translation of the Biblical name Peleshet ( Plsheth, usually transliterated as Philistia). The term and its derivates are used more than 250 times in Masoretic-derived versions of the Hebrew Bible, of which 10 uses are in the Torah, with undefined boundaries, and almost 200 of the remaining references are in the Book of Judges and the Books of Samuel.[4][12][16] The term is rarely used in the Septuagint, who used a transliteration Land of Phylistieim ( ) different from the contemporary Greek place name Palaistn ().

The Septuagint instead used the term “allophuloi” (, “other nations”) throughout the Books of Judges and Samuel,[18] such that the term “Philistines” has been interpreted to mean “non-Israelites of the Promised Land” when used in the context of Samson, Saul and David,[19] and Rabbinic sources explain that these peoples were different from the Philistines of the Book of Genesis.

During the Byzantine period, the region of Palestine within Syria Palaestina was subdivided into Palaestina Prima and Secunda, and an area of land including the Negev and Sinai became Palaestina Salutaris. Following the Muslim conquest, place names that were in use by the Byzantine administration generally continued to be used in Arabic.[22] The use of the name “Palestine” became common in Early Modern English, was used in English and Arabic during the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem[iii] and was revived as an official place name with the British Mandate for Palestine.

Some other terms that have been used to refer to all or part of this land include Canaan, Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael or Ha’aretz),[iv]Greater Syria, the Holy Land, Iudaea Province, Judea, Coele-Syria,[v] “Israel HaShlema”, Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Zion, Retenu (Ancient Egyptian), Southern Syria, Southern Levant and Syria Palaestina.

Situated at a strategic location between Egypt, Syria and Arabia, and the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture, commerce, and politics. The region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, the Sunni Arab Caliphates, the Shia Fatimid Caliphate, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mameluks, Ottomans, the British and modern Israelis and Palestinians. Modern archaeologists and historians of the region refer to their field of study as Syro-Palestinian archaeology.

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Palestine – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Written on July 26th, 2015 & filed under Palestine Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

A fourth operation in the Gaza Strip is inevitable, just as a third Lebanon war is inevitable,declaredIsraeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in February. His ominous comments came just days after an anti-tank missile fired by the Lebanon-based guerrilla group Hezbollah killed two soldiers in an Israeli army convoy. It, in turn, was aresponseto an Israeli air strike that resulted in the assassination of several high-ranking Hezbollah figures.

Lieberman offered his prediction only four months after his government concluded Operation Protective Edge, the third war between Israel and the armed factions of the Gaza Strip, which had managed to reduce about 20% of besieged Gaza to an apocalyptic moonscape. Even before the assault was launched, Gaza was a warehouse for surplus humanity a 360-square-kilometer ghetto of Palestinian refugees expelled by and excluded from the self-proclaimed Jewish state. For this population, whose members are mostly under the age of 18, the violence has become a life ritual that repeats every year or two. As the first anniversary of Protective Edge passes, Liebermans unsettling prophecy appears increasingly likely to come true. Indeed, odds are that the months of relative quiet that followed his statement will prove nothing more than an interregnum between Israels ever more devastating military escalations.

Three years ago, the United Nations issued areportpredicting that the Gaza Strip would be uninhabitable by 2020. Thanks to Israels recent attack, this warning appears to have arrived sooner than expected. Fewof the 18,000 homes the Israeli military destroyed in Gaza have been rebuilt. Few of the more than 400 businesses and shops damaged or leveled during that war have been repaired. Thousands of government employees have not received a salary for more than a year and are working for free. Electricity remains desperately limited, sometimes to only four hours a day. The coastal enclaves borders are consistently closed. Its population is trapped, traumatized, and descending ever deeper into despair, withsuicide ratesskyrocketing.

One of the few areas where Gazas youth can find structure is within the Liberation Camps established by Hamas, the Islamist political organization that controls Gaza. There, they undergo military training, ideological indoctrination, and are ultimately inducted into the Palestinian armed struggle. As I found while covering last summers war, there is no shortage of young orphans determined to take up arms after watching their parents and siblings be torn limb from limb by 2,000-pound Israeli fragmentation missiles, artillery shells, and other modes of destruction. Fifteen-year-old Waseem Shamaly, for instance,told mehis lifes ambition was to join the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. He had just finished recounting through tears what it was like to watch a YouTube clip of his brother, Salem, being executed by an Israeli sniper while he searched for the rest of his family in the rubble of their neighborhood last July.

Anger with Hamass political wing for accepting a ceasefire agreement with Israel in late August 2014 that offered nothing but a return to the slow death of siege and imprisonment is now palpable among Gazas civilian population. This is particularly true in border areas devastated by the Israelis last summer. However, support for the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas that carries the banner of the Palestinian armed struggle, remains almost unanimous.

Palestinians in Gaza need only look 80 kilometers west to the gilded Bantustans of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to see what they would get if they agreed to disarm. After years of fruitless negotiations, Israel has rewarded Palestinians living under the rule of PA President Mahmoud Abbas with the record growth of Jewish settlements, major new land annexations, nightly house raids, and the constant humiliation and dangers of daily interactions with Israeli soldiers and fanatical Jewish settlers. Rather than resist the occupation, Abbass Western-trained security forces coordinate directly with the occupying Israeli army, assisting Israel in the arrest and even torture of fellow Palestinians, including the leadership of rival political factions.

As punishing as life in Gaza might be, the West Bank model does not offer a terribly attractive alternative. Yet this is exactly the kind of solution the Israeli government seeks to impose on Gaza. As former Interior Minister Yuval Steinitzdeclaredlast year, We want more than a ceasefire, we want the demilitarization of Gaza Gaza will be exactly like [the West Bank city of] Ramallah.

Keeping Gaza in Ruins

Behind the quasi-apocalyptic destruction exacted on Gaza by the Israeli military during Operation Protective Edge lies a sadistic strategy whose aim is to punish residents of the besieged coastal enclave into submission. The Dahiya Doctrine, named after a southern Beirut neighborhood the Israeli air force decimated in 2006, is focused on punishing the civilian populations of Gaza and southern Lebanon for supporting armed resistance movements like Hamas and Hezbollah. In Disproportionate Force, a 2008 paper published by the Institute for National Security Studies, a think tank closely linked to the Israeli military, Colonel Gabi Siboni spelled out its punitive, civilian-oriented logic clearly: With an outbreak of hostilities, the [Israeli army] will need to act immediately, decisively, and with force that is disproportionate to the enemys actions and the threat it poses. Such a response aims at inflicting damage and meting out punishment to an extent that will demand long and expensive reconstruction processes.

In the aftermath of Protective Edges massive destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza, the Israeli government set out to obstruct any reconstruction process and extend the suffering of Gazas civilian population. When diplomats including American Secretary of State John Kerry gathered in Cairo last October to discuss repairing and rebuilding some of the $7 billion in damage caused by Protective Edge, then-Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz assured them that their efforts were ultimately futile. The Gazans must decide what they want to be: Singapore or Darfur, Katzsaid, ominously invoking the threat of Sudanese-style genocide. If one missile will be fired, everything will go down the drain. The nature of his warning was not lost on the diplomats in Cairo, where one complained of considerable donor fatigue.

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"A fourth operation in the Gaza Strip is inevitable …


This article is about the Mandate instrument passed by the League of Nations granting Britain a mandate over the territories of the Ottoman Empire, that today are the State of Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jordan. For a history of the period, see Mandatory Palestine and Emirate of Transjordan. League of Nations – Mandate for Palestine and Transjordan Memorandum

British Command Paper 1785, December 1922, containing the Mandate for Palestine and the Transjordan memorandum

The British Mandate for Palestine, shortly Mandate for Palestine, or the Palestine Mandate was a League of Nations mandate for the territory that had formerly constituted the Ottoman Empire sanjaks of Nablus, Acre, the Southern part of the Vilayet of Syria, the Southern portion of the Beirut Vilayet, and the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, prior to the Armistice of Mudros.

The draft of the Mandate for Palestine was formally confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on 24 July 1922, supplemented via the 16 September 1922 Trans-Jordan memorandum[2][3] and then came into effect on 29 September 1923[2] following the ratification of the Treaty of Lausanne.[4][5] The mandate ended at midnight on 14 May 1948. The Palestine Mandate legalized the temporary rule of Palestine by Great Britain.

The document was based on the principles contained in Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations and the San Remo Resolution of 25 April 1920, by the principal Allied and associated powers after the First World War. The objective of the League of Nations Mandate system was to administer parts of the defunct Ottoman Empire, which had been in control of the Middle East since the 16th century, “until such time as they are able to stand alone.”[6] The approximate northern border with the French Mandate was agreed upon in the PauletNewcombe Agreement of 23 December 1920.[7]

Transjordan had been a no man’s land following the July 1920 Battle of Maysalun.[8] During this period, the British chose to avoid any definite connection with Palestine[9] until a March 1921 conference at which it was agreed that Abdullah bin Hussein would administer the territory under the auspices of the Palestine Mandate. The Trans-Jordan Memorandum annulled the articles regarding the Jewish National Home in the territory east of the Jordan. It also established a separate “Administration of Trans-Jordan” for the application of the Mandate, under the general supervision of Great Britain. On 18 April 1946, Transjordan was formally separated from the Palestine Mandate,[10] with Abdullah remaining the king.

When the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers in the First World War in April 1915, it threatened Britain’s communications with India via the Suez Canal, besides other strategic interests of the allies. The conquest of Palestine became part of British strategies aimed at establishing a land bridge between the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. This would enable rapid deployment of troops to the Gulf, then the forward line of defence for British interests in India, and protect against invasion from the north by Russia. A land bridge was also an alternative to the Suez Canal.[11]

In response to French initiatives, the United Kingdom established the de Bunsen Committee in 1915 to consider the nature of British objectives in Turkey and Asia in the event of a successful conclusion of the war. The committee considered various scenarios and provided guidelines for negotiations with France, Italy, and Russia regarding the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The Committee recommended in favour of the creation of a decentralised and federal Ottoman state in Asia.[12]

At the same time, the British and French also opened overseas fronts with the Gallipoli (1915) and Mesopotamian campaigns. In Gallipoli, the Turks successfully repelled the British, French and Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs).

From 1915, Zionist leader and anglophile Ze’ev Jabotinsky was pressing the British to agree to the formation of a Zionist volunteer corps that would serve under the aegis of the British army. The British eventually agreed to set up the Zion Mule Corps, which assisted in the failed invasion of Gallipoli. After Lloyd George was made prime minister during the war, the British waged the Sinai and Palestine Campaign under General Allenby. This time the British agreed to a “Jewish Legion”, which participated in the invasion. Russian Jews regarded the German army as a liberator and the creation of the Legion was designed to encourage them to participate in the war on Britain’s side.

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British Mandate for Palestine (legal instrument …

Written on July 23rd, 2015 & filed under Palestine Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

To the editor: Your editorial about the proposed definitions of anti-Semitic actions and speech on University of California campuses raises a more important question: What is it about the societies of California, the United States and even the whole world that makes it necessary for the UC system to have a policy on anti-Semitism? (“How far should UC go with an anti-Semitism policy?,” editorial, July 16)

The United Nations has equated Zionism with racism (U.N. General Assembly Resolution 3379, passed in 1975). Why?

Anti-Semitism seems to be a cultural given in our society. Why?

Stephen M. Baird,San Diego

..

To the editor: I’m a proud, Israel-loving American Jew. I’ve been to Israel, and I fully support it. But its current government? As we say in my family, Feh!

By the way, I love my own country too. But the George W. Bush administration? Again, Feh!

Governments come and go, but the nation and the people outlive their current administrations and life goes on.

Oh, and those American members of Congress who say they vote with an eye toward what’s best for Israel? What would the Israelis call a Knesset member who said she or he would vote first for what’s best for America? A traitor.

Barry Davis,Agoura Hills

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A world in which UC needs a policy on anti-Semitism – LA Times

Written on July 19th, 2015 & filed under Anti-Semitsm Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Catholic News Service

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip One year after a war with Israel that turned daily life here into a nightmare, a Catholic priest in Gaza said the situation in this besieged Palestinian territory has deteriorated even further.

Compared with a year ago, were worse off. Although a truce stopped the war, the blockade of Gaza by Israel has grown more intense. This has direct consequences for the population, said Father Jorge Hernandez, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Parish in Gaza City.

A boy rides his bike amid the ruins of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, June 9. Houses in the area were destroyed during the 2014 war between Israel and the Hamas government of Gaza. (CNS photo/Paul Jeffrey)

The priest said the war also served as a recruiting tool for Hamas, the Islamic party that has controlled Gaza since 2007.

The war generated new activism throughout Gaza. The number of people willing to fight has multiplied, whether on behalf of Hamas or Islamic Jihad or the Salafists, and now even with the Islamic State. Despite that, the great majority of the people of Gaza is not aligned with one party or another. They just want to live a normal life, Father Hernandez, an Argentine missionary of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, told Catholic News Service.

