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Times of Israel: Tel Aviv Slams EU warnings on Annexation – Veterans Today

The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday hit back against the European Union’s “megaphone diplomacy” after the bloc’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, again warned Jerusalem against the unilateral annexation of West Bank territory in a message congratulating the Jewish state on its new government.

“The Israeli Foreign Ministry would like to thank the EU for their message congratulating Israel on the swearing-in of a new government,” spokesperson Lior Haiat said in a statement.

“Israel and the EU share history, values, interests, opportunities and both face threats. It is regrettable that once again, the security of Israel, a key partner of the EU, and the threats that Israel face, were not mentioned at all and were not given the centrality that they should be in such a message,” he said.

“This ‘megaphone diplomacy’ is not a substitute for intimate diplomatic dialogue and will not advance the role the EU is seeking to fulfill,” Haiat added.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, in his inaugural speech as top diplomat, said Monday that Israel expects “a significant dialogue with our allies in Europe,” Haiat noted. (Ashkenazi’s exact quote was: “Israel and Europe are important partners, and I am sure that the relations we share will be fruitful and beneficial for both sides.”)

In that speech, Ashkenazi also hailed the US administration’s plan for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement as a “historic opportunity” to shape Israel’s borders, but stopped short of explicitly endorsing a unilateral annexation of West Bank territory.

Incoming Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, May 18, 2020 (Foreign Ministry)

On Monday evening, Borrell issued a brief statement that largely focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the need for a two-state solution, the importance of international and Brussel’s “grave concerns” over Jerusalem’s supposed plan to unilaterally annex the Jordan Valley and all settlements across the West Bank.

In the first of three paragraphs, the top European diplomat congratulated Israel’s new government, calling the Jewish state a “key partner” for the EU.

“We look forward to continuing working with the Israeli government in a constructive and comprehensive way, in the spirit of the longstanding friendship that binds us to Israel, in order to develop our relationship in all areas, in particular in matters such as COVID-19, education, research and development and any other area of mutual interest,” he said.

His statement then emphasized that international law was a “fundamental pillar of the international rules-based order” and noted that the EU and its member states would not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 lines unless agreed to by both Israel and the Palestinians.

“The two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the future capital for both States, is the only way to ensure sustainable peace and stability in the region,” Borrell declared. “In this vein, we note with grave concern the provision – to be submitted for approval by the Israeli cabinet – on the annexation of parts of occupied Palestinian territories.

“We strongly urge Israel to refrain from any unilateral decision that would lead to the annexation of any occupied Palestinian territory and would be, as such, contrary to International Law,” he said.

The statement was issued in Borrell’s name because there was no consensus on it among the EU’s 27 member states. According to several sources familiar with the matter, Hungary, Austria and other countries reasoned that now was not the time for such statements.

On the other hand, some member states, including Ireland and Luxembourg, sought to issue a statement that was even harsher, including mentioning steps the EU may consider if Israel were to advance its annexation plans. Given the near-certain veto of such a text by Budapest and Vienna, some countries considered issuing a separate joint statement listing possible sanctions against Israel as a deterrent against annexation, but this has not materialized so far.

Some EU member states have also asked Brussels to prepare an “options paper” that would detail the various diplomatic and economic sanctions the bloc could take, but work on such a document has not yet started, sources told The Times of Israel.

“We must work to discourage any possible initiative towards annexation,” Borrell said Friday after a discussion on the matter by the EU foreign ministers. “This will require reaching out, by all of us, to Israel, US, Palestinians and Arab partners, using all channels that the EU and the Member States have. Our discussions on this complex topic will continue, we will not advance events.”

While there has not been consensus among EU members as to how to proceed, “everybody agreed” that the union has to increase its efforts to prevent an Israeli West Bank annexation, Borrell said.

“Believe me, we are ready to do that and we will do that in the next days using all our diplomatic capacities in order to prevent any kind of unilateral action,” he added. “And if this happens, then we will see. But for the time being, our efforts are devoted to the diplomatic action in order to avoid any unilateral action and in support of a negotiated two-state solution.”

In early February — shortly after the US administration released its so-called deal of the century that okays an Israeli annexation of large parts of the West Bank — Borrell had hinted at possible sanctions when he said that “steps towards annexation, if implemented, could not pass unchallenged.”

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News Veterans Today

The Debate: Zionist Annexation: Kevin Barrett vs. Richard Millet – Veterans Today

I really triggered rabid Zionist idiot Richard Millet during our Press TV Debate yesterday. “Where did you find this guy?”

Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist, is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror.

