With obviously no fear of any cut-off of funding from the US, the Israeli Civil Administration has just announced plans for 2,615 new housing units in illegal Israeli settlements across the West Bank.
The action was reported by Ma’an News in an article published Wednesday. According to figures released by Peace Now, a total of 6,742 new settlement housing units have been promoted by Israeli authorities since the beginning of this year, the article states. Just two days ago, 31 new construction permits were issued for settlers in Hebron.
According to a statement from Peace Now, “The Israeli government has lost all its inhibitions, while promoting settlement expansion in a record pace for recent years and distancing us daily from the possibility of a two state solution.”
I think that’s a bit of an understatement. The two-state solution has been dead for a while now, but at any rate, the statement goes on:
The government is sending a clear message to settlers–build illegally and anywhere and we will find a solution for you. It is clear that Netanyahu is prioritizing his settler constituency over the rule of law and the possibility for peace.
Build illegally and anywhere you want. We’ll find a solution for you.
The settlements are illegal under international law. This was formalized in a UN Security Council resolution adopted on December 23 of last year. I put up a very celebratory post about it on Christmas Eve, noting that the measure had passed by a vote of 14-0 with 1 abstention. The lone abstention was by the US–which was something of a surprise, since most people had expected a veto of the measure.
And while the US was not willing to go so far as to call the settlements “illegal” by voting in favor of the resolution, the official US position, for a good many years now, has been that the settlements do pose an obstacle to peace. This was reiterated by John Kerry in remarks made following the UN vote last December.
“The settler agenda is defining the future in Israel,” Kerry said. “Their stated purpose is clear: They believe in one state, greater Israel.”
But don’t worry. We’ll find a solution for you. Israeli officials obviously have little if any concern about offending the American government. The spigot will continue to flow. On this point they seem very snug and cocksure.
In September of last year the US and Israel signed a new “Memorandum of Understanding” under which the US will provide $38 billion in military assistance to the Jewish state over a 10 year period starting in 2019. This is an $8 billion increase over the current MOU, which expires next year.
In other words, Israel got an $8 billion raise.
It is unconscionable that all this money should be pouring into Israel when an estimated 90,000 Americans have just been left homeless due to the recent California wildfires.
The video below is one I posted back in 2014, but if anything, it is even more relevant today. In it we see an Israeli settler telling a group of Palestinian farmers that their land belongs to the Jews and that if they are nice and cooperative, they will be allowed to work as slaves of the Zionists.
“You’ll all be our slaves, if you are worthy. If you behave well.”
Interestingly, the settler, as he speaks those words, is looking directly into the camera–as if addressing a much wider audience than simply the group of Palestinian farmers he stands amidst. Maybe his message is intended for other Palestinians. Or maybe it’s intended for people of other nationalities as well.
Maybe he intended it for Americans. Maybe especially for Americans–for we do seem to be turning into slaves of Israel more and more these days.
The Peace Now statement is right about one thing: the Israeli government has lost all its inhibitions.
“Keep on paying your taxes Americans, while we go on building our settlements”–this, in its uninhibited, cocksure manner, is what the Israeli Civil Administration seems to be saying to us with all of these settlement expansions.