Israel considering annexing settlements if Palestinians proceed with UN member-state bid.

Israel is considering annexing the West Bank settlement blocs if the Palestinians carry through with their threat of asking the United Nations to formally declare a Palestinian state.

According to Jonny Daniels, Chief of Staff to the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Danny Dannon, such a move would bolster the security of the settlements and give them the same legal status as east Jerusalem, making it more difficult for the settlement blocs to form part of a future peace accord. The idea is gaining momentum in Congress with members of the House of Representatives starting to push for a motion supporting the decision.

Regarding the settlements Dannon, himself, has previously stated that Israel has “a full right to this land”.

Meanwhile, on 20th September Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas still looks set to ask the United Nations to pass a resolution declaring Palestine the 194th member of the United Nations. It will be along the 4th June 1967 boundaries, which would have the effect of leaving the settlement blocs inside a new state.

The United States is certain to block a Palestinian state being legally declared by using its veto on the Security Council, but the resolution should be passed easily in the General Assembly instead. Britain is still to declare its voting intentions.

Professor Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Ambassador to London, said that a non-binding General Assembly resolution upgrading Palestine’s current observer status to that of non-member state would significantly raise the stature of the Palestinians in the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court:

“Our position will be bolstered. We won’t need Qatar or Lebanon to represent us anymore. We will be able to pursue war criminals ourselves, which will put more pressure on Israel,” he said.

Hassassian says that Israel gave the Palestinians no option but to go down the UN route:

“There has been no peace process with the current Israeli government, although we always hoped for a breakthrough. Israel has continued embarking on its settlement activities, and this has aborted the prospects for a two-state solution. None of this has encouraged the Palestinians or the international community and has proved that Israel is not serious in wanting peace. Our going to the UN will be a wake-up call for America and Israel,” he continued.

Jonny Daniels refutes this accusation:

“Even when Ehud Barak offered Arafat everything he asked for in 2000 the Palestinians rejected it. If the Palestinians were serious they would have recognised Israel as a Jewish state by now. By going to the UN they are breaking the Oslo Peace Accords, which state that no side can take a unilateral decision. My friends in Judea and Samaria are now in greater danger,” he responded.

He said that because the Palestinians lacked democracy Israel does not know whether it is Fatah or Hamas making the decisions, but he was still optimistic that the Palestinians could one day recognise Israel as a Jewish state:

“The Middle East is a very volatile area. Who could have predicted that the Egyptians would have ousted Mubarak like they did? Things can change very quickly, but until then we must look after ourselves,” he said.

Daniels views the proposed UN vote as another attempt by the Palestinians to delegitimise Israel, something that will add to the anti-Israel atmosphere at Durban III at the UN in New York on 22nd September.

Some commentators and politicians are predicting a return to violence after the UN vote, with the Arab Spring adding a potentially volatile ingredient.

Professor Charles Tripp, of the London Middle East Institute, said:

“Palestinian expectations may be raised, at least on the West Bank, making the likelihood of demonstrations and clashes even stronger. There have been reports that the IDF have been preparing for such an eventuality, including, it seems, training settlers in ‘crowd control’. This will exacerbate things even further.”

“The Israeli government has also hinted at various ‘symbolic’ reprisals like further building and settlement projects and other moves designed to infuriate the Palestinians.”

Professor Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov, of the Department of International Relations at the Hebrew University, thinks Abbas might organise mass protests similar to those on the recent Naksa and Nakba days when hundreds of Lebanese and Syrian citizens were bussed to Israel’s border leading to clashes with the IDF.

“The Arab Spring could have a big influence. After the overthrow of Mubarak and others people are starting to understand its effectiveness. If the demonstrations can be contained then all well and good, but if protesters get into the settlements then violence could escalate rapidly if there are clashes with the IDF,” he said.

Professor Benny Morris, of the Middle East department at Ben-Gurion University, believes such violence “may spiral into a third Intifada” and thinks terrorism likely. More ominously, Emanuele Ottolenghi, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, thinks it could lead to all out war against Israel:

“A UN resolution recognising Palestine as a state on paper will not give Palestinians a state in reality. It will instead spark a fire in the region that could quickly burn out of control, very much like happened in late September 2000 with the Second Intifada.”

“The difference, this time, is twofold. First, Hamas rules Gaza and has an arsenal to terrorize Israeli civilians. It will seek to exploit the situation to trigger a war with Israel. Second, the region has dramatically changed since the Arab Spring toppled Mubarak, which means that, this time, Arab countries may be dragged in,” he said.

Manual Hassassian said that violence is not part of the strategy of the Palestinian leadership and that any demonstrations will remain non-violent. He addressed concerns in the Arab world that declaring a state without agreement with Israel could spell the end of the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees:

“After the vote we will not be giving up on a negotiated settlement. We will be continuing with the diplomatic onslaught to resolve permanent status issues like the right of return. Everything will still be on the negotiating table, but eventually there will be an independent Palestinian state,” Hassassian stated.

Dr. Jonathan Spyer, of the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, thinks the UN vote will not bring any significant change for the Palestinians:

“Israel was created because of facts on the ground, notably the ability of Israel to prevail against any force in the eastern Mediterranean wishing to prevent its birth. This is not the case with the West Bank Palestinian Authority. The only way to a successful re-partition of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, if this is what the Ramallah leadership desires, is by way of negotiation. This will still be true after 20th September,” he said.

While Kadmina MK Yoel Hasson blames both Netanyahu and the Palestinians for the breakdown of negotiations and notes the potential for “violent incidents”, he doesn’t think that there will be any change on the ground regarding the settlements:

“I fear that the result of the Palestinian move will be isolation of Israel in the international community and it will definitely lead to greater pressure to evacuate the settlements. However, I have always believed that the settlements are not a real obstacle to peace. Israel proved twice, in the Sinai and Gaza, that it is willing to remove the settlements,” he said.

As a result of all this Israel could swing back left or go further right, but Hasson thinks it too early to gauge how events will affect Israel politically:

“No one knows yet whether Israelis will criticise the government or whether blame will be directed towards the Palestinian side,” he said.

But Professor Colin Shindler, of the European Association of Israel Studies, blames the Palestinians going to the UN on the “politics of stagnation in Israel” and believes that renewed isolation of Israel could lead it further to the right with Lieberman as a possible contender for the premiership:

“The Israeli government is a pantomime horse of the centre Right and the far Right – the former would like to negotiate, the latter does not. Therefore the lack of initiative prevents serious division within the government and ensures its survival. The Geneva Initiative, the Saudi Peace Plan and many other suggestions are dismissed. This leaves a vacuum which is being filled by the proposal to recognise a Palestinian state at the UN,” Shindler said.

Daniels dismisses the prospect of a Lieberman premiership pointing out that Yisrael Beitenu came a distant third at the last general election and neither does he think that Kadima will benefit from the Palestinian push at the UN:

“During the recent social protests in Israel Kadima was up in the polls and Likud down, but the polls have now swung back to the right. The right wing bloc is strong. People know that the right of Israeli politics is about security. The only real chance for peace is if there is change in the education systems of the Palestinian Authority and the Arab world generally where Israel is concerned”.

This piece appears on pages 4 and 5 of this week’s Jewish News.

47 responses to “Israel considering annexing settlements if Palestinians proceed with UN member-state bid.

  1. UN-nation; un-nation; non-nation; anti-nation
    By MARTIN SHERMAN
    15/09/2011

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=238146

  2. 1.
    somebody should ask Mr. Hassassian to be a bit specific on Int’l Courts. All in all there are by now about 90 and if he really talks about the court where this lady serves as judge than he doesn’t know what he is talking about at all. I’ve copied the announcement text since there is no direct link to it, only one to the summary site.

    If that state of “Palestine” is going to submit to that court’s jurisdiction we should prepare for quite a spectacle.

    For me two infos stick out from the talk: a) how much it is a work in progress and b) how many international courts for all kinds of jurisdictions have come into being in a very short time.

    Here is the iTunes link to the talk – listen and learn and recognize that everybody who throws around International Court and International Law in this loose way is into propaganda for the ignorant.

    Here is the iTunes link to the talk:

    http://itunes.apple.com/de/podcast/international-law-todays-global/id101215657?i=96922562

    http://wacsf.vportal.net/
    International Law and Today’s Global Challenges: A Briefing from the Hague
    Date: 08/30/11
    Speaker(s): Judge Joan E. Donoghue, Judge, International Court of Justice
    Description: Judge Joan E. Donoghue is wrapping up her first year as the US judge on the fifteen-member International Court of Justice (also known as the World Court) in The Hague. The docket of the World Court, which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, includes cases between countries over topics ranging from environmental and human rights claims to border disputes, the use of military force and the establishment of new countries. Before joining the court, where she is the first female US judge and only the third female judge in the court’s history, Judge Donoghue had a long and distinguished career as an international lawyer, primarily in the U.S. Department of State, but also with stints in the Treasury Department, the private sector and academe. She will share her insights on the role of the World Court, other international tribunals and international law generally in addressing today’s global challenges.

