Tuesday, June 03, 2008

When Will Israel Quit Pretending?


East Jerusalem, from the walls of the Old City.
(also part of East Jerusalem)

When I first read about the new construction Israel had planned I was somewhat, somewhat only, surprised. I was surprised Israel would say one thing while planning to do the opposite and fucking surprised even more the international community showed absolutely no outrage or even mild criticism.

hypocrisy is surely beyond belief and even more unbelievable is the way the international community allows Israel to get away with such intelligence-insulting humbug.

by Linda Heard
(Arab News)

Successive Israeli governments have perfected the art of announcing one thing and doing just the opposite. Almost every member of the Israeli leadership says a two-state solution on the lines of “the road map” is the way forward; yet they do nothing at all to bolster the credibility of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas except throw occasional smiles and handshakes his way.

On Sunday, Israel’s Ministry of Housing angered Palestinian negotiators by inviting tenders for the construction of 884 homes to enlarge two illegal Jewish settlements in occupied East Jerusalem — Har Homa and Pisgat Zeev. President Abbas termed this move “a dangerous threat” to the peace process.

The skeptics among us might feel tempted to ask Abbas, “What peace process?” Is there one, or is it a mere illusion designed to keep tensions off the boil as the apartheid concrete wall splits communities and robs Palestinians of their land and livelihoods.

Sure, he gets to meet with the Israeli prime minister and his team from time to time behind closed doors where they supposedly thrash out the details. But progress reports are nonexistent so nobody knows whether they do anything more than complain about Hamas over coffee.

They probably won’t even be exchanging pleasantries shortly since Ehud Olmert is expecting his marching orders over accusations of corruption leveled against him. His successor is anyone’s guess, although Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, a former Mossad agent who spent years chasing Palestinian militants around Europe, is said to be the favorite.

Was Annapolis just an empty exercise aimed at producing false hope in a people that have been battered, beaten and bricked-up for decades? If so, Washington is a partner in this deception just as it is when it comes to glossing over Israel’s nuclear weapons horde.

The world and its wife know that Israel is a nuclear power with as many as 100-200 sophisticated nuclear weapons and both short-range and long-range ballistic missiles capable of delivering them to just about any target, anywhere.

Indeed Israel’s nuclear capability was confirmed beyond doubt in the mid-1980s by Mordechai Vanunu, a technician who worked on the Dimona reactor and, more recently, when Prime Minister Olmert inadvertently slipped his tongue during a visit to Germany in 2006.

“Iran, openly, explicitly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map,” he told Germany’s Sat.1 Channel before asking: “Can you say that this is the same level, when they are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel and Russia?” Oops!

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates also admitted that Israel had nukes before a Senate hearing, yet when former President Carter announced that Israel possessed a 150-strong nuclear arsenal last week at a literary festival held in Britain, America’s right-wing knives came out accusing Carter of betrayal, endangering national security and providing Iran with grist for its nuclear stance.

Here’s what Robert Maginnis, an American national security and foreign affairs analyst and strategist with the US Army had to say:

“On May 26, ex-President Jimmy Carter demonstrated his disdain for Israel and disregard for state secrets when he announced that Israel has 150 or more atomic weapons. His statement likely breaks federal law, compromises the trust of a key ally and could help fuel Middle East nuclear proliferation”.

Note: Headline links to source.

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