Analysis/Comment
Israel vs Palestine: Colonization set for major expansion
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Jul 29, 2014 - 6:37 AM

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The US recognises the state of Israel in 1948
Israel vs Palestine: Palestinian territory is officially known as Occupied Palestine by the United Nations and last May Ynetnews, the English-language edition of Ynet, an Israeli news and content website, reported that Israel's construction and housing minister forecast that the settler population would grow 50% in the colonized area west of the River Jordan, in the next five years - - in Irish history the major English colonization movements of settlers were known as the plantations of Munster and Ulster, and the strategy of Israel is the same.

"I think that in five years there will be 550,000 or 600,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria, rather than 400,000 (now)," Uri Ariel, a member of the hard-line Bayit Yehudi party in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conservative coalition government told Tel Aviv radio station 102 FM, using a biblical term for the West Bank, which many Israelis see as a religious birthright and security bulwark.

AFP, the French news service, reported last year that Israeli anti-settlement group Peace Now had accused the government of encouraging Israelis to move into Jewish settlements.

"The government is offering land free of charge (to settlers)... and under such conditions it is no surprise that Israelis are moving into settlements," said Peace Now head Yariv Oppenheimer.

Meanwhile Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennet, economy minister, was quoted as saying in media reports that the government was preparing to issue tenders for the construction of new settler homes in east Jerusalem.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) who later was the 26th president of the United States, wrote in the opening chapter of his 1889 book, 'The Winning of the West:'

During the past three centuries the spread of the English-speaking peoples over the world's waste spaces has been not only the most striking feature in the world's history, but also the event of all others most far-reaching in its effects and its importance."

There were of course people in "the world's waste spaces" and it took until Dee Brown's book, ‘Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee’ in 1971 for a rare eloquent platform to be available for the voices of the vanquished, in this case a chronicle of the sweeping injustices and official betrayals experienced by the original settlers from Asia, in North America.

So when Israel distributes "free" land to settlers, it evokes Chief Red Cloud's famous claim that the US government “made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.”

The creation of the state of Israel in 1948 is a historical fact and General George C. Marshall, then secretary of state, opposed President Truman's decision to recognise the new state. The general made an interesting observation on the presence of Clark Clifford, a domestic adviser, at a crucial meeting in the Oval Office in May 1948: "I don't even know why Clifford is here. He is a domestic adviser, and this is a foreign policy matter. The only reason Clifford is here is that he is pressing a political consideration."

US domestic politics and Israel remain entwined to this day and while Israel withdrew settlements from the Gaza Strip in 2005, its policy since capturing the West Bank region in 1967 has been to ignore the rights of Palestinians in the name of security while expanding Israeli enclaves on their lands.

Various US presidents have begged Israel to stop expanding settlements but after temporay halts, the Americans are always ignored - - the latter fearing domestic political consequences.

Netanyahu's goal to destroy Hamas could well suceed but history shows that Netanyahu's iron fist will only promote more violence, at a huge human cost.

It's an extraordinary situtaion where the once opressed people encourage foreign-born people of Jewish origin to claim Arab land as if the world hasn't changed since the years of Roosevelt or 1917 when the British government in the Balfour Declaration, could promise to support the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, then ruled by the crumbling Ottoman Empire,  without any regard to the then majority population living there.

In the 1990s, I lived in the area that is called the 'Middle East' for five years -- the term is said to have been coined by Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914), an American admiral and historian.

Robert Fisk, the British journalist, has written of turning up at the Saudi embassy in Beirut and handing his visiting card to the press counsellor. "Robert Fisk, Middle East Correspondent" was printed in English and Arabic. And the English-speaking diplomat looked at him quizzically. "What is 'Middle East'?" he asked.

It's a place people in the West need to know about - - in particular Americans.


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