The 50-day war cost the lives of more than 2,250 Palestinians, 65 percent of whom were civilians, according to a June report from a U.N. investigation. The report said the scale of the devastation was unprecedented. It said the Israeli military launched more than 6,000 air strikes, 14,500 tank shells and 45,000 artillery shells into Gaza between July 7 and Aug. 26, 2014.

The war also caused immense distress and disruption to the lives of Israeli civilians, the U.N. said, reporting that nearly 4,900 rockets and more than 1,700 mortars were fired by Palestinian armed groups during that period. Sixty-six Israeli soldiers were killed, along with six civilians.

The report also cites as possible war crimes the conduct of Israeli operations in residential neighborhoods, as well as the killing of 21 suspected collaborators by Hamas armed wing.

Father Hernandez said militants came to his church compound twice looking for alleged spies among some 1,400 civilians who took shelter there. Church buildings were damaged when Israel bombed a neighboring house. At one point, Father Hernandez and several members of the Missionaries of Charity shepherded a group of 29 disabled children and nine elderly women into the open.

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The Dialog Gaza Strip


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With the Israeli-Palestinian crisis reaching wartime levels, where is the latest confrontation between these two old foes leading? Robert Fisk’s explosive Pity the Nation recounts Sharon and Arafat’s first deadly encounter in Lebanon in the early 1980s and explains why the IsraelPalestine relationship seems so intractable. A remarkable combination of war reporting and analysis by an author who has witnessed the carnage of Beirut for twenty-five years, Fisk, the first journalist to whom bin Laden announced his jihad against the U.S., is one of the world’s most fearless and honored foreign correspondents. He spares no one in this saga of the civil war and subsequent Israeli invasion: the PLO, whose thuggish behavior alienated most Lebanese; the various Lebanese factions, whose appalling brutality spared no one; the Syrians, who supported first the Christians and then the Muslims in their attempt to control Lebanon; and the Israelis, who tried to install their own puppets and, with their 1982 invasion, committed massive war crimes of their own. It includes a moving finale that recounts the travails of Fisk’s friend Terry Anderson who was kidnapped by Hezbollah and spent 2,454 days in captivity. Fully updated to include the Israeli withdrawl from south Lebanon and Ariel Sharon’s electoral victory over Ehud Barak, this edition has sixty pages of new material and a new preface. “Robert Fisk’s enormous book about Lebanon’s desperate travails is one of the most distinguished in recent times.”Edward Said

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Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon (Nation Books …


Israeli settlements[1] are Israeli civilian communities[i] built on lands occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and in the Golan Heights. Settlements previously existed in the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip until Israel evacuated the Sinai settlements following the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace agreement and from the Gaza Strip in 2005 under Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan. Israel dismantled 18 settlements in the Sinai Peninsula in 1982, and all 21 in the Gaza Strip and 4 in the West Bank in 2005,[2] but continues to both expand its settlements and settle new areas in the West Bank,[3][4][5][6][7] despite pressure to desist from the international community.

The international community considers the settlements in occupied territory to be illegal,[8] and the United Nations has repeatedly upheld the view that Israel’s construction of settlements constitutes a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.[9][10] Israeli neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and communities in the Golan Heights, the latter of which has been annexed by Israel, are also considered settlements by the international community, which does not recognise Israel’s annexations of these territories.[11] The International Court of Justice also says these settlements are illegal in a 2004 advisory opinion.[12][13][14] In April 2012, UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, in response to moves by Israel to legalise Israeli outposts, reiterated that all settlement activity is illegal, and “runs contrary to Israel’s obligations under the Road Map and repeated Quartet calls for the parties to refrain from provocations.”[15] Similar criticism was advanced by the EU and the US.[16][17] Israel disputes the position of the international community and the legal arguments that were used to declare the settlements illegal.[18]

The presence and ongoing expansion of existing settlements by Israel and the construction of settlement outposts is frequently criticized as an obstacle to the peace process by the Palestinians,[19] and third parties such as the OIC,[20] the United Nations,[21]Russia,[22] the United Kingdom,[23]France,[24] the European Union,[25] and the United States have echoed those criticisms.[21]

Settlement has an economic dimension, much of it driven by the significantly lower costs of housing in Jewish settlements compared to the cost of housing and living in Israel.[26] Government subsidies to settlers are double those to Israelis in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, while settlers in isolated areas receive three times the Israeli national average.[27] On 30 June 2014, according to the Yesha Council, 382,031 Jewish settlers lived in the 121 officially recognised settlements in the West Bank, over 300,000 Israelis lived in settlements in East Jerusalem and over 20,000 lived in settlements in the Golan Heights.[28][29][30] In January 2015 the Israeli Interior Ministry gave figures of 389,250 Israelis living in the West Bank and a further 375,000 Israelis living in East Jerusalem.[31] Settlements range in character from farming communities and frontier villages to urban suburbs and neighborhoods. The four largest settlements, Modi’in Illit, Ma’ale Adumim, Beitar Illit and Ariel, have achieved city status. Ariel has 18,000 residents, while the rest have around 37,000 to 55,500 each.

