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The sterility of 'dialogue' and 'negotiations' with Israel

The sterility of 'dialogue' and 'negotiations' with Israel

A Jerusalem Post[1] editorial on 27 August 2012 reported that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a political point, deciding to visit a school in “the Gush Etzion community of Efrat” and quoted the Israeli PM as claiming that: “Efrat and Gush Etzion are an integral, fundamental and evident part of greater Jerusalem.” Another Jerusalem Post[2] article on the same day wrote that, in support of a continued Jewish presence in what the newspaper referred to as Judea and Samaria, Netanyahu visited the Efrat settlement to mark the first day of school. It quoted him again saying “Efrat and Gush Etzion are an integral, fundamental and evident part of greater Jerusalem. They are the southern gates of Jerusalem and will always be part of the State of Israel.”

Greater Jerusalem

The territory referred to comprises Efrat, which lies immediately south-west of the Palestinian city of Bethlehem and the Etzion bloc of 22 settlements, that lies a further ten kilometres out from the boundaries of the city. According to the self-styled Jewish Virtual Library[3], the route of what it calls Israel’s security fence (declared illegal in a World Court advisory opinion) in the Jerusalem area is intended as a strategic reinforcing of the municipal boundaries of the city to “alter the demographics in Israel’s favour” and to permanently draw the lines for a “Greater” Jerusalem. The aim is to reinforce “the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, instead of merely creating a border between Jerusalem and the West Bank.”


The Virtual Library entry admits that Israel's annexation Wall “has also separated Palestinians from other Palestinians” and that “. . . certain sections of the fence represent some political efforts to increase the Jewish population in areas of the city.” In the Virtual Library's opinion, once the right demographic solution has been realised the admitted hardships Palestinians face because of the Wall will prove to be “temporary and reversible”. The question of how dispossessed Palestinians might be able to reverse the economic and social impact of “the right demographic solution” is not answered.

In 1980, the Knesset formalised Israel's unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem by passing the so-called Jerusalem Law[4], which declared that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel." That declaration was declared "null and void" by United Nations Security Council Resolution 478[5]. If the 'Greater Jerusalem' plan were to be formalised, the area would absorb ten per cent of the West Bank, compared with the present 1.2 per cent.

Altering “the demographics in Israel’s favour” is, in plain language, ethnic cleansing. Netanyahu's latest territorial pronouncements reveal something of the pre-conditions that are disguised by the so-called 'negotiations' and 'final status' deceit so beloved by the US, Israel and their Western allies. Thus the Zionist state, through the support of its Western allies, has once again shown its contempt for international law. The practice of rewarding Israel and defending it diplomatically is guaranteed to perpetuate and increase these injustices. It is being seen by a growing majority of world opinion as nothing less than complicity in ideologically-driven war crimes.

Leslie Bravery 31 August 2012
Palestine Human Rights Campaign

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