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UK slams Israel settlements, West Bank university upgrade
Published Friday 28/12/2012 (updated) 30/12/2012 12:11
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A view of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim is seen
near Jerusalem December 4, 2012. (Reuters/Ammar Awad)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- British minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt on Wednesday condemned Israel's decision to issue approval for over 1,200 housing units in illegal settlements, a statement said.

On Dec. 24 the Jerusalem District Planning Board approved 1,242 housing units in Mordot Gilo South and upgraded Ariel College to university status, thereby creating the first university in a settlement.

"These are further profoundly provocative actions that run contrary to the Fourth Geneva Convention. By taking these steps, despite the international community repeatedly raising our profound concerns, the Israeli Government is damaging Israel’s international reputation," Burt said.

"Ariel is beyond the Green Line in a settlement that is illegal according to international law. This decision will deepen the presence of the settlements in the Palestinian territories and will create another obstacle to peace," he added.

The British minister urged Israel to reverse its decision and called on President Abbas and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to return to negotiations, which last broke down in 2010 after Netanyahu refused to freeze settlement building.

European nations and Washington have criticized Netanyahu's plans to build as many as 6,000 more settlement homes, announced since a Nov. 29 United Nations vote gave Palestinians effective recognition as a state and angered Israel.

Israel has signaled it intends to retain control of several larger settlement blocs such as Ariel under any future pact, while the fates of other enclaves may be negotiated.
1 ) Wissam / Palestine
28/12/2012 16:23
Slams, Condemns, Extremely concerned by, unhelpful, we have all heard this nonsense from the hypocritical Europeans who helped establish this belligerent colonial camcer in the Middle East.

2 ) Dubner / USA
28/12/2012 17:48
Sorry, Wissa,. but the Jewish State was in existence long before the first Arab arrived from the Peninsula to seek employment or trade goods with Hebrews, Egyptians, and other Middle Eastern tribes. And so, the Jews intend to remain there long after your great grandchildren reach the Paradise.
Shalom! Sa'alam!

3 ) Jimmy / USA
28/12/2012 19:15
Obscure farming tribes hardly count as a state @2! And they look seriously feeble compared to the empires of the Arab/Islamic civilizations i'm afraid.

4 ) Reader / from Edmonton
28/12/2012 19:36
Israel declared statehood in 1948 within borders described in UN Res. 181. No other legal description of Israel exists. Israel has aggressively and violently invaded Palestinian territory beyond those borders since that time. An over-whelming majority of UN member countries agree that the State of Palestine exists and even Israel's staunchest supporters call Israel's transfer of its citizens illegal. What doesn't Israel understand?

5 ) Amin / The Netherlands
28/12/2012 19:40
What a hypocrite. Recently the UK abstained from voting for Palestine as a non-member observer state at the UN.

6 ) The pathetic state of a / once great empire
28/12/2012 21:08
You have to understand that Alistair Burt is merely a sock puppet for Britain's oil interests. There was a time when Britain stood for honest dealing. That standard has long since slipped, and the British people are now represented by duplicitous scumbags who are the direct cause of our empire's disintegration and the contempt in which we are held by those whom we once ruled. Since 1948, British diplomats have been sitting on their hands at the UN for fear of upsetting their Oil Sheikh masters.

7 ) Colin Wright / USA
28/12/2012 22:11
To Jimmy #3 'Obscure farming tribes hardly count as a state @2!' More to the point, the descendants of those 'obscure farming tribes' never left. The children of the ancient Israelites are today's Palestinians, not the Jews.

8 ) southparkbear / usa
28/12/2012 22:38
i'd advise everyone to use synonyms more often to make the case. as Wissama says we heard it before so many times we are only concerned if we don't hear those condemnations on a daily basis

9 ) Mikel / Norway
28/12/2012 22:56
No one believes you the "palestinians". Every people who learned the history knows that the Muslim-Arad occupation is must stop... half of Africa is occupied already... The jews is strong people who will stand against your terror forever. The truth is with Israel.

10 ) Jihane / Palestine/France
28/12/2012 23:06
@ 6. "There was a time when Britain stood for honest dealing". When was that ? As far as the Middle East is concerned, and Palestine in particular, I can't recall any 'honest dealing' from the Brits. Arthur Koestler (and he was a Zionist ! ) said about the Balfour Declaration that it was one nation promising another nation the land of a third nation. It's not because you wear a bowler hat, never miss your five o'clock tea and have fine manners that you can't be a perfect colonialist !

11 ) gabi / australia
29/12/2012 01:02
Dubner/USA - not so - read history. The Israelites were told (by God, no less) to go into the land and kill those who oppose, even their children and animals. BUT some of the Israelites saw some of the locals, who they rather fancied, and "inter-mingled" with them. Then there were some of the locals who remained unmolested. And they are the rightful owners of the land. Your term "other Middle Eastern tribes" is by definition acknowledging there were others there before the "Jewish state".

