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Israel - A Rant


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I'm with rico on this one. Link only for long articles please Dennis.


Some cunt is bound to quote it now.


Yeah when you speak to everyone else can get them to do the same. Im sure everyone will do as you and rico say.


At the end of the day people have to judge what they post and the possible consequence of it should be born in mind but the choice is yours.

Thats what the GF is about and Im not surprised Rico hasnt grasped that concept.

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With articles vs links : have personally preferred to just post extracts at times (of whatever length seems best, and several smaller extracts can be posted from different parts of the article if need be), when it's a longer one. Can see how posting huge articles bugs some people, but to go to the point where people are moaning because there's more than a link posted seems a bit mental really to say the least.

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With articles vs links : have personally preferred to just post extracts at times (of whatever length seems best, and several smaller extracts can be posted from different parts of the article if need be), when it's a longer one. Can see how posting huge articles bugs some people, but to go to the point where people are moaning because there's more than a link posted seems a bit mental really to say the least.

It stops me having to scroll past it every time I open the page, more annoying on the phone than other devices.

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Those lovely IDF lads confiscating an 8 year old girls bike and lashing it in a bush.


Lovely bunch of lads....






Two Border Police officers were filmed driving a Palestinian girl who was riding a bicycle in Hebron away and then, once she fled, one of the two picked up her bike and threw it into the bushes. The officer who threw the bike was suspended on Tuesday.


The video that was released by human rights group B'tselem was filmed last week. It shows an officer running toward the girl, Anwar Burqan, on Hebron's al-Ibrahimi St., demanding she stop on the roadside. He steps on her bicycle after she lays them on the road and asks her some questions until she runs away crying.


After that, another officer arrives at the scene, picks up the bicycle she had left behind and throws them into the bushes. The officer that threw the bike was suspended. The conduct of the other officer is currently under investigation.


Large swaths of al-Ibrahimi St. are closed to Palestinian traffic. Apparently, the girl's bicycle was confiscated because she was riding in a part of the street closed to Palestinians.


Ranya, the girl's mother, told Haaretz that since the incident took place her daughter refuses to leave the house, is scared, and shouts. "It was a trauma that will stay with her for her whole life. I don't know for what reason that soldier attacked her. Even if she entered a place she wasn't allowed to enter, what danger or threat did she pose – she's only an eight-year-old girl." The mother added that she didn't expect that the officer would be punished or prosecuted.


Raed Abu Ramileh, the B'tselem cameraman that lives in a house overlooking the courtyard where the incident transpired, recalled, "I saw that soldier coming toward the girl and I decided to document it. It was very difficult to watch, especially when you hear the girl crying and wailing." Abu Ramileh said that this time he was able to film the incident from within his home but sometimes he is met by violence – both verbal and physical – at the hands of police officers and settlers in the area, when they see him with a camera.


The Border Police issued the following statement: "The Border Police views the incident with severity and is sorry for it. At the close of the initial investigation the Border Police commander ordered that the combatant be immediately removed from active duty. All investigative material was handed over to the Police Investigation Department [Justice Ministry’s department for the investigation of police officers], which began its investigation of the incident."

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A border official drew a penis and wrote 'Long live Palestine' on an Israeli man's passport, it has been claimed.

A picture of Tal Y’aakobi's passport shows a drawing of a penis alongside the words ‘Viva Palestinia’ written alongside it, which translates to ‘Long live Palestine.’

The 25-year-old, from Rosh HaAyin, Israel, claims to have received the unusual stamping from a Chilean border official after crossing the border from Argentina while travelling.

