The Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems to have been overshadowed by the upheavals in the region. I have followed events there for almost 40 years. I am convinced that what is needed for a solution is not only the willingness to negotiate in good faith but also to take into account the needs and sensibility of the negotiating partner. I, for one, just cannot believe that the value of settlements for Israel is bigger than the damage these settlements do as an obstacle to peace.
Human settlements are like living organisms. They must grow, and they will change. But we can decide on the nature of that growth - on the quality and the character of it - and where it ought to go. We don't have to scatter the building blocks of our civic life all over the countryside, destroying our towns and ruining farmland.
James Howard Kunstler
I don't often want to speak. I try to be a reasonable person and to be diplomatic, but you go to that place and you see the settlements, you see what has happened to the land that was owned by the Palestinians. I have often said to my Jewish friends: "Please just remember where you come from. Remember Yahweh, who said to the Israelites, 'Treat the alien well with justice.'"
the end result of the adoption of permaculture strategies in any country or region will be to dramatically reduce the area of the agricultural environment needed by the households and the settlements of people, and to release much of the landscape for the sole use of wildlife and for re-occupation by endemic flora.
The core issue here is that the Israeli government refuses to commit to terms of reference for the negotiations that are based on international law and United Nations resolutions, and that it frantically continues to intensify building of settlements on the territory of the State of Palestine.
If humanity today succeeds in combining the new scientific capacities with a strong ethical dimension, it will certainly be able to promote the environment as a home and a resource for...all...and will be able to eliminate the causes of pollution and to guarantee adequate conditions of hygiene and health for small groups as well as for vast human settlements.
Pope John Paul II
We don't differ with the government on the demands [on Iran], but we totally reject how Bibi is handling it. Bibi sacrificed good relations with the U.S. to keep the status quo on the Palestinians. He poked the [Obama] Administration in the eye on settlements just to appease right-wingers
John F. Kerry
For me, a rocket is only a means--only a method of reaching the depths of space--and not an end in itself... There's no doubt that it's very important to have rocket ships since they will help mankind to settle elsewhere in the universe. But what I'm working for is this resettling... The whole idea is to move away from the Earth to settlements in space.
They've (Israel) lost the battle for public opinion. They claim it's because American Jews know too little.. I claim it's because they know too much about the conflict, and young liberal Jews have difficulty defending the use of cluster bombs in Lebanon or supporting the Israeli settlements.
Palestine. For most of us, the word brings to mind a series of confused images and disjointed associations-massacres, refugee camps, UN resolutions, settlements, terrorist attacks, war, occupation, checkered kouffiyehs and suicide bombers, a seemingly endless cycle of death and destruction.
The only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security. ... Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.
To be sure, changes in American family structure have been fairly continuous since the first European settlements, but today thesechanges seem to be occurring so rapidly that the shift is no longer a simple extension of long-term trends. We have passed a genuine watershed: this is the first time in our history that the typical school-age child has a mother who works outside the home.
During the last 100 years our people have been in a process of building up the country and the nation, of expansion, of getting additional Jews and additional settlements in order to expand the borders here. Let no Jew say that the process has ended. Let no Jew say that we are near the end of the road.
In a small Swiss city sits an international organization so obscure and secretive....Control of the institution, the Bank for International Settlements, lies with some of the world's most powerful and least visible men: the heads of 32 central banks, officials able to shift billions of dollars and alter the course of economies at the stroke of a pen.
I believe that the only alternative Israel has to save itself as a Jewish state - and let's be frank about that: the Jewish state is predicated on having a Jewish majority - the only way we can do that is by unilaterally withdrawing our border and withdrawing our settlements in the West Bank.
Chess holds deep wisdoms of the people. It is truly an image of life, the reflection of human fate that has shown us the earthly way of suffering in darkness and permanent shortage of time. Like in chess, we encounter all kinds of traps, mistakes, settlements, sacrifices, kings, and queens, doubled pawns, and extraordinary moves while we are on the board ourselves.
Pope John Paul II
I should be judged as a captain who went from Spain to the Indies to conquer a people numerous and warlike, whose manners and religion are very different from ours, who live in sierras and mountains, without fixed settlements, and where by divine will I have placed under the sovereignty of the King and Queen our Lords, an Other World, whereby Spain, which was reckoned poor, is become the richest of countries. Columbus is coming from the Indies as a prisoner to Cadiz.
Today the Israeli government continues seizures of Palestinian land for settlements, military incursions into surrounding countries and denial of the right of Palestinians expelled by terror to return. Ariel Sharon, Israel's prime minister, is a war criminal who should be in prison, not in office. Israel's own Kahan commission found that Sharon shared responsibility for the Sabra and Shatila massacres.
The German landscape is something unique that we cannot disturb and have no right to destroy. The more densely populated our 'living space' becomes with settlements, the greater our hunger will grow for unspoilt nature. The ever increasing spiritual damage caused by life within the big city will make this hunger practically uncontrollable... when we build here on this the landscape of our homeland we must be clear that we will protect its beauty; and in places where this beauty has already disappeared, we will reconstruct it.
