Colonies vs. Settlements
By: Adib S. Kawar

This is colonization & not settlement!!!


The war of words is most commonly used by the Zionist movement to justify the land theft of other people’s property to sound as if it is a justified and legal action; so they play on words, and instead of using the right words or terminologies to explain their actions, which disclose their crimes against humanity they have been and are still committing, they employ a different term, instead of using the right word for the dwellings they build on the stolen land, they say “settlement” rather than using the right terminology, namely, “colonies”.

An indigenous people naturally increases in numbers; so they have to build new dwellings on their own inherited, rightly and legally owned land, what they are doing is that they naturally are settling and expanding on their own land. These new dwellings, which are settlements or towns by no means could be called colonies, as is the case with foreign invaders’ dwellings, which are nothing but colonies.

On the other hand, a foreign invader conquers a foreign land with the aim of colonizing it. They will implement any justification for what they are actually doing.  When they are building new dwellings on the invaded land, which is an act displacing its indigenous population and replacing them with an imported invading population, what they are building by the force of arms and terror are colonies built on stolen lands, they are by no means to be considered settlements.

While on the subject we have to point out that there are two kinds of colonization: 1st.- Exploitive colonization, which aims at the exploitation of the colonized land and its people, the exploitation of the land, its resources, cheap labor usually available in abundance, which also could be used as a jumping point to colonize other new lands, examples such as India, Egypt and other lands. 2nd. Settling and displacing colonization, that is colonizing the land, annihilating and/or  expelling its people, examples are Palestine, the Americas, Australia and others.

We the generation who were born and raised in our own land, Palestine, and saw the influx of Zionist Jews trying to colonize our land by any means possible to them with the help of British occupation. We used the right description for what they built on it, we always called the dwellings they built, colonies (musta3marat in Arabic) and never heard and of course called them “settlements” (mustawtanat in Arabic), as is the case lately.

Another PA Betrayal

By Khalid Amayreh

October 06, 2009 "
Information Clearing House" -- The Palestinian Authority (PA) decision to defer until March a vote on the “Goldstein report” at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva constitutes a huge betrayal of Palestinian people.

Likewise, the stupid and disgraceful feat immensely serves the Israeli goal of covering up the Nazi-like crimes the Israeli occupation army committed during its manifestly criminal war on the Gaza Strip nine months ago.

Endorsement of the report by UNHRC would probably have paved the way for the prosecution of Israeli war criminals before the International Criminal Court (ICC) as well as International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

The PA has given a plethora of mostly mendacious pretexts to justify the scandalous act which numerous Palestinians, ordinary people as well as intellectuals, have described as an expression of national treason.

To be sure, the Palestinians had on their side a solid majority of 33-35 member-states out of the 47-member council, which means the Goldstone commission report could have been easily endorsed by the UNHRC and referred to ICC or ICJ.

Hence, the only real interpretation of the PA decision to delay a vote on the report is that the Ramallah regime wanted only to appease Israel and the Obama administration irrespective of the disastrous effects and ramifications on the Palestinian cause, especially on the unwept victims of Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

Well, if Israel can get away with murdering 1300 Palestinians and utterly destroying half of Gaza, the next holocaust would probably assume European proportions. After all, the world can’t be more Palestinian than the Palestinians themselves.

Prior to the decision, there were reports that President Obama personally intervened behind the scenes, asking the PA leadership to stop pushing for the endorsement of the report since according to him doing so would undermine “diplomatic efforts.”

Similarly, another report suggested that the PA had reached a deal with Israel whereby the apartheid Zionist regime agreed to license a business venture partially owned by wealthy businessmen linked to the PA in return for the latter agreeing to defer discussion of the Goldstone report at the UNHRC.

The PA ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Ibrahim Khreishi, was quoted as saying that the Palestinian leadership was interested in a “compromise text.”

“It will help us explain to the Israelis that the international community is with the Palestinians to achieve their hopes and dreams.”

What a stupidity! After more than 42 years of a criminal military occupation, do we still have to explain our suffering to the Israelis?