He is host of TRUTH JIHAD RADIO; a hard driving weekly radio show funded by listener donations at and FALSE FLAG WEEKLY NEWS (FFWN); a audio-video show produced by Tony Hall, Allan Reese, and Kevin himself. FFWN is funded through FundRazr.

He also has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications.

Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin; where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.

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News Popular Resistance

Nakba Day: Oppose the Israeli Annexation of West Bank Settlements 

Nakba Day: Oppose the Israeli Annexation of West Bank Settlements 

By Howie Hawkins, Popular Resistance.

Nakba Day: Oppose the Israeli Annexation of West Bank Settlements 2020-05-15PopularResistance.Org×422.jpg200px200px

It is time for the United States to end its bipartisan unconditional support for Israeli policies that violate the human rights of Palestinians. At this critical moment, when Israel has announced its intention to annex Israeli settlements on the West Bank with the support of the Trump administration, we must speak out and resist this blatant violation of international law and the right of Palestinians to self-government.

Friday, May 15 is the anniversary of the Nakba, which Palestinians commemorate as The Day of Catastrophe when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced from their own lands, homes, and businesses preceding and following the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948. Between 1947 and 1949, at least 750,000 people out of a total Palestinian population of 1.9 million became refugees. 530 Palestinian villages and cities were destroyed and about 15,000 Palestinians were killed. The State of Israel claimed 78 percent of Palestine. Since 1967, Israel has militarily controlled the remaining 22% and expanded Jewish settlements into these occupied territories.

This year a new phase of land theft from the Palestinians is developing with the Israeli plan, backed by the Trump administration, to annex Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank to the State of Israel. This annexation is illegal under international law and opposed by all the members of the UN Security Council, except the United States. It is opposed nearly unanimously in the UN General Assembly and unanimously across the Palestinian political spectrum.

Democratic Party leaders nominally oppose the annexation, but the Biden wing refuses to call for measures to pressure Israel to drop its ambitions. Bernie Sanders has called for a cut-off of US military aid to Israel if the annexation goes forward, but Joe Biden along with other Democratic Party leaders have called Sanders’ position “outrageous.”

The new coalition government led by a partnership between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Benny Gantz says it could announce the annexation plan to the Knesset after July. It may be timed to come right before or after the Republican Convention.

The United States should stop giving Israel blanket support no matter how much it violates Palestinian rights and expands the illegal settlements on Palestinian land.

The growth of illegal settlements and the annexation of Palestinian land, as well as Jewish-only roads and hundreds of checkpoints already dominating the occupied West Bank, is making the two-state solution, supported by international law, increasingly untenable. The two-state solution calls for an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel, west of the Jordan River, based on the pre-1967 borders. As a result of the constant expansion of Israeli settlements on the West Bank, Palestinians and pro-justice Israelis are increasingly turning to the one-democratic-state solution as the only just solution that is possible now.

The One Democratic State solution respects the multicultural character and the collective rights of the peoples living in the country, Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews among others. It calls for a constitutional democracy in which all citizens enjoy a common citizenship, a common government, and equal civil rights. Constitutional protection will prohibit laws that discriminate against any ethnic or religious community, which addresses the key concern Israeli Jews that their religious and cultural rights will be protected in a country in which they will be a minority.

Regarding the Gaza Strip, which has become a large open-air prison, the Israeli blockade of Gaza must be lifted so that food, construction equipment, and the essentials for healthcare and other humanitarian aid are allowed into the area. The repeated bombings by Israel of Gaza must come to an end. The 715,000 people of Gaza must be given democratic rights and their human rights protected.

The US should be putting pressure on Israel to change its policies by no longer providing Israel with political protection in the UN and no longer providing $3 billion in annual funding and military aid without any conditions that require Israel to respect Palestinian human rights and negotiate with the Palestinians for a just solution.

I support an escalating program of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to put pressure on Israel to respect human rights and negotiate a just settlement, starting with cuts to US military aid to Israel, as called for by the Palestinian BDS National Committee with broad support across Palestinian society. I oppose laws in the United States that criminalize individuals and businesses that take their own BDS actions. These laws violate our constitutional rights to organize, speak out, and take political action.

If the US is going to play a positive role diplomatically in promoting a just solution, it has to end its unquestioning support for Israel in whatever it chooses to do and instead become a neutral broker helping both sides to negotiate their differences. The political solution is up to the Palestinians and Israelis to negotiate because self-determination means they decide their solution, not us.

Howie Hawkins is the leading candidate for the Green Party nomination for president.