I refuse to be released on the basis of a 'condition for negotiations' and I will not accept the price for my freedom to be several meters of the land of Palestine, the land that we have fought for and been imprisoned for. I refuse to be free on the condition of the expansion of settlements. I refuse this offer, not even a single house for Zionist settlers will be built as the price of my freedom.
Country' and 'city' are very powerful words, and this is not surprising when we remember how much they seem to stand for in the experience of human communities. In English, 'country' is both a nation and a part of a 'land'; 'the country' can be the whole society or its rural area. In the long history of human settlements, this connection between the land from which directly or indirectly we all get our living and the achievements of human society has been deeply known.
It is often thought that the life of the hunter-gatherer was one of feast and famine. But most available data suggest that they were surprisingly healthy and had a fairly stable diet and lifestyle. Not so the primitive farmers. In years when the crops failed, in settlements where the population density was high and where disease weakened the ability to cope even further, life would have been very hard indeed. The settled population could not migrate to follow the food supply as could hunter-gatherers. They were trapped.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is eager to enter into close relationship with the Bank for International Settlements....The conclusion is impossible to escape that the State and Treasury Departments are willing to pool the banking system of Europe and America, setting up a world financial power independent of and above the Government of the United States....The United States under present conditions will be transformed from the most active of manufacturing nations into a consuming and importing nation with a balance of trade against it.
Louis Thomas McFadden
I understand the sentiments of the Palestinians when they see the settlements being built. The meaning from the Palestinian perspective is that Israel takes more land, that the Palestinian state will be impossible, the Israel policy is to take more and more land day after day and that at the end of the day we'll say that it is impossible, we already have the land and cannot create the state.
All questions of right to one side, I have never been able to banish the queasy inner suspicion that Israel just did not look, or feel, either permanent or sustainable. I felt this when sitting in the old Ottoman courtyards of Jerusalem, and I felt it even more when I saw the hideous 'Fort Condo' settlements that had been thrown up around the city in order to give the opposite impression. If the statelet was only based on a narrow strip of the Mediterranean littoral (god having apparently ordered Moses to lead the Jews to one of the very few parts of the region with absolutely no oil at all), that would be bad enough. But in addition, it involved roosting on top of an ever-growing population that did not welcome the newcomers.
Why is Netanyahu pushing war? Among several reasons, demonizing Iran reduces pressure on Israel to negotiate seriously with the Palestinians. Many Israelis prefer building Jewish settlements on Palestinians' land instead. Moreover, Israel's rulers oppose any development-such as an Iranian-U.S. detente-that could diminish Israel's U.S.-financed hegemony in the region. War with Iran would be a catastrophe all around. Netanyahu and his hawkish American allies-the same people who gave us the disastrous Iraq war and ISIS-must be repudiated.
However much they may smile at her, the old inhabitants would miss Tillie. Her stories give them something to talk about and to conjecture about, cut off as they are from the restless currents of the world. The many naked little sandbars which lie between Venice and the mainland, in the seemingly stagnant water of the lagoons, are made habitable and wholesome only because, every night, a foot and a half of tide creeps in from the sea and winds its fresh brine up through all that network of shining waterways. So, into all the little settlements of quiet people, tidings of what their boys and girls are doing in the world bring real refreshment; bring to the old, memories, and to the young, dreams.
There is perhaps some hope to be derived from the fact that in most instances where an attempt to realize an ideal society gave birth to the ugliness and violence of a prolonged active mass movement the experiment was made on a vast scale and with a heterogeneous population. Such was the case in the rise of Christianity and Islam, and in the French, Russian and Nazi revolutions. The promising communal settlements in the small state of Israel and the successful programs of socialization in the small Scandinavian states indicate perhaps that when the attempt to realize an ideal society is undertaken by a small nation with a more or less homogeneous population it can proceed and succeed in an atmosphere which is neither hectic nor coercive.
The village lay in the hollow, and climbed, with very prosaic houses, the other side. Village architecture does not flourish in Scotland. The blue slates and the grey stone are sworn foes to the picturesque; and though I do not, for my own part, dislike the interior of an old-fashioned pewed and galleried church, with its little family settlements on all sides, the square box outside, with its bit of a spire like a handle to lift it by, is not an improvement to the landscape. Still, a cluster of houses on differing elevations - with scraps of garden coming in between, a hedgerow with clothes laid out to dry, the opening of a street with its rural sociability, the women at their doors, the slow waggon lumbering along - gives a centre to the landscape. It was cheerful to look at, and convenient in a hundred ways. ("The Open Door")
When humans began cultivating the land, they thought that the extra work this required will pay off. 'Yes, we will have to work harder. But the harvest will be so bountiful! We won't have to worry any more about lean years. Our children will never go to sleep hungry.' It made sense. If you worked harder, you would have a better life. That was the plan. The first part of the plan went smoothly. People indeed worked harder. But people did not foresee that the number of children would increase, meaning that the extra wheat would have to be shared between more children. Neither did the early farmers understand that feeding children with more porridge and less breast milk would weaken their immune system, and that permanent settlements would be hotbeds for infectious diseases. They did not foresee that by increasing their dependence on a single source of food, they were actually exposing themselves even more to the depredations of drought. Nor did the farmers foresee that in good years their bulging granaries would tempt thieves and enemies, compelling them to start building walls and doing guard duty.
