by Stephen Lendman
What else can be expected from Israel's worst ever leader. He's a serial lawbreaker. He deplores democratic values. His contempt for non-Jews is palpable. He calls Palestinians sub-humans. It shows in how he treats them.
Under international law, Israeli settlements are illegal. Fourth Geneva's Article 49 states, "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies."
Moreover, in July 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled:
"Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development." In addition, they've "been established in breach of international law" on sovereign Palestinian territory.
Netanyahu, past Israeli leaders, and current officials ignore what they're obligated to obey. On October 23, Haaretz published a Reuters report headlined "Netanyahu pledges Israel will continue building in Jerusalem."
He toured Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood. It lies beyond the Green Line. Ahead of Israeli/EU talks, he announced plans for another illegal 800 homes on stolen Palestinian land.
He was defiant like he always is. He has a knack for making enemies. Arrogantly he said, "This is our country. I'll continue to support building in Jerusalem."
"United Jerusalem is Israel's eternal capital," he added. "We have the full right to build in it. We built in Jerusalem. We are building in Jerusalem, and we will continue to build Jerusalem."
Mayor Nir Barkat accompanied Netanyahu. He called Netanyahu a "true friend of Jerusalem." He provides resources and other support. "We will continue to build tens of thousands of apartments throughout the city," he pledged.
In defiance of international law, Netanyahu calls East and West Jerusalem Israel's capital. Currently about 2,000 apartments are in various stages of development. They include 800 just announced. They're planned for Gilo's Western Slopes.
Last week, Jerusalem's Local Planning and Building Committee granted approval. Interior Ministry authorization is required. Consider it rubber stamp.
Likud's position on settlements is hardline, stating:
"The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (all Occupied Palestine) are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel."
"The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting."
Likud rejects Green Line separation of Israel and Palestine. It incrementally steals Palestinian land. It declared all Jerusalem sovereign Israeli territory.
Likud's Charter also rejects Palestinian self-determination, saying:
"The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel."
"Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem."
"The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river."
Ahead of meeting Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton issued a weak-kneed statement, saying:
"The High Representative deeply regrets the decision by the Israeli Ministry of Interior to approve the expansion of Gilo settlement by 797 new housing units….Settlements are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible."
It wasn't worth its paper written on. It was toothless and worthless. Effectively it endorsed what she and other EU policymakers should condemn.
Short of appropriate measures, Israel can continue occupation harshness. It can also steal all valued Palestinian land it wants. It's done it for decades unaccountably.
Nonetheless, ultranationalist Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman reacted. He and Netanyahu represent the worst of Israel's lunatic fringe. He told Ashton and EU states to "mind their own business."
He accused Ashton of lacking "a basic understanding of the reality in the region." Criticizing Israel "encourage(s) the Palestinians to persist in their refusal to participate in negotiations and continue to take anti-Israeli actions in the international arena."
"Gilo is part of Jerusalem and Jerusalem is part of Israel," he added.
Gilo Community Center director Yaffa Shitrit also reacted. He attributed EU criticism to "a lack of understanding over Gilo's location. They need to look at the map," he said. "When they get here, they'll understand that it's not a settlement, it's part of Jerusalem."
Wherever it is, a settlement on stolen Palestinian land is a settlement.
Tens of thousands of new apartments are needed, Shitrit added. Unsaid was that building them requires stealing more Palestinian land.
At the same time, he and Gilo's Community Center express concern for how construction destroys forest areas and increases traffic congestion. Throw in more pollution to boot.
On October 22, AP headlined "Former US President Jimmy Carter: Israeli-Palestinian peace is 'vanishing,' " saying:
During a Jerusalem visit, he blamed Israel's West Bank/Jerusalem settlement project. He called what's ongoing "catastrophic." Israel bears full responsibility for making Palestinian self-determination "unviable."
"We've reached a crisis stage," said Carter. "The two-state solution is the only realistic path to peace and security for Israel and the Palestinians."
Years ago, two states were possible. No longer. Israel controls over half the West Bank and much of East Jerusalem. More is added daily.
Carter planned 48 hours in Israel. He led a delegation called "The Elders." In 2007, Nelson Mandela formed it. Its members include noted public figures, human rights advocates, and elder statesmen.
Former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brudtland and former Irish president Mary Robinson accompanied him. Mandela is now an honorary Elder. At age 94, he's less active.
Carter said he won't meet Netanyahu. He was denied earlier meetings. At issue is Carter's outspokenness and writings. His book "Peace Not Apartheid" made few Likudnik and other hardline friends.
He took direct aim at Israel's settlement project. On October 23, he and Elders with him left for Egypt. They'll meet President Mohammed Morsi.
On October 23, Haaretz contributor Merav Michaeli headlined "Contempt for peace."
She condemned Lieberman's comments about Ashton and EU states. His "statement may qualify as the world's most impudent joke," she said. A week earlier, he praised EU leaders for stiffening sanctions on Iran.
She omitted explaining that all Iranian sanctions are illegal. Arguably they're acts of war. In Israel, said Michaeli, "we (know) what being at war is like, yet we still have the deepest contempt for peace."
"We scorn any idea of agreements or cooperation. We disdain all solutions that are proposed. We show no respect for" treaties with Egypt, Jordan, or other peace initiatives. Earlier opportunities for peace with Syria were wasted.
"And we certainly (scorn) peace with the Palestinians." In January, another Israeli election approaches. Virtually no one mentions peace. Lieberman/Netanyahu comments make it little more than a four-letter word.
Actions, of course, speak louder than words. Ones mattering most suggest conflict. Much more than settlements is at stake. Compared to full-scale war on Syria and/or Iran, they're little more than a sideshow.
At the same time, they symbolize occupation harshness. With accompanying home demolitions, dispossessions, ethnic cleansing, and related policies, they represent an out-of-control rogue state.
Given what it's doing to Palestine, imagine how it might harm the whole region. Israel is nuclear armed and dangerous. It's not shy about flexing its might. Expect the worst. It's likely coming.
A Final Comment
Netanyahu wages war without declaring it. Bombing and shelling Gaza regularly proves it. So do targeted assassinations, cyber-security attacks, and other subversive acts.
Sudan accused Israel of blowing up a Khartoum arms factory. On October 24, Haaretz headlined "Sudan accuses Israel of role in arms factory blast," saying:
Four planes attacked the facility. A huge fire erupted. Israel accuses Sudan of smuggling weapons to Hamas. Corroborating evidence is absent.
Israeli officials refused comment on their possible role in the attack. Sudan's Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman said:
"Four military planes attacked the Yarmouk plant....We believe that Israel is behind it. The planes appeared to approach the site from the east."
"Sudan reserves the right to strike back at Israel." Two civilians were killed. It was partially destroyed. Osman added:
"We are now certain that this flagrant attack was authorized by the same state of Israel. The main purpose is to frustrate our military capabilities and stop any development there and ultimately weaken our national sovereignty."
He said analysis of rocket debris and other material implicated Israel's involvement.
Prior to the attack, Khartoum communications were disconnected for about an hour. Local journalists confirmed it. City residents had no idea what was going on. Information finally came out and people knew.
Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) claims the plant produced Iranian surface-to-surface Shehab missiles. It pointed fingers at Israel saying its "Air Force has a long record of preemptive attacks (on) an enemy's long-range missiles in the early stages of a conflict."
Saying so perhaps suggests something big against Iran is planned. With US elections days away, expect anything anytime once passed electoral priorities.
Last November and December, Sudanese media accused Israel of attacking two alleged Gaza-bound arms convoys. Four deaths and two injuries were reported. Apache helicopters were involved in December.
At the time, Sudan's military dismissed reports of Israel's involvement. Israel refused comment. It also was silent about other attacks in January and February 2009 after Cast Lead ended.
One attack attributed to Israel targeted a Sudanese truck convoy allegedly carrying weapons to Gaza. Over 100 deaths resulted. A second attack bombed a Sudanese ship. Weapons smuggling was suggested.
In April 2011, Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Karti accused Israel of attacking Port Sudan and killing two people. "This is absolutely an Israeli attack," he said. A foreign aircraft missile struck a car. Israel neither confirmed or denied involvement.
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert stressed Israel's "long arm." Its history reflects numerous false flags, other attacks, targeted assassinations, and other lawless acts abroad and against Occupied Palestine.
Israel's rogue state credentials are longstanding and well-known. Indeed it may be responsible for attacking the Khartoum plant.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.