The Truth Shall Set You Free…It might piss you off first, but it will set you free.

Archive for the ‘palestinian conflict’ Category

Twitter Battles

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on September 24, 2011

I’ve taken a few days off from cyberspace to reflect…

They say the political battle for 2012 is going to be fought in cyberspace and twitter, we have already seen the impact of the age of information and instant communication.  We have watched the Arab Spring unfold before our very eyes starting with a vegetable vendor in Tunisia lighting himself on fire out of frustration.  The world sat transfixed for 18 days and watched the now world famous Tahrir Square Revolution, and the demise of a tyrant.  Bahrain a tiny country still struggles, they have not given up.  Libyan freedom fighters with the help of NATO are taking back their country.  In Syria, a vicious battle rages, we rely on You Tube Videos and tweets to tell the story since no journalist are allowed.  Finally we watched as the Palestinians took their hopes for dignity, freedom and justice to the UN and asked for statehood.  We also watched Pres. Obama threaten a veto, and did nothing short of wrapping himself in the Israeli flag and dance the Hora.   The US threatened countries who supported the Palestinian bid with cutting off funds, as well as the Palestinians themselves.

What happened to the Barack Obama who was in Cairo a few years ago encouraging the Arabs to embrace democracy, self determination?  He was playing to the the domestic market, he was playing to AIPAC, he was playing to the powerful Jewish lobby and the mis-information that the right has sent out – claiming that Barack Obama didn’t support Israel.  Which was far from the truth.   Winston Churchill said “A lie gets half way around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on.”  We’ve seen that with the birther issue.

In the midst of the Arab Spring, the Arab Awakening and the shifting sands of diplomacy and power in the middle east, Barack Obama has chosen to be on the wrong side of history.

One of the dangers in not blindly supporting Israel is one is automatically labelled as anti – Semitic.  The truth is the narrative that most of us have heard regarding the Palestinian issue has largely been framed by the Israelis – with a background always touching the holocaust. In no way do I deny the Holocaust, we as human beings cannot forget the horrors that occurred.   We cannot remain silent when we see ethnic cleansing going on…and that includes when the victim becomes the victimizer.  The situation in the occupied Palestinian territories is at a tipping point.   Nothing short of a slow holocaust has been occurring.   It is no longer a back story in a newspaper as it was 10 years ago, the new information age has made sure we see it all.   9/11 brought the middle east to the forefront.  There is no excuse for us as Americans not to be educated on the entire issues, from the beginning, and here’s a surprise, that is before  1948.

I am absolutely disgusted with Pres. Obama on this issue, when I voted for him I was voting for a change, not the same Bush policies towards the Palestinian issue that did nothing but cause the US to lose credibility in the middle east.  We were making significant headway in restarting our relationships in the middle east until  now…we have just lose the battle at the most crucial time.

Does that mean I don’t support Pres. Obama for re-election?  No.  I support him for re-election, because the alternative is unthinkable.

When I watch a Tea Party audience cheer at an uninsured man dying, in no way can I support that type of mentality.

When I watch a Tea Party audience boo a gay soldier serving his country, and not one Presidential candidate called them on it at the time…in no way can I support that type of mentality.

When I listen to people like Michele Bachmann hype lies on cervical cancer vacines, in no way can I support that type of mentality.

The list goes on..I will support Barack Obama for re-election,  he is the lesser of two evils.  The other evil is so vile and vicious, the founding father’s must surely be turning in their graves.

But what you will hear me tweeting and blogging about more is the Palestinian issue, and it is not anti Semitic to tell the truth.  It is a long complicated history, and there is enough blood on everybody’s hands.  Nobody is innocent,   as one of my favorite people in the twitterverse @ilikewoods in  says in her bio .. I believe the truth is out there, and I am going to spread it like mustard!   That is exactly what I intend to do.  I know I am going to make some people uncomfortable, I know I am going to lose some followers, and I’m ok  with that.  If the truth makes you uncomfortable, then don’t read my blog, don’t follow me on twitter.  If you want to understand, engage in productive dialogue, challenge the  false narrative that has been pounded into you with the truth and facts, then welcome.

Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it.  ~Emily Dickinson



Posted in aipac, anti semitic, dirty politics, holocaust, israel, obama, palestinian conflict, twitter, US Politics, World News | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Israel Eases Blockade – Exactly What Does That Mean?

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on June 21, 2010

Israel Easing Blockade?

Bowing to international pressure Israel has decided to “ease” the blockade.   “From now on, there is a green light of approval for all goods to enter Gaza except for military items and materials that can strengthen Hamas’ military machine,” Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said. Great, but  what does that mean exactly?  Does that include cement to rebuild homes?  Or would that be something that would be deemed military use?  Of course the list is not published yet.

What about the goods flowing the other direction?  What about allowing the Palestinians some type of economic empowerment?  I often think of George W. Bush and his statement about Japan being one of our strongest allies.  Yes, after dropping two nuclear bombs on them, that is quite a feat – and no I am not being flippant.  Once people are economically empowered alot can happen.  The US currently has an unemployment rate hovering around +-10%, and people are angry.   Take that 10% and multiply it by 4, over 40% of the people in Gaza are unemployed.  They do not have the option of moving to look for work, they are trapped.  If you are unemployed in Texas, you can always pick up and go look for work in California.  If you are unemployed in Gaza, you can’t pick up.  When you have 80% of the population relying completely on charity for daily living, you have removed dignity, you have removed hope.

Give people economic empowerment, and dignity you give them hope.  I am a skeptic, I admit, nothing ever seems to be in the “light of day” with Israel, there is always an alternate agenda in play, but one can always hope.

“I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be. ”
Thomas Jefferson

Posted in israel, palestinian conflict, Uncategorized, World News | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Food For Thought – Gaza Blockade

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on June 9, 2010

no frig full of food in gaza

Do you think this is what a refrigerator looks like in Gaza?

