Israel refuses to back down

2012-12-05 10:41

Jerusalem - Israel stood firm on Tuesday in the face of mounting international pressure as it pushed ahead with a swathe of settlement plans seen as threatening the viability of a future Palestinian state.

The Palestinian leadership meeting in the West Bank announced that it would ask the UN Security Council to condemn the Israeli settlement programme.

In Jerusalem, a senior European Union official said the bloc had received no indication Israel was planning to heed calls to give up on plans to build 3 000 new settler homes in a critical area of the West Bank near Jerusalem.

But Britain said the EU was unlikely to punish Israel by imposing trade sanctions, although top diplomats in the 27-nation bloc were expected to discuss further steps at a top-level meeting on Monday.

Egypt and Australia on Tuesday joined a growing list of countries who have taken the rare step of summoning the Israeli ambassador to express a formal protest over plans to build new settler homes in E1, a corridor of land near Jerusalem where construction would cleave a future Palestinian state in half.

No response

The EU ambassador to Israel, Andrew Standley, said despite growing international calls, Israel had shown no sign it was planning to call off its construction plans.

"We've not had any signal or message back, for the time being, to indicate that this message has been heard and has been acted upon," he said.

"There have been in fact, to the contrary, further messages or announcements saying Israel will act upon what it considers to be its strategic interests, which may suggest that if it sees more measures as necessary it will take more measures," he said.

"This is not what we are asking for."

But he refused to say whether the bloc would take further measures to sanction Israel, saying its foreign ministers were to discuss the matter on Monday at a meeting in Brussels.

But British Foreign Secretary William Hague said there did not appear to be any "enthusiasm" in the EU for any move to impose economic sanctions on Israel over its E1 development plans.

No consensus

"I don't believe there would be anywhere near a consensus," he told parliament. "Nevertheless if there is no reversal... we will want to consider what further steps European countries should take."

Israel's settlement plans have always raised hackles but Friday's proposals - seen as payback for the Palestinians securing the UN rank of a non-member state - are particularly contentious as they would make the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state almost impossible.

E1 is a corridor of West Bank land which runs between the easternmost edge of annexed east Jerusalem and the nearby Maaleh Adumim settlement.

But following four days of growing diplomatic pressure, Israel - which is in the middle of an election campaign - showed no sign of backing down.

"There will be no change in the decision that has been made," a source in the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday.

And several hours later, Israel said it was reviving plans for another 1 600 homes in annexed east Jerusalem.

New homes

"Are new homes in our capital Jerusalem really more dangerous to the peace process than the Palestinian Authority's refusal to talk peace and to recognise Israel?" tweeted Netanyahu spokesman Ofir Gendelman.

The Palestinian leadership held a meeting in Ramallah chaired by president Mahmud Abbas and attended by a top Hamas official.

It decided "as a first measure to turn to the UN Security Council... to request a constraining resolution for Israel to stop its decisions of destructive expansion and all forms of settlement."

The international outcry since Friday's move has been intense, with UN chief Ban Ki-moon warning that building in E1 would deal the two-state solution "an almost fatal blow".

On Monday, France, Britain, Spain, Denmark and Sweden all summoned the Israeli ambassadors to protest the plans, which also drew criticism from Russia, Germany and Japan. Australia and Egypt followed suit on Tuesday.


Washington has warned construction in E1 "would be especially damaging to efforts to achieve a two-state solution" and President Barack Obama's spokesperson urged Israel "to reconsider".

Israel has not given a time frame for the new construction, which has drawn praise from hardliners.

"History proves that every time we insisted on our positions and were prepared to clash, the West has always capitulated, because justice was ours," said the pro-Netanyahu daily Israel HaYom.

"The 3 000 housing units are a first and very modest step. More will follow. Fear not, Israel."

  • nikondaniel - 2012-12-05 11:19

    Screw Israel.

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-12-05 11:36

      Palestine first

      Brownbear - 2012-12-05 13:45

      no charles screw you !