Does Mr. Khreishi really think that all the Israelis needed to desist from their Nazi-like crimes against our people was just a “convincing explanation”?

Does the PLO ambassador think a “compromise text” would make the despicable thugs and war criminals in Tel Aviv reconsider their criminal approach vis-à-vis the Palestinians?

And what does a “compromise text” mean anyway? Did Israel not commit war crimes and crimes against humanity knowingly, willfully and deliberately against innocent people in Gaza?

Didn’t Israel rain death, using state-of-the-art of the American technology of death, on unprotected civilian neighborhoods, killing and maiming thousands of innocent men, women and children?

Didn’t Israel rain white phosphorous on large parts of Gaza, incinerating innocent life all over the coastal territory?

Didn’t Israel knowingly and deliberately rain bombs from high altitudes on homes, mosques, colleges, hospitals and schools all over Gaza?

So, how could any human being with any semblance of honesty and morality try to make these crimes look less nefarious and less satanic by agreeing to adopting a “compromise text”?

Of all people in the world, we Palestinians must call the spade a spade especially when we see that proverbial spade in the hands of our grave diggers, tormentors and child killers.

The Judeo-Nazi army, navy and air force murdered our people en mass in Gaza and the West Bank. They committed their horrendous crimes in broad daylight and in full view of the entire world.

There were no extenuating circumstances or controversial accounts of what really happened. The so-called “Qassam rockets” are largely a red-herring and shouldn’t be used in the same phrase with the horrendous Israeli machine of death since the enormity and deadliness in both cases are totally incomparable.

And above all, the person who prepared the report, Richard Goldstone, is a Jew, actually a Zionist Jew, who would never overplay and exaggerate these war crimes against a virtually completely unprotected people whose very physical survival has always depended and continues to depend on the good will of the international community.

Hence, the Palestinian people, the longest-lasting victims of genocidal racism, and the entire free world around us would like to know what is it that makes the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah and its disoriented ambassador in Geneva cringe so submissively in the face of Zionist pressure?

Don’t you people have any modicum of honor and national dignity? After all, we are talking about real crimes and hundreds of children mercilessly murdered by the army of these thuggish Zionist spokespersons who are now shamelessly bragging about swaying the PA ambassador into helping the Israeli propaganda cause.

Nevertheless, it is probably unfair to pin all the blame on Khreishi, a mere functionary who had to heed the stupid instructions from Ramallah.

True, Khreishi should have resigned rather than be part to an ignominious act of national betrayal. But the ultimate villain is, of course, the Palestinian judenrat in Ramallah which has become inured to sacrificing Palestinian national interests for the sake of appeasing Israel and pleasing the Obama administration in the hope of getting a “payoff” of some kind.

Interestingly, however, the “payoff” given to the PA that we have seen so far is in the form of more Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank, more Jewish provocations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque esplanade, and more Jewish violence and terror against unprotected Palestinian citizens in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

As to the Obama administration, It, too, has been “rewarding” the PA for its perfidy and betrayal of its own people by turning a blind eye to Israeli settlement expansion and by insisting that the PA resume talks with the arrogant government of Benyamin Netanyahu without any preconditions.

Well, people who don’t respect themselves don’t deserve respect from others. More over, an authority that torments, tortures and kills its own citizens in order to please the Israeli occupier and obtain from it a certificate of good conduct is utterly unqualified to be a true representative of the Palestinian people.

Finally, it is probably safe to assume that the PA dreads a thorough discussion of the Goldstone report as much as Israel does.

According to certain sources, the PA had consistently urged Israel to pursue the criminal war on the Gaza Strip to the end.

Israel is also believed to possess damning evidence showing some PA officials pleading with Israel to keep up the war on Gaza in order to crush Hamas.

Hence, it is highly likely that the PA has found itself in an exceedingly embarrassing situation, which explains why it doesn’t want to see a public discussion of the Goldstone report take place anytime soon as this would reveal many shocking and embarrassing secrets about PA connivance with Israel in carrying out the Nazi-like onslaught on the Gaza Strip.