12 ) Anti Humbug / East
29/12/2012 09:18
Wissam @ 1. You said it all.Like parrots all statements of West and UN org.s repeat these words thinking that there are fools to believe these words.They must seriously think of a new set of words.On the other hand Israel does not care about any one objecting. It is above intl. law well defended by US.

13 ) James / Uk
29/12/2012 10:52
Does anyone have an argument or differing opinion to #2's post

14 ) Britannia waves / the rules
29/12/2012 15:56
#10) If you were Turkish you might have an argument. But you aren't, so you don't !

15 ) Colin Wright / USA
30/12/2012 00:13
To gabi #11 'The Israelites were told (by God, no less) to go into the land and kill those who oppose, even their children and animals. BUT some of the Israelites saw some of the locals...' All this is to take the Bible as history -- which it is not. It is a series of self-serving tales set down up to a thousand years after the fact. One might as well assume the tales of King Arthur provide an accurate look at Dark Age Britain.

16 ) Colin Wright / USA
30/12/2012 00:21
To Anti #12 'It is above intl. law well defended by US.' That's changing fast. First, the US alone being willing to defend Israel is a new one. Secondly, our status as global hegemon is fading fast. Third, we're getting pretty sick of Israel's b.s. ourselves. There's a cold, icy wind blowing. Israel's about to realize she's alone, naked, without shelter, and the temperature is forecast to fall to -30 Celsius. Adios, Israel. You'll get a warm feeling just before the end, I understand.

17 ) God will not be mocked / You will feel that heat
30/12/2012 19:30
#15) " All this is to take the Bible as history -- which it is not."

The Bible is one of the best sources of accurate Middle Eastern history there is. Anyone who has actually studied it (obviously you haven't) and compared it's historical narrative with those of other ancient regional historians will attest to it's accuracy. You are merely parroting the Western atheist propaganda that has nothing to do with learning, and everything to do with ignorance.

18 ) ian / australia
30/12/2012 21:26
#2 "...the Jewish State was in existence long before the first Arab arrived from the Peninsula to seek employment or trade goods with Hebrews, Egyptians, and other Middle Eastern tribes." Steaming baloney Dubner. Arabs didn't "arrive" from "the Peninsula". The idea is ludicrous. They'd been there since the bronze age and were called Canaanites. In fact the whole region was populated by Canaanite tribes worshipping different dieties: Baal, Moloch, El etc. One tribe began to worship

19 ) ian / australia
30/12/2012 21:27
(contd.) Yahweh and invented stories inflating their uniqueness, their birthright, their history inc. four hundred years of enslavement in Egypt and their triumphant return and conquest of the region. ALL mythical. ALL unsupported by archeology. "...the Jewish State was in existence..." Yes, there was a primitive chiefdom possibly under tribal chiefs Saul, David and Solomon (and maybe a temple) but it was sacked by Babylon in 586BC. (There was also a Jebusite chiefdom before it when Jerusalem

20 ) ian / australia
30/12/2012 21:27
(contd.) was called Yabous.) The more advanced Israelite kingdom in the north was conquered by Assyria in 720BC and vanished completely...like ALL ancient political entities eventually do. So really Dubner, what are you talking about? Your assertions are a spurious attempt to use ancient "history" to justify fraudulent Zionist claims NOW. (The simpler response to your post would be that it doesn't matter who was there "first" 3000 years ago (!) because the people there NOW have rights

21 ) ian / australia
30/12/2012 21:28
(contd.) and that there's NOTHING in law about reclaiming ancient ancestral lands which nullifies them. In short: contemporary Palestinian claims trump ancient Jewish ones.) (Issues for another day are whether modern Jews are even related to ancient Israelites...which modern Arabs, common sense suggests, certainly are, having lived in the region without interruption for millenia.)

22 ) ian / australia
30/12/2012 23:42
#17 "The Bible is one of the best sources of accurate Middle Eastern history there is." I'm sure it is, but that doesn't mean it's ALL true. When archeology shows there was no Captivity in Egypt, no Exodus or forty years in the wilderness (during which no Israelite dropped even ONE pottery shard or any other evidence they were there) who are you gonna believe? (My hunch about you, "God will not be mocked", is that you just say stuff and think saying it makes it true.)

23 ) gabi / australia
31/12/2012 01:07
# 15 - Colin Wright - I agree about the bible, which must have been written by men filled with hatred for their fellow man. Reading some of the stories makes your hair stand on end. Not much "all we want is to live in peace with our neighbours" there. But I was trying to point out to Dubner that even given his own beliefs as set out in his post, there are anomalies which give the lie to his assertions. And I love the way he ends with "Salaam" after telling Palestinians they will die out soon!

24 ) Outlier / USA
31/12/2012 05:50
18, 19, 20, 21 - Ian, learn to edit.

25 ) Archaeology has proved / the Exodus to be factual
31/12/2012 11:24
#19) Your claims reveal your ignorance! During the first gulf war, satellites looking for Iraqi tank heat signatures spotted a trail that led from Egypt across the Sinai to the Red sea, then re-started on the Arabian side. Archaeologists later found it was the result of the sand on that trail having been pulverised by the movement of a mass of people. The powdered sand cooled more slowly at night than the rest of the desert, causing the trail to be visible to thermal imaging equipment.

26 ) ian / australia
31/12/2012 13:59
#24 "18, 19, 20, 21 - Ian, learn to edit." Yeah, I know. Sorry.

27 ) @ Archaeology-25 / Truth
03/01/2013 03:36
"Archaeology has proved much more than just the Exodus to be factual:" - the Tombs of the Hebrew Patriarchs are located as the Bible says, - Babylonia Cuniforms write of the Israeli prisoner/king's rations, - Egyptian Hieroglyphics exaggerate destroying "the seed of Israel", - a Moabite (Mesha) Stele write about victory over an Israeli invasion, as described in the Bible, & - an Aramean Stele (Dan) write about victory conquering Israeli lands, as described in the Bible, etc., etc. !!!

28 ) ian / australia
03/01/2013 14:40
#25 Well, first, that's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a long time (pottery shards last forever and don't lie, but 4000-year-old footprints in sand?) and second, there's something about archeology you don't get: it's highly logical. If there is evidence of an ancient trail, the questions would be how old is it and who/what made it. Bibilical "maximalists" automatically interpret EVERYTHING as relating to the Bible and proof that it's factual. But maybe something else caused it,

29 ) ian / australia
03/01/2013 14:40
(contd.) and at a date which doesn't fit. Maybe it was Arabs centuries later. And if there's no OTHER evidence of millions of Hebrews trudging through the desert (lead by a pillar of cloud), like pottery fragments, well maybe it was something that didn't use pottery...maybe it was camels! Ridiculous? Yes, like a trail of pulverised sand miraculously crossing the Red Sea detected by "thermal imaging equipment" from a satellite.

30 ) Your need for shards are / making you go a bit potty
04/01/2013 15:30
#28) It never ceases to amuse me, the way people like yourself choose to believe anything rather than the obvious, whilst accusing people like myself of being Biblical Maximalists. I don't know whether or not you have had any military training, but if you have you will know that when you are escaping an enemy you avoid leaving anything behind that will indicate the route you took. The Bible says God didn't even allow their shoes to wear out, so why do you need them to be breaking their teacups?

31 ) ian / australia
05/01/2013 04:49
#27 Look up "pseudoarchaeology". They've probably got your photo. Your list of stele/inscriptions is unprocessd, raw (mute) data. The archaeologist's task is to work out what it means. As you are not so much an archaeologist, as a member of a cult, I'm guessing EVERYTHING would relate to the Bible and confirm (cumulatively) that the Bible is fact. Problem is it isn't and it doesn't. Just because you desperately WANT a pile of stones to be David's palace or fragments to be evidence of Solomon's

32 ) ian / australia
05/01/2013 04:59
(contd.) Temple doesn't mean it is. They might be something else. (The Large Stone Structure in Silwan is a good example. Based on a biblical "clue" ("David went DOWN to the citadel") some are convinced it MUST be the royal palace because it ALL fits, while others say it's at least a century too late and only appears "palatial" because it's actually several buildings cobbled together at different times.) Archeologists are objective, logical and open-minded. They weigh evidence scientifically

33 ) ian / australia
05/01/2013 05:07
(contd.) before arriving at a conclusion which is often that they don't know. Cult members are the opposite: impervious to reason, reach "conclusions" immediately and immutably, hold them with fiery vehemence like religious dogma never admitting doubt or nuance and generally just don't get disinterested personal curiosity. In all honesty. Which describes you?

34 ) ian / australia
06/01/2013 02:42
#30 Your title is pretty funny but the rest is nuts. In the real world, not La La Land, three million people trudging around for forty years leaves a trace (even if their shoes didn't wear out). And they weren't "escaping an enemy" the whole time, the Egyptians having all drowned and Amalek being destroyed a matter of months later. And here's a conundrum: mainstream archaeologists ALL agree these days the Captivity in Egypt, the passing over by the Angel of Death, the Plagues, the Parting of the

35 ) ian / australia
06/01/2013 02:43
(contd.) Red Sea, the WHOLE idea of the Exodus, even the law received by Moses on Mount Sinai are all myths, made-up stories, didn't happen...so where does that leave your super-hard wearing shoes and ancient trails of pulverised sand?
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