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June 1998
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MER - Washington - 18 June:

Nowhere in the world are such policies pursued as those of Israel in dispossessing the Palestinians in such shameful and duplicitous ways. Yet not only are there no American sanctions against this country that so grossly violates the basic rights of millions of Palestinians, but the U.S. continues to pour money and arms into the "Jewish State" making one flimsy excuse after another.

The world's double-standard when it comes to Israel is quite mind-boggling. And where is the United Nations these days? By sitting on the sidelines, on orders from Washington of course, the U.N. only further discredits itself losing whatever moral and political authority it has left...which isn't a great deal anymore. Why isn't Israel at least suspended from the General Assembly as was done to the South Africa Apartheid Government of old?

And while we're at it, let's not forget to mention nuclear weapons. The "Jewish bomb" has been a reality since the 1970s, built and politically concealed with the help of the Americans of course, however much they pretend otherwise. Nor should we forget to mention that India's recent bomb was significantly helped along by the Israelis who have been working closely with the Indian military for many years, including a few aborted joint attempts to take out Pakistan's fledgling nuclear capabilities (as was done to Iraq in 1981).

Under these circumstances who can blame the Palestinians if they attempt to strike back and do so with whatever means are available to them? And under such circumstances shouldn't at least a significant part of the blame be attributed to the source of the money and the guns that make all this possible -- the United States of America?

And under such circumstances shouldn't the couple of Arab governments, most especially the Hashemite Regime in Jordan, be forced to terminate relations with Israel, rather than going forward with the many joint  economic efforts that are currently underway?

And while we're still at it, let's not forget to mention those "by-pass" roads that now twist and turn throughout the occupied territories to some 150 "Jewish settlements", making the very notion of any real Palestinian State untenable. The Americans, with a completely Zionist negotiating team at the State Department headed by persons who use to work for the Israeli/ Jewish lobby (as hard as that is to believe!), now say they are going to start paying for the "by-pass" directly from the American treasury!

The following comes from The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, a non-governmental organization in Jerusalem.


Jerusalem: 17 June 1998

The homes of Abdullah and Kefah Jabarin, and Abdullah's brother Abdel Qader Jabarin were destroyed yesterday by the Israeli army in Beit Hanina, in northern Jerusalem. Each modest home housed six people, and the brothers and their families had lived there since 1993. They had tried to obtain a permit to build, but were refused on the basis that this area of Beit Hanina was considered "open space". Almost all applications for building permits are refused by both the Jerusalem municipality and the military authorities of the West Bank.  The Israeli Jerusalem Municipality then charged the families a $1300 fine for building without a permit in 1995. The families paid the fine and believed that the problem was over, but this was not the case.

The bulldozers arrived early in the morning of 16 June. Soldiers and police removed the belongings of the homes, damaging furniture in the process, and destroyed the homes. The families hope to obtain tents provided by the Red Cross to shelter their families, as both families have infant children.

These latest demolitions come only a day after three other Jerusalem demolitions and a series of other provocative attacks on Palestinian areas of the city. House demolitions, along with settlement expansion and the construction of settler bypass roads, serve to constrict or limit the natural growth of Palestinian communities, and in some cases to remove a Palestinian presence entirely from areas near settlements, bypass roads, military installations or the green line. There is a concerted effort currently underway by the Israeli Jerusalem municipality to increase the Jewish majority in the eastern areas of the city, and these house demolitions are one tool towards this end.

The US State Department has also condemned the Israeli policy of house demolitions as "provocative", and as "sending the wrong signal". At a time when public confidence in the negotiations is at an all-time low, the continuing demolition of Palestinian homes for political reasons adds a serious inflammatory element, jeopardizes the stability of the region, and serves to consolidate Israeli control over the eastern part of the city. Negotiations broke down last year when Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu allowed the beginning of construction of a new Jewish settlement called Har Homa on Jabal Abu Ghneim, south of Jerusalem.




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