The 1967 Six-Day War left Israel in control of [32]

As early as 1967, Israeli settlement policy was started by the Labor government of Levi Eshkol. The basis for Israeli settlement in the West Bank became the Allon Plan,[33] named after its inventor Yigal Allon. It implied Israeli annexation of major parts of the Israeli-occupied territories, especially East Jerusalem, Gush Etzion and the Jordan Valley.[34] Yigal Allon became Levi Eshkol’s successor as Prime Minister in 1969. The settlement policy of the next government, led by Yitzhak Rabin, was also derived from the Allon Plan.[35]

The first settlement was Kfar Etzion, in the southern West Bank,[33][36] although that location was outside the Allon Plan. Many settlements began as Nahal settlements. They were established as military outposts and later expanded and populated with civilian inhabitants.

The Likud government of Menahem Begin, from 1977, was more supportive to settlement in other parts of the West Bank, by organizations like Gush Emunim and the Jewish Agency/World Zionist Organization, and intensified the settlement activities.[35][37][38] In a government statement, Likud declared that the entire historic Land of Israel is the inalienable heritage of the Jewish people, and that no part of the West Bank should be handed over to foreign rule.[39] The government abrogated the prohibition from purchasing occupied land by Israelis; the “Drobles Plan”, a plan for large-scale settlement in the West Bank meant to prevent a Palestinian state under the pretext of security became the framework for its policy.[40][A] The “Drobles Plan” from the World Zionist Organization, dated October 1978 and named “Master Plan for the Development of Settlements in Judea and Samaria, 1979-1983″, was written by the Jewish Agency director and former Knesset member Matityahu Drobles. In January 1981, the government adopted a follow up-plan from Drobles, dated September 1980 and named “The current state of the settlements in Judea and Samaria”, with more details about settlement strategy and policy.[41][B]

Since 1967, government-funded settlement projects in the West Bank are implemented by the “Settlement Division” of the World Zionist Organization.[42] Though formally a non-governmental organization, it is funded by the Israeli government and leases lands from the Civil Administration to settle in the West Bank. It is authorized to create settlements in the West Bank on lands licensed to it by the Civil Administration.[33] Traditionally, the Settlement Division has been under the responsibility of the Agriculture Ministry. Since the Olso Accords, it was always housed within the Prime Ministers Office (PMO). In 2007, it was moved back to the Agriculture Ministry. In 2009, the Netanyahu Government decided to subject all settlement activities to additional approval of the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister. In 2011, Netanyahu sought to move the Settlement Division again under the direct control of (his own) PMO, and to curtail Defense Minister Ehud Baraks authority.[42]

At the presentation of the Oslo II Accord on 5 October 1995 in the Knesset, PM Yitzhak Rabin expounded the Israeli settlement policy in connection with the permanent solution to the conflict. Israel wanted “a Palestinian entity, less than a state, which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank”. It wanted to keep settlements beyond the Green Line including Ma’ale Adumim and Givat Ze’ev in East Jerusalem. Blocs of settlements should be established in the West Bank. Rabin promised not to return to the 4 June 1967 lines.[43]

Original post:
Israeli settlement – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The state Assembly on Monday unanimously approved a measure urging the University of California to condemn all forms of anti-Semitism.

UC, meanwhile, said it will not tackle any possible new policies regarding anti-Jewish bias on its 10 campuses at next weeks meeting of the regents. Instead, officials said that the UC regents will discuss various forms of intolerance, including anti-Semitism, and issues of free speech at the following meeting, in September.

The Assembly resolution was introduced in response to several troubling incidents at UC, including the defacing of a Jewish fraternity house at UC Davis with swastikas in January.

It is imperative that the California Legislature continues its strong tradition of standing up to hatred and ignorance, said Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) on the Assembly floor before Mondays vote.