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine

06/10/2009 Israeli Arab party urges Abbas to quit over Goldstone report
Haaretz Correspondents

For the first time in history, an Israeli Arab political party challenged the Palestinian leadership on Tuesday, calling for the immediate dismissal of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Balad party, headed by Jamal Zahalka, was planning to officially call for Abbas' resignation at a conference convened especially for that purpose, scheduled for Saturday. Abbas has faced harsh criticism over recent days following his decision not to ask the United Nations Human Right Council to vote on the findings of the Goldstone report, which concludes that both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes during Israel's offensive in Gaza last winter.

The UNHRC has delayed its vote on the report, as per Abbas' request.
Palestinian sources told Haaretz that Abbas made the decision to delay the vote immediately after meeting with the U.S. Consul General last Thursday, without the knowledge of the PLO leadership or the government of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and without any consultation. Many believe that it was American pressure that led to Abbas' decision not to pursue a discussion of the report in the UN as well as at the International Criminal Court in Hague, as was previously planned.

Members of Fatah, Abbas' own party, have also unofficially asked the Palestinian President to do what must be done to prevent this move from harming the party's standing among the Palestinian public. The head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Ahmed Jibril, openly called on Abbas to "go home," on Monday. The council of Palestinian organizations in Europe also issued a call for Abbas to step down in light of the damage to the Palestinian public's interests he had caused. Commentators in the Palestinian Authority have said that Abbas' status has weakened greatly in the wake of his decision regarding the Goldstone report, as well as his willingness to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Hamas' recent release of a videotape of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for the release of 20 female Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, also served to weaken Abbas, as his rival party gained popularity. In addition, Syria announced Monday that Abbas' planned visit to Damascus had been canceled, apparently due to the decision on the Goldstone report. On top of all that, the Palestinian government of Salam Fayyad convened on Monday and issued a statement containing veiled criticism of Abbas. The statement said that "we mustn't give up the opportunity to go after those who committed war crimes during Israel's attack on the Gaza Strip."

However, only several hundred people attended a rally held in Ramallah on Monday against Abbas' decision, and no calls were made on the Palestinian president to resign. The criticism that Abbas' decision stirred in the West Bank among the members of the Palestinian Authority was nothing in comparison to the virtual attack it sparked in the Gaza Strip. During a meeting of Hamas' parliament faction in Gaza, senior faction official Mahmoud Zahar called for stripping Abbas of his Palestinian citizenship and putting him, and everyone else responsible for the delay of the UNHRC vote, on trial.

Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh said that the PLO's decision to appoint an investigation committee was unnecessary. "The circumstances here are clear," he said. "Abu Mazen [Abbas] gave the order to his representative. An investigation is only necessary when the circumstances are not clear."

rightists urge IDF draftees to cover up abuse of Palestinians
By Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz Correspondent

Far-right activists distributed fliers to fresh draftees at the Israel Defense Forces induction center in Tel Hashomer on Tuesday urging them not to confide in their commanders and to refrain from cooperating with investigators if they physically abuse Palestinians in the territories.

The notice was intended for enlistees into the Kfir infantry brigade, most of whose operations take place in the territories.

It cites the case of First Lieutenant Adam Malul, an officer in the Kfir brigade who is standing trial for beating a Palestinian. In addition, the pamphlet mentions the Kfir brigade commander, Colonel Itai Virov, who was censured for making statements which justified the use of violence against unarmed Palestinians in certain instances.

The brochure stated that these two incidents were cases in which "foreign considerations were involved in the system's chain of command."

The bottom of the notice is signed by "students of Rabbi Ginzburg" - a reference to Yitzhak Ginzburg, who is viewed as a leader of extremist settlers in the West Bank. Ginzburg is the author of "Baruch the Man," a book honoring Baruch Goldstein, the settler who massacred Palestinians at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

Israel: A Stalemated Action of History

In late 1949 I worked on a boat taking Jews from Marseilles to Haifa, Israel. Jews from Arab nations were in the front of the boat, Europeans in the rear. I was regarded by many of the Europeans as some sort of freak because I had a United States passport and so could stay in the land of milk and honey. One man wanted me to marry his daughter - which meant he too could live in the land of milk and honey. My Hebrew became quite respectable but the experience was radicalizing or, I should say, kept me radical, and I have stayed that way.


