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End the Settlements? By: Ariel Natan Pasko
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, January 20, 2004


Every time I hear an American official remind Israel on the need to end settlement activity, my blood pressure starts to go up. Those American officials have hit the nail on the head. Yes, settlement activity should come to a halt and the occupied territories should be given up.

So when David Satterfield, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, recently spoke out again, I couldn't agree with him more: America should return the occupied Southwestern territories it took from Mexico.

Some would say these lands were purchased, but they were purchased following a war. As the UN never tires of reminding Israel, conquest does not transfer sovereignty rights according to international law. Therefore, I propose an International Peace Conference be convened, to reopen this long historic dispute, and settle this conflict permanently. I'm sure America would find Israel to be a friend and an "even-handed" participant in these negotiations.

As Satterfield recently said, Israel must stop building settlements and rethink a barrier in the West Bank, although he did tell Palestinian leaders to rein in terrorist attacks. I fully agree. And perhaps America should also stop building its anti-immigration fences along the U.S.-Mexican border? Lucky for the Americans, the Mexicans long ago stopped terrorist attacks against American settlers. But now radicls among them are trying to re-annex their "homeland" - California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. Israelis aren't as lucky; the Palestinians still regularly try to slaughter Jewish "settlers" and are too often successful.

I guess Israel's security fence is more justified than the American's wall. So when an American official talks about giving up occupied territories, they should first check to see if their membership card for MEChA is still valid.

MEChA is a radical Hispanic students organization in the Southwest United States, whose constitution (Article II, Section 1) says, "general membership shall consist of any student who accepts, believes and works for the goals and objectives of MEChA, including the liberation of AZTLAN, meaning self-determination of our people in this occupied state and the physical liberation of our land." MEChA is just the tip of the Hispanic liberation iceberg.

This radical movement and other liberationists like them, identifies itself as "America's Palestinians." Their ultimate goal is to reclaim the American Southwest, including California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and parts of Colorado and Texas. Hispanic activists refer to the former Mexican territory as Aztlan, the mythical place of origin of the Aztec people. Aztecs in Colorado? Palestinians in Hebron or Jerusalem?

I think, since anyone can open a Bible and see for themselves that the Jews were in Hebron and Jerusalem for thousands of years, there shouldn't be a question as to whose land it is. Jews aren't settlers in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank and Gaza), they're the indigenous population. Jews have lived in their ancient homeland from time immemorial. The same cannot be said of those European and African settlers living in the American Southwest. Black and White settlers might just have to return their lands to the original inhabitants, Aztecs or Mexicans, or whomever a proper International Tribunal shall determine to be the rightful owners.

When Satterfield recently said, "As Israeli settlements expand...it becomