Monday, March 17, 2008


Israeli expansionism - virtual and real

Evidence of Israeli expansionism...from Facebook:
Complaints by Israeli settlers angry at Facebook for listing them as residents of "Palestine" prompted the popular social networking Web site to allow users to switch their location back to Israel.

"Facebook users in the Israeli West Bank settlements of Maale Adumim, Beitar Illit, and Ariel can now choose between Israel and Palestine," [according to Brandee Barker, Facebook's director of communications]
And, lest you think this expansionism is limited to settlements contiguous with Jerusalem, think again:
"We also offer Hebron in both Israel and Palestine," Barker said, referring to the major West Bank city which is home to about 150,000 Palestinians and some 400 Israelis.
Just "virtual" expansionism, not linked to reality? Hardly. Here's another article from the same issue of Ha'aretz:
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday that Israel would keep expanding a neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem.

"Everyone knows that there is no chance that the State of Israel will give up a neighborhood like ... Har Homa. It is an inseparable part of Jerusalem," Olmert said during the press conference.
Just out of curiosity, I decided to see if either Clinton or Obama has anything to say about Israel's territorial ambitions, such as the one expressed by Olmert. Obama has plenty to say about Palestinian terrorism, supports "foreign military assistance" to Israel, and says "the United States would never distance itself from Israel." I'll take the latter as an endorsement of whatever Olmert or future Israeli Prime Ministers have to say, and a complete abandonment of even the fiction of being an "honest broker." Clinton brags that she is "one of Israel’s leading defenders and supporters in the United States Senate," and while she has room on her website to discuss relatively obscure subjects like how she is a "leading voice against Anti-Semitism in Palestinian schools," the subject of Israeli expansionism doesn't rate a mention. I'll take that as a yes. John McCain? Curiously enough, Israel doesn't even appear on his website, outside of using the "search" function which turns up some old speeches.

Why stop here? There's more...

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