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News Veterans Today

Israel has EU compromised by its needing unanimous vote to sanction West Bank annexation – Veterans Today

France urging EU partners to consider firm response to Israel’s West Bank annexation

…by PressTV, Tehran

[ Editor’s Note: France taking the lead here is nice to see, but it looks like Israel has planned ahead to cut the EU off at the pass by having a fix in with a couple of its members to block any serious consequences from Bibi doing anything he wants to the West Bank, Gaza, or the Palestinians.

A parallel example would be how Bibi danced around Benny Gantz in the coalition negotiations because he had his coalition lined up behind him, while Gantz had his blown to the wind after breaking his pledge not to join a Netanyahu government.

I sometimes think the EU knows how limited its options are, but puts on these public shows to cover up how its structure has self-castrated having any serious impact on world events, particularly when it comes to fixing systemic problems.

By accepting the Balkans countries in, it did not add much to its gross economy, and some would say a liability. These countries always assured there would be one or two that could be bought off to block a unanimous EU vote.

It is too late to change the EU structure, because that would require a unanimous vote. I am trying to think about a situation in the last few years where the EU was key in a major geopolitical vote that fixed something. Please let me know in the comments.

And no, the EU’s support for JCPOA does not count, because the special Swiss bank trading workaround for Iran has not processed a single deal in close to two months. The EU is humiliating itself in not realizing that its signature on any agreement is worth less each year, second after the US.

It suffered under the Russian sanctions, particularly France, which has contributed to the EU’s weakened economy, and I would say made Trump more aggressive in his US sanctions demands.

Dear EU, Gordon and I are available for consultation, but we would have to review some of the past goofs to see what you have learned for anything to be feasible now. Fixing things usually requires understanding how you got caught in the mess to begin with, and why it has gone on so long Jim W. Dean ]

Jim’s Editor’s Notes are solely crowdfunded via PayPal
Jim’s work includes research, field trips, Heritage TV Legacy archiving & more. Thanks for helping. Click to donate >>

– First published … May 12, 2020

France has been pushing its European Union (EU) partners to consider threatening the Israeli regime with a firm response if Tel Aviv proceeds with a plot to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, diplomatic sources say.

Three EU diplomats told Reuters on Monday that France wants to raise the issue during a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers on Friday. Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg also seek to introduce some sort of punitive economic measures against Israel on the event’s agenda, they said.

The diplomats did not specify what punitive measures could be on the table to deter Israel from stealing more Palestinian land.

The report came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said cabinet discussions would start in July over extending Israeli “sovereignty” to the settlements built on occupied land and to the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, as was mooted under US President Donald Trump’s Middle East scheme.

Palestinians have expressed outrage at Israel’s plans to cement its hold on land it seized during the 1967 war — part of the territory they are demanding for a future state of Palestine.

“There is clearly a need to look at what annexation means in the context of international law and we do need to know our options,” said one senior EU diplomat involved in discussions.

“We also need to say what exactly the consequences of annexation would be, ideally as a way to stop any such move,” the diplomat added.

EU foreign policy spokesperson Peter Stano said on Monday that the 27-member bloc would take action if Israel moved ahead with its illegal annexation of the West Bank.

“Annexation is not in line with international law. If it goes ahead, the EU will act accordingly,” he told the European Commission’s daily press briefing.

In terms of procedure, EU governments would need to ask the EU’s External Action Service (EEAS) to draw up a list of options. All 27 EU nations would need to agree to any response, but Israel’s closest allies such as Hungary and the Czech Republic could still block even preparatory work, according to Reuters.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said the bloc does not recognize Israeli rule over Palestinian land, and that it will “continue to closely monitor the situation and its broader implications, and will act accordingly.”

Separately, the UK also said it would not support Israel’s annexation scheme, with Britain’s minister of state for the Middle East and North Africa telling the parliament that “our long-standing position is that we do not support the annexation of parts of the West Bank, and… doing so could make a sustainable two-state solution harder.”

Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Executive Committee Saeb Erekat said Ireland and Greece were also opposed to Israel’s new land grab bid.

Erekat tweeted Monday that he had held in-depth talks with Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveny as well as with Greek Foreign Minister Nikolaos Dendias.

During the talks, he said, the European diplomats called for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the implementation of a so-called two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders in line with international law.

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News Popular Resistance

Israel Prepares For Annexation Of The West Bank

Israel Prepares For Annexation Of The West Bank

Israel Prepares For Annexation Of The West Bank2020-05-05PopularResistance.Org

Above photo: A picture taken on September 27, 2018 shows the Israeli settlement of Neve Yaakov (foreground) in the northern area of east Jerusalem and the Palestinian neighborhood of al-Ram (background) in the West Bank. Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images.

Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, Israel and its global lobbies have had an extraordinary run of success.

