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Apr-28-2019 12:58printcomments

Netanyahu Wins, Palestinians Lose

To this day, Israel has not defined its borders. Ever.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just won a fifth term.
Image: Palestine Advocacy Project

(SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.) - Despite three pending corruption charges, Benjamin Netanyahu won a fifth term as Israel’s prime minister.

During the campaign, he said he would annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank — land captured in 1967. This would firm up Israel's hold on them and will probably preclude any Palestinian state. Presently, there are more than 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and severely blockades 2 million more in Gaza.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967, In 1981, Israel annexed the Golan Heights. In March 2019, Trump officially recognized Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.

Netanyahu has announced plans to name a neighborhood in Golan Heights after President Trump in appreciation for his decision last month to “recognize Israeli sovereignty over the region.“

Under the United Nation's Charter there can lawfully be no territorial gains from war, even by a state acting in self-defense. Therefore, even if Israel’s action were to be considered defensive, its retention of the West Bank and the Golan Heights is unlawful.

Netanyahu’s threat to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank were foreshadowed by events at the creation of Israel in 1947 when the United Nations partitioned the land, allotting the Jews 55 percent of Palestine. The Arabs did not agree to this partition.

The action of the UN conflicted with the basic principles for which the world organization was established, namely, to uphold the right of all peoples to self-determination. By denying the Palestine Arabs, who formed the two-thirds majority of the country, the right to decide for themselves, the UN had violated its own charter.”

Most of the Zionists accepted the partition resolution because they were convinced that the crucial issue at that time was to establish a firm foundation for Jewish sovereignty. In closed meetings, the Zionists, including David Ben-Gurion, never concealed their intention to expand at the first opportunity the territory given to the Jews.

That is why the Declaration of Independence did not define the state's borders and Israel has not defined its borders to this day.

Consider as early as 1938, Ben-Gurion stated, "After we become a strong force, as a result of the creation of a state, we shall abolish partition and expand into the whole of Palestine."

In 1948, Menachem Begin declared, "The partition of the Homeland is illegal. It will never be recognized. The signature of institutions and individuals of the partition agreement is invalid. It will not bind the Jewish people. Jerusalem was and will forever be our capital. Eretz Israel (the land of Israel) will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And forever.” (Noam Chomsky, “The Fateful Triangle.”)

In the war of 1967, Egypt did not attack Israel. Rather, Israel conducted a pre-emptive strike against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. After the war, the remaining Palestinian territory was captured by Israel.

Out of this captured land, Israel created the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by chopping up the land into isolated enclaves surrounded by Jewish settlements and Israeli occupation forces. The Palestinians lost 78 percent of their land to Israel and are left with 22 percent.

Israel has erected a wall or fence, which cuts deep into Palestinian territory, joining large Jewish settlement blocks to Israel, further confining the Palestinians to isolated enclaves. And Israel continues to establish new settlements (called outposts), demolishing homes and uprooting plantations in the process.

President Trump has aided and abetted Netanyahu’s squeezing of the land the Palestinians claim for an independent state . Trump hardline pro-Israel stance that fits easily with the Republican Party and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

David Friedman, his ambassador to Israel, is a pro-Israel advocate who once wrote that the two-state solution is “a suicidal ‘peace’ with hateful radical Islamists hell bent on Israel’s destruction.”

Trump moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump has abandoned efforts to curb illegal settlement activity in the West Bank. The Trump administration has stopped all aid to the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, including all support for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

Israel has withheld millions of dollars of tax transfers to punish the Palestinians for their “martyr fund,” a program that provides stipends to the families of Palestinians imprisoned or killed as a result of fighting with Israel.

Meanwhile, Israel was the largest annual recipient of direct economic and military assistance since 1976, According to President Trump’s fiscal year budget request, Israel is expected to receive $3.3 billion in annual funding in 2019.

The Trump administration’s long promised peace plan, supposedly being drafted by son-in-law Jared Kushner, is reportedly tilted toward Israel’s view of the conflict. The peace plan is unlikely to include an independent Palestinian state.

Meanwhile, Israel, with the approval of the Trump administration, is incrementally absorbing what is left of land claimed by the Palestinians.


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