The state Senate voted in favor of the measure in June, and the resolution received the support of former Assembly Speaker John Prez (D-Los Angeles), a University of California regent, who testified in its favor at an Assembly committee hearing later that month.

Some Jewish and pro-Israel groups have been pressing UC to adopt the U.S. State Departments definition of anti-Semitism. That definition defines more general ethnic and religious hatred against Jews but also declares that it is anti-Semitic to demonize Israel, deny Israels right to exist, liken Israeli policy to that of the Nazis and blame Israel for all inter-religious tensions.

In contrast, organizations that have protested Israels occupation of the West Bank have said that such a definition would limit free speech and conflates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

The Assembly resolution includes a reference to part of the U.S. Department of States definition but does include it in full; the resolution does not mention the parts about Israel at all. The measure, which would not have the force of law, will now head back to the state Senate for a concurrence vote, where its prospects appear good.

In a statement released Monday, the UC system officials noted that UC President Janet Napolitano and former regents Chairman Bruce Varner have publicly condemned anti-Semitic incidents.

UC has long held itself to the highest standards of inclusion, tolerance and the free flow of ideas and expression, according to the statement.

Originally posted here:
State legislators urge University of California to act …

Written on July 16th, 2015 & filed under Anti-Semitsm Tags: , , , , , , ,

The blockades of the Gaza Strip refers to a land, air, and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip by Israel from 2007 to present. Egypt has also kept its border with Gaza mostly sealed. After the 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip by Israel, in 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian legislative election, triggering the 200607 economic sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority by Israel and the Quartet on the Middle East after Hamas refused to quit violence, respect previous agreements and recognize Israel.[1] In March 2007, Hamas and Fatah formed a Palestinian authority national unity government headed by Ismail Haniya. Shortly after, in June, Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in the course of the Battle of Gaza,[2] seizing government institutions and replacing Fatah and other government officials with its own.[3] Following the takeover, Egypt and Israel largely sealed their border crossings with Gaza, on the grounds that Fatah had fled and was no longer providing security on the Palestinian side.[4]

Israel maintains that the blockade is necessary to limit Palestinian rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip on its cities and to prevent Hamas from obtaining other weapons.[5][6][7] Prior to its 2011 opening of the Rafah crossing, Egypt maintained that it could not fully open its side of the border since completely opening the border would represent Egyptian recognition of the Hamas control of Gaza, undermine the legitimacy of the Palestinian National Authority and consecrate the split between Gaza and the West Bank.[8]

Facing mounting international calls to ease or lift their blockade in response to the Gaza flotilla raid, Egypt and Israel lessened the restrictions starting in June 2010. Israel announced that it will allow all strictly civilian goods into Gaza while preventing certain weapons and what it designates as “dual-use” items from entering Gaza.[9] Egypt partly opened the Rafah border crossing from Egypt to Gaza, primarily for people, but not for supplies, to go through.[10] The Israeli NGO Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement reported in a July 2010 publication[11] that Israel continues to prevent normal functioning of the Gazan economy. Israel continues to severely restrict and/or prevent people from entering or exiting Gaza according to Gisha.[12][13][14] The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) conducted an assessment of the humanitarian impact of the easing of the blockage in January and February 2011 and concluded that they did not result in a significant improvement in peoples livelihoods.[15] The World Bank estimated in 2015 that the GDP losses caused by the blockade since 2007 was above 50%, and entailed large welfare losses.

Egypt for some time opened the Rafah border crossing permanently as of 28 May 2011. A limited number of women of all ages and men aged below 18 and above 40 were able to enter Egypt without a visa,[16] although there are still severe restrictions on the movement of personnel and goods to and from Gaza.[17][18] Following the 2013 Egyptian coup d’tat, Egypt’s military has destroyed most of the 1,200 tunnels which are used for smuggling food, weapons and other goods to Gaza.[19] After the August 2013 Rabaa Massacre in Egypt, the border crossing was closed ‘indefinitely’.[20]

The blockade has been criticized by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Human Rights Council[21][22] and other human rights organizations, a criticism that has been officially supported by United States administrations.[23] In June 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the humanitarian needs in the Hamas-controlled area must be met along with legitimate Israeli security concerns.[24]