The Monkey is getting ready to depart for foreign waters, I have been given a wonderful opportunity this summer and I am going to take advantage of it.  So in preparation for leaving, I am cleaning out my refrigerator, and while I am tossing and carefully opening those little plastic containers (secretly wondering if it will kill the cat if I give it to her) it occurs to me, that those people in Gaza do not  have a refrigerator full of food, let alone the luxury to throw anything away.

This post has been poking at me for quite some time, and this is as good of a time as any to address it.  There has been much more coverage lately of the plight of the people in Gaza – Palestine because of the flotilla raid.  I think perhaps alot of people just assumed that of course the basics of life are allowed in, after all this is 2010 and Israel certainly has compassion, right?  What has come out is that in fact the basics of life are not allowed in to 1. 5 million people for the past 3 years.  Israel has refused to give an accurate list of what is or is not prohibited, and what is allowed in today, may not be allowed in tomorrow.    The  Israeli ambassador to the US – Michael Oren was directly questioned by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer regarding this policy:

BLITZER: A lot of people understand that and appreciate it. What they don’t understand, there are some of the lists of prohibited items that Israel won’t allow into Gaza. I’ll give you an example. The economist reported things like ginger, nutmeg, canned fridge, dried fruit, fresh meats, seeds, and nuts and they go on, musical instruments, newspapers, wood for construction. Is that true that Israel won’t allow these kinds of materials into Gaza?

OREN: The important thing here is that Gaza is getting all these materials through other means, through tunnels under the Egyptian border. We assure that there is no shortage of food or medicine in Gaza. We have 100 trucks a day, at least, going over our border, carrying food and medicine. There’s no shortage of either of these things.

BLITZER: But are these things prohibited from going through?

OREN: You know, Wolf, I don’t have a list in front of me. I hear also things from Hamas and Gaza, from the free Gaza movement. The fact of the matter is our commitment is to assuring this food and humanitarian aid, you know — Gaza strip is a hostile entity to us, and I don’t see where the United States during World War II felt a great need to supply, you know, chocolate to the German people, either.

BLITZER: What do you think of this European Union proposal that they would take over inspecting these ships going into Gaza. They would make sure there’s no security threat to Israel. No weapons or missiles or rockets or missions (ph) or anything like that. They would do the job, and Israel would no longer have to deal with these ships coming, and the EU would check the ships?

(read the entire interview here)

He obviously doesn’t even know what is or is not allowed in.

To deny that there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza is obscene, the equivalent of denying the holocaust.   For the past three  years 1.5 million people trapped in Gaza have relied on less than a quarter of the volume of imported supplies they received in December 2005.  The UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees Unrwa’s list of household items that have been refused entry at various times includes light bulbs, candles, matches, books, musical instruments, crayons, clothing, shoes, mattresses, sheets, blankets, pasta, tea, coffee, chocolate, nuts, shampoo and conditioner.  (Source BBC)

The blockade is not designed to prevent Hamas from commandeering supplies to launch attacks, it is designed for collective punishment.  I was torn between laughing and crying when I watched an interview of a UN relief worker, saying things like coriander, was not allowed.  What will Hamas do with coriander?  Launch salad rockets?  Tahini, a staple in the middle east made of sesame seed is allowed in, but Halawa is forbidden.  (If you have never had Halawa you have not lived, it is a delicious creamy almost like peanut butter candy made from sesame seeds.)  Anything that would give some sense of normalcy is forbidden.

Here are the facts on Gaza:

The Gaza Strip, a narrow piece of land on the Mediterranean coast, is home to a population of more than 1.5 million. Gaza covers an area of just 360 square kilometres and is considered one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

An estimated 1.1 million people, or three-quarters of the entire population, are Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA. About half a million refugees live in Gaza’s eight refugee camps

Facts and figures

  • 1.1 million registered refugees
  • Eight camps
  • 228 schools with 206,000 pupils
  • Two vocational and technical training centres (Gaza and Khan Younis)
  • 20 primary health centres
  • Six community rehabilitation centres
  • Ten women’s programme centres
  • Ten distribution centres

That’s it folks, that is as good as it gets in Gaza.  Yet, Israel can say we have no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.


As I looked at my bottled water, sparkling in my refrigerator, another statistic hit me – 95% of the water in Gaza is not drinkable.


Looking at my clean refrigerator, knowing that if I so chose right this very minute I could leave my home, and go out for dinner, go to a supermarket, restock my refrigerator, turn on my tap water and watch clean drinkable water flow out, open up the yellow pages and select from well over 20 primary health care centers….

Here’s the reality 3 years after 60,000 homes in Gaza were destroyed by Israel, there has been no rebuilding, Israel won’t let the cement in to rebuild with.  How can you build a country, a city, a community when the basics of life are not being met?

Here’s a refrigerator from Gaza…

Remeber there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza according to Israel.

Posted in flotilla, israel, mid east peace process, palestinian conflict, World News | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Helen Thomas – A Woman with A Pair! Get the hell out of Palestine!

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on June 7, 2010

This monkey has a new hero, her  name is  Helen Thomas and she has covered the white house for almost 60 years, the woman is living history.  She is probably one of the few individuals who remembers, and actually covered the creation of the state of Israel.   She was known for her famous press conference closing line, “Thank you, Mr. President.” – but as of late and in her most recent books she is direct, and her directness came into play on May 27, 2010…she was asked for any comments on Israel…she responded with “Tell ’em to get the hell out of Palestine, remember these people are occupied  and it’s their land, not German, not polish…”

She is absolutely right, and maybe that is the biggest lesson for EVERYBODY, diplomacy is not working with Israel, it is time for the world, it is time for the US to be direct.  She stated it beautifully and to the point, since when is it a problem to be direct? I’ll tell you when, when it comes to Israel, because we – the US in particular feel some type of misguided empathy, some type of responsibility for the holocaust, and Israel wears this badge with honor and has fully immersed itself into the “we are the victim” mentality.  The world has many badges of disgrace to wear, from the American Indians,slavery,the holocaust, the Rwanda massacre, Serbia, the list goes on.

