Planned Israeli Jordan Valley Annexation?
by Stephen Lendman
In May 2011, Netanyahu addressed Congress. He was warmly welcomed. London’s Guardian called it a “love-in.” He received 29 standing ovations.
Jerusalem must remain Israel’s exclusive capital, he said. Loud cheers followed him saying:
“Israel has no better friend than America, and America has no better friend than Israel. We stand together to defend democracy. We stand together to advance peace. We stand together to fight terrorism.”
“Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967,” he stressed.
“Places of critical strategic and national importance (will) be incorporated into the final borders of Israel” under any agreement with Palestinians.
“Israel would never cede the Jordan valley. Israel would never agree to withdraw from the Jordan Valley under any peace agreement signed with the palestinians.”
“And its vital – absolutely vital – that Israel maintain a long term military presence along the Jordan River.”
A previous article discussed Israel’s proposed legislation titled “The Bill to Apply Israeli Law to the Jordan Valley 5774 – 2013.” It’s nearly identical to how Israel annexed Golan.
Hardline Knesset members want all Jordan Valley land Judaized. They wanted Palestinians ethnically cleansed.
They want Jordan Valley territory “under (exclusive) Israeli sovereignty forever.” They want it officially annexed. They want any Israeli/Palestinian peace deal affirming it.
On December 29, Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs MKs approved annexation. Likud’s Miri Regev introduced the measure.
She’s a former IDF brigadier general. She served as spokesperson. “It is no secret that the settlements in the valley have a strategic, security, and political importance of the first order,” she said.
If enacted, her bill would give Israel exclusive Jordan Valley control. Doing so requires Knesset approval. Opposition MKs may defeat it. Doing so won’t prevent its reintroduction.
On July 30, 1980, Israel’s Jerusalem Law lawlessly annexed the city. It’s unified as Israel’s exclusive capital. It followed Security Council Resolution 465 (March 1, 1980) declaring:
“all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant (Fourth Geneva) violation…and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”
On August 20, 1980, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 478. America abstained. Resolution language “censured (Israel) in the strongest terms.” It condemned its Jerusalem Law.
It called it a violation of international law. It refused recognition. Member states were told to withdraw their Jerusalem diplomatic missions immediately.
The Security Council and General Assembly called East Jerusalem occupied territory. Expropriated land is illegal, they said.
They declared Israeli legislative and administrative measures altering the city’s character and status null and void. They ordered them rescinded forthwith. They never were. International community condemnation with teeth never follow.
On July 9, 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development (and) have been established in breach of international law.”
It doesn’t matter. Israel flouts international law, UN resolutions and judicial rulings. It does so repeatedly. It ignores what conflicts with its interests.
It operates lawlessly. It does it with impunity. Washington’s backing is firm. It’s longstanding. It lets Israel get away with land theft, ethnic cleansing, murder and lots more.
In 2008, Democrat party platform language stated:
“Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.
Obama personally insisted on including this language. His position remains unchanged. It’s in gross violation of international law.
It doesn’t matter. Obama, the entire Senate, and nearly all House members support Israel’s worst crimes. Previous US governments did it for decades. They do it today. They do it lawlessly, shamelessly and disgracefully.
Israel is stealing all valued West Bank and East Jerusalem land. It’s doing it dunum by dunum. It’s been ongoing for decades. Judaization is official policy. So is ethnic cleansing unwanted Palestinians.
In 1967, Jordan Valley Palestinian residents numbered around 320,000. Less than 60,000 remain.
Approximately 90% of the area is Judaized. It includes 37 settlements, seven unauthorized outposts, exclusive Jewish development, 26 nature reserves, and closed military zones.
They’re off-limits to Palestinians. Settlers are free to terrorize them. One Palestinian resident spoke for others saying police are supposed to protect people.
“But here, all settlers have to do is call (them) when they want to attack us. They only have to make a phone call, and then do nothing but watch the police and military beat up Palestinians. All of our trouble comes from the settlers.”
In May 2011, B’Tselem released a report titled “Dispossession and Exploitation: Israel’s Policy in the Jordan Valley and Northern Dead Sea.”
Israel maintains control four ways, it said. It exploits land, water, tourist sites and natural resources.
“Israel has closed more than three-quarters of the land area to Palestinians and has prohibited them from working the area’s fertile land.”
