This actually matters, and it makes a difference. Call it what you want, the result of political pressure, good will, Palestinian security efforts, whatever. It helps and it must be supported, even by those who bitterly oppose the Netanyahu government.
September 16th, 2009
16:45 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Removal of One Hundred Road Blocks in Judea and Samaria
Today, following the directives given by the Israeli government, the Israel Defense Forces began removing 100 road blocks in the Judea and Samaria region,. The removal of these road blocks will improve traffic between rural areas and villages to the central transportation arteries in Judea and Samaria. The decision to carry out these improvements was made in accordance with the directives of Defense Minister, Mr. Ehud Barak, and in light of security assesments by the IDF Central Command and the Chief of the General Staff , Lietenant General Gabi Ashkenazi.
The IDF will remove road blocks over the next several days, a process expected to end by the Eid ul-Fitr holiday next week. The decision is a continuation of the government policy to improve the economic situation in the region while maintaining the operational flexibility of the Israel Defense Force and security forces.
The IDF will continue to act in accordance with the decisions of the Israeli government and security assessments in order to improve the quality of life of the Palestinian population in the Judea and Samaria region and to secure the safety of Israeli citizens.
In response to the release today of the long-anticipated Goldstone report, nine Israelis human rights groups, including B’Tselem, have issued the following statement:
עברית אחרי האנגלית
Adalah * Association for Civil Rights in Israel * Bimkom * B’Tselem * Gisha * HaMoked * Physicians for Human Rights-Israel * The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel * Yesh Din
Human Rights groups in Israel provide initial response to Goldstone Report:
Israel Must Investigate ‘Operation Cast Lead’
With the publication of the Goldstone Committee report today, human rights organizations in Israel are studying the report and its conclusions, and they call upon the Israeli Government to take the report seriously and to refrain from automatically rejecting its findings or denying its legitimacy.
Already it is clear that the findings of the report – written after gathering extensive information and testimonies from Israeli and Palestinian victims – will join a long series of reports indicating that Israel’s actions during the fighting in Gaza, as well as the actions of Hamas, violated the laws of combat and human rights law. Continue reading
In my latest piece in Zeek Magazine, I review the new book by Hussein Ibish of the American Task Force on Palestine. His book addresses the ideology and inherent dangers of the currently marginal political movement for a single state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Though it is currently marginal, the movement has the potential for growth as the two-state solution becomes increasingly difficult to achieve and as repeated peace efforts bear little fruit. But a on-estate idea is not just a distraction and a utopian vision, if anything like it were ever realized, the result would be disaster on many levels. Even its achievement could only ever come about through years of conflict that is much worse than anything we’ve ever seen.
Ibish recognizes that for the Palestinians to ever have freedom and self-determination Israelis must agree. He makes a strong case that two-staters should all become familiar with and one-staters should seriously consider, even if only because, thus far, their leading ideologues have not even attempted seriously to respond to the issues Ibish raises. Read my review here.