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Israel’s proposed annexation of Jordan Valley

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, May 10th, 2020 - 18 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, israel, uncategorized, us politics - Tags:

With Benjamin Netanyahu now reinstated as Prime Minister of Israel, the big annexation of the Jordan Valley is gathering momentum.

Before I go any further, I like Israeli people. And I’m Catholic, so One Day Jerusalem, One Day.

My target here is solely Prime Minister Netanyahu and this specific new policy of greatly increased West Bank annexation.

What he has proposed is to bring the Jordan Valley from the Sea of Gallilee to the Golan Heights under full Israeli control. Here’s the plan in summary.

Now, in this conflict there are plenty of historic maps that are designed to mislead or lie to prove one propaganda point or another. This isn’t an argument about cartographic misrepresentation. My standpoint for Palestinian restrictions within the West Bank is from right now, provided by the United Nations in detail here.

President Trump had his own plan and announced it late last year. Here’s some commentary on his plans’ supposed “enclaves” and how they would be connected.

This is the partition proposed under the Trump peace plan:

Among many distressing things, what bugs me most is two things.

Firstly to state the obvious that it is an incredible violation to have land taken off you by the state. No matter what the reason. To bring it to home, near Hamilton there are a number of property owners who are having land taken off them and due to high betterment are not getting actual compensation for this loss from the state. It is a sufficient wrong that the Minister of Lands Eugenie Sage is going to have a look at the legislation.

One may ask: how dare I compare Israel with the Waikato. But we need to bring state land annexation home to us.

Israel’s proposal is better considered as an invasion by non-military means. This is clearly a state that covers itself with a gossamer of democratic mandate (three hung elections in succession), so that it appears to be doing something civil, lawful, peacable. In 1863 our Parliament passed the New Zealand Settlements Act, which took hundreds of thousands of acres of land off Maori without compensation. The damage of this state-driven annexation has taken us 150 years to amend and will probably take a further century to get to some equanimity for us all let alone Maori.

You can see a sketch map from Te Ara of the whole thing here.

On my own passageway wall I have one of the handful of copies of the four more detailed maps drawn up within that legislation to take that land with simple lines surveyed across the centre of the North Island. So in New Zealand we are aware of the state using the law to take and to punish. I like to keep it there to remind myself of judicial force and the crimes committed in the formation of New Zealand. Law does not mean justice.

Injustice about land and legacy burns deep and long into future generations.

The second thing that really bugs me is that small-country tyrants are now increasingly emboldened with patronage support. It’s hard to see this kind of policy occurring without Trump in power. We can sometimes get caught in bracketing the Trumpian excesses of the American government as pertaining particularly just to those American shores. But tyranny breeds evil across its client states all over the world. Israel in this action is one of the worst. Here’s an example.

Now, it’s quite possible that this annexation proposal will go the way of so many other plans for the Middle East and be put into the Too Hard basket. That’s not unlikely.

It’s also the case that the direct Palestinian control of anything within Israel was non-existent from 1946 to 1994, and the authority that it gained from 1995 to 2017 didn’t actually change that much. There was some.

But this plan is a totally unnecessary provocation by the state of Israel against an internally displaced people. They need support for their weak position not state-driven attack. The proposed plan is cruel and tyrannical. It would finally and fully separate the Palestinians from Jordan and the land lost in the 6 Day War. It would further alienate Israel from the European Union. It will further enrage the Arabian nations that surround it. It will isolate Israel at the United Nations into an even tighter co-dependant addictive relationship with the United States.

Particularly once Israel passes the necessary legislation for this plan, New Zealand for extremely good historical reasons should speak up against this.

18 comments on “Israel’s proposed annexation of Jordan Valley ”

  1. Andre 1

    Bottom line: Israel is going to carry on with creeping annexations until the entire West Bank has been absorbed back into Israel. At which point the question of a Palestinian state becomes moot, and there's an entire displaced people without the tiniest straw of hope to grasp at and an entirely legitimate recent righteous grievance looking for an outlet.

    The annexation process happens more quickly or more slowly depending on who is in office and where, but it grinds inexorably onwards regardless. The only real question is whether it will stop when the West Bank has been fully absorbed, or whether the expansionism will shift to provocations leading to land grabs like the Golan Heights, that can eventually be recognised by others. Like Vulgarmort proclaiming the US recognised the Golan Heights as part of Israel in April last year, which didn't make anywhere near as much of a media splash as it should have.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    I don't see why peaceful co-existence cannot happen in the Middle East – it does happen elsewhere. There seems to be a tacit mind-set on all sides preventing resolution of conflict. Is a solution based on the principle of equal citizens rights applying to all occupants really too civilized? Are Israelis & Palestinians & Arabs all incapable of forming common ground? The track record says so. Yet nobody has suggested their durable mutual incapacities prove them sub-human.

    I suppose folks blame their political culture rather than their (lack of) innate humanity. It takes strong moral leadership to transform toxic political culture. Indigenous people are nowadays being integrated with equal rights elsewhere in the world. Dispossession as state policy is immoral. Sure, the Canaanite Liberation Front is conspicuous by its absence, and the Palestinians don't claim to be relics of the original indigenous people of the region, but the jews have no moral basis for occupancy either – having gotten their land by genocide originally.

    The divine mandate was used by zionists to con gullible Brits successfully a century ago, creating the current problem. Homeland ideology lacks a non-racist basis, seems to me. Everyone has a right to a home, but the question of who belongs where has never been defined, and the UN always defers to occupancy based on the right of conquest. Moral leadership succumbs to realpolitik.

  3. Tricledrown 3

    More arms sales

  4. The two-state solution will be officially dead once this happens-it has been dead for a long time.

    Israel and what is left of Palestine, including the Gaza Strip, should become one nation with arabs having full and equal rights.

  5. Adrian Thornton 5

    Israel and Israelis (mostly) are racist and support apartheid racism that is a plain fact, end of story.

    Israelis Like Their Racism Sweetened…

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-israelis-like-their-racism-sweetened-1.6653422

    I could provide hundreds of links but why bother we all know this to be true.

  6. Obtrectator 6

    But …. weren't the Arabs themselves invaders, back in the 7th century?

    (Just saying. I don’t agree with this land-grab plan by Israel, and I certainly don’t agree with the terms of the Hamilton Council one. “Compensation” of $1 for thousands of hectares? Pure legal sophistry. Make it a damn good look, Eugenie.)

    [lprent: $1 for thousands of hectares?
    You simply don’t need to lie. I haven’t bothered to look this up but the roading seizures that I have read about were only a few hectares.
    I’m not going to give you a ban for making up and asserting a false fact. However this is your one warning. Read the site policy how not to be a dumb lying fuckwit online. ]

    • Barfly 6.1

      5000 square meters was in the article = 0.5 hectare but it sounds soo much more (clikbait) to say 5000 square meters doesn't it? slow the fuck down and READ b4 jumping

      (done it myself)

    • Obtrectator 6.2

      Yes, sorry LP – should have double-checked (I usually do). Sheer carelessness. Still a derisory amount of compensation, though, deserving of all the contempt it attracts.

    • Obtrectator 6.3

      PS: I don't much care for being called a lying ***wit on such flimsy grounds. Pull your head in over that sort of stuff. (And I don't really give a monkey's if this post results in a ban. There's heaps of other fora.)

    • Yes that is correct and I am sure there was no hand wringing about it when they did.

      • SPC 6.4.1

        Really? The Arab conquest of Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia and North Africa resulted in the adoption of their language and for most also their religion, Islam. But the local inhabitants were still there – do a DNA check of the populations today and look at the differences.

  7. adam 7

    Hedges and Khalidi cover some great points in this video. 28 minutes long. Oh the usual RT warning for people who can't filter the press themselves.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9_Ox1K6S9M&ab_channel=RTAmerica

  8. SPC 9

    A brief primer.

    1949 – UN no land beyond its borders can be annexed to a nation state.

    (Israel regards land beyond its borders as not existing in the world of nation state membership of the UN – as no Palestinian state exists while Egypt and Jordan occupy the Gaza and the West Bank)

    1977 Likud – the party of Irgun and Stern win an Israeli election – and begin settlement of the West Bank

    1993 Oslo Accord – allowing the formation of the Palestinian Authority for self-government and peace talks.

    2000 Talks between Barak and Arafat – Arafat rejects two states on close to 67 borders as he will not give up right of return for 1948 refugees.

    This led to the Israeli policy of disengagment – of both Sharon and Olmert. Whereby Israel left Gaza entirely (2005) and then to leave near all of the West Bank in stages to enact a border separation without a peace partner. But only one stage of withdrawal was enacted by Sharon (coma 2006) and Olmert 2006-2009. The policy was seen as discredited when Hamas used Gaza as a base for rocket attacks on Israel.

    In 2006, Abbas allowed Hamas to contest elections for the PA despite not supporting the Oslo Accord basis for the PA existence. The unanticipated victory of Hamas lead to the Hamas takeover of Gaza.

    The recent long period of Likud government under Netanyahu has been based on annexation of East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and all Jewish settlement areas of the West Bank (which are still expanding).

    The Israelis intend to offer citizenship in Israel to Arab Palestinians resident in areas annexed – largely those in villages surrounded by multiple Jewish stettlements (most of the younger Arabs in these villages have either been arrested for protesting or have left for larger Arab towns and cities or gone overseas). It's a policy to acquire as much land with as few Arab Palestinians as possible.

    It's a facts on the ground strategy – part formalisation of previous gains and part a process to realise more. It appeals to the security first imperative of some Israelis and the eretz Israel ambition of the religious Jewish settlers. The constraint on the strategy is the existence of large Arab population centres – Ramallah, Jericho and Hebron already receiving the overflow of "forced out younger villagers".

    The future options are to associate these bantustans/labour supply camps to either Gaza – as part of Palestine, or Jordan – as part of a land swap for historic eretz Israel land east of the Jordan.

  9. RedLogix 10

    This is a tough issue I rarely comment on, although I do hold a definite views. A good backgrounder here.

    Watch the wider ME positions on this. The big game in town is the much older Sunni/Shite conflict and the power games being played by Saudi and Iran. With the US pulling back from providing military cover in the region over time, the Saudi's will be looking for a new alliance partner.

    And oddly enough Israel is the counter-intuitive answer. Watch carefully as to who actually objects effectively to this annexation (not just words). From the Israeli perspective the time is now; the Palestinians are weak, the wider Arab world is weak, the Europeans are distracted, the US President wants it, and the Saudi's may well conspire to 'let it happen' if the Israeli's offer the 'technical assistance' they will need to deal with Iran.

    While there are legitimate reasons to challenge this annexation (it is as the OP says a flat out violation of legal precept and international law) there is a wider perspective that says the entire map of the ME needs a redraw anyway.

    • SPC 10.1

      On the wider ME perspective.

      This was a post invited by the President of the UK Board of Deputies from an Arab Moslem (democratic secularist) to negate the view of more idealistic younger Jews critical of Israeli government actions and intentions.

      https://www.thejc.com/comment/comment/british-jews-should-stop-attacking-netanyahu-1.499605

      A cynic might note the work of the Project for a New American Century to create this ME, divided between Sunni and Shia (led by Iran) – with Sunni elites (royal or tyrants like Sisi) wary of Moslem Brotherhood. Israel enemy of both Hamas and Iran is thus a natural ally of these less than democratic Sunni regimes (especially when it offers the tech support for their strong man rule). As Netanyahu said, the strong make alliances with the strong (and of course they make dependents of the weak).

      The PNAC policy adopted by the USA with regime change made Iran and al Qaeda (whether al Nusra or Islamic State) strong and the rest of the region dependent on outliers (US, Russia, Turkey and Israel).

      PS As to a redraw fixing mistakes

      1. some claim the partition plan of 1947 was such a mistake
      2. redrawing borders without consent of each nation state involved is in breach of UN collective security.
      3. they enable collective power to subjugate the weak (historic carve up of Poland etc).

      • RedLogix 10.1.1

        Yes. From our distance we do tend to oversimplify the ME. Anyone who lives there and is informed of events, is deeply aware of just how many actors are in the game, and what deep historic fault lines run all over the map. Whole books cannot do justice to it, much less a comment.

        If I had to declare I bias here, I fall onto the pro-Israeli side of the border. Israel is not going anywhere and if the past tells us anything about the future, then it's borders will only continue to expand one way or another. And not so much because of Jewish perfidy, but because of the original split within Islam that ensures their perpetual weakness.

        As for redrawing the map. This is not an original idea, here is one fairly common example search engines throw up, illustrating just how many ethnic groups have lost homelands under the current map. I'm not endorsing this version (it's very anti-Israeli) but it does provoke thought.

        In particular I've long believed no progress will be made until a national Kurdistan is allowed to form. Of course conventional wisdom tells us the Turks will never tolerate this; but events have a way of confounding even the wisest of us.

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