      Tarrimaster - 2012-12-06 15:14

      Arafat was one of the people that swore to destroy Israel "brick by brick". If the Palestinians renounced that promise, as well as the use of violence as a whole, stopped their backing of hard line states like Iran and Syria, and took decisive action against the extremists in their midst (Al Qaeda and otherwise) - THEN, I would say that they will have demonstrated the maturity to become a state. Israel helped SA develop its own weapons of mass destruction - a deterrant that probably prevented us from falling into the anarchy that is in Syria right now in the end. Don't forget them and the Irish - they didn't forget us.

  • hudayfah.newman - 2012-12-05 11:31

    Just a bunch of thugs acting oppressed. Palestinians aint no terrorists. These idiots labelled them such to get pity from the world while they steal their land and kill them if they stand up for what is rightfully theirs. Its a pity the world is only realising it now.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-12-05 21:03

      Israel will overcome - anything. If that chaps your ass then too faaking bad.

  • - 2012-12-05 12:10

    Some people blow themselves up, others build houses...

      ziyaad.adams - 2012-12-05 14:00

      On stolen land! Sure, thats ok...

      gary.landman - 2012-12-05 17:04

      Some people blow their children up, others build houses...

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-12-05 21:14

      These homes will be built on barren land which never saw a dwelling in the past 100 years. Build Israel, build. The world will learn a lesson in obstinance from this. Those that approved non-member status for Palestinians at the UN were signatories to the Oslo Accords and they have thereby broken this treaty and legally entitled Israel to unilateral actions for which Israel cannot be sanctioned. They can summon ambassadors and have a hissy fit to their hearts content, but nothing can be done about it. There will be no sanctions abgainst Israel. The Palestinian gambit has failed. Shame, poor sods cannot win at anything.

  • bill.mckimm.9 - 2012-12-05 12:24

    A strange world we live in; no condemnation for throwing tons of explosives into Israeli civilian areas but when Israel want's to use land and build housing suddenly ever nation on earth wants to have a bit of the bitching action. It would make the well known reasonable man throw up. This after the UN threw peace under a bus, sorry Abbas. I sometimes wonder what is rotting the minds of this organisation?

      customdesign - 2012-12-05 12:43

      Even though I support Israel, this is not about housing. This is about making a point. The nations of the world voted to sidestep agreements and resolutions already in place by supporting a terrorist organisation called Hamas. What Israel is saying is that they will not be dictated to by humanistic pressures of a world who has no idea what is going on there. You never negotiate from a position of weakness. This is a message to Hamas that though they thought they won, their actions will not be tolerated. This land had been reserved for them until now, but by usurping Israel out of the agreement they have forfeited their chances to get a part of Jerusalem, and they have effectively separated the West Bank from Gaza. Hamas has never had any intention of peace with Israel. They are blatant about their position and it seems the world just turns a blind eye.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-12-05 14:17

      "Hamas has never had any intention of peace with Israel. They are blatant about their position and it seems the world just turns a blind eye." So is Zionism, study its credo!

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-12-05 14:23

      Zionism: The national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. Has come to include the development of the State of Israel and the protection of the Jewish nation in Israel Completely evil, of course if you think Jews are foreign to the land.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-12-05 14:29

      Yes Ninja, I love the part about establishing Eretz Israel, "stretching from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates”. How does that do for Peace and the two state solution?

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-12-05 21:18

      Fidel and the circle jerk clowns. The Palestinian gambit has failed. Build Israel, build.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-12-05 23:49

      That is fine Larry, stick to your Zionist bigotry and not the intellectual pretense of supporting a two state solution!

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-12-06 06:20

      Two states is not a solution for Israel, if it does not include a negotiated peace deal and recognition of Israel's sovereignty. So it will not be.

  • juta.kgokong - 2012-12-05 14:17

    If we have another WWIII, Isreal will be the cause.

  • diana.gill.18 - 2012-12-05 14:26

    Sometimes it works with a naughty child to give him a couple of reasonable bum smacks if he refuses to listen to just words.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-12-05 21:22

      Reading 50 Shades of grey, are we?

      diana.gill.18 - 2012-12-05 23:10

      Larry if you enjoy reading such type of so to say literature than carry on quietly and dont ask around if anyone else does. Not all of us have same bad taste in books as you do.

  • peanutcluster - 2012-12-05 15:20

    Every Israeli PM since its was created by the British colonial empire in 1948 came from Eastern Europe, with the exception of Netanyahoooo, who's father came from Eastern Europe and who was a known advocate of greater Israel that extends as far as Iraq. Can you blame the Arabs for being mad?? These settlers are up to no good. Imagine if these Eastern Europeans claimed a chunk of China, Africa or Europe - would the Chinese, Africans or Europeans be OK with that? I don't think so! The Jewish settlers must accept their status as Palestinians of Eastern European origin, same as the Europeans did in SAfrica! Finish and klaar!

  • gorden.norman - 2012-12-05 16:21

    If you think Israel is racist check out the mislim

      boaz.yarmarkov - 2012-12-05 16:50

      OMG this is just sick. what a sad world we all live in.

      Gorden Norman - 2012-12-05 18:41

      A muslim countries are RACIST including Palestine. They probably murdered these poor souls. Not to mention what they do to their woman so catch a wake up oh no wait blame it on Israel or the west.

      hudayfah.newman - 2012-12-05 19:21

      Aaaah let's use the old but look what they are doing trick to justify what we are doing. We know there are evil people all over the world. This doesn't make any of what Israel is doing right. Stop defending the wrongs of your people dude. The whole world is waking up to there oppression.

      Gorden Norman - 2012-12-05 19:58

      Well is there any other religion that endorses this behaviour ie murdering woman in the most inhumane ways possible. Not to mention severing a 7 year old girls head from her body for being raped by her uncle. this is a reality so face it Patrick or is it mohamed

      Gorden Norman - 2012-12-05 20:08

      Israel is probably trying to avoid being slaughtered like animals. Lets face it that's what the Palestine or lets say all the arab neighbours would do to them

      Gorden Norman - 2012-12-05 20:21

      The way you defend Islam makes you identity suspicious. If not then you should be

      Gorden Norman - 2012-12-05 20:35

      Patrick yes there are sick people in the world other religions condone this sort of behaviour. Islam does not condone the facts I put to you before and you got the nerve to call me a TOSSER

      Gorden Norman - 2012-12-05 21:16

      ok you win I must be blind

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-12-05 21:27

      Patrick is Lesego. He has been outed months ago as a black dude (of limited intelligence) pretending to comment as a white dude of great intellect. He only fools the new guys on these threads and is otherwise a child in an adults body pretending to be a grown-up.

      Gorden Norman - 2012-12-05 22:06

      Thanks Larry now I know why he didn't get my point. I will try draw pictures for Patrick next time.

  • hudayfah.newman - 2012-12-05 18:57

    Something strange going on these Israeli news pages. The one minute you got 20 thimbs up with one thumbs down the next all your thumbs up are gone and you're sitting with 50 thumbs downs. These zionist are working their deceptive tendencies on news24 too.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-12-05 21:28

      Really? This is terrible. I am going to keep my eyes on this.

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-12-05 22:25

      Wouldn't put it past them to try such tricks these Zionists are capable of anything..but at least the game is over and the world begins to realize that there is tomfoolery afoot!

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-12-06 06:26

      Which world are you referring to? The world of Duncan and Diana?

      diana.gill.18 - 2012-12-06 08:32

      Definitely not the world of larry! - 2012-12-06 17:19

      LOL i saw it too... and you know what... i am not surprised! Seeing as Facebook, Youtube, Google and Microsoft are all Zionist inventions I am not surprised your own computers are fighting against you. haha lets see, who else is investing in Israel; IBM, Intel, Apple, Texes Instruments, Berkshire Heathway, BT, Veolia, AOL Time Warner, Apax Partners, Arsenal Football Club, Coca-Cola, Caterpillar, Danone, Delta Galil, Disney, Emblaze, Estée Lauder, Home Depot, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Lewis Trust Group, The Limited Inc, Timberland, Starbucks, Selfridges, Siemens, Sara Lee, Nokia, Revlon, Nestle, Motorola, McDonald's, Marks & Spencer, L'Oreal just to name a few (and there is a huge SA list too) BTW two strings connected to a tin can is your best suggestion to replace the cell phone, while a white sheet of paper and two crayons is best way to substitute a Tablet.

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