Guardian interrupts ‘live blog’ on Mid-East uprisings with news that Jews might build homes

The Guardian’s ‘Live Blog‘ on the Middle East uprisings took a detour today from its typical updates on civil war, regional conflagrations and revolution to report on Israeli plans to build homes, sometime in the future, in an area between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem: (Screenshots taken from the Guardian page within the past hour)


Here’s the terrifying photo used by the Guardian to illustrate the regional “crisis”:


Requisite “death of the two-state solution” quote by a highly politicized NGO.


A report by Harriet Sherwood repeating the lie that Israeli construction would cut off eastern Jerusalem from the West Bank.


Here’s the dramatic news that isn’t happening:


Russia is “alarmed” by the news.


More Israeli ambassadors summoned. 


And, below the shocking reports from Jerusalem, in other, far less important news:  Lebanon and Syria risk igniting a dangerous military confrontation, and Islamists in Egypt organized a mass rally meant to intimidate the highest court in the country.   


Finally, if want to know what else is happening in Israel, here are the top stories on the Guardian’s Israel page:

other news

88 replies »

    • This is a rather disgusting comment. No surprise to find that two people have already ‘liked’ it. Par for the course on this site.

        • Yes, it is disgusting that Assad has butchered his own people. However, to say that this should be on a ‘Middle East Dead Blog’ is tasteless, and actually just disgusting.

    • The Guardian NEVER “interrupted live blog on mi-east uprising with news that Jews were building homes”.

      The Guardian interrupted live blog on mi-east uprising with news that the Government of Israel was going to build illegal settlements in the territory of the state of Palestine in violation of international law.

    • MM, This is tasteless.
      People are dying in Syria and your wards share the same sinical values that the Guardian portray by ignoring the crisis.

      • I have to at least partially disagree with you. My point very effectively highlighted the Guardians cynicism towards death in Syria in its focusing on house building in Israel at the expense of those being killed. As far as tastelessness goes, I accept some people would find this rather macabre humour.
        And finally, hopefully without being too annoying, ‘wards’ should be ‘words’ and ‘sinical’ cynical. (‘Portray’ should also be ‘Shows in the context)

    • The apalling title of this piece requires some warning on readers:


      CIF Watch does NOT represent the views of Israelis.

      CIF Watch only reflects the views of a tiny, marginalized minority whi support the settlement policy in Israel and seem unaware that Israel is a democracy.

    • “News that Jews might build homes”

      Mr Levick’s inability to grasp reality is really sad.

      The Guardian does not speak about what Jewish people do.

      The Guardian speaks about Israeli settlers living in settlements built in the territory of Palestine in violation of international law. This has nothing to do with religion.

      The Israeli government is free to build housing for Israelis of all religions in Israel. However it cannot build housing for Israelis in Palestine, Egypt or Italy, because a state cannot build on the territory of another state without securing its permission first.

  1. Reading the disgusting and utterly predictable antisemitic comments spouted below the line of that live blog makes me feel really sick. Although i know what to expect of (most) Guardian reader-commenters, it still shocks me each time how much hatred is out there for the Jewish state of Israel. – I also hope btw, that Netanyahu will not give in to the hypocritical sanctimonious bullying by the Europeans (which is also entirely predictable, btw).

  2. Israel is breaking the 4th Geneva Convention by settling it’s population on occupied land. But hey, when has international law and human rights ever been of concern to her?

    • For territory beyond the 1949 armistice line (the Green Line) to be occupied it has to have been captured from the Palestinian Authority. As it is, the Palestinian Authority is not a High Contracting Power or a state with legal title to that territory.
      The only state with title to the land beyond the Green Line was Jordan, which annexed that part of the Palestine Mandate in 1948-49. Jordan’s occupation was unrecognised by most states and in any case was renounced by Jordan as a part of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty.
      Ergo, the legal conventions governing the territory beyond the Green Line remains that of the Palestine Mandate under the League of Nations (the mandate continued in force under the United Nations). Under the terms of the Mandate, Jews had a right to settle upon public land and so, according to this framework, all settlement activity is legal provided that it is not built upon privately-owned land (and without the permission of the land owners).