Later I learned from someone who ran a displaced persons camp in Germany that the large majority of Jews wanted to go anywhere but Palestine. They were compelled to state Palestine or else risk receiving no aid. I understood very early that there was much amiss in the countless Arab villages and homes I saw destroyed, and that the entire Zionist project - regardless of the often venal nature of the Arab opposition to it - was a dangerous sham.


The result of the creation of a state called Israel was abysmal. Jews from Poland have nothing in common with Germans and neither has anything to do with those from the Arab world. It is nationality, not religion, that counts most. Jews in Israel, especially the Germans, largely ghettoized themselves by their place of origin during the first generation, when a militarized culture produced the mixed new breed called sabras - an essentially anti-intellectual personality far different from the one the early Zionists, who were mostly socialists who preached the nobility of labor, expected to emerge. The large majority of Israelis are not in the least Jewish in the cultural sense, are scarcely socialist in any sense, and daily life and the way people live is no different in Israel than it is in Chicago or Amsterdam. There is simply no rational reason that justifies the state's creation.


The outcome is a small state with a military ethos that pervades all aspects of Israel's culture, its politics and, above all, its response to the existence of Arabs in its midst and at its borders. From its inception, the ideology of the early Zionists - of Labor Zionism as well as the rightist Revisionism that Vladimir Jabotinsky produced - embodied a commitment to violence, erroneously called self-defense, and a virtual hysteria. As a transcendent idea, Zionism has no validity because the national differences between Jews are overwhelming.


What Zionism confirmed, if any confirmation were needed, is that accidents are more important in shaping history than is all too often allowed. Here was the intellectual café, which existed in key cities - Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century or the Lower East Side of New York before World War I - filled with immensely creative people full of ideas and longing for a golden era to come. Ideas - good, bad, and indifferent - flourished. In this heady atmosphere, Zionism was born.


But Zionism has produced a Sparta that traumatized an already artificially divided region partitioned after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire during World War I led to the Versailles Treaty and the creation of the modern Middle East. The state of Israel has always relied on military solutions to political and sociological problems with the Arabs. The result is constant mobilization.


Even more troublesome for peace and stability in the vast Middle East, Zionism has always been symbiotic on some great power for the security of its national project, realized in a state called Israel. Before 1939 it was the British; during the 1950s it was France. Israel has survived since the late 1960s on the influx of US arms and money, and this has allowed it to encourage its fears of annihilation - a fate its possession of nuclear weapons makes most unlikely. But Israel also has an importance far beyond the fantasies of a few confused literati. Today its significance for American foreign policy is far greater because the Soviet Union no longer exists and the Middle East provokes the fear so essential to mobilizing Congress and the US public. "The best hopes and the worst fears of the planet are invested in that relatively small patch of earth" - as George Tenet, the former head of the CIA, put it in his memoir - and so understanding how and why that patch came into being, and the grave limits of the martial course it is following, has a very great, even transcendent value.


In July 2003 Foreign Minister Shalom predicted that Iran would have nuclear bomb capability by 2006. It did not have nuclear weapons in 2006, though in fact a successful strike by conventional missiles on Dimona, Israel's nuclear facility, would radioactivate a good part of Israel - and both Iran and Syria have such missiles. Defense Minister Ehud Barak, during Vice-President Dick Cheney's visit in late March 2008, stated that "Iran's weapons program threatens not only the stability of the region, but of the whole world," and he did not rule out a war with it. By spring 2008 Israel was also very concerned about the growing ascendancy of Hizbollah in Lebanon and its greatly increased firepower - mainly in the form of rockets capable of striking much of Israel. It regards Hizbollah as a tool of Iran, and its focus on Iran concerns its control over Hizbollah as well as its ability to challenge Israel's nuclear monopoly. But there can be no doubt that Hizbollah's strength has only grown since Israel attacked it in Lebanon in the summer of 2006. Israel now has an enemy that can inflict immense damage on it, probably resulting in highly skilled Jews migrating far faster than they already are at present - even now, more Jews are leaving Israel than migrating to it.


The existence of Israel is scarcely the only reason American policy in the region is as bad as it is. After all, it did not take Zionism to encourage Washington to seek the elimination of British influence in the region, and today no one can tell how long the US will remain mired in the affairs of the Middle East. But Israel is now a vital factor. While the extent of its role can be debated, without it the politics of the entire Middle East would be different - troubled but very different.


At least equally nefarious in the long run, Israel's existence has radicalized - but in a negative sense - the Arab world, distracting it from natural class differences that often overcome religious and tribal ties. It has fanned Arab nationalism abysmally and given it a transcendent negative identity.


I am very realistic - and pessimistic - about an eventual negotiated solution to the crisis that has surrounded Palestine and Israel. Given the magnitude of the changes needed, the present situation justifies the most dismal conclusions. After all, the Arabs that live under Israeli control will quite soon outnumber the Jewish population, leaving a de facto Jewish state in which Jews are a minority! This fact is becoming deeply troublesome within Israeli politics today, causing former expansionists to reverse their position and leading to more and more internal controversy. Nor will there ever be an administration in Washington ready to do diplomatically what none has ever dared do since 1947, namely compel Israel to make an equitable peace with the Arabs.


Neither a one- nor two-state solution will come to pass. But the Jewish population is very likely to decline, and if it falls sufficiently then demography may prove to be a crucial factor. The ratio of Jews to Arabs would then become highly significant. The Jews in Israel are highly skilled and many have gotten out, migrating abroad. The Israeli military is the most powerful in the region because it has been deluged with American equipment, which it has learned to service. But US forces need repairmen to service the very same equipment, more than ever because recruitment into the American military is now lower than it has been in a quarter-century (not to mention its astronomical suicide rate), and skilled Israelis can take jobs with America's armed forces that they are eminently qualified to fill. Moreover, Iran and the other Arab states will eventually develop or acquire nuclear weapons, making Israel incredibly insecure for its highly mobile Jewish population - one exhausted by regular service in compulsory reserves. And as already suggested, destroying Dimona with conventional missiles or mortars would be a cheap way to radioactivate a good part of Israel. Even worse, Osama bin Laden, or someone like him, may acquire a nuclear device, and one nuclear bomb detonated in or near Israel will effectively destroy what is a tiny area. Whoever destroys Israel will be proclaimed a hero in the Arab world. To those with skills, the answer is clear: get out. And getting out they are.


There are also Orthodox Jews in Israel but Israeli mass culture is now virtually indistinguishable from consumerism anywhere - in many crucial respects, there is more Judaism in parts of Brooklyn or Toronto than in most of Israel. The Orthodox too may be ready to leave behind the insecurity and troubles confronting those who live in a nation that is, after all, a part of a highly unstable region.


Sober and quite rational Israelis exist, of course, and I cite them often enough, but American policy will be determined by factors having nothing to do with them. Unfortunately, rational Israelis are an all too small minority.



Gabriel Kolko is the leading historian of modern warfare. He is the author of the classic Century of War: Politics, Conflicts and Society Since 1914, Another Century of War? and The Age of War: the US Confronts the World and After Socialism. He has also written the best history of the Vietnam War, Anatomy of a War: Vietnam, the US and the Modern Historical Experience. His latest book is World in Crisis, from which this essay has been excerpted.

The West Widens the Fatah-Hamas Split

Palestinian unity is essential for any peace deal – but the US, Britain and the EU are playing a central role in preventing it

By Seumas Milne

July 28, 2009 "
The Guardian" - -  It should be obvious that no settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict is going to stick unless it commands broad support or acceptance on both sides. That is especially true of the Palestinians, who have shown time and again that they will never accept the denial of their national and human rights. The necessity of dealing with all representative Palestinian leaders was recognised by Britain's parliamentary foreign affairs committee yesterday, which called on the government to end its ban on contacts with Hamas.

