You can follow along on Ken O’Keefe’s facebook page: Trade Not Aid Palestine…

Al Jazeera has an excellent report from the OPT…

In the Jordan Valley, existence is resistance

For Palestinians living amid increasing Israeli repression, simply staying put is a success in its own right.

The Israeli army destroyed water wells and confiscated water pumps in three separate Palestinian communities in the northern Jordan Valley on July 12. A few weeks earlier, Israeli military officers and police razed 29 homes in the Bedouin village of Hadidiya, leaving dozens of residents, including 11 children, without shelter in the scorching summer heat.

As this was happening, the Israeli government quietly announced its plan to double the size of illegal Israeli agricultural settlements in the Jordan Valley, which already use the vast majority of the area’s water resources and land.

More specifically, the plan would give Israeli settlers living in the Jordan Valley access to an additional 54,000 dunums of land to cultivate – bringing their total to approximately 110,000 dunums – and up to 51 cubic metres of water (51,000 litres) annually. One dunum is equivalent to 1,000 square metres.

Already, Israeli settlers in the Jordan Valley consume more water than in any other West Bank settlements, and approximately three times the daily household consumption of families living inside Israel itself. The dichotomy is even more severe when looking at some Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley, where water consumption is less than 40 per cent of the minimum level recommended by the World Health Organisation.

“This policy aims to make an ethnic cleansing from the Jordan Valley of the Palestinian people and replace them with newcomers, Jewish people from all over the world. This is a state policy,” said Fathy Khdirat, a Palestinian resident of the Jordan Valley and Coordinator of the Jordan Valley Solidarity campaign.

“It’s part of the Israeli occupation authority’s policies, especially in the Jordan Valley, which started directly after the Israeli occupation [in 1967]. They started to control every drop of water in the Jordan Valley. They know that controlling water means controlling life,” Khdirat said.

More outrageous actions from the Israelis…

Israel sues Bedouin villagers for cost of repeated evictions

…Israeli authorities filed a claim for 1.8 million NIS (more than US$500,000) with a court on 26 July for the expense of destroying the structures and evicting the residents of al-‘Araqib village as many as 28 times over the past year. The most recent eviction took place on 25 July.

Bedouin residents claim that the village of al-‘Araqib lies on their ancestral lands, but the authorities say they are squatting illegally in an “unrecognized” settlement.

“This lawsuit beggars belief – the Israeli authorities cannot reasonably expect the Bedouin villagers to fund the repeated destruction of their own homes and livelihoods,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director.

“Israel must end its policy of demolishing ‘unrecognized’ villages in the Negev and take steps to officially recognize al-‘Araqib and similar villages, at least until there is a resolution to the land claims and a solution which takes into account the needs and rights of the residents.”

As I had noted way back in October, about that very same village of al-’Araqib… Lather, Rinse, Repeat…

Now, in an interesting turn of events…

Palestinians Prepare for Massive Uprising

…”We plan to take to the streets en masse,” Musa Abu Maria, a leading member of the Popular Committee in Beit Ummar, a town 11 km north of Hebron in the southern West Bank told IPS. “We will block entire highways leading to and from Israel’s illegal settlements. We will march on settlements. But these will be non-violent and the protestors will be peaceful.

“We have worked out creative strategies to bring the occupation increasingly to the attention of the international community and the world media. We will be coordinating with our international supporters in Europe and America to increase international recognition of the Palestinian predicament as the tide turns in our favour,” added Abu Maria.

The Israeli government, intelligence agencies and security forces have been preparing for an outbreak of Palestinian protests in September as they expect the UN General Assembly to overwhelmingly endorse the Palestinian bid for independence.

The country’s security forces have been holding military drills in preparation for massive clashes. Meanwhile, the political leadership has engaged on a lightning tour of Europe trying to win the support of “quality European countries”, as the Israeli government put it, to vote against Palestinian statehood.

The Israeli government is hoping that the economically and politically stronger members of the UN will side with Israel as approximately 140 UN members from “developing and Third World” countries, amongst others, are expected to vote in favour of Palestine.

So concerned is the Israeli government that on Monday it threatened to revoke the 1993 Oslo Accords in response to the September plan of the Palestinian Authority (PA). According to government sources this is merely one of the alternatives the Israeli government is considering as a counter political move.

The Palestinians are steaming ahead with their strategy.

Here’s some great analysis on the PA/PLO’s bid for Palestinian Statehood… Can the Palestinian Leadership Pave the Way from Statehood to Independence?

Honestly, I think the Palestinians are still screwed anyways…

IDF Civil Administration pushing for land takeover in West Bank

Inclusion of Jordan Valley, northern Dead Sea and area surrounding Ariel in ‘settlement blocs’ whose takeover the administration is advancing, would prevent establishment of Palestinian state with territorial contiguity.

And Hamas is not helping their cause, whatsoever…

Hamas leader: Palestinian UN bid a ‘scam’

…’We are not going to recognize Israel. That is very simple. And we are not going to accept Israel as the owner of one square centimeter,’ says Mahmoud al-Zahar.

“Just nonsense,” says Mahmoud al-Zahar, a prominent Hamas member in Gaza. “A Palestinian state means land, people and authority. And now, what is the border of Israel? Israel has had many borders in the last 30, 40 years. What border are we going to speak about?'”

The approach to the UN, he says, is a ‘political scam.’ He is equally unequivocal on the so-called two-state solution, which aims at an Israeli state and a Palestinian state existing side by side.

“We are not going to recognize Israel. That is very simple. And we are not going to accept Israel as the owner of one square centimeter because it is a fabricated state.”

“On what moral basis was Israel established? On the right of return (of the Jews) after 4,000 years? It’s just imagination.”

He says accepting Israel’s right to exist would “cost 10 million Palestinians their right to Palestine. Who can pay that price? Who will go to the refugee camps and tell the people you have no right on Palestine?”

He’s right, but, that’s not very helpful rhetoric…!

Btw, don’t you think that Bibi already has his hands full…

From +972…

PHOTOS: Over 100,000 march for social justice across Israel

Huge protests in cities across Israel signal they are a growing political force

The housing and social protests tonight reached a huge crescendo, with throngs flooding streets in over 10 cities across the country Israel.Haaretz is reporting roughly 150,000 people around the country in Hebrew (with a more conservative estimate of over 100,000 in English).

Compared to the estimated 20,000 to 30,000 who demonstrated last week, the number of protesters around the country may have more than quadrupled.

In Tel Aviv, the roar of frenzied euphoria mixed with anger preceded the crowd as the parade rounded a major intersection on its way to the Tel Aviv museum. Screams of “revolution” were echoed all over the country. There were rumors of 10,000 in Jerusalem, 8,000 in Haifa, 3,000 in Beer Sheva, along with demonstrations in Kiryat Shmona, Nazareth, Ashdod and other locations.

So what’s left for poor old Bibi to do…?

Netanyahu’s next move: War?

Netanyahu does not have many cards left to play. His way out his current political troubles may be a war – and we should be ready for it, and reject it

Netanyahu’s magic hat is emptying quickly. Unlike his last term, he failed in buying the students for a few slices of plzza, and his attempt to preempt the “stroller protest” by parents, planned for today, was particularly pathetic: He offered to lower the bus fare of a parent with a stroller by 50%. The offer was received with appropriate derision. The fact that the leader of the trade unions, lackluster Ofer Eini, joined the protest belatedly, and the jump-on-band-wagon manouver by Tzipi Livni – she was seen marching with the striking doctors today, after a silence longer than that of Ehud Barak – must have made Netanyahu sweat even more.

The only real question is with whom…? Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, or even the whole enchilada, Iran…?

God help us all…!