      Furthermore, the Fourth Geneva Convention forbids “mass population transfers”. This is read in the context of mass German settlement of Eastern Europe, whereby the German state moved large numbers of its population onto confiscated land. Private settlement in extra-territorial areas by Israelis is not to be read in this context.

      • “For territory beyond the 1949 armistice line (the Green Line) to be occupied it has to have been captured from the Palestinian Authority.”

        Every single institution of international law disagrees with you.

        “As it is, the Palestinian Authority is not a High Contracting Power or a state with legal title to that territory.”

        The conflict was between two high contracting parties – a position repeatedly outlined by every single institution of international law. The missing reversioner thesis has been repeatedly dismissed as legal nonsense – even by Israel’s own legal advisor.

        Anonymous forum poster vs the highest legal authorities on Earth. It’s a wonder anyone listens to you 🙂

        • Please present us the list of your institutions, for a good laugh, jobless meitner.

          Are there any specific reasons why do you hate Jews?

          • There we go again. It doesn’t work any more. Claiming any criticism of Israel is antisemitic isn’t scarey anymore. You have devalued and delegitimised the word to the detriment of your fellow Jews who will find genuine accusations of antisemitism taken less seriously.

            “Wolf! Wolf!” You see? No-one’s listening.

      • Wien, all Israeli settlements in the territory of the state pf Palestine (West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip) are considered illegal because they are in violation of international humanitarian law (IVth Geneva Convention).

        • The 4th Convention applies to “occupied territory”, which is deemed to have been captured from a sovereign state. The territory in question was not recognised as belonging to Jordan and was a part of the Palestine Mandate under the League of Nations (confirmed and continued under the UN).
          This makes the West Bank “disputed territory” where two states have conflicting claims to the same area. Under the Mandate, Jews had a right to settle upon public land. Since there is no recognised state in the West Bank (the UNGA decision was to upgrade the PA to a non-member state – this has no legal force), then Israel has been justified in exercising its legal rights of settlement and would be justified in annexing territories that are not settled by non-Jews.

  3. Framing Guardian reporting of the widespread international anger over Israeli plans to build settlements in the E1 corridor as the Guardian simply opposed to “Jews building new homes” is profoundly disingenuous.

    Even the US opposes the plans, which absolutely would destroy the territorial integrity of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, in the same way that a Palestinian-ruled city between Haifa and TLV would destroy that of Israel.

    • Let’s be serious here for a minute. The US – not the Guardian, not “anti-Israel” campaigners, but America, Israel’s most important ally – has long maintained that developing the E1 area would effectively destroy the hopes of a two-state solution. Are you honestly suggesting that Washington has got its facts wrong, and that if the US State Department had only read the right Jerusalem Post editorial and learned about the “access road” that would “allow” Palestinians to take detour around Ma’aleh Adumim as they travel through their own country, then they would not have spent years condemning the plans?

    • Israel is illegally colonising a state which it occupies. Every single institution of international law says it’s illegal. Israel’s own legal advisor in 1967 said it was illegal.

      You have yet to explain why everyone else is wrong.

      • There were no settlements in 1967, jobless meitner, the terror propagandist who adresses every single institution of international law for justifying terror.

          • Nothing of that sort, jobless meitner, your underperformance in correct citation and exact description is not astounishing for a terror buddy who adresses every single insititution of international law.
            “In terms of settlement on the [West] Bank, we are trying not to admit that here too it is a matter of “occupied territory”. We argue that this area of the Mandate on the Land of Israel was divided in 1949 only according to Armistice Lines, which, under the Armistice agreements themselves, had merely military, not political, significance and were not determinative until the final settlement. We go on to say that the agreements themselves were achieved as a temporary measure according to Security Council action based on Article 40 of the United Nations Charter.
            We also argue that Jordan itself unilaterally annexed the West Bank to the Kingdom of Jordan in 1950 and that the Armistice Lines no longer exist because the agreements expired due to the war and Arab aggression. We must nevertheless be aware that the international community has not accepted our argument that the [West] Bank is not “normal” occupied territory and that certain
            countries (such as Britain in its speeches at the UN) have expressly stated that our status in the [West] Bank is that of an occupying state. ”


            The question of Hebron, ethnically cleansed of Jews, is missing at all.

