by James M. Wall
Israel’s response to the United Nations’ overwhelming vote to admit Palestine to the UN was easily predictable. Israel had been waiting for just this moment to announce it would build a settlement in Area E1 (East One).
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was harshly rejected at the UN General Assembly, a stinging defeat he knew was coming which explains why he did not attend the GA personally.
On November 29, 2012, the General Assembly elevated Palestine to a new status as a non member observer state. Such a rejection of Israel could not stand for one simple reason: Israel has other plans for Palestine, a long envisioned series of “worker bee” Palestinian bantustans located within an expanded state of Israel.
Netanyahu retaliated for the UN vote by announcing he had authorized the building of 3000 new Jewish housing units in Area E1, a plot of land east of Jerusalem. The new settlement would be adjacent to the major settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, forming a solid line of east-west Israeli settlements.
This move was no surprise. E1 has been a potential location for more Israeli settlements since 2005. E1 has been sitting on the “peace process” negotiation table for the past seven years, a “loaded gun” which, as any Hitchcock fan knows, has to be fired before the film concludes.
The “loaded gun” is Israel’s “Doomsday Settlement”. The reference, of course, is best remembered as the key plot moment in Stanley Kubrick’s classic film, Dr. Strangelove and How I Learned to Love the Bomb, in which the Soviet Union’s “Doomsday Machine” is triggered after a crazed U.S. Air Force General orders a nuclear attack on Soviet cities. (See below for a clip from the film.)
The Soviet response was designed to trigger an automatic nuclear response, bringing an end to the two nations.
Israel’s “Doomsday Settlement” on E1 (see map above) “will render any prospective Palestinian contiguous state territorially impossible”, according to Daniel Seidemann, the Israeli founder of Terrestrial Jerusalem.
Nicola Nasser, writing for Palestine Chronicle from his home in Bir Zeit in the West Bank of Palestine, explains the significance of Seidemann’s “doomsday” designation:
“The site of some 4.6 square miles (12 square km) of this settlement on the easternmost edge of eastern Jerusalem will close the only territorial link between the north and south of the West Bank and sever it from East Jerusalem, the prospective capital of the State of Palestine, thus undermining any viable and contiguous Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 and turning the recognition of the UN General Assembly on November 29, 2012 as merely a Palestinian paper achievement.”
Both the U.S. and the European Union had opposed the E1 plan since Israel first produced it in 2005, because, in a series of objections since 2005, Nicola Nasser reports:
they were alert to its potential undermining effect on the “peace process.” Now, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and the United Nations have all warned against the E-1 plan. The White House and U.S. State Department described the plan as “unilateral,” “counterproductive,” “sets back” peace efforts, “especially damaging to efforts to achieve a two-state solution,” “complicate efforts to resume direct, bilateral negotiations” and “risk prejudging the outcome” of such negotiations, and “contrary to US policy.”
This latest move by Israel calls to mind a dying Jimmy Cagney’s Cody Jarrett character in the film, White Heat, who shouts to his dead mother,”Made it, Ma! Top of the world!”.
With his latest gesture of defiance to the world, Benjamin Netanyahu could have been shouting to Israel’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion, dead since 1973, “Made it, Mr. Prime Minister, we have finally reached the Jordan River!”
No wonder Jordan’s King Abdullah II decided this week would be a good time to pay a visit to his new state neighbor. He became the first leader to visit Palestine after its elevation to state status.
A closer look at the map (above) reveals what Israel has in mind for the future of the state of Palestine. The so-called “separation wall”, which is, in fact, a land-stealing wall built by Israel under the pretense cover of “security”, winds in the shape of a snake coiled to strike, with its head at the south of Jerusalem.
The tail of the snake coils around the northern part of Jerusalem, eating up rich Palestinian farm land, concluding west of Jerusalem.
Leaders of seven nations determined that following Israel’s second punitive military assault on Gaza in four years, the UN vote, and the Arab Spring hovering in the background, Israel had to be given a mild diplomatic reprimand.
Leaders of the seven nations,Australia, Brazil, France, UK, Sweden, Denmark and Spain, called in their resident Israeli ambassadors to demand an explanation for the timing of Israel’s announcement.
Germany, which usually does Israel’s bidding because of a shared history of the Holocaust, did not vote with Israel at the UN. Instead, Germany abstained. A long-planned visit from Netanyahu to Berlin, went forward, ending in a mutual agreement “to agree to disagree”, not exactly a ringing endorsement for either nation.
U.S. and international media, on the other hand, posted a series of reprimands for Israel’s “doomsday settlement”. Phillip Weiss summarized these reprimands, casting it as a realization by the media observers that the “two state” solution is truly dead, which is, in actual fact, a long-overdue announcement.
It remains for the Guardian’s intrepid columnist, Glenn Greenwald, to post this indictment that the leader of the free world is still not willing to stand up to Netanyahu, even after this latest in a series of public face-slapping of the American government from Netanyahu.
And then finally, we have this, from Monday:
“The UN general assembly has overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling on Israel to open its nuclear programme for inspection.
“The resolution, approved by a vote of 174 to six with six abstentions, calls on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) ‘without further delay’ and open its nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Those voting against were Israel, the US, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau. . . .
“The vote came as a sequel to the cancellation of a high-level conference aimed at banning nuclear weapons from the Middle East. All the Arab nations and Iran had planned to attend the summit in mid-December in Helsinki, Finland, but the US announced on 23 November that it would not take place, citing political turmoil in the region and Iran’s defiant stance on non-proliferation. Iran and some Arab nations countered that the real reason for the cancellation was Israel’s refusal to attend.”
So essentially, it’s the entire planet on one side, versus the US, its new right-wing poodle to the north [that would be Canada], Israel, and three tiny, bribed islands on the other side.
Israel’s nuclear arsenal has long been a pretend secret, so secret and so open, that no president has ever acknowledged the presence of Israel’s role as a nuclear military power. The secret is out now, thanks to another overwhelming vote in the UN General Assembly, a body which is apparently no longer willing to be repository of Israel’s private cache of immoral and illegal conduct.
Meanwhile, the “doomsday settlement” awaits its first construction tractors. As we wait, this short video from Dr. Strangelove is thought-provoking. The clip below opens with a conversation between the Soviet ambassador and the U.S. President. It takes place in “the War Room”. The ambassador and the president are soon joined by Dr. Strangelove:
The map above is from a newly-designed Palestine Chronicle web site.