In the US and Canada, the passage of laws against the BDS movement; US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the shifting of the embassy there; the appointment of an ambassador who is no more than Israel’s point man in Washington; the Kushner plan and US acceptance of Israeli annexation of the West Bank; and in the UK, the defeat of Jeremy Corbyn, partly if not largely based on  a slanderous campaign launched against the Labor Party generally and Corbyn personally.

This was the most malicious political assassination in British history, with the corporate media and the Zionist lobby driving in the knives day after day. The main Jewish newspapers had already maligned Corbyn in the same front page editorial when the chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, used the Corbyn-hating Times to attack Corbyn as “mendacious” and to plant fear amongst British Jews: “What will become of Jews and Judaism in Britain if the Labor Party forms the next government?” Nothing would happen, of course, not to British Jews, but there would be significant changes affecting Britain’s relations with the racist settler enterprise it established in Palestine more than a century ago.

These attacks were not about Judaism but Israel. Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-Semite. This is so obvious that it should not need saying. The false charge of anti-Semitism is the weapon used by Zionists throughout modern history to destroy critics of Israel and here it was being used again.

Had Corbyn expressed undying support for Israel—as Keir Starmer has since done—this issue would never have arisen.  Jews inside and outside the Labor Party would have issued statements that while there were bad apples in every barrel, anti-Semitism was a minor issue which the party leadership was dealing with. They would not have hesitated to canvass votes for the Labor Party.

Corbyn has a lifelong record of defending human rights everywhere and that includes the human rights of the Palestinians. Had he been elected he would have re-orientated foreign policy in their favor. That had to be prevented at all costs and the accusation of anti semitism was the weapon used,  on the grounds that repeated often enough people would believe it.

Thus a good man with good policies was thrown aside and a buffoon with no policies installed in his place. In time, once they realize they were duped, the British people may remember the knifing of Corbyn by the Zionists.

Now Israel is moving on to its next success, the annexation of the West Bank. This is due to begin on July 1, Netanyahu and Gantz having agreed on its fundamentals and the US ready to rubber-stamp whatever portion of territory they decide to take.

Initially, this seems to be 30 percent plus the Jordan Valley. The 70 percent ostensibly left to the Palestinians will mostly consist mostly of rural land running alongside the border with Jordan.

The Trump-Kushner ‘peace’ plan was deliberately written to be unacceptable to the Palestinians, all of them, including the now-embittered Mahmud Abbas. His ‘threats’ to rip up all accords if they go ahead is no more than the squeaking of a rusty wheel. He used the Zionists and they used him. Now he has been discarded, Mahmud Abbas is of no relevance to anyone.

In the soundings he would have taken before his plan was released, Kushner would have known perfectly well that the Palestinians would never accept it. No capital in Jerusalem, disarmament in Gaza as well as on the West Bank, Israel in charge of ‘security’ and all borders, no right of return, no more legal claims against Israel on the basis of history, no independent foreign policy, no joining of any international organization except with Israel’s approval, no more payments to the families of martyrs (Israel’s ‘terrorists’) and the acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state.  This was the price demanded of the Palestinians in return for their ‘state’ and as Kushner well knew, they could not possibly pay it.  His plan was designed from the start to be rejected by the Palestinians.

Even if they had accepted this ‘deal,’ every loophole had been inserted into it to make sure Israel ultimately gets what it wants—all of the West Bank -– anyway.  This situation, of an offer they could not possibly accept, is one imposed on them throughout their modern history.  When they reject what they cannot possibly accept, whether it be the Peel partition plan of 1937, the UN partition plan of 1947, the establishment of Israel on their land in 1948 or  the Camp David plan of the 1990s,  it is they who are made to shoulder the blame for the failure of the latest ‘peace process.’ If there is a difference now, it is that the Kushner-Trump-Netanyahu plan is so transparently shoddy that anyone with eyes in their head can see right through it.

With increasing portions of the West Bank annexed, under the false sovereignty of an occupying power, the Palestinians will eventually be outnumbered by the settlers poured into their land. This is the script being written by Netanyahu and his cohorts. A racist parliament will endorse it and even more pseudo-legal and practical obstacles will be raised to make life even more unbearable for the Palestinians.

This is a heinous plan, a plan devoid of any legality, a plan cooked up by criminals and charlatans. The Zionists may see it as the end of the road but this is a long war and annexation is no more than another milestone in the struggle against the takeover of Palestine by European colonists in the 20th century.

Jeremy Salt has taught at the University of Melbourne, Bosporus University (Istanbul) and Bilkent University (Ankara), specialising in the modern history of the Middle East. His publications include “The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.) His latest book is “The Last Ottoman Wars. The Human Cost 1877-1923“ (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2019).

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