Finally the Israeli Left is making some noise…

Thousands march in Tel Aviv against loyalty oath bill

Hadash MK Dov Khenin warns concept of a population transfer of Israel’s Arab citizens has turned from a nightmare into an operational plan.

Thousands marched in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening in a joint Jewish-Arab protest against the cabinet’s approval of a controversial amendment to the citizenship bill, requiring non-Jews seeking citizenship to pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

The demonstrators marched carrying signs reading "Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies" and "Together we will protect the democratic space". Among the organizers of the protests were Hadash, Meretz, The Green Movement, and Gush Shalom parties and many social and human rights organizations.

Top political figures delivered speeches during the demonstration, among them Hadash MK Dov Khenin, Meretz MK Haim Oron, Hadash MK Mohammed Barakeh, and journalist Merav Michaeli.

Khenin warned that the idea of a population transfer of Israel’s Arab citizens to a Palestinian state started as a nightmare, but has since transformed into a practical plan.

Jonathan Cook elaborated on that nightmare scenario…

Israeli forces test ethnic cleansing scenario

Israel has secretly staged a training exercise to test its ability to quell any civil unrest that might result from a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority requiring the forcible transfer of many Arab citizens, the Israeli media has reported.

The drill was intended to evaluate the readiness of the civil defence units, police, army and prison service to contain large-scale riots by Israel’s Arab minority in response to such a deal. [...]

Dov Chenin, a member of the Israeli parliament representing the joint Jewish-Arab Communist Party, on 12 October called for more details of the exercise from the government during a speech in the chamber, although officials offered no immediate response.

Chenin said the drill was a sign Israel was heading in an “extremely dangerous direction”.

“A few years ago, only the extreme right-wing parties talked about transferring Arab citizens, but now we see that even the security forces are preparing concrete plans for carrying out such a scenario.”

The same alarm was raised by all the Palestinians…

Palestinian factions meet in Gaza City

Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Fatah, met in Gaza City on Saturday to discuss the rise in extremist Israeli policies, Palestinian People’s Party member Walid Al-Awad said.

Al-Awad said the meeting was held in the offices of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, where delegations from various parties discussed the escalation in Israeli violations of Palestinian rights. The Israeli Cabinet’s recent approval of a bill requiring non-Jews applying for citizenship to swear loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state was discussed, he said.

The factions talked about the impact of the bill on Palestinians living inside Israel, and the threats it carried for Palestinian national identity. The crisis in negotiations with Israel, and Israeli settlement activity, were also on the agenda, the PPP official said.

Now, lets look at the latest maneuvers in the Peace Farce…

First, the Arab League handed Obama a one month reprieve…

Waiting on America

The Arab "alternative" to negotiations is to wait for the United States to come up with a new policy…

Less than a month after it was revived the Israel-Palestinian peace process is dead. The challenge now is how to defer the burial until after the mid-term US Congressional elections on 2 November.

This, in effect, was the meaning of the Arab League meeting in Libya on 8 October. Foreign ministers from 13 Arab states endorsed the Palestinian position of not continuing direct negotiations with Israel without an end to new settlement building in the West Bank. But they also bowed to American pressure to allow another month of diplomacy to try to resolve the issue.

The PLO is standing firm…

PLO: No talks while settlements continue

The PLO’s Executive Committee reiterated Saturday its refusal to resume negotiations with Israeli leaders while settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories continues.

Committee member Salih Rafaat told Ma’an that the PLO met in Ramallah to discuss the political situation, as well as the outcome of the Arab League summit’s extraordinary session in Sirtre, Libya.

"The Palestinian decision is there will be no negotiations as long as settlement expansion continues, even if it is only one house," Rafaat said, insisting on a complete halt.

Subsequently, the next planned meeting was postponed…

Paris peace summit postponed over settlement construction
Sarkozy’s invitation to Netanyahu and Abbas to hold direct talks in France will not be taken up in late October as originally planned due to Israeli-Palestinian disagreement over settlement construction.

…"Following joint consultations it has been agreed to set a new date for the preparatory meeting," a statement from Netanyahu’s office said, adding there was no chance of holding it on October 21, which was previously thought to be possible.

"We are looking for a new date that works for everybody, although there is nothing firm scheduled yet," an Israeli government official told Reuters.

However, it would seem that is not exactly true…

Israel preparing for Abbas-Netanyahu meeting

Israeli official sources disclosed that a meeting between de facto Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu was possible on the sidelines of the Mediterranean countries forum scheduled to be held in Barcelona, Spain.

Sources in Netanyahu’s office told the press on Sunday that efforts to bring the two together were underway especially after a summit in Paris on 21/10 grouping them with French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was cancelled.

Hamas spokesman Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri said that the summit in Paris revealed the true position of Abbas’s authority, which claims rejection of negotiations but covertly rushes for such talks.

So which is it, Abu Mazen, are you going to talk and continue the farce, or aren’t you…?

Now, in an interesting twist of fate, our Election Day happens to fall on the infamous Balfour Day. In 1917, the Earl of Balfour handed Baron Rothschild a single piece of paper…

Foreign Office,
November 2nd, 1917.

Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet:
"His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country".
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely
Arthur James Balfour

It would seem that the Israelis have missed that emphasized part, somewhere along the way…!


(cross posted from Whirled Peas)