Most[citation needed] of the international institutions consider the blockade illegal. In September 2011, the Chair and Vice-Chair of a UN Panel of Inquiry concluded in the Palmer Report that the naval blockade was legal, based on the right of self-defense during a period of war, and had to be judged isolated from the restrictions on goods reaching Gaza via the land crossings. Concerning the restrictions on goods reaching Gaza via the land crossings the Palmer report stated that they were “a significant cause” of Gaza’s unsustainable and unacceptable humanitarian situation.[25][26][27] A Fact-Finding Mission for the UN Human Rights Council (2009) chaired by Richard Goldstone, a former judge of the International Criminal Court, as well as a panel of five independent U.N. rights experts[who?] concluded that the blockade constituted collective punishment of the population of Gaza and was therefore unlawful.[28][29] UN envoy Desmond Tutu, United Nations Human Rights Council head Navi Pillay, the International Committee of the Red Cross and some experts on international law[30] consider the blockade illegal.[31][32][33][34][35]

Since June 1989, Israel has formally restricted the movement of Palestinians, imposing a magnetic-card system whereby only those with such a card were allowed to leave the Strip: Israeli authorities did not issue magnetic cards to released prisoners, former administrative detainees, or people who had been detained and released without charges being filed against them.[36] January 1991 marked the beginning of the permanent closure policy, whereby each resident of Gaza who desired to travel within Israel or the West Bank was required to have a personal exit permit.[36] In March 1993, Israel imposed an overall closure on Gaza with newly built checkpoints; and, from October 2000, Israel imposed a comprehensive closure on the Gaza Strip.[36]

When the Al-Aqsa Intifada broke out in September 2000 Israel put trade restrictions on the Gaza Strip and closed the Gaza International Airport. The economic effects worsened after the creation of a buffer zone in September 2001, that would seal all entry and exit points in the Palestinian Territories for “security reasons.” After 9 October 2001, movement of people and goods across the Green Line dividing the West Bank from Israel, and between the Gaza Strip and Israel, was halted, and a complete internal closure was effected on 14 November 2001.[37] The worsening economic and humanitarian situation raised great concern abroad. According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in January 2003, the Israeli blockade and closures had pushed the Palestinian economy into a stage of de-development and drained as much as US $2.4billion out of the economy of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.[38]

The Israel Defense Forces left the Gaza Strip on 1 September 2005 as part of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan. An “Agreement on Movement and Access” (AMA) between Israel and the Palestinian Authority was concluded in November 2005 to improve Palestinian freedom of movement and economic activity in the Gaza Strip. Under its terms, the Rafah crossing with Egypt was to be reopened, with transits monitored by the Palestinian National Authority and the European Union. Only people with Palestinian ID, or foreign nationals, by exception, in certain categories, subject to Israeli oversight, were permitted to cross in and out.[39][40]

The 20062007 economic sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority were economic sanctions imposed by Israel and the Quartet on the Middle East against the Palestinian National Authority and the Palestinian territories following the January 2006 legislative elections that brought Hamas to power.[41] The sanctions were imposed after Hamas refused to renounce violence, to respect previous agreements and to recognize the State of Israel.[1] In March 2007, the Palestinian Legislative Council established a national unity government, with 83 representatives voting in favor and three against. Government ministers were sworn in by Mahmoud Abbas, the chairman on the Palestinian Authority, in a ceremony held simultaneously in Gaza and Ramallah.

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Blockade of the Gaza Strip – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Written on July 16th, 2015 & filed under Gaza Strip Tags: , , , , , , ,

Mandatory Palestine[1] (Arabic: Filasn; Hebrew: (“) Pltn (EY), where “EY” indicates “Eretz Yisrael” (Land of Israel)) was a geopolitical entity under British administration, carved out of Ottoman Southern Syria after World War I. British civil administration in Palestine operated from 1920 until 1948. During its existence it was known simply as Palestine, but, in retrospect, as distinguishers, a variety of other names and descriptors including Mandatory or Mandate Palestine, also British Palestine and the British Mandate of Palestine, have been used to refer to it.

During the First World War an Arab uprising and British campaign led by General Edmund Allenby, the British Empire’s commander of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, drove the Turks out of the Levant, a part of which was the Sinai and Palestine Campaign.[2] The United Kingdom had agreed in the McMahonHussein Correspondence that it would honour Arab independence if they revolted against the Ottomans. The two sides had different interpretations of this agreement. In the event, the UK and France divided up the area under the SykesPicot Agreement, an act of betrayal in the opinion of the Arabs. Further confusing the issue was the Balfour Declaration promising support for a Jewish “national home” in Palestine. After the war ended, a military administration, named Occupied Enemy Territory Administration, was established in the captured territory of the former Ottoman Syria. The British sought legitimacy for their continued control of the region and this was achieved by obtaining a mandate from the League of Nations in June 1922. The formal objective of the League of Nations Mandate system was to administer parts of the defunct Ottoman Empire, which had been in control of the Middle East since the 16th century, “until such time as they are able to stand alone.”[3] The civil Mandate administration was formalized with the League of Nations’ consent in 1923 under the British Mandate for Palestine, which covered two administrative areas. The land west of the Jordan River, known as Palestine, was under direct British administration until 1948, while the land east of the Jordan was a semi-autonomous region known as Transjordan, under the rule of the Hashemite family from the Hijaz, and gained independence in 1946.[4]