Perhaps some day the world will wear the badge of shame with regards to the Palestinians, I wonder how many of them have to die before we do something?  Is there a magic number that makes us say stop it?  Is there a magic event that has to happen for the world to say enough?  During the holocaust, the world was not fully engaged of the actual horrors that were occurring, death camps hidden away.

George Patton, that great American hero, when he entered into Buchenwald, was encouraged by one of his aids to leave, reminding the General that he still had a war to fight.  Patton responded with…”wait I want to make sure I understand.”  It was horrific, without a doubt. So disgusted that he immediately enacted a strict policy forcing all German citizens in neighboring cities and towns to tour the camps to witness the result of their hateful nationalism, other generals followed Patton’s lead when liberating  other concentration camps.

Patton later acted as  a military governor he spoke of other violations of principle, “Today we received orders . . . in which we were told to give the Jews special accommodations. If for Jews, why not Catholics, Mormons, etc? We are also turning over to the French several hundred thousand prisoners of war to be used as slave labor in France. It is amusing to recall that we fought the Revolution in defense of the rights of man and the Civil War to abolish slavery and have now gone back on both principles.”

In today’s world it is hard to hide things away, the internet brings the world to your doorstep, we no longer have the excuse of “I didn’t know” .  We do know.  We are witnessing a slow holocaust, it is playing out in front of us every day.  The victims have become the oppressors, and where is the cry for justice?

Perhaps it was the spirit of Patton the possessed Helen, or perhaps it was simply she had seen enough and it was time for somebody to speak the truth.

Here’s the video – although I confess I wonder what was edited out, I wonder if this is in fact the full video…and of course the title of video has a nice spin…but none the less here’ssssssssss Helen!~




WASHINGTON, June 7, 2010 – Helen Thomas announced Monday that she is retiring, effective immediately.

Her decision came after her controversial comments about Israel and the Palestinians were captured on videotape and widely disseminated on the Internet.

Thomas later issued a statement: “I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.’’

Thomas will mark her 90th birthday on Aug. 4.

Yea but Helen you went out with a bang!  Hats off to you!!!

Posted in holocaust, israel, palestinian conflict, racism, World News | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

God Speed Rachel Corrie – Bound for Gaza

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on June 2, 2010

Not to be deterred another flotilla is headed for Gaza, the Rachel Corrie.

Who is Rachel Corrie?  She was  a 23-year-old American peace activist who was crushed  to death in 2003 by a bulldozer as she tried to prevent the Israeli army destroying homes in the Gaza Strip.  The events surrounding Corrie’s death are disputed, eyewitnesses assert that the Israeli soldier driving the bulldozer deliberately ran Corrie over while she was acting as a human shield to prevent the demolition of the home of a local pharmacist Samir Nasrallah.  The Israeli Government and the IDF denied that version of events and described Corrie’s death as an accident.

There is a beautiful  series of emails to her family, she explained why she was risking her life.  I have selected a few excerpts, but please, please take the time to read them here http://www.rachelcorrie.org

February 7 2003

Hi friends and family, and others,

I have been in Palestine for two weeks and one hour now, and I still have very few words to describe what I see. It is most difficult for me to think about what’s going on here when I sit down to write back to the United States. Something about the virtual portal into luxury. I don’t know if many of the children here have ever existed without tank-shell holes in their walls and the towers of an occupying army surveying them constantly from the near horizons. I think, although I’m not entirely sure, that even the smallest of these children understand that life is not like this everywhere…no amount of reading, attendance at conferences, documentary viewing and word of mouth could have prepared me for the reality of the situation here. You just can’t imagine it unless you see it – and even then you are always well aware that your experience of it is not at all the reality….If any of us had our lives and welfare completely strangled, lived with children in a shrinking place where we knew, because of previous experience, that soldiers and tanks and bulldozers could come for us at any moment and destroy all the greenhouses that we had been cultivating for however long, and did this while some of us were beaten and held captive with 149 other people for several hours – do you think we might try to use somewhat violent means to protect whatever fragments remained? I think about this especially when I see orchards and greenhouses and fruit trees destroyed – just years of care and cultivation. I think about you and how long it takes to make things grow and what a labour of love it is. I really think, in a similar situation, most people would defend themselves as best they could. I think Uncle Craig would. I think probably Grandma would. I think I would.

Please, please take the time to read her emails in full.  I am the first to admit that I am a cynical bitch, and as I sit here tears are streaming down my face for a young woman who at the tender age of 23 had more internal fortitude than world leaders…God Speed Rachel Corrie

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Netanyahu – with Friends Like You Who Needs Enemies?

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on April 23, 2010

“I am saying one thing: there will be no freeze in Jerusalem,” Mr Netanyahu said on Israel’s Channel 2 TV.

Although Netanyahu was repeating his long-standing position, the timing of the statement threatened to undermine s latest efforts to restart peace talks.  The U.S. State Department responded Thursday to remarks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who declared Israel would not stop building in East Jerusalem, saying that the status quo in the Middle East “is not sustainable.”  Earlier Thursday, Netanyahu announced that Israel does not intend to comply with the American demand that it halt settlement construction in East Jerusalem.

Obama reportedly made the demand for an East Jerusalem construction freeze, along with other requests, in a tense White House meeting with Netanyahu on March 23.

Obama’s administration had seen been awaiting Netanyahu’s reply, while the latter had deliberated with his top ministers on possible confidence-building measures that would allow a revival of peace talks with the Palestinians.

According to the report in the Wall Street Journal, Netanyahu rejected the demand on East Jerusalem, but did agree to other confidence-building measures, such as allowing the opening of PA institutions in the eastern part of the city, transferring additional West Bank territory to Palestinian security control and agreeing to discuss all the core issues of the conflict during proximity talks with the PA, instead of insisting that these issues only be discussed in direct talks.