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UN Resolution Is a Breath of Hope in Sea of Darkness and Despair
It’s now even more crystal clear: The world thinks the settlements are a crime. All the settlements and all the world 
On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly voted to establish a Jewish state (alongside an Arab state) in the Land of Israel. Sixty-nine years later, on December 23, 2016, the UN Security Council voted to try to save it. Resolution 2334 that was approved Friday is a gust of good news, a breath of hope in the sea of darkness and despair of recent years.
Just when it seemed that everything was going downhill – the deepening occupation increasingly supported by America, with Europe galloping to the right – along came a Hanukkah resolution that lights a thin candle. When it seemed that the evil ones would remain victorious, along came New Zealand and three other countries and gave the world a Christmas gift.
So thanks to New Zealand, Venezuela and Malaysia. True, the Christmas tree they’ve supplied, with all its sparkling lights, will soon be removed; Donald Trump is already waiting at the gate. But the imprint will remain. Until then, this temporary rejoicing is a joy, despite the expected hangover.
We of course must ask U.S. President Barack Obama in fury: Now you’re doing something? And we must ask the world in frustration: What about actions? But it’s impossible to ignore the Security Council decision that rules that all the settlements are illegal by nature.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can call back his ambassadors, while his right-hand minister Yuval Steinitz can shriek that the resolution is “unfair.” (He has a sense of humor.) And opposition leader Isaac Herzog can babble that “we need to fight the decision with all means.” But there isn’t a person in the world with a conscience who won’t rejoice over the resolution.
There also isn’t a decent Israeli who ought to fall for the propaganda that calls the resolution “anti-Israeli,” a definition that the Israeli media rushed to adopt – with its characteristic slavishness, of course.
This decision has brought Israel back to the solid ground of reality. All the settlements, including in the territories that have been annexed, including in East Jerusalem of course, are a violation of international law. In other words, they are a crime. No country in the world thinks otherwise. The entire world thinks so – all Israel’s so-called friends and all its so-called enemies – unanimously.
Most probably the tools of brainwashing in Israel, along with the mechanisms of repression and denial, will try to undermine the decision. But when the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia unite in such a clear statement, this will be difficult work.
So you can say “the entire world is against us.” You can scream “anti-Semitism!” You can ask “What about Syria?” In the end this clear-as-crystal truth will remain: The world thinks that the settlements are a crime. All the settlements and all the world.
True, the world doesn’t lift a finger to have the settlements removed, but maybe one day this will happen. Still, it will be too late by then, too late.
Resolution 2334 artificially distinguishes between Israel and the settlements in that it is aimed at the settlements, not the occupation. As if the guilt of Amona were on its settlers and not all Israelis. This deception proves how much the world continues to treat Israel with leniency and hesitates to takes steps against it, as it did with Russia’s conquest of Crimea, for example.
But Israelis who don’t live in Amona, who have never been there, who have no real interest in its fate – it seems most Israelis – have to ask themselves: Is it really worth it? All this for a few settlers they don’t know and don’t really want to know?
Resolution 2334 is meant above all for Israeli ears, like an alarm clock that makes sure to wake you up on time, like a siren that tells you to go down to the bomb shelter. True, the resolution has no concrete value; true, the new U.S. administration promises to erase it.
But two questions won’t let up: Why don’t the Palestinians deserve exactly the same thing that Israelis deserve, and how much can one country, with all its lobbying power, weapons and high-tech, ignore the entire world? On this first day of both Hanukkah and Christmas, we can enjoy, if only for a moment, the sweet illusion that Resolution 2334 will rouse these questions in Israel.
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Emboldened by Trump in the White House, the slow, systematic removal of Palestinian land continues.




JERUSALEM — In a pointed act of defiance against international pressure, Israel on Tuesday approved a huge new wave of settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.


The announcement made clear that just a few days into the Trump presidency, the Israeli government feels emboldened to shake off the constraints imposed by the Obama administration and more willing to disregard international condemnation.


Leaders from 70 countries met in Paris more than a week ago and issued a warning that the two-state peace solution was imperiled by Israel’s expanding of settlements in Palestinian-claimed territory in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as violence against Israelis. But even though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed the principle of side-by-side states, in the past few days Israel’s campaign of settlement building has only accelerated.


The first step came on Sunday, when the Jerusalem City Council approved 566 new housing units in East Jerusalem that had been delayed over President Barack Obama’s objections.


Then on Tuesday, the Israeli government announced that 2,500 new housing units would be built in the West Bank. Officials said most would be built in “settlement blocs,” referring to areas of the West Bank that Israel has long intended to keep under any future agreement with the Palestinians, possibly in return for land swaps along the boundary that separated Israel from the West Bank before the 1967 war. But in years of failed negotiations, the Israelis and Palestinians have never agreed on the size or location of such blocs.


The Israeli Ministry of Defense said 900 of the newly announced homes were being planned for Ariel, an urban settlement of about 20,000 residents that Israel considers a “bloc,” but is strategically — and problematically — located in the heart of the West Bank. It also said it would bring to the cabinet a plan to build a large industrial zone to create work for Palestinians in the southern West Bank.


“We are going back to normal life in Judea and Samaria,” Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s hard-line defense minister, said in a statement announcing the new settlement building, referring to the West Bank by its biblical names.


Asked about the Israeli move, the White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, said that Mr. Trump was still getting his team together and that there would be discussions with Mr. Netanyahu. “Israel continues to be a huge ally of the United States,” Mr. Spicer said. “He wants to grow closer with Israel to make sure that it gets the full respect that it deserves in the Middle East, and that’s what he’s going to do.


Palestinian officials immediately denounced the new plans.


“Once again, the Israeli government has proved that it is more committed to land theft and colonialism than to the two-state solution and the requirements for peace and stability,” Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee, said in a statement.


“It is evident that Israel is exploiting the inauguration of the new American administration to escalate its violations and the prevention of any existence of a Palestinian state,” she added, calling on the United States and other international players to take concrete measures against Israeli settlement activities.


