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Wednesday, March 04, 2009



Israel has issued orders to demolish 80 (more) Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, making hundreds of Palestinians homeless and continuing its de facto policy of (not-so) slow motion ethnic cleansing. Of course Israel says they didn't have the proper "building permits," which of course Israel refuses to grant to Palestinians. On television (BBC World I believe), I watched one of the soon to be homeless showing the deed to his home, dated...1920.

The response from the U.S. in the person of Hillary Clinton? The demolitions are "unhelpful." Not an outrage. Not cause for any action on the part of the U.S. Just "unhelpful." What's really "unhelpful" is the U.S. making inane statements like the demolishing of 80 Palestinian homes is "unhelpful."

Of course there's a lot more "unhelpful" to the U.S. position than that. For example, Clinton "announced a U.S. initiative to help poorer Palestinian students attend four-year Palestinian universities and give grants to other Palestinians to attend U.S. schools." That's great, except she might have noted that Palestinians in Gaza who have already been accepted to U.S. and other outside schools have frequently been denied permission to leave by Israel.

Clinton also talked repeatedly about the continuing rocket attacks from Gaza. One little thing she forgot to mention? There have also been continuing bombing and other attacks by Israel on an almost daily basis, and following the declaration of a ceasefire by the two sides, it was Israel who initially and repeatedly violated its own self-declared ceasefire, making "Israel attacks, Gaza retaliates" the proper description of what has been going on since then. It goes without saying that such words have never appeared, either in the mouths of American politicians nor on the pages of the American media.

In more positive news from Israel, something that actually is "helpful" - the British embassy in Tel Aviv has stopped negotiations to lease a floor in a new building because of the company's role in West Bank settlement construction, as an apparent direct consequence of the pressure brought to bear by U.K. supporters of Palestine.

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