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TOI-Billboard Feb. 26, 2005: Sharon's own roadmap

TOI-Billboard Feb. 26, 2005: Sharon's own roadmap

Our own reporting & links to our selection of articles

--Sharon's own roadmap - summary of the week

--Send Halutz flying - protests against the appointment of a new Chief-of-Staff

--Anarchists and the villages – daily anti-Wall struggle

--Talking Peace while the Bulldozers Work

--Not forgetting Lifta

--Israel's new frontier -- by Aluf Benn, Ha'aretz

--Testing democracy in Jerusalem -- by Sarah Kreimer, Jerusalem Post

--Hidden costs of Israel's occupation policies -- by Chris McGreal, The Guardian

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Sharon's own roadmap - summary of the week

This week the Sharon-Peres government moved a step further on its own roadmap: the much publicized cabinet vote for the possibility of settler evacuation from Gaza, but.. in the same cabinet meeting a decision to defy the International Court in the Hague and go through with the Wall route which would slice off 7% of the West Bank lands (mostly arable land, with good water sources).

Meanwhile preparations are in high gear for building whole new urban settlements between the Green Line and the wall & the planning of big housing projects in the area connecting Jerusalem with Ma’aleh Adumim - as Gush Shalom emphasized in its weekly statement. And Peace Now's Settlement Watch revealed that even in Gaza during the last few months of 2004 construction of new settlement houses had continued.

While the Palestinian government struggled to renew itself, daily reports continued on Palestinians coming too close to certain fences and being shot dead by Israeli soldiers, or Palestinians lifted from their beds (less than before, but still) and driven to detention centers in nightly IDF raids in Palestinian cities.

For their part, the settlers are setting up their own "general staff" to confront the imminent evacuations. "The Israeli government (...) continues to fund the war against it with its own money" wrote Nehemia Strassler (Feb. 25), Ha'aretz economic commentator.

And then, on Friday evening another Palestinian blowing himself up and taking with him 4 Tel-Avivians who had been strolling the beach esplanade, and wounding 50.

During the Arafat era we got used to seeing such nihilistic and debilitating Palestinian initiatives being used as an excuse by our government to escalate the unequal war against the occupied Palestinians. The fact that today the military establishment and the Sharon government were not hasty in reaching such a decision - that is the advantage of the present Palestinian leadership over its predecessors. Or is this over-optimistic, and will our government just use this card for obstructing the efforts of Abu Mazen to progress more speedily with The Roadmap - to get at last to the long overdue final stage, and a viable Palestinian state in the territories occupied in 1967? Possibly the controversy will crystallize around the London Conference, expected to catch the headlines of the coming days.

<<>>

Also this week:

Send Halutz flying - protests against the appointment of a new Chief-of-Staff


[Feb. 24] Demonstrators carried signs reading "I DON'T sleep well at night", "WRONG APPOINTMENT" (...) “Children watch you from the clouds!" Full report of youthful anti-Halutz protest at:
http://www.geocities.com/keller_adam/halutz_vigil.htm

and:

Yesh Gvul demands: "Send Halutz flying"

In an ad in Ha'aretz on Feb. 25 the refuser movement Yesh Gvul declared that it "will act to bring Halutz to justice before international tribunals which do not exhibit the same clemency towards war crimes as Israel`s judicial system."

More on:
http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=755

<<>>

Anarchists and the villages – daily anti-Wall struggle

The Tel Aviv-based Anarchists Against the Wall had a busy week.
The following account was provided by organizer Yonathan Polak.

“At Bila'in the bulldozers are working quite close to the village houses, about four or five kilometers from the Green Line (pre-'67 border). Not that this is the decisive factor for us, we would protest even if the Wall was being built on the Green Line itself, since we oppose the whole idea of erecting walls to separate people from each other.

more on:
http://www.geocities.com/keller_adam/anarchists.htm

<<>>

Talking Peace while the Bulldozers Work

"Talking about "an end to violence" — while continuing to strangle the Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem with walls and turning them into fenced enclaves. Talking about "two states" — and continuing to section the West Bank with fences. Disengaging from the suffering and the misery that Israel will leave behind in the Gaza Strip, a fenced enclave — and continuing to create new enclaves in the West Bank, through fences, roads, check-points and settlements.
Talking about evacuation of settlements while constructing new ones."

background of the Feb 25 protest at:

http://www.taayush.org/20050225-salfit.html

report expected at:

http://www.taayush.org/20050225-rafat.html

<<>>

also Friday, Feb. 25:

Not forgetting Lifta

Friday, 11am activists came at the call of Zochrot to the entrance of Jerusalem, to the remains of Lifta village. Lifta is one of the few Palestinian villages to escape total demolition after being emptied in 1948. Up to the present the village houses can be discerned from the Tel-Aviv--Jerusalem highway.

Among those who came were former inhabitants - having become refugees and never allowed back. The activists posted signs at village landmarks and also had produced special brochures. The event was not only a commemoration but also a protest: a current building plan threatens to destroy the remains of the village to make way for a new Jewish neighborhood...

more about Zochrot activities at:
http://www.zochrot.org/index.php?id=180


<<>>


Israel's new frontier -- by Aluf Benn

Aluf Benn reveals how the decisions are taken which cause Palestinians to lose their lands:

"I will not say to you, Mr. Prime Minister, that we will not
defend in the High Court of Justice the alternative that has been chosen.
We will of course defend it, but let there be no doubt - there is legal
danger here," said the attorney general. "Don't even imagine Gush Etzion
not being inside the fence," replied Sharon.

Full text of the well-researched article

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/544806.html

<<>>

Testing democracy in Jerusalem

Sarah Kreimer, Jerusalem Post
Feb. 15, 2005

"Young Anatoly Sharansky paid a high price, fighting for the rights of free speech in the Soviet Union, and for the freedom to become part of the nation which expressed his yearnings as a Jew. Today, in Jerusalem, the city for which Sharansky bears ministerial
responsibility, 230,000 Palestinians yearn for the rights of free speech, and for the right to determine their own future as part of their own nation."

Full text
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1108353359072

<<>>

Hidden costs of Israel's occupation policies

Chris McGreal in Jerusalem
Friday February 25, 2005
The Guardian

Israelis are paying a high but rarely acknowledged economic and social cost for nearly 40 years of occupation, says a report commissioned by Oxfam published today.

full text
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1424774,00.html

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