Let’s review a bit on Jerusalem…

1. You may recall that on Netanyahu’s last visit to the US he proudly stated that Israel will continue to build in East Jerusalem

2. When VP Biden was in Israel the Israeli government announced an additional 1,600 new housing structures in East Jerusalem.

So what’s the deal about East Jerusalem you ask?

Here is the most concise and well written brief explanation http://www.juancole.com/2010/03/top-ten-reasons-east-jerusalem-does-not.html

Top Ten Reasons East Jerusalem does not belong to Jewish-Israelis

Posted by Juan on March 23, 2010

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the American Israel Public Affairs Council on Monday that “Jerusalem is not a settlement.” He continued that the historical connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel cannot be denied. He added that neither could the historical connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem. He insisted, “The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 years ago and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today.” He said, “Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is our capital.” He told his applauding audience of 7500 that he was simply following the policies of all Israeli governments since the 1967 conquest of Jerusalem in the Six Day War.

Netanyahu mixed together Romantic-nationalist cliches with a series of historically false assertions. But even more important was everything he left out of the history, and his citation of his warped and inaccurate history instead of considering laws, rights or common human decency toward others not of his ethnic group.

So here are the reasons that Netanyahu is profoundly wrong, and East Jerusalem does not belong to him.

1. In international law, East Jerusalem is occupied territory, as are the parts of the West Bank that Israel unilaterally annexed to its district of Jerusalem. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Hague Regulations of 1907 forbid occupying powers to alter the lifeways of civilians who are occupied, and forbid the settling of people from the occupiers’ country in the occupied territory. Israel’s expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem, its usurpation of Palestinian property there, and its settling of Israelis on Palestinian land are all gross violations of international law. Israeli claims that they are not occupying Palestinians because the Palestinians have no state are cruel and tautological. Israeli claims that they are building on empty territory are laughable. My back yard is empty, but that does not give Netanyahu the right to put up an apartment complex on it.

2. Israeli governments have not in fact been united or consistent about what to do with East Jerusalem and the West Bank, contrary to what Netanyahu says. The Galili Plan for settlements in the West Bank was adopted only in 1973. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin gave undertakings as part of the Oslo Peace Process to withdraw from Palestinian territory and grant Palestinians a state, promises for which he was assassinated by the Israeli far right (elements of which are now supporting Netanyahu’s government). As late as 2000, then Prime Minister Ehud Barak claims that he gave oral assurances that Palestinians could have almost all of the West Bank and could have some arrangement by which East Jerusalem could be its capital. Netanyahu tried to give the impression that far rightwing Likud policy on East Jerusalem and the West Bank has been shared by all previous Israeli governments, but this is simply not true.

3. Romantic nationalism imagines a “people” as eternal and as having an eternal connection with a specific piece of land. This way of thinking is fantastic and mythological. Peoples are formed and change and sometimes cease to be, though they might have descendants who abandoned that religion or ethnicity or language. Human beings have moved all around and are not directly tied to any territory in an exclusive way, since many groups have lived on most pieces of land. Jerusalem was not founded by Jews, i.e. adherents of the Jewish religion. It was founded between 3000 BCE and 2600 BCE by a West Semitic people or possibly the Canaanites, the common ancestors of Palestinians, Lebanese, many Syrians and Jordanians, and many Jews. But when it was founded Jews did not exist.

4. Jerusalem was founded in honor of the ancient god Shalem. It does not mean City of Peace but rather ‘built-up place of Shalem.”

5. The “Jewish people” were not building Jerusalem 3000 years ago, i.e. 1000 BCE. First of all, it is not clear when exactly Judaism as a religion centered on the worship of the one God took firm form. It appears to have been a late development since no evidence of worship of anything but ordinary Canaanite deities has been found in archeological sites through 1000 BCE. There was no invasion of geographical Palestine from Egypt by former slaves in the 1200s BCE. The pyramids had been built much earlier and had not used slave labor. The chronicle of the events of the reign of Ramses II on the wall in Luxor does not know about any major slave revolts or flights by same into the Sinai peninsula. Egyptian sources never heard of Moses or the 10 plagues & etc. Jews and Judaism emerged from a certain social class of Canaanites over a period of centuries inside Palestine.

6. Jerusalem not only was not being built by the likely then non-existent “Jewish people” in 1000 BCE, but Jerusalem probably was not even inhabited at that point in history. Jerusalem appears to have been abandoned between 1000 BCE and 900 BCE, the traditional dates for the united kingdom under David and Solomon. So Jerusalem was not ‘the city of David,’ since there was no city when he is said to have lived. No sign of magnificent palaces or great states has been found in the archeology of this period, and the Assyrian tablets, which recorded even minor events throughout the Middle East, such as the actions of Arab queens, don’t know about any great kingdom of David and Solomon in geographical Palestine.

7. Since archeology does not show the existence of a Jewish kingdom or kingdoms in the so-called First Temple Period, it is not clear when exactly the Jewish people would have ruled Jerusalem except for the Hasmonean Kingdom. The Assyrians conquered Jerusalem in 722. The Babylonians took it in 597 and ruled it until they were themselves conquered in 539 BCE by the Achaemenids of ancient Iran, who ruled Jerusalem until Alexander the Great took the Levant in the 330s BCE. Alexander’s descendants, the Ptolemies ruled Jerusalem until 198 when Alexander’s other descendants, the Seleucids, took the city. With the Maccabean Revolt in 168 BCE, the Jewish Hasmonean kingdom did rule Jerusalem until 37 BCE, though Antigonus II Mattathias, the last Hasmonean, only took over Jerusalem with the help of the Parthian dynasty in 40 BCE. Herod ruled 37 BCE until the Romans conquered what they called Palestine in 6 CE (CE= ‘Common Era’ or what Christians call AD). The Romans and then the Eastern Roman Empire of Byzantium ruled Jerusalem from 6 CE until 614 CE when the Iranian Sasanian Empire Conquered it, ruling until 629 CE when the Byzantines took it back.

The Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 638 and ruled it until 1099 when the Crusaders conquered it. The Crusaders killed or expelled Jews and Muslims from the city. The Muslims under Saladin took it back in 1187 CE and allowed Jews to return, and Muslims ruled it until the end of World War I, or altogether for about 1192 years.

Adherents of Judaism did not found Jerusalem. It existed for perhaps 2700 years before anything we might recognize as Judaism arose. Jewish rule may have been no longer than 170 years or so, i.e., the kingdom of the Hasmoneans.

8. Therefore if historical building of Jerusalem and historical connection with Jerusalem establishes sovereignty over it as Netanyahu claims, here are the groups that have the greatest claim to the city:

A. The Muslims, who ruled it and built it over 1191 years.

B. The Egyptians, who ruled it as a vassal state for several hundred years in the second millennium BCE.

C. The Italians, who ruled it about 444 years until the fall of the Roman Empire in 450 CE.

D. The Iranians, who ruled it for 205 years under the Achaemenids, for three years under the Parthians (insofar as the last Hasmonean was actually their vassal), and for 15 years under the Sasanids.

E. The Greeks, who ruled it for over 160 years if we count the Ptolemys and Seleucids as Greek. If we count them as Egyptians and Syrians, that would increase the Egyptian claim and introduce a Syrian one.

F. The successor states to the Byzantines, which could be either Greece or Turkey, who ruled it 188 years, though if we consider the heir to be Greece and add in the time the Hellenistic Greek dynasties ruled it, that would give Greece nearly 350 years as ruler of Jerusalem.

G. There is an Iraqi claim to Jerusalem based on the Assyrian and Babylonian conquests, as well as perhaps the rule of the Ayyubids (Saladin’s dynasty), who were Kurds from Iraq.

9. Of course, Jews are historically connected to Jerusalem by the Temple, whenever that connection is dated to. But that link mostly was pursued when Jews were not in political control of the city, under Iranian, Greek and Roman rule. It cannot therefore be deployed to make a demand for political control of the whole city.

10. The Jews of Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine did not for the most part leave after the failure of the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans in 136 CE. They continued to live there and to farm in Palestine under Roman rule and then Byzantine. They gradually converted to Christianity. After 638 CE all but 10 percent gradually converted to Islam. The present-day Palestinians are the descendants of the ancient Jews and have every right to live where their ancestors have lived for centuries.

Posted in israel, mid east peace process, netanyahu, palestinian conflict, World News | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Holy Week or The Obscene Irony & Reality in the Occupied Territories

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on March 29, 2010

This post has been bouncing around in my mind for a few days…the irony, as Christians start the most sacred week of the year, and the Jews observe Passover, the occupied territories of Gaza are sealed by the Israeli government.  Am I the only one who see the irony here?  They say a picture is worth a thousand words….

Passover Table

The people of Gaza ..

John 14.27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do no let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Nobody said life was fair, but we want there to be some kind of justice, my heart grieves this holy week for a land that is sacred to all…Christians, Jews and Muslims.  In the middle of this most holy land people are trapped, literally and symbolically, and the world watches in silence?  I hope it is not in silence, for surely  Heaven must weep.


The Political Monkey

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UN and Israel or You Don’t Pee in My Pool and I Won’t Sh*t in Your Sandbox Part 5

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on March 28, 2010

The US has went out of its way to “back” Israel, we have done every type of political and financial gymnastics possible, particularly when it comes to the UN, in short we have made the power of the UN marginal at best, as each time a resolution comes up condemning Israeli actions we veto it.   There is not one country supporting Israel, is there?  If the entire world were to say to me Political Monkey – you are out of line,  I would have to say gee, maybe I need to do something different, rethink my stance.  If this happens it will be in essence the entire world saying shame on you Israel.  The real question is..will Israel have the internal fortitude to come to the table and truly work towards a peaceful solution?

For the first time (somebody correct me if I am wrong) we are considering, this is RUMOR, but a good rumor from a good source …BBC, to actually abstain from voting on a resolution on Jerusalem…here’s the full story from


The US is considering abstaining from a possible UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, sources suggest to the BBC.

The possibility surfaced at talks in Paris last week between a senior US official and Qatar’s foreign minister.

The official said the US would “seriously consider abstaining” if the issue of Israeli settlements was put to the vote, a diplomat told the BBC.

US officials in Washington have not confirmed the report.

It is likely that the US is considering how to maintain pressure, and a UN resolution would be one way, says BBC state department correspondent Kim Ghattas.

The US usually blocks Security Council resolutions criticising Israel.

But relations between the allies have been severely strained by the announcement of plans to build 1,600 homes in an East Jerusalem settlement during a recent visit to Israel by US Vice-President Joe Biden.

The move prompted the Palestinians to pull out of the US-brokered indirect “proximity talks” that had only just been agreed in a bid to revive the peace process, which has been stalled for more than a year.

Nearly half a million Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. They are held to be illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.

Guarantee sought

The reported exchange between the US official and Qatar’s foreign minister came to light during a meeting at an Arab League summit in the Libyan town of Sirte.

A diplomatic source told the BBC that Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jasim Al Thani – who is also the prime minister – had recently met an official high up in the Obama administration during a visit to France.

During their talks, Sheikh Hamad asked the US official whether Washington would guarantee not to veto a UN Security Council resolution that was critical of Israel’s ongoing settlement construction in East Jerusalem.

The diplomat said the US official had replied that the current feeling in Washington was that they would “seriously consider abstention”.

An Egyptian official is said to have confirmed his knowledge of the US position during a meeting at the Arab League summit, which was held behind closed doors.

The US Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, was in Paris last week to hold talks with Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas.

The US is one of five permanent members of the Security Council with veto power and has a history of blocking any resolution condemning Israel.

