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Israel's Settlement Enterprise: Longstanding, Outrageous and Illegal

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Israel's Settlement Enterprise: Longstanding, Outrageous and Illegal - by Stephen Lendman

B'Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, addressed it in its July 2010 report titled, "By Hook and By Crook: Israel's Settlement Policy in the West Bank", ahead of a July 6 meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Obama, their fifth - a shameless love fest endorsing Israeli crimes, Obama saying Israel has "got to be able to respond to threats or any combination of threats in the region," ones it manufactures to pursue ruthless, lawless policies, nonviolent civilians the victims.

On July 5, Israeli National News.com writer Hillel Fendel headlined, "Timed to Sabotage," quoting Yesha Council (YC) head Danny Dayan calling B'Tselem "an anti-Zionist tool for the destruction of Israel," citing the report and its report release date as one example.

YC (the Hebrew acronym for Judea, Samaria, and Gaza) is the successor to Gush Emunim ("Block of the Faithful"), the militant pro-settlement movement committed to Palestinian displacement, its members influential in Israeli politics, advocating a Greater Israel exclusively for Jews, its ideology based on religious zealotry, its members calling Cast Lead a religious war, its bogus justification for systemic violence, barbarism, military occupation, land theft, and efforts to silence truth.

According to Dayan:

"Not one Arab has been deprived of his land to build Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. Unlike in previous settlement enterprises, such as the kibbutzim of several decades ago, when there was no other choice....Since 1974, not one piece of privately-owned Arab land has been confiscated - and those that were, were totally compensated for, either in money or land," calling much in B'Tselem's report "an absolute lie," saying its "concern for human rights....just an excuse....to weaken Israel."

Other Israeli, Palestinian, and international human rights organizations disagree, publishing volumes of confirming material, what zealots like Dayan want suppressed or condemned if made public.

In preparing its report, B'Tselem used official Israeli data, including state comptroller statistics, Civil Administration maps, and attorney Talia Sasson's material on Israeli outposts, based on documents produced by Brig. General Baruch Spiegel.

Combined they show a half million Israelis "living over the Green Line: more than 300,000 in 121 settlements and about (100) outposts, which control 42 per cent of....the West Bank, and the rest in (12) neighborhoods" in Jerusalem Municipality annexed land.

From inception, Israel's settlement policy has been based on "an instrumental, cynical, and even criminal approach to international law, local legislation, Israeli military orders, and Israeli law, (that's facilitated the systematic) pilfering of land from Palestinians in the West Bank," ongoing for decades to seize all valued areas, including Jerusalem to make it exclusively Jewish.

How? By bogusly declaring "state land," resulting in the theft of about 16% of the West Bank, mostly from 1979 - 1992, but the process remains ongoing.

The State Attorney's Office interpretation of the Ottoman Land Law, in fact, "contradicted explicit statutory provisions and judgments of the Mandatory Supreme Court," facilitating land seizures, including privately owned Palestinian property, expropriated illegally, comprising 21% of settlement areas.

To encourage migration, benefits and incentives are offered, most settlements given National Priority Area A status, entitling them to:

-- quality, low-cost housing with subsidized mortgages;

-- free education from age three and extended school days;

-- free transportation to and from schools, and higher teacher salaries to attract qualified ones to move;

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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