The divergent tendencies regarding the nature and purpose of the mandate are visible already in the discussions concerning the name for this new entity. According to the Minutes of the Ninth Session of the League of Nations’ Permanent Mandate Commission:

During the British Mandate period the area experienced the ascent of two major nationalist movements, one among the Jews and the other among the Arabs. The competing national interests of the Arab and Jewish populations of Palestine against each other and against the governing British authorities matured into the Arab Revolt of 19361939 and the Jewish insurgency in Palestine before culminating in the Civil War of 19471948. The aftermath of the Civil War and the consequent 1948 ArabIsraeli War led to the establishment of the 1949 cease-fire agreement, with partition of the former Mandatory Palestine between the newborn state of Israel with a Jewish majority, the West Bank annexed by the Jordanian Kingdom and the Arab All-Palestine Government in the Gaza Strip under the military occupation of Egypt.

Following its occupation by British troops in 19171918, Palestine was governed by the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration. In July 1920, the military administration was replaced by a civilian administration headed by a High Commissioner.[6] The first High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel, a Zionist recent cabinet minister, arrived in Palestine on 20 June 1920, to take up his appointment from 1 July.

Following the arrival of the British, Muslim-Christian Associations were established in all the major towns.[citation needed] In 1919 they joined to hold the first Palestine Arab Congress in Jerusalem.[citation needed] Its main platforms were a call for representative government and opposition to the Balfour Declaration.[citation needed]

The Zionist Commission was formed in March 1918 and was active in promoting Zionist objectives in Palestine. On 19 April 1920, elections were held for the Assembly of Representatives of the Palestinian Jewish community.[7] The Zionist Commission received official recognition in 1922 as representative of the Palestinian Jewish community.[8]

One of the first actions of the newly installed civil administration in 1921 had been to grant Pinhas Rutenberga Jewish entrepreneurconcessions for the production and distribution of wired electricity. Rutenberg soon established an Electric Company whose shareholders were Zionist organizations, investors, and philanthropists. Palestinian-Arabs saw it as proof that the British intended to favor Zionism. The British administration claimed that electrification would enhance the economic development of the country as a whole, while at the same time securing their commitment to facilitate a Jewish National Home through economic – rather than political – means.[9]

Samuel tried to establish self-governing institutions in Palestine, as required by the mandate, but was frustrated by the refusal of the Arab leadership to co-operate with any institution which included Jewish participation.[10] When Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Kamil al-Husayni died in March 1921, High Commissioner Samuel appointed his half-brother Mohammad Amin al-Husseini to the position. Amin al-Husseini, a member of the al-Husayni clan of Jerusalem, was an Arab nationalist and Muslim leader. As Grand Mufti, as well as the other influential positions that he held during this period, al-Husseini played a key role in violent opposition to Zionism. In 1922, al-Husseini was elected President of the Supreme Muslim Council which had been created by Samuel in December 1921.[11][12] The Council controlled the Waqf funds, worth annually tens of thousands of pounds[13] and the orphan funds, worth annually about 50,000, as compared to the 600,000 in the Jewish Agency’s annual budget.[14] In addition, he controlled the Islamic courts in Palestine. Among other functions, these courts were entrusted with the power to appoint teachers and preachers.

The 1922 Palestine Order in Council[15] established a Legislative Council, which was to consist of 23 members: 12 elected, 10 appointed, and the High Commissioner.[16] Of the 12 elected members, eight were to be Muslim Arabs, two Christian Arabs and two Jews.[17] Arabs protested against the distribution of the seats, arguing that as they constituted 88% of the population, having only 43% of the seats was unfair.[17]Elections were held in February and March 1923, but due to an Arab boycott, the results were annulled and a 12-member Advisory Council was established.[16]

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Mandatory Palestine – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Written on July 15th, 2015 & filed under Palestine Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,