  3. oh and btw great job at giving an oversight Richard

    as to the refugees they’d remain refugees, even if their camp is located in Judea and Samaria
    http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2011/09/palestinian-arab-refugees-wouldnt-be.html

    apparently the piece in Hudson-NY on the subject is also enlightening.
    http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2011/09/jordans-palestinian-problem.html

    The latest I’ve read is that Israel is thinking about annexing the settlements.

  4. There is only one sensible and realistic option. Israel should annex Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Sinai, tear up the poisonous Oslo Accords and tell the fakestinians to clear off back to Egypt, Jordan or Syria where they came from. The Arabs are in fact illegally occupying these areas and have no right to be there ……..wait for it…according to international law….a real one still binding from San Remo in 1922 and the UN in 1948. They belong and should be in Jordan. This fake peace process and ‘negotiations’ and the endless pussyfooting around the truth is a grotesque farce which will inevitably lead to more violence and war. So it’s once again time for some pre-emptive action on the part of Israel, in order to put these upstarts, pretenders and Islamonazi irredentists in their place. A ‘palestinian’ state along the ’67 lines would mean the beginning of the end of Israel. If Israel does not act tough now, it is doomed. Period.

  5. last but not least but a bit OT – Michael Totten has a piece in City Journal that I consider to be giving a very good 101 for those who never had much time to read the news but who are now getting interested because of the brouhaha. Actually I think it is so good, that it would be nice if it could become a pamphlet.

    http://www.city-journal.org/2011/21_3_jerusalem.html

    • Not bad, although some of the research is quite shoddy. Abu Tor ‘the centre of Jerusalem’? Hardly …

      • Take the neighborhood of Abu Tor, on a hill just south of the Old City. The eastern side is Arab, and the western side is Jewish. The Green Line runs through its center.

        None of the other occurences of the word center support Leah’s paraphrasing

      • Have you been to Abu Tor, Silke? I have, I used to have some good friends there.
        I have no idea what you mean by your other comment.

      • Take the neighborhood of Abu Tor, on a hill just south of the Old City. The eastern side is Arab, and the western side is Jewish. The Green Line runs through its center. It would be easy enough, theoretically, to make the Green Line the border between Israel and a Palestinian state.

        But that border would go right down the middle of a street where Jews live on one side and Arabs live on the other. If a wall or a fence were erected on that border, residents wouldn’t be able to drive down their own street. And if there were no wall or a fence, anyone could cross the border without passing through customs or security: tourists, spies, job-seekers, and suicide bombers. A Palestinian could throw a hand grenade into Israel from inside his living room, and vice versa. What would happen if Hamas took over the West Bank, as it already has the Gaza Strip, and placed terrorist nests mere feet from houses in the center of Israel’s capital?

        There is nothing wrong with my ‘paraphrasing’.

      • As I am always eager to improve my ability to read and understand English I’d be exceedingly grateful, if Leah or anybody would tell me where in that text it says anything that might be understood as that Abu Tor is the “centre of Jerusalem”.

        Wikipedia says something to that effect, but I can’t find it in Totten’s text.

      • “Take the neighborhood of Abu Tor, on a hill just south of the Old City. The eastern side [of Abu Tor] is Arab, and the western side is Jewish. The Green Line runs through its [i.e. Abu Tor’s] center. It would be easy enough, theoretically, to make the Green Line the border between Israel and a Palestinian state. But that border [running through Abu Tor, which is the bit of Jerusalem we are discussing] would go right down the middle of a street where Jews live on one side and Arabs live on the other [we are still in Abu Tor]. If a wall or a fence were erected on that border [in Abu Tor], residents wouldn’t be able to drive down their own street [still in Abu Tor]. And if there were no wall or a fence, anyone could cross the border [which is in Abu Tor] without passing through customs or security: tourists, spies, job-seekers, and suicide bombers. A Palestinian could throw a hand grenade into Israel from inside his living room [in Abu Tor, which is the bit of Jerusalem we are discussing], and vice versa. What would happen if Hamas took over the West Bank, as it already has the Gaza Strip, and placed terrorist nests mere feet from houses [still in Abu Tor] in the center [allegedly] of Israel’s capital?”

        HTH.