The BBC’s Rana Jawad, in Sirte, says that many people will see the comments as yet another sign of Washington’s recent dispute with Israel.

In November, Israel announced a 10-month suspension of new building in the West Bank. But it considers areas within the Jerusalem municipality as its territory and thus not subject to the restrictions.

What does this mean?  It means that we are not going to veto it, that is a HUGE step.   A step that has been needed for a very, very long time, Obama has some balls!!!

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Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu also known as Ahmadinejad Netanyahu or You Don’t Pee in My Pool and I Won’t Sh*t in Your Sandbox Part 4

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on March 24, 2010

OK, this is a long post, and I beg you to read it fully.  The Palestinian – Israeli conflict is a complicated one, I don’t profess to be an expert, but I do believe that if we educate ourselves we stand a better chance at solving it. For those of you “Tweeters” out there who want news in 140 characters or less, this won’t fit for you, if you want to think…grab a cup of coffee sit down and read…

I think we can all agree that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an idiot.  His rhetoric is obscene and inflammatory, but you know what …I am fully convinced that Netanyahu is just as evil in his rhetoric.  These folks have something else in common…neither of them are based in reality, neither of them have any regard for the UN or any other recognized government’s opinion or sovereignty, nor does the idea of what is the morally right and just course of action apply to either of them.

What will it take for Israel to get the message?  The world is rapidly running out of time to placate Israel and their disregard for reality.   Solving the Israeli – Palestinian conflict will help us get out of Afghanistan and Iraq, I want my family members home who serve their country.  (see previous post regarding Gen. Petreaus)  I am tired of American blood being shed.  We are fighting with one hand tied behind our back, if we solve the Palestinian problem, it removes a MAJOR source of tension and feed for those who  want to terrorize the world.  I often wonder if we are fighting the wrong enemy?  Perhaps our biggest enemy is Israel and their refusal to engage in a realistic peace process or implement any of the 60 plus resolution passed by the UN.  Their continual provocation and escalation of the situation as so well illustrated by Benjamin Netanyahu  – the current Israeli Prime Minister and his recent  inflammatory remarks that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel.  Israel continually ignores and has no use for the UN, unless of course the UN is going to protect them, when it is  somebody else’s blood being shed on their behalf , like right now there are UN peacekeeping troops on the Israeli – Lebanon border, then the UN is just dandy!

Israel is a rogue state, just like Iran.  And no, I am not being anti-semantic here, it is just a fact.  Given the recent events linking Mossad the Israeli intelligence agency to the Dubai Murder of a Hamas member, using cloned passports from all over the world and the expansion and inflammatory language from Netanyahu I ask a simple question:  What is the difference between Iran and Israel?

The US should own up to what we have created, we continually blocked binding resolutions and resolutions condemning Israel because of our “special ties” with Israel.  Does “special ties” mean their Political Action Committees and Funds?  It is time for the US and the US politicians to quit prostituting themselves out for  Israeli PAC money and do the right thing for America.   Here is an organization – the UN -delegated  with keeping the peace of the world, and guess who has consistently ignored resolutions with regard to the Palestinian Israeli conflict?  Israel.

In January Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-moon made the following statement at the opening of the 2010 session of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, in New York, 21 January:

I congratulate you and your distinguished colleagues on your re-election to the leadership of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

As we open this year’s session, intensive efforts are under way by the international community to restart the long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.  I support the United States-led efforts to bring about a resumption of meaningful negotiations on all final status issues, including the security of Israelis and Palestinians, borders, refugees and Jerusalem.

In the absence of talks, confidence between the parties has diminished.  Tensions have risen in East Jerusalem.  People in Gaza and southern Israel continue to suffer from violence.  If we do not move forward on the political process soon, we risk sliding backwards.

Notwithstanding the Government of Israel’s decision to restrain settlement construction in the West Bank, I am concerned that settlement activity and financial support for settlement expansion continues in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The international community has repeatedly appealed to Israel to halt settlement construction throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  Settlement construction violates international law and contravenes the Road Map, under which Israel is obliged to freeze all settlement activity, including the so-called “natural growth”.

This is in no one’s interest, least of all Israel’s.  Settlement activity undermines trust between the two parties, seems to pre-judge the outcome of the future permanent status negotiations, and imperils the basis for the two-State solution.

In East Jerusalem, a series of worrisome events has not only stoked tensions in the city but also has the potential to endanger stability in the region.  The Israeli authorities have continued to discriminate against Palestinian residents, including by ordering house demolitions and evictions and revoking identity cards.  Local authorities have also announced plans to consolidate and expand settlement infrastructure.

It bears repeating that the international community does not recognize Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem, which remains part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  The question of Jerusalem is a central and highly sensitive issue to be addressed by the parties in permanent status negotiations. A way must be found, through negotiations, for Jerusalem to emerge as the capital of two States living side-by-side in peace and security, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all.  This is the road to fulfilling the vision of Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

In Gaza, one year after the end of the most recent round of hostilities, neither the issues that led to the conflict nor its aftermath have been fully addressed.  Very few of the key measures for stability, as identified in Security Council resolution 1860, have been implemented.  Moreover, and regrettably, accountability for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law has not been adequately addressed.  I call on Israel and the relevant Palestinian authorities to conduct, without delay, credible domestic investigations into the many reported allegations of serious human rights violations.

The grave humanitarian situation in Gaza remains of special concern to me.  The amount of humanitarian and other supplies allowed in is insufficient to meet the needs of the population or to enable urgently needed reconstruction.  I deeply regret that the United Nations proposal to kick-start civilian reconstruction activity has not been approved.  I repeat my call on Israel to end its unacceptable and counterproductive blockade and to fully respect international law.

I am also greatly concerned about those in southern Israel who have to live in fear of continuing Palestinian rocket and mortar fire from Gaza.  I call for a complete end to violence and the targeting of Israeli civilians.