Yuval Noah Harari
Uncouth, clannish, lumbering about the confines of Space and Time with a puzzled expression on his face and a handful of things scavenged on the way from gutters, interglacial littorals, sacked settlements and broken relationships, the Earth-human has no use for thinking except in the service of acquisition. He stands at every gate with one hand held out and the other behind his back, inventing reasons why he should be let in. From the first bunch of bananas, his every sluggish fit or dull fleabite of mental activity has prompted more, more; and his time has been spent for thousands of years in the construction and sophistication of systems of ideas that will enable him to excuse, rationalize, and moralize the grasping hand. His dreams, those priceless comic visions he has of himself as a being with concerns beyond the material, are no more than furtive cannibals stumbling round in an uncomfortable murk of emotion, trying to eat each other. Politics, religion, ideology - desperate, edgy attempts to shift the onus of responsibility for his own actions: abdications. His hands have the largest neural representation in the somesthetic cortex, his head the smallest; but he's always trying to hide the one behind the other.
M. John Harrison
There was balance, harsh and violent like the noxious air in a swamp. But balance, nonetheless. Then somewhere in the fickle mists of creation came humanity, clawing and afraid, grasping and ambitious. Enveloped in a dangerous world, these creatures lived as scavengers; afraid of the greater things of the world. They were beset by disease, lack of claws or fangs, and the lack of habitat to call their own. Lefeyhdie had not provided any particular prey or plant for them to eat. These fleshy, naked beings were doomed to die of attrition. Curiously, these beings never stopped Doing, or Thinking. Breeding to strengthen their numbers. Sharpening rocks, shaping wood, gathering leaves and sticks for clothing and shelter. Eventually they had settlements of great number, crude but effective tools of war. Ancient forces began to pay attention to the growing incursion, plaguing them, slaying stragglers at night. But still the humans held on to the edge of the precipice, knuckles white with effort'.
Occupation, curfew, settlements, closed military zone, administrative detention, siege, preventive strike, terrorist infrastructure, transfer. Their WAR destroys language. Speaks genocide with the words of a quiet technician. Occupation means that you cannot trust the OPEN SKY, or any open street near to the gates of snipers tower. It means that you cannot trust the future or have faith that the past will always be there. Occupation means you live out your live under military rule, and the constant threat of death, a quick death from a snipers bullet or a rocket attack from an M16. A crushing, suffocating death, a slow bleeding death in an ambulance stopped for hours at a checkpoint. A dark death, at a torture table in an Israeli prison: just a random arbitrary death. A cold calculated death: from a curable disease. A thousand small deaths while you watch your family dying around you. Occupation means that every day you die, and the world watches in silence. As if your death was nothing, as if you were a stone falling in the earth, water falling over water. And if you face all of this death and indifference and keep your humanity, and your love and your dignity and YOU refuse to surrender to their terror, then you know something of the courage that is Palestine.
[Israel's military occupation is] in gross violation of international law and has been from the outset. And that much, at least, is fully recognized, even by the United States, which has overwhelming and, as I said, unilateral responsibility for these crimes. So George Bush No. 1, when he was the U.N. ambassador, back in 1971, he officially reiterated Washington's condemnation of Israel's actions in the occupied territories. He happened to be referring specifically to occupied Jerusalem. In his words, actions in violation of the provisions of international law governing the obligations of an occupying power, namely Israel. He criticized Israel's failure "to acknowledge its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as its actions which are contrary to the letter and spirit of this Convention." [... ] However, by that time, late 1971, a divergence was developing, between official policy and practice. The fact of the matter is that by then, by late 1971, the United States was already providing the means to implement the violations that Ambassador Bush deplored. [... ] on December 5th , there had been an important international conference, called in Switzerland, on the 4th Geneva Convention. Switzerland is the state that's responsible for monitoring and controlling the implementation of them. The European Union all attended, even Britain, which is virtually a U.S. attack dog these days. They attended. A hundred and fourteen countries all together, the parties to the Geneva Convention. They had an official declaration, which condemned the settlements in the occupied territories as illegal, urged Israel to end its breaches of the Geneva Convention, some "grave breaches, " including willful killing, torture, unlawful deportation, unlawful depriving of the rights of fair and regular trial, extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. Grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, that's a serious term, that means serious war crimes. The United States is one of the high contracting parties to the Geneva Convention, therefore it is obligated, by its domestic law and highest commitments, to prosecute the perpetrators of grave breaches of the conventions. That includes its own leaders. Until the United States prosecutes its own leaders, it is guilty of grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, that means war crimes. And it's worth remembering the context. It is not any old convention. These are the conventions established to criminalize the practices of the Nazis, right after the Second World War. What was the U.S. reaction to the meeting in Geneva? The U.S. boycotted the meeting [..] and that has the usual consequence, it means the meeting is null and void, silence in the media.