But despite the parade of top American officials visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories this week to drum up business for a new peace conference, the US, Britain and European Union continue to play a central role in preventing the Palestinian national unity that is essential if any deal is going to have a chance of succeeding. Far from helping to overcome the split between Fatah and Hamas, the US, Israel and their allies in practice do everything they can to promote and widen it.

In his speech last month in Cairo, Barack Obama acknowledged Palestinian support for Hamas – who won the Palestinian elections three years ago – but insisted that only by accepting conditions he knows it will not accept can the Palestinians' elected representatives "play a role". The only settlement scenarios now envisaged by the US administration are based on a deal with the unpopular Mahmoud Abbas, which cannot command Palestinian national support.

Not only that, but the US, Britain and EU continue to require, fund and facilitate a security crackdown against Hamas activists in the West Bank, which makes the necessary reconciliation between the two Palestinian parties increasingly far-fetched.

A new report (pdf) for the London-based Middle East Monitor highlights the scale of detention without trial in the West Bank — more than 1,000 political prisoners are reportedly held in Palestinian Authority jails – and extrajudicial killings, torture and raids on Hamas-linked social institutions by security forces trained, funded and organised by the US with Israel's blessing.

The repression is justified by reference to the commitment to "end terrorism" in the 2003 road map. And the central role played in building up the security forces to carry it out (at a cost so far of $161m from congress) is played by Lieutenant-General Keith Dayton, US security co-ordinator for the Palestinian Authority, a man increasingly regarded as the real power in the West Bank, whose slogan is "peace through security" (pdf).

Dayton is advised by a team of British officials, as well as a British private security firm, Libra, closely tied to the Foreign Office. Libra has also been busy working for the occupation forces and interior ministry in Iraq, where sectarianism and human rights abuses have been rife.

Naturally, all the governments and security firms concerned say they abhor torture and human rights violations and focus their training on overcoming them. But, as Dayton himself makes clear, the priority is "to allay Israeli fears about the nature and capabilities of the Palestinian security forces".

Privately, official sources have tried to rubbish the Middle East Monitor dossier, partly on the basis of the involvment of the Muslim Council of Britain leader Daud Abdullah. But a survey compiled last month by the independent Palestinian human rights group al-Haq, as well as earlier reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, tell a similar story.

The Hamas-led administration in Gaza is also held responsible for significant human rights abuses, if on a smaller scale. But as the dispute over attendance at next week's long-awaited Fatah conference in Bethlehem has shown, the Islamist movement is prepared to release its Fatah prisoners if the PA frees Hamas detainees in the West Bank. And that needs an American and Israeli green light.

Which only underlines the fact that until the US and its followers stop trying to divide-and-rule the Palestinians, allow them to choose their own leaders and negotiate their own differences, hopes of serious progress in the Middle East under Obama are bound to be unfulfilled.

Jul 29, 2009

Trendy TA bar bans soldiers in uniform

By Abe Selig

At a recently opened eco-friendly bar in Tel Aviv, customers can enjoy vegan delicacies, politic with left-wing activists or indulge in green-colored beer.

But wearing green may get them thrown out.

The Rogatka Bar - the word means "slingshot" in Russian and was used colloquially to describe slingshots used by Palestinian youth during the first intifada - has found itself at the heart of a fiery debate, after Army Radio reported earlier this week that the vegan eatery does not allow entry to IDF soldiers in uniform.

According to the report, two combat soldiers who were sent to the restaurant last week by Army Radio with a hidden recorder, were forbidden from entering the restaurant, and were told they would have to change into civilian clothes if they wanted to come in. Wearing IDF uniforms inside the restaurant, they were told, was forbidden.

"It's nothing personal, but ideological," the soldiers were told by Rogatka employees. "Your uniforms symbolize genocide and violence, and the violence that the IDF perpetrates is the reason for ongoing violence."

One of the soldiers took off his IDF-issue shirt, but his unit's t-shirt didn't pass the restaurant's dress code either. The two were told to leave.