      • I don’t believe Wikipedia does say ‘something to that effect’, but if it does say so then it’s simply wrong. It would hardly be the first time.

  6. Attilathecricketer

    What will annexing gain exactly? I don’t see how Palestinians can be criticised for breaking Oslo accords if, and it is a big if, the international community agrees to it. 1967 boundary recognition seems good idea to me. I don’t want Kosovo recognised but it eventually will be and that will probably be a good thing for a peaceful settlement – could be similar regards Palestine

    • There is no such thing as 1967 boundaries.
      Honestly, some people live in la-la land. Just because they shout some lie over and over again, it doesn’t suddenly become the truth.

    • Annexing will be saying tot he PA “if you stake your claim on what you think is “Palestine” we are telling you now that cities like Ariel are not up for grabs – there will be no evacuating Jews from such cities simply because you say you want his land”. Such cities will then be de facto in Israel and never up for discussion in Obama’s land swap scheme. Its really two can tango Mr Abbas!

  7. Everything is coming to a head. There are various calenders; i.e. Christian Gregorian September 2011; Jewish Elul 5771; Muslim Thul-Qedah 1432; Iran Nuclear Fuel Enrichment hits critical red line; etc. The divine timetable will trump them all.

    Where is the crown ?

  8. There is no such thing as a ‘Palestinian ambassador to London’. There is also no ‘Martian ambassador to London’. At the very least, put this absurdity in quotation marks.

    As to ‘legally declared’ – the UN has no legal powers of any kind.

  9. “Daniels dismisses the prospect of a Lieberman premiership pointing out that Yisrael Beitenu came a distant third at the last general election…”

    I’ve voted for Lieberman twice and I’m very pleased with him. In a recent poll, young Israelis preferred him to all other candidates for PM, although the large choice probably distorted the vote. He got 18% to Bibi’s 12%.

    However, while I agree that he probably won’t be winning the election too soon, as long as his influence continues to grow that’s fine too.

    Regarding the declaration in the UN I say, “Declare and be damned!” There’s a principle in chess that a threat is often far more potent than its execution. Let them declare already and they’ll have nothing left to threaten us with. The day afterwards the blessed Left wing press will be explaining why the Third World War hasn’t come.

    By the way, talking of the press, someone said that with all the chaos in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, etc now is the ideal time to make brave concessions.

    Ye gotta laugh!!

    PS

    Adam – Where can I get some of that stuff?

    • What I see from abroad has made me quite a fan of Lieberman too. But I doubt he’d give such effective speeches as Netanyahu does – the prejudice would be too strong to overcome. But then maybe he could appoint Netanyahu as foreign minister and let him continue give the speeches …

      • Nobody speaks better than Bibi. Sometimes he makes our case so effectively and so convincingly, that even we believe him.

      • and that is a very useful talent for a statesman to have, especially when he truely loves his country and cares for the welfare of the people who have elected him.

  10. As Michael Totten mentions in the piece with the “shoddy research” (where are the other examples) Yaacov Lozowick, here are his posts on Abu Tor

    http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/2010/04/dont-divide-jerusalem-abu-tor-preview.html
    http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/2011/04/dont-divide-jerusalem-asael-street.html

    Since we have always been told that Jerusalem was cut in two right through its center I am inclined to forgive Michael Totten for this instance his being a bit generous on distances. To assume that Totten has done “shoddy research” is given that Totten has walked the “evidence” with Lozowick is a bit of an exaggeration.

    But yes I admit to having been wrong in this case, ashes on my head for that one, but now I’d like to learn about the other items of “shoddy research” in the piece.

    After all Totten is a reporter I trust very much and when he is accused of “shoddy research” that is of utmost interest to me.

  11. Your sacrasm is entirely unjustified, given that you kept insisting I was wrong (even though I have much better first-hand knowledge than Totten) until you had no choice but to admit I wasn’t.
    If Totten walked the evidence and still got it wrong, then his carelessness is even greater.
    But maybe he didn’t, and simply relied on Wikipedia.
    Maybe Johann Hari is his idol.

  12. “Since we have always been told that Jerusalem was cut in two right through its center”

    Told by whom? The exact centre is not easily defined, but I would have thought in 1948/49 it was Zion Square if it was anywhere at all. So that statement too is incorrect.

  13. The mountain air is clear as wine
    And the scent of pines
    Is carried on the breeze of twilight
    With the sound of bells.

    And in the slumber of tree and stone
    Captured in her dream
    The city that sits solitary
    And in its midst is a wall.