For 42 long years, the Palestinian people have been living under occupation.  I reiterate my firm commitment to putting an end to the occupation, and to the conflict, through the creation of a State of Palestine living side by side with Israel in peace and security, and through the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region.

We shall pursue this objective in keeping with Security Council resolutions, previous agreements, the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative.

If we are to advance this common agenda in the crucial period ahead, a revitalized Quartet must step up its engagement.  This Committee has also a contribution to make.

I look forward to continuing our work together to end a tragic situation that has persisted for far too long, to the detriment of far too many men, women and children.

Today Ban Ki-moon made the following statement:

New York, 24 March 2010 – Secretary-General’s press encounter following security council briefing on the Middle East

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure to see you.

I have just briefed the Security Council on last Friday’s Quartet meeting and my own visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.

Tomorrow I am heading to Sirte, Libya, to participate in the League of Arab States Summit meeting.

These missions take place amid continuing efforts to start Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks, as well as a crisis of confidence surrounding Israel’s plans to build new settlements in East Jerusalem.

I am aware of the latest news concerning yet another 20 dwellings to be constructed in East Jerusalem, this time in the heart of an Arab neighborhood.

I say again, here, what I have been repeatedly saying: that settlements are illegal under international law. This must stop.

From my discussions with the Israeli and Palestinian leadership and the Quartet members, as well as what I saw for myself in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem, I would draw four main points:

First, there is no alternative to negotiations for a two-state solution. As the Quartet stressed, proximity talks should move ahead, evolving into direct negotiations between the parties as soon as possible. The goal should be to resolve all final status issues within 24 months.

Second, we must not let those negotiations be disrupted by provocations. No doubt there will be tests. However, you should know that extremists must know that the parties are determined to stay at the table.

Third, there have been too many negative facts on the ground. We need more positive facts — a settlement freeze, a lifting of the blockade of Gaza, an end to rocket fire from Gaza, an easing of the constraints that stifle Palestinian life, prisoner exchanges, Palestinian unity, further security and economic progress by the Palestinian Authority.

The list is long, and time is very short. Israelis and Palestinians should do much more to build trust and meet their obligations under international law and the Roadmap.

Fourth, while peace is primarily in the hands of the parties themselves, the international community will continue to play a crucial role. At this important juncture, the Quartet is determined to push the parties and monitor the situation. That is one of the reasons why I am going to Sirte to meet with Arab leaders to encourage and facilitate and support these proximity talks. The parameters of a solution are well known. Our challenge is to get from here to there.

Thank you very much.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, you spoke of how the indirect talks should not be interrupted or delayed by provocations. What about pre-conditions? Would you say that the Palestinian side should not allow the building going on as a pre-condition for beginning these indirect talks and moving to direct talks?

SG: Most ideally speaking, there should be no pre-conditions in talks. There should be negotiations going on. The process for these proximity talks has been agreed upon. It has been quite difficult. However, I am pleased these parties have agreed to engage in proximity talks. Therefore, any unilateral actions, which would undermine or prejudice the final outcome of this negotiation will have to be refrained.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, you’re going to Sirte to tell the Arab leaders there’s no alternative but a negotiated two-state solution. Many Arab countries including Saudi Arabia have come and said that the statements of the Israeli Prime Minister Mr. [Binyamin] Netanyahu in Washington about East Jerusalem have torpedoed the talks, and they want clarifications from the Quartet and the United Nations on their position on such statements. What do you say to these Arab countries who are very worried that this is not a pre-condition, that this is already undermining the final status talks by declaring a position on a very important subject for the Arabs and for the world: East Jerusalem. What do you say to that?

SG: That is exactly what and why I have been saying that not only the parties concerned, the whole international community, particularly the countries in the region should do their best to encourage these talks. I know that the Arab countries are frustrated, and they express their concerns and even reluctance in supporting these proximity talks. I have been engaging in bilateral talks with many Arab leaders, advising an opinion to them to support this dialogue process, and I’m grateful for their flexibility, even though they have given some conditional support. This support should continue so that Israeli and Palestinians will continue their bilateral negotiations. These proximity talks eventually should lead to direct negotiations. I will talk first of all with President [Mahmoud] Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and engage a group of Arab leaders collectively and individually, and I’m going to discuss this matter with them.

Q: A follow-up, sir. It seems like all the talking has been done with Arab leaders, while many feel that the Israelis should be told to refrain from making such statements on a very important topic, East Jerusalem, in a very definite way, which Binyamin Netanyahu did!

SG: The Quartet and the United Nations and the whole international community have been vocal and clear and loud that Jerusalem is an issue that should be negotiated and discussed as a result of a final negotiation.

Q: I wanted to ask in the run-up to this meeting with the Group of Friends of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has said that her party, the NLD [National League for Democracy], and other opposition parties, shouldn’t even register for the poll, that the election laws are flawed. I’m wondering; you convened the meeting, what’s your thinking of what the UN can do, given that the main opponent now wants to boycott it? And just one other thing, a week ago you’d said on the Sri Lanka panel or board on accountability that there’d be no delay. So a week’s gone by, I want to know if anything’s been done in that regard in that week?

SG: For your first question, let me answer tomorrow afternoon after I have convened the meeting of the Group of Friends of Myanmar. I need to discuss this matter with the ambassadors participating in that meeting. I will have a clearer answer, if you excuse me.

And second, I’m in the process of identifying persons who can work in the panel of experts. My chef de cabinet has been meeting with the Sri Lankan ambassador here and they are now in the process of making a move on this, and I expect that Mr. Lynn Pascoe will be able to visit Sri Lanka in the near future to discuss all the matters.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, in the past week you’ve seen Prime Minister Netanyahu, and you met yesterday with the opposition leader [of Israel] Tzipi Livni. Do you sense at all that there’s any room for movement in these proximity talks? It seems that, particularly in his speech in Washington, the Prime Minister took a very, very hard line defending the settlements and everything else, so I wonder if whether in your private talks you got any sense that there was any room for movement or flexibility?