Army Radio later sent another soldier to follow up on the story, but as soon as he sat down at the bar, employees came over to him and demanded that he leave.

"Your shirt symbolizes shit and disgust and as soon as I see your shirt, it hurts me," one of the employees said. "Get out of here."

"I kill myself to protect you and you're throwing me out?" the solider reportedly replied.

"You aren't killing yourself," the soldier was told. "They are taking advantage of you, and you're a slave to the army. Now leave."

Calling itself an "anarchist collective," Rogatka, which is located on Rehov Yitzhak Sadeh, also refuses to purchase produce grown in Jewish settlements and prohibits the carrying of weapons.

While Rogatka management declined to respond to The Jerusalem Post's queries on Tuesday, the restaurant-bar's policies have begun to elicit a backlash both online and in the Knesset.

On Monday, MK Ophir Paz-Pines (Labor) sent an urgent letter to Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai to check if Rogatka was breaking any laws by banning the entry of IDF soldiers in uniform.

MK Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi) told the Post on Tuesday that while he was not mulling any formal moves against the bar, "a society that is embarrassed by its soldiers is not a normal society.

"The soldiers are our emissaries," Orbach said. "I'd like to see a place that invites soldiers in because they're in uniform, not the opposite.

"But this is a symptom of the new Left in this country, as opposed to the old Left of the Labor party. The new left is anti-Zionist, they are against the Jewish state, and while they are a small group, they're very aggressive."

Other voices of protest against the bar's policies could be found on Facebook, where a group called "Boycott The Rogatka" has over 700 members.

The group's creator, Yaniv Dvir, told the Post on Tuesday that the responses his group had received fell into two separate categories.

"One group of people are just personally insulted by this," Dvir said. "They're shocked and upset, and I think it angers a lot of people. For example, I have reserve duty next month, and when I put on my uniform, am I supposed to feel like a murderer?"

Dvir said the second group of responses were more proactive.

"There are other people who actually want to do something, you know, to take a stand against this place somehow, and both of those responses can be found within the group."

Judge: Israeli law applies in disputed West Bank territory

by Akiva Eldar, Israel News
2nd August 2009

Israeli authority applies to disputed territory near Latrun, Judge David Shoham of the Ramle Magistrate's Court said last week. Sovereignty over the land is supposed to be settled in the final-status agreement.

The territory, near Latrun, was never annexed (unlike East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights). The judge's decision implies Israeli law applies to several Palestinian villages east of the 1967 border, as well as applying to Israelis living in the disputed territory. The decision of the Ramle judge, that the application of the law is territorial, means that Israel could confiscate land belonging to Palestinians who used to reside in the area and are now refugees, in accordance with the Absentee Properties Law.

Chairman of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas had said on several occasions that the territory of the Palestinian state should amount to 4,502 square kilometers. This includes the 46 square kilometers in question. The territory includes the villages of Makkabim, Reut, Kfar Ruth and Shilat and parts of Lapid and the Jewish-Arab village Neve Shalom.

The judge was giving an intermediate decision in a lawsuit over a plot of land near Shilat. He said that since Israel operates full sovereign authority in the disputed territory despite avoiding publicly announcing its annexation, it should be considered as Israeli territory. "There is, therefore, no need of an explicit enactment of Israeli law over that territory," the judge wrote. He was not convinced by the respondent's attorney, Anat Meiri, who argued that the issuing of demolition orders by the Judea and Samaria Civil Administration to the residents of the Palestinian village of Midiya proved the various state institutions were in dispute over the territory's legal status.

The judge based his decision partly on a statement by former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, who said in September 2006 that Israeli jurisdiction and administration applied to any disputed territory since 1967.

Judge Shoham's decision contradicts an earlier one by Judge Alexander Ron of the Beit Shemesh Magistrate's Court, who in 2005 acquitted an Israeli charged with transporting a Palestinian civilian without an entry permit into Israel over a road near Neve Shalom. Ron based the acquittal on his belief the incident occurred outside sovereign Israeli territory. He rejected the Livni statement out of hand, saying that although Israeli law applies to dozens of settlements, no one claims full Israeli sovereignty over any of them on that basis.

Former PLO director in Lebanon, Shafiq Al-Hut, died today.
He used to say that he was a communist when everybody else was an Arab nationalist (like in the 40s and 50s), and that he became an Arab nationalist when everybody else was a communist (in the 60s and 70s). He would often repeat that to George Habash. The symbol of Palestinian struggle in Lebanon, wisely stayed away from all the various PLO organizations and rejected invitations to join or lead them. You compare him to the Dahlan ambassador in Lebanon today, Abbas Zaki, and you appreciate the stature of Al-Hut. To capture this person's gifts and talents, you need to read his memoirs published recently by Riyad Ar-Rayyis. I have always liked and admired Shafiq Al-Hut, and enjoyed his company a great deal although I can't say that I knew him very well. He has that voice that betrays long years of enjoying somoking and drinking--for those who enjoy smoking and drinking. He was blunt and truthful, when lying was a job description in Arafat's apparatus. I first admired him when as kids we used to read a most funny and witty column written in Al-Muharrir newspaper in Lebanon (its headquarters were bombed and its offices closed down when the Syrian regime entered Lebanon in 1977.) The funny column on the back page was signed by Ibn Al-Balad and my father told us that it was Shafiq Al-Hut who write it. The columns were collected recently in a book and I recommend that you go back to them. I told Al-Hut in recent years that I liked his columns a great deal and he dimissed that and said: oh, that was during the years of Tastil (getting high on Hashish). Something about him I liked: not only the politics but the personality. He was interesting and sharp and was a great conversationalist and writer. I first met him in 1984 in Chicago--of all places--and saw him occasionally in Beirut over the years. Everytime I saw him, he would tell me with a great sense of outrage how that founder of the Nazi party of Lebanon, the Phalanges, Pierre Gemayyel, would always tell him: why don't you leave those Palestinians. You are a Lebanese after all. Perhaps Al-Hut knew how upset I get hearing that story about the Lebanese Nazi founder. (The family of Al-Hut is originally Lebanese), but Al-Hut always identified as a Palestinian first and foremost. Al-Hut knew so much about Lebanese politics and knew everybody there. He was one of the many Palestinians who really founded the modern press of Lebanon. He was an editor-in-chief of Al-Hawadith in its heyday in the 1960s, but then left when he becamse the first director of the PLO office in Beiurt. He survived many assassination attempts by Israeli terrorists, and he never got along with Yasir `Arafat. There is a lot about his relations with Arafat in his memoirs. He wrote several other books which I recommend to the readers. He graduated from the American University of Beirut and followed the foreign press and was one of the most quotable Palestinians before and during the Lebanese civil war. While people credit Mahmud Darwish for the speech delivered by the lousy Yasir `Arafat at the UN in 1974, Shafiq Al-Hut played a very part in the drafting of that speech. He tells funny stories about Arafat's lousy command of Arabic and his misreadings of text. In a closed talk I gave to a group of (mostly retired) Palestinain professionals in Lebanon 5 years ago, he asked me to identify the factors that have frustrated Palestinian struggle for liberation. The question stayed with me and I may write about that in Arabic soon. He had heart problems and he was one of those who loved life and his memoirs contain a very funny section about his hospital stay in Washington, DC. Al-Hut has always been critical of "the excesses" of PLO organizations in Lebanon and was never a fan of Arafat. He resigned from the Executive Committee of the PLO as soon as Oslo was reached, and unlike Mahmud Darwish, he took a consistently categorical stand against Oslo. By the way, like Arab men who are nicknamed by the eldest of their sons, Al-Hut is known as "Abu Hadir" but people often mistake that for Abu Hadi because Abu Hadir is so rare a name. Hadir means roarer, in reference to the Arab nationalist slogan of Nasser "from the roaring ocean to the rebellious gulf," in reference to the Arab world. This Palestinian had more impact on Lebanon than most Lebanese. For me, he was both Lebanon (or the best about Lebanon) and Palestine.

from As'ad Anwar The Angry Arab