26 March 2009

Is this cartoon really anti-semitic?

Or do the actions of the Israeli stormtroopers in Gaza merit it?

Of course the usual culprits are behind the controversy: the ADL (the Orwellian sounding Anti Defamation League), "Pat Oliphant's outlandish and offensive use of the Star of David in combination with Nazi-like imagery is hideously anti-Semitic," Anti-Defamation League chief Abe Foxman said. "It employs Nazi imagery by portraying Israel as a jack-booted, goose-stepping headless apparition. The implication is of an Israeli policy without a head or a heart."

Well, that's exactly right. Israeli policy has neither when it comes to Palestinians.

I would say this to the ADL, that if they don't want to be depicted as Nazis they should stop acting like them!

Another piece of news which really shows the true nature of the settler movement. First some background:

A few weeks ago we read in the Guardian about a "confidential EU report" that "accuses the Israeli government of using settlement expansion, house demolitions, discriminatory housing policies and the West Bank barrier as a way of "actively pursuing the illegal annexation" of East Jerusalem."

"The document says Israel has accelerated its plans for East Jerusalem, and is undermining the Palestinian Authority's credibility and weakening support for peace talks. "Israel's actions in and around Jerusalem constitute one of the most acute challenges to Israeli-Palestinian peace-making," says the document, EU Heads of Mission Report on East Jerusalem."

Two houses were demolished just before the arrival of the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, which caused "a serious disagreement between Israel and the U.S.", but these were not the first demolitions. Back in November 2008 the Al Khurd family were evicted from the house they had lived in since 1956. Mrs. Khurd became a widow when her husband died as a result of the stress of the eviction.

The settler movement has been trying for a long time, since East Jerusalem's occupation in 1967, to get their hands on this valuable land to build 200 'settlement units'. Jonathan Cook reported back in July last year that "Behind the settler families is an organisation known as Nakhalat Shimon, founded by Benny Elon, a former cabinet minister and leader of the Moledet Party, which seeks the expulsion of Palestinians. He recently stated: “ Building Jewish neighbourhoods next to open areas [in Jerusalem] will prevent invasion and illegal construction by Palestinians who live near the Old City." The settlers have recruited a large number of religious supporters because they claim a cave in Sheikh Jarrah as the resting place of a famous rabbi from 2,000 year ago."

Now, however, thanks to the Israeli massacre in Gaza which soured Israeli-Turkish relations, the settlers claim has been shown to be forged, when "lawyers for the families were given access to Ottoman land registry archives in Ankara for the first time."

Jonathan Cook reports: "The problems facing Mrs Khurd and the other residents derive from legal claims by the Sephardi Jewry Association that it purchased Sheikh Jarrah’s land in the 19th century. Settler groups hope to evict all the residents, demolish their homes and build 200 apartments in their place. The location is considered strategic by settler organisations because it is close to the Old City and its Palestinian holy places."

Strategic and valuable.

"Officials in Turkey traced the documents the lawyers requested and provided affidavits that the settlers’ land claims were forged. The search of the Ottoman archives, Mr Abu Ahmad said, had failed to locate any title deeds belonging to a Jewish group for the land in Sheikh Jarrah."

As Cook reports, this is not the first time the settlers have tried to steal land: "Late last year the Associated Press news agency exposed a scam by settlers regarding land on which they have built the Migron outpost, near Ramallah, home to more than 40 Jewish families. The settlers’ documents were supposedly signed by the Palestinian owner, Abdel Latif Sumarin, in California in 2004, even though he died in 1961."

Lets see what excuse the settlers come up with now...

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