            2. Meron never was the legal adviser of the Israel government, as falsely claimed or even faked by you and other`s who normally denounce the legal framework of Israel, like this cuckoo

            He was the legal adviser to the Foreign ministry.
            The legal adviser to the government is:

            And Meron`s opinion was one of many who were asked to deliver. But those cuckoo anti-imperialists lieke Gershom Gorenberg, author of The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, ignore the others and highlighten the one suiting them.

          • Let’s do you the honour of a reply. Just to show that you are simply unable to read the very document you cite. Let’s quote Meron:

            “My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories
            contravenes explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

            Gee, that sounds really confusing.

            Let’s extend your quote a little too:

            “In truth, even certain actions by Israel are inconsistent with the claim that the [West] Bank is not occupied territory.”

            Wow, I think you’ve destroyed your own arguments very successfully. I’ll make an anti-Zionist out of you yet.

            “He was the legal adviser to the Foreign ministry.”

            Last I checked, the Foreign Ministry is part of the government.

      • Good attempt to jump ahead in history, but there still isn’t a real state of Palestine (unless you imagine its future as a ME version of the Vatican, which is unlikely), so as much as it pains me to ask someone like you to stick to the facts…please stick to the facts.

          • GOSH. Are you sure?

            And the point goes right over your head.

            Let’s try this again, shall we? It was stated that “Israel has been illegally colonizing a state which it occupies.” It was also stated that Israel had been advised against this in 1967.

            I was simply attempting to point out, gently, that Israel took the land in question from Jordan and Egypt in ’67, and it’s therefore a bit deliberately misleading to play like there was a Palestinian state in ’67 with clear borders which has been ‘occupied’ or ‘colonized’, or for that matter that there is one now. Simply being recognized by the UN as a non-member state doesn’t solve the border issues. I tend to agree with Presidents Bush and Obama that there will end up having to be some land swapping before this all sorts out.

            Acting as though the borders and the states they divide are quite clear and obvious, rather than one of the key sources of the conflict, is just not useful.

          • Makabit, Israeli settlements in the territory of Palestine (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza) are in violation of international humanitarian law and therefore considered illegal.

            Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory, clearly states that a state cannot transfer its population into a territory it occupies. Whether this territory is a state or not is irrelevant.

            The only relevant fact here is that Israeli settlements are considered illegal.

    • Miko Peled from his book The General’s Son: “But you know as well as I that we are all settlers, and all of Israel is occupied Palestine.”

      Go on. Call him antisemitic. You know you want to.

    • Adam, it seems that more or less every Western government in Europe and North America disagrees with you.


    • Adam, every government in the world – including the American goverment – disagree with you.

      You’re not going to tell us that you know better that every head of governement in the world, are you?

    • As the entire world press explained, Israel’s E1 settlement in the territory of neighbouring Palestine would make a two-state solution impossible.

      Does Mr Levick support a binational state in which Jews will be a minority?

    • Israel’s closest allies, the United States of America and Canada, have both declared that Netanyahu’s E1 plans are unacceptable and counter-productive to peace.

      Who cares whether CIF Watch or Adam Levick disagree?

      The priority is to make sure that Israel’s ties to Western democracies remain as strong as ever. The opinion of pro-settlement activists does not matters when the future of the Jewish state is at stake.

  4. This CiFW headline about “news that Jews might build homes” is almost farcical.
    It’s not as if the G. is talking about e.g. Jews in Arkansas building homes, is it?

    This is specifically about Israel building more homes in the occupied West Bank – in response to the UN recognising the Palestinians’ proto-state.

    CiFWatch knows this fully well – but is making a conscious attempt to paint the Guardian report as anti-Semitic.

  5. If the Palestinians had wanted a state of their own, they could have negotiated in good faith with Peres, then with Netanyahu’s government, then they could have accepted Barak and Clinton’s offer. Instead, they fought a terrorist war against Israel and lost.
    They could then have negotiated with Olmert but refused to do so. Netanyaho froze all settlement building for ten months. In the 10th month, the Palestinans suddenly wanted to negotiate… for an extension.
    And now that Abbas has secured non-member state observer status at the UN, he has broken the terms of the Oslo agreement. Israel is under NO obligation now to respect the supposed aspiration of the Palestinian Authority to establish a state.
    Israel should now take Area A and formally incorporate it into Israel proper.

