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Fear in Israel, that statehood in Palestine, will lead to Hague court procedings for war crimes

In the online edition of today’s Haaretz, a leading center-left Israeli newspaper, there’s nervousness that a UN decision on statehood for Palestine, will lead to court procedings agains Israel in the Human rights court in Hague for war crimes.

According to International law, it’s unlawful to settle your own citizens on occupied territory, a policy Israel has followed on the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza since the country occupied those territories in 1967. The unlawful, militarized Israeli settlements in Gaza were closed by the government of Ariel Sharon in 2005, and the settlers pulled out, against violent protests by the settlers.

International law is quite clear on this issue. But Israel has been living with this litigation risk since 1967, and no country has, so far, sponsored a Palestinian lawsuit. The Israel government has, however, lost several other cases in the Hague court, without taking much notice of the judgement. Also, several votes in the general assembly of the United Nations have strongly criticised Israel’s occupation and treatment of the Palestinian population in the occupied territories, with no visible effect on the policy of Israel’s government.

The Arab revolution has finally arrived in Israel!

“Anachnu Am Echad.” We’re one people. Those were the words of an Arab Israeli, speaking to thousands of demonstrators.

According to Bradley Burston, writing for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the massive demonstrations are transforming the Israel of yesterday into a quite different society: Its a revolution, not against the present government, but against the bullying behavior that is the overwhelming plague of day to day life in Israel. Government after government. Corporation after corporation.

This is not the Israel you’re used to. This is not the Israel you knew two months ago. These are not the same Israelis. These people have come alive, just as the peculiar culture that has poisoned Israel for years and years and years has begun to die.

Finally, the Arab spring revolution that started in Egypt, has reached Israel. You’ll find the Haaretz article here

Angela Merkel rebuked Israel's PM

When Israeli prime minister Benjamin Nethanyahu phoned Germany’s bundeskanzler Angela Merkel, to complain that her government had voted for the UN resolution condemning the Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory occupied by Israel in the war in 1967, he was sharply rebuked by the German kanzler. “How dare you”, she said, according to the British newspaper The Guardian, referring to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “Your government haven’t taken a single step to promote peace!”

The story is, understandably, not confirmed by the Israeli government.

Germany is considered to be one of Israel’s closest friends among nations, and Merkel has been honored with the opportunity to speak in the Israeli parliament, Knesset. But the German patience with the vigilant and aggressive rightwing regime of Benjamin Netanyahu, may be wearing thin.

The Guardian has the story here.

Gideon Levy, Haaretz: Israel will never get a better deal, than the one rejected

Renowned Haaretz commentator on the Palestine papers: The secret deals the Tzipi Livni government rejected with the Palestinian administration of Mahmoud Abbas, will never get any better. Read his comments here.

Finally, USA will return to realpolitik towards Israel

George Bush senior and his foreign secretary James Baker, created the basis for the Madrid process and the Oslo Agreement in the early 1990s. After that failed initiative, Clinton, Bush jr and Obama have all tried a soft approach towards different government’s of Israel, offering Israel bigger and bigger carrots. But alas, the carrot treatment also failed spectacularly.

Therefore, The White House is waiting for the rightwing Netanyahu government to fall, and a Livny government to take over. Meanwhile, Israel will be treated with the stick, after even the really, really big carrots proved to be ineffective. This time, the stick will have to be bigger than the one James Baker carried with him in to the Middle East, serving as chief of staff for the presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush sen. His tough diplomacy towards different Israeli governments, paved the way for the broad Madrid process, and the peace talks in Madrid in 1991.

Background to be found in Haaretz.

Demonising Israel? Gideon Levy's open letter to Bernard-Henri Levy

Levy vs Levy: In today’s Haaretz Gideon Levy writes an open letter to the Bernard-Henri Levy, a leading French intellectual. There’s a link to Levy’s article, in case you did not read it already.

A chilling analysis of the coming war in the Middle East

Haaretz journalist Ari Shavit analyses the escalating risque of yet another, more widespread war in the Middle East, with Israel and Iran as the main antagonists. You’ll find the article here.

-when America wants it, even pigs can fly!

Gideon Levy, en av de mest kjente kommentatorene i den israelske avisen Haaretz, analyserer i dagens avis innholdet i den talen statsminister Benjamin Netanyahu holdt søndag kveld. Du kan lese kommentaren hans i den engelske utgaven av avisen her.

Endelig tegn til en intelligent USA-politikk

Nå har både president Barack Obama og utenriksminister Hillary Clinton uttalt seg ganske kategorisk om at den israelske regjeringen må stanse utvidelsen av de israelske koloniene på okkupert, palestinsk område. USA står under sin nye ledelse også klart på kravet om at det må etableres en palestinsk stat. Det mente også forgjengerne, president Bush og president Clinton. Men de satte ikke makt bak standpunktet, og de skiftende israelske regjeringene ga derfor blaffen.

Den nye israelske regjeringen under Benjamin Netanyahu, vil fortsette utvidelsene av de israelske bosettingene på de palestinske områdene og avviser kravet om en palestinsk stat. Spørsmålet er nå om USAs nye ledelse vil sette makt bak sine krav. Det har USA ikke gjort siden Georg Bush senior var president, før Bill Clinton!

Du finner Haaretz-artikkelen om saken her

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