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Thursday, July 31, 2003
What's Going on, Israel?

Yes, I know Israel is the sole democracy in the Middle East, they've been a staunch ally, yadayadayada. But does that really excuse this?

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Israeli law limits Arab citizenship : "The Israeli parliament passed a law preventing Palestinians married to Israelis from gaining Israeli citizenship.
Human rights groups have condemned the law as racist but supporters say it is necessary for security reasons and to maintain the Jewish character of the state of Israel.
The law will prevent Palestinians from the occupied territories in the West Bank and Gaza from marrying Arab-Israelis, who make up about 20% of the population of Israel. "
Or this?
canada.com: Israel announced Thursday it would build new housing in a Gaza Strip settlement, angering Palestinians and raising questions about implementation of the "road map" plan, after Israel's prime minister returned from a White House summit and top officials from the two sides had inconclusive talks about the next peace moves.
In a statement, the Israeli Defence Ministry said the 22 units were in the settlement's original plan and their construction would not violate the road map because they reflect natural growth of the settlement.
However, the peace plan states: "Israel also freezes all settlement activity, consistent with the Mitchell report," an international study from May 2001. That report says Israel "should freeze all settlement activity, including the 'natural growth' of existing settlements."
Or this?
New Zealand Herald: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan chided Israel on Wednesday for proceeding with construction of what it calls a security fence in the West Bank despite US and Palestinian objections.
"On the question of the fence, I know it's the conventional wisdom that fences make good neighbours, but that is if you build a fence on your own land and you don't disrupt your neighbour's life," Annan told a news conference.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon vowed after talks with US President George W Bush in Washington to keep building the barrier, which polls show is strongly supported by the Israeli public after 34 months of Middle East bloodshed.
"Good fences make good neighbours," Sharon said.
The barrier -- a concrete wall in some places and a metal fence topped with razor wire in others -- has stoked resentment among Palestinians who have called it a new "Berlin Wall".
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