      • Really? A vote giving them “non-member observer state” basis at the UN means that “the Palestinians now have a state of their own”? This shows, Nat, the danger of relying on UN votes to give you a true picture of the world. Whatever their “status” at the UN, whatever their aspirations, and whether you or I would like there to be one or not, there is definitively not a “state” of Palestine in existence, neither has there ever been one.

      • They don’t have a state of their own in any real sense. The UNGA decision has no force in creating a state, since the PA does not meet any of the conditions laid out in the Montevideo Convention.

  6. So the Russian MID (Foreign Affairs Ministry) is ‘alarmed’ by Israeli settlement building? Wonder how it feels about Russian weapons being used by Bashar al-Assad to slaughter civilians in Syria …?

    • The Russian government is a disgrace. Unfortunately, most governments in the world are a disgrace, Netanyahu’s included.

      • The Syrian regime is a disgrace because it’s slaughtering thousands of civilians. The Israeli government is a disgrace because of … sorry … what exactly?

          • Really? It’s instituted an apartheid regime in Gaza you say? How? With its garrison of IDF troops that was withdrawn in 2005?

            As for the West Bank, the PA didn’t get bombed last month, and it was all business as usual. Could it possibly be because they didn’t try and kill civilians with rocket attacks?

      • Only a muzzie loving donkey f***** would find humor in the torture and murder of Christians, Jews, Muslims who left Islam, young girls who just want an education, young girls who don’t want to marry men old enough to be their grandfather, and the list goes on and on – all in the name of that great religion of ‘peace’ and ‘tolerance’ you call Islam.

  7. Jews building homes, yes that’s the problem. Pathetic.

    Israel is colonising another state – that’s the problem. It is the position of EVERY single institution of international law (and Israel’s own legal advisor in 1967) that the colonisation of occupied territory is illegal.

    • Jobless Meitner, come up with the complete list of your invented institutions and give us some laugh.
      1967 there were no settlements, only the Westjordanland, annexed by Jordan.

      Explain your hate of Jews.

    • Look – I am no fan of this decision (to approve the building in E1). I think it is wrong-headed, and if I had a say in Israel, I would object to it. But the article here on CifWatch has a valid point, nonetheless. In the scheme of things, is the building of some new homes (whether advisable and constructive (in the political sense) or not) really a bigger story than the continuing death and mayhem in the rest of the ME?

      This is really the whole point of this site – why the unremitting focus on everything Israel does (by the Guardian in particular, and the MSM in general) in comparison with far worse things that go on every day in other parts of the world?

      And the last screen-shot from the “Israel page” sums it up perfectly. Is the decision to build in E1 really the ONLY newsworthy thing to happen in Israel over the last 24 hours or so?

      • This is really the whole point of this site – why the unremitting focus on everything Israel does (by the Guardian in particular, and the MSM in general) in comparison with far worse things that go on every day in other parts of the world?

        The whole point? You really believe that?

        • It’s a major part of the point, the documented fact that CiF A) is much angrier and less accurate about Israeli offenses than they are about the legion deadlier and more destructive conflicts carried out in the world, often by countries or groups the paper is a fan of and B) doesn’t seem interested in acknowledging this reality.

          • Indeed – except that Israel is a western nation. For all the bile thrown its way, it is a very decent democracy.

            But look at that UN vote – count aside the Muslim vote, are you seriously tellling me it has to do with anti-Semitism?

  8. Israelis build homes around their capital city, Jerusalem, because they can. This is what angers the Arabs.

    Israel could destroy Hamas in less than a week, but they choose not to do so.
    Arabs don’t understand this. If they could destroy Israel, they would but they can’t – and this humiliates them and makes them really angry. Whenever a problem arises in the Middle East, it’s automatically Israel’s fault. Who else?

    In addition, Israel is a prosperous free-market democracy. This is what galls many Guardian-reading socialist-minded fools who are envious and easily angered.

    Never mind. The Internet is a useful addiction for the unemployed, keeping them busy and off the streets.