    • That’s a song, not a geography lesson. And ‘in its midst’ doesn’t mean the geometric centre – are you a native English speaker? And the Hebrew original doesn’t even say ‘in its midst’ but ‘inside it’.
      You are an idiot.

  14. Here is the map. Naomi Shemer Z”L, as usual, was quite accurate.

    Silke, you were only saying what every Israeli or Zionist already knew, you have no reason to apologize, so rinse those ashes from your head and go to the beach!

    • That map doesn’t even show where Abu Tor is.
      Hint: it’s nowhere near the point marked as city centre, which looks roughly like Zion Square.
      What an idiot.

  15. Oh, and Malcha (the correct name of which is Menachat) precedes 1967 by many years, so that’s incorrect too.

  16. The question was regarding:

    “Since we have always been told that Jerusalem was cut in two right through its center”

    The wall was in the middle of Jerusalem on the ceasefire lines. No, not the geometric center, it would have been quite remarkable if the ceasefire lines had been in the geometric center, but the border was in the heart of the city.

    If you still need help understanding what is not a complicated concept, imagine a bomb going off in Hyde Park or by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Clearly the report would be that an explosion took place in the heart of London or the center of Paris, even though some petty idiot might argue that the Louvre is closer to the geometrical center of Paris and perhaps Trafalgar Square is nearer the exact middle of London.

    There are many who think that you know all these simple facts and just like to argue for its own sake. I have always given you the benefit of the doubt in this matter and put it down to your basic ignorance of any subject which requires more than just being rude.

    You’re state the obvious regarding Malacha, Ramat Eshkol wasn’t named after Levi Eshkol before 1967 either. The map uses identifiable place names. The border crossing of Jerusalem up to 1967 was in, what is now Road Number One, which is a ten minute walk and a one minute drive from Jaffa Street and King George Street. In other words it is in the heart of Jerusalem.

    • Massive reading comprehension failure.
      The original point was whether Abu Tor, specifically, is the/at/very near the centre of Jerusalem, as the writer claimed.
      It is not.
      Nothing to do with the Green Line as a whole. Nothing to do with Mandelbaum Gate either. Abu Tor is nowhere near Mandelbaum Gate.
      Now you wriggle and try to rephrase the question, which is typical of igorant haters and frauds like you.
      Ramat Eshkol didn’t exist before 1967.
      Menachat did. Look at the map: it’s inside the Green Line. It was a thriving neigbourhood by the early/mid-1960s.
      Trying to teach you simple things like that, or even to argue in good faith, is liking trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

  17. some of the research is quite shoddy

    I’d really like to know what the other “shoddy” ones in the packet of some are.

    I happen to consider both Yaacov Lozowick and Michael Totten (and lots on this blog) to be scrupulously honest people. To call anything they come up with “shoddy” riles me just as much as it would rile me, if a friend of mine would be smeared like that on flimsy grounds.

    So what are the other “shoddies” in the “some”.

    But I better forget about the whole thing, anybody who sets Totten in one with Johann Hari shows either complete ignorance of Hari’s shenanigans and of Totten’s work or is without any provocation deliberately attacking Totten’s honour. It is an attempt of what in German is called RufMord = murder of reputation. Totten has done anything to provoke such a mud slinging nuke.

    • Johann Hari? Rufmord (check your German spelling)? I didn’t “attack Totten’s honour”. I commented on inaccuracies in his article.

  18. When did I mention Abu Tor? This is simple reading comprehension. Years of yerida and taxi driving should have afforded you elementary English reading skills. When did I mention Abu Tor?

    My simple point was that Silke correct in writing:

    “Since we have always been told that Jerusalem was cut in two right through its center”

    Reread the original comment, if you still can’t understand it.

    Shana tova

    • Have you still not read Baba Metzia 85b which might have been written with you in mind? The discussion between me and Silke was about Abu Tor, and then you barged in with “There are many who think that you know all these simple facts and just like to argue for its own sake”, which describes you to a tee.

      There’s nowt wrong with my English.

  19. Charming, Richard. Censoring posts, now. Sinking to the level of Lenin’s Tomb and CiF. Not the deranged posts of Daniel, of course, with his hallucinatory nonsense about yerida and taxi driving, oh no. Only my reply to this hallucinatory nonsense. Richard Seymour would be proud of you.

  20. Good grief! If that’s a censored version, what kind of silliness could have been in the original creation?

    The mind boggles!!