Israel’s campaign of settlement construction has brought widespread criticism. A month ago, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution condemning Israel’s settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as having no legal validity and constituting a “flagrant violation under international law” after the Obama administration decided not to veto the measure.


Days later, the departing secretary of state, John Kerry, rebuked Israel’s settlement activities in an impassioned speech, saying, “The status quo is leading toward one state and perpetual occupation.”


But with Israel’s occupation of the West Bank in its 50th year, the Israeli government, dominated by right-wing and religious parties, is clearly expecting a friendlier approach from the White House after years of tension with the Obama administration.


David M. Friedman, the bankruptcy lawyer President Trump has nominated as his ambassador to Israel, has led a fund-raising arm of the settlement movement and has dismissed the idea of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. He has declared that he intends to work in Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv, where the American Embassy has been for decades, under the State Department’s insistence that the holy city’s status be determined as part of a broader deal between Israel and the Palestinians.


It was not immediately clear whether the Israeli announcement had been coordinated in advance with Mr. Trump’s team. But beyond Mr. Netanyahu’s apparent attempt to chart a new course with Mr. Trump, he is also under intense pressure from the right flank of his governing coalition to demonstrate where his domestic loyalties lie.


Naftali Bennett, the education minister and leader of the staunchly pro-settlement Jewish Home party, has been goading the prime minister to seize the moment and take the extreme step of beginning a process of annexing the West Bank settlements to Israel.


“Netanyahu is facing a historic decision: sovereignty or Palestine,” Mr. Bennett said on Monday. “We urge Netanyahu, don’t miss an opportunity that comes along once every 50 years.”


Mr. Netanyahu appeared to postpone any discussion of annexation: “This is no time for off-the-cuff decisions or political dictations, and this is no time for surprises. This,” he added, “is the time for considered, responsible diplomacy among friends.”


The prime minister’s office said that in a phone conversation with Mr. Trump on Sunday, Mr. Netanyahu discussed the peace process and hoped to forge a “common vision” with Mr. Trump “to advance peace and security in the region, with no daylight between the United States and Israel.” No more details were given.


The peace process has been at an impasse since the last round of American-brokered talks collapsed in the spring of 2014. During the nine months of talks, Mr. Netanyahu attempted to appease Israel’s right wing by advancing plans for about 13,000 new housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, infuriating the Palestinian side. The weakened Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, who appeared reluctant to take risks of his own, never responded to the ideas that Mr. Kerry’s team had formulated for a framework to guide further negotiations.


Now, with the change of American administrations, some Israeli analysts have recommended that Mr. Netanyahu take the opportunity to try to reinstate understandings that Israel had with President George W. Bush, who wrote in a 2004 letter that “already existing major Israeli population centers” should be taken into consideration in redrawing the borders between Israel and the West Bank — a reference to settlement blocs.


But that came in the context of Israel’s plans to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza and from a section of the northern West Bank. And the case of Ariel serves to illustrate the contentiousness of unilaterally defining the blocs.


Israelis have long labeled Ariel part of their national “consensus,” meaning that it would be included in Israel’s borders under any peace deal, and it often appears as one of the regular dots on Israeli weather maps. But Palestinian negotiators have always rejected that idea, arguing that Israeli control over Ariel would preclude the territorial contiguity of a Palestinian state. They also note that Ariel sits on a major aquifer.


According to Tuesday’s announcement, 20 of the new units are to be built in Beit El, a settlement deep in the West Bank that has particularly benefited from Mr. Friedman’s fund-raising activities. The government promised in 2012 to build 300 units in Beit El, a settlement of about 7,000 residents, to compensate for the court-ordered evacuation of part of a neighborhood there that was illegally built on private Palestinian land. So far, the promise has remained unfulfilled.


According to Israel’s Ministry of Defense, bids will now be solicited for the construction of about 900 of the 2,500 new units around the West Bank. But the rest, including most of those planned for Ariel, still have to go through additional planning phases, a bureaucratic process that can take months, if not years, and requires additional government approval at each stage.


Oded Revivi, the chief foreign envoy of the Yesha Council, an umbrella organization representing the more than 400,000 settlers in the West Bank, said in a statement, “We hope that this is just the beginning of a wave of new building across our ancestral homeland after eight very difficult years.”


But some in the settler camp played down the construction plans and expressed suspicions about Mr. Netanyahu’s intentions.


“We are not stupid,” Bezalel Smotrich, a legislator from the Jewish Home party, wrote in a post on his Facebook page. Objecting to the government announcement mostly describing the advancement of existing plans in settlement blocs, Mr. Smotrich accused Mr. Netanyahu of “throwing a candy” to the settlers and playing “public relations tricks.”

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The Associated Press reported that the Obama administration passed out millions of taxpayer dollars to left-wing causes just hours before President Donald Trump was inaugurated. The larger portion of the money, $221 million worth, went to the Palestinian Authority despite being put on hold by members of Congress.

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