“Israel has restricted Palestinian access to water sources such that, in some Palestinian villages, water consumption is minimal and comparable to that of disaster areas.”
“Israel restricts Palestinian movement and prevents Palestinians from building and developing their communities.”
“It has also taken control of the tourist sites and enables private enterprises to exploit and profit from the minerals in the area.”
Israeli economist Shir Hever explained:
“Israel has extensive agribusiness interests in the Jordan Valley, most notably through the company Carmel-Agrexco, which is the main exporter of agricultural products from Israel.”
“Israeli colonist farmers in the Jordan Valley produce products that are sold to Palestinian consumers, Israeli consumers and exported abroad.”
After its 1967 occupation, Israel sought exclusive Jordan Valley control straightaway.
Variations of Yigal Allon’s plan emerged. They called for permanent militarized occupation, exclusive greater Jerusalem control, maximum land with minimum Arabs, and Jordan Valley annexation, among other provisions.
Nearly all Jordan Valley land lies in Area C. It’s about 30% of the West Bank. It’s under exclusive Israeli control. De facto annexation exists. Israeli hardliners want it made official.
Ethnic cleansing remains ongoing. Palestinians are being systematically displaced from their own land.
Entire communities have been ordered to leave. They have no choice. Thousands of Bedouins face loss of their way of life. Many have already.
Israel wants them all out. They represent over one-fourth of Palestine’s Jordan Valley population. Israel denies them vital infrastructure and services.
John Kerry’s notion of Israeli/Palestinian peace is none at all. It includes longterm militarized occupation.
Maintaining it along the Jordan River is prioritized. Kerry wants it ended only if Israel agrees. Effectively he wants it made permanent.
“If Israel’s security can’t increase as a result of an agreement, it’s very difficult to make (one),” he said.
“Obviously, security is paramount in the minds of the prime minister and his team with respect to their ability to move forward on other issues.”
In other words, whatever Israel wants, Washington approves. Kerry has other occupation measures in mind.
He wants a future Palestinian state demilitarized. He wants it defenseless. He wants US drones monitoring conditions on the ground.
He likely wants them replicating what’s ongoing in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
He wants a de facto state of war to exist. He wants Palestinian civilians left vulnerable to drone and ground attacks.
He wants Washington helping Israel maintain border and internal security. He favors billions of US dollars spent to improve Israel’s intelligence and military capability.
He wants occupation harshness intensified. He wants a massive Jordan Valley security fence built. He wants one like Israel’s apartheid wall.
He wants West Bank Palestinians effectively imprisoned. He wants them cut off from the outside world.
He wants Israel maintaining full authority. He wants fundamental Palestinian rights denied. He wants their sovereignty effectively eliminated.
Netanyahu conditionally approved. He did so subject to further concessions he demands. He’s adamant on what he wants. He has strong Knesset support.
Kerry, Obama and most congressional members approve. Their notion of a future Palestinian state is one in name only.
Ali Jarbawi is former Palestinian Authority Minister of Planning and Administrative Development.
On December 25, he headlined “The Coming Intifada.” Things exploded twice earlier, he said. “(N)o one should be surprised if a new intifada erupts in the next few months. Many experts” predict one.
“We Palestinians are living through the worst situation in years,” he stressed. Despite surface normality, Palestinians are boiling. Four factors explain why, he said:
(1) “the collapse of any hope” about ending occupation; Palestinian statehood if agreed on would be meaningless; it would be in name only;
(2) increased Israeli violence throughout Occupied Palestine; it’s accompanied by “frantically Judaizing Jerusalem” and “transform(ing) (Gaza) into a giant prison;”
(3) Palestinian Authority “economic and financial” failure; it’s contributing “to the misery of Palestinians;” jobs are scarce; unemployment skyrocketed; Palestinian youths are most affected; public anger is palpable; and
(4) Arab Spring uprisings inspire a Palestinian one; according to Jarbawi, “why should we not be able to rise up against a foreign occupier,” Arab youths say.
Palestine is on edge, said Jarbawi. PA efforts to contain things “won’t (work) for much longer…(It’s just) a matter of time until the Occupied Territories explode.”
Failure to achieve peace, equity and justice makes it more likely.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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