SG: First of all, you should know the positions of both Israelis and Palestinians on proximity talks. These proximity, talks facilitated by the United States with a lot of political difficulty, have now been agreed. This is an encouraging point. How much progress can they make? I think they need to discuss all substantive core issues in the proximity talks. If you remember, there is a conditional restraint on settlements, freeze by the Israeli Government, and again some conditional support by the League of Arab States on these proximity talks. Time is very short so we must make progress so that they can move further toward direct negotiations. I can only urge the parties concerned to engage in dialogue with sincerity, sense of flexibility and also political will with longer perspective, visions.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, while you were talking in Moscow and here in Washington and other places, while talks are for talks and may take a very long time, what did you sense from the leaders and the ministers regarding the situation in Gaza? Are the people of Gaza going to wait many years until this blockade will be lifted?

SG: My second visit to Gaza was very much sobering. I went there with a sense of a heavy mind, knowing that the people in Gaza have been living under such very difficult circumstances. I have seen many houses and ruins still lying without being cleared. All these things need to be accelerated, for reconstruction, which will last one year after the end of this conflict. Nothing has been done, and I was relieved that the Israeli Government had finally approved the United Nations humanitarian projects. But as I said it is just less than one per cent of all the requirements which are needed to reconstruct all the Gazan economy. I have made this case very strongly to the Israeli authorities that the longer this closure continues, the more the people, Palestinians in Gaza, will suffer and may end up in undermining and disrupting the normal economic life of Palestinian people and also empowering these extremist militants there in Gaza. That is not in the interest of Israel, it is not in the interest of people in the region and it’s not in the interest of anybody in the international community.

Q: But they don’t care. Are you going to take any further steps like recommending to the Security Council to come forward – any new resolution in this regard?

SG: The Quartet in its statement said that they will monitor the situation and will take into consideration any additional steps if necessary, and we will continue to monitor the situation. And I have very sincerely and strongly urged the Israeli Government to take urgent measures to ease such closures and open crossings, and urge them to have longer perspectives for the future.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, do you think that lifting the blockade in Gaza can be played with this, with some tolerance from the Palestinians for the new settlement?

SG: I’m not sure about all this. However, easing the sanctions that they are [placing], the closures, and opening crossings — that should be done without any preconditions on humanitarian grounds.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, it was remarkable that you added Iran in the Middle East context, that you addressed the issue of Iran. Do you believe that the issue of Iran should be addressed in the Middle East context, the whole Arab-Israeli conflict?

SG: There are many regional dynamics in the Middle East. The Iranian issue is one of them. It has become international consensus that this is the one which must be addressed now. All the Member States of the international community have deep concern on the nuclear development programme. The Iranian authorities, according to the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency], have not been able to verify the true nature and scope of their nuclear development programme, that it is genuinely for peaceful purposes. That should be verified and proven by international community, and the burden is on them. At the same time, the negotiations should continue. Iranians should return to negotiations with the EU 3 + 3 and IAEA has made a good proposal and EU 3 + 3 also, their proposal is now something which needs to be given serious consideration by the Iranian authorities. I again urge that this issue should be resolved peacefully, through dialogue, as soon as possible.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

It is time for America to play hard ball with the Israeli’s, there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough.  Perhaps it is the stain of the holocaust and the atrocities that occurred that makes us feel protective of Israel, but I think we have created a spoiled child, we have raised this child with no boundaries, never told this child no, always held their hand and assured them they were “special”.  The fact is a Jewish soul is no more special, than an American soul, than a Palestinian soul, than a Muslim soul, a Buddhist soul, Christian soul… or any other living being’s soul.  It is time for Israel to either grow up and come to the table prepared to do what is right, or it is time for the US to break those “special ties”, including the purse strings.

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Israel – or You Don’t Pee in My Pool and I Won’t Sh*t in Your Sandbox Part 2

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on March 16, 2010

Ok, I know it isn’t a nice visual, it isn’t meant to be.  This middle east peace process has been going on for decades.  One has to wonder if nobody has informed Israel?

Last week V.P. Joe Biden was in Israel trying to jump start the peace process, and what should Israel announce while Biden is there?  A plan to expand another 1,600 homes in occupied East Jerusalem.  Diplomatic faux paux or a deliberate snub at the US?  I find it hard to believe that was just bad timing.    Benjamin Netanyahu is not a man likely to be uninformed about what announcements are coming out regarding the hot topic of settlement issues.

I have to give the Obama administration credit, they took Israel to task, unlike the previous Bush administration who gave Israel carte blanche.    Hillary Clinton had a tense phone call with Netanyahu in which aides say she demanded a reversal of the decision on the East Jerusalem settlements and additional gestures by Israel to the Palestinians to demonstrate its seriousness about negotiations.

In his first public remarks on what Israeli commentators called his most serious crisis with Washington since taking office a year ago, he gave no sign he would meet Palestinian demands to cancel a project for 1,600 new settler homes.

“I suggest not to get carried away and to calm down,” Netanyahu told his cabinet, after a reprimand by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and written statements issued by the prime minister’s office that failed to calm the dispute.

“There was a regrettable incident here, that occurred innocently,” Netanyahu said, referring to an announcement by a government ministry during a visit last week by Vice President Joe Biden, of planned construction in an area of the West Bank that Israel has annexed to Jerusalem.

The timing of the disclosure, after Palestinians agreed to indirect peace talks, embarrassed Biden and raised questions over whether Israel’s settlement policy could harm U.S.-Israeli security cooperation on the question of Iran.

“It was hurtful and certainly it should not have happened,” Netanyahu said of the announcement by the Interior Ministry, controlled by the religious Shas party, a member of a governing coalition dominated by pro-settler parties, including his own.

Posted in israel, mid east peace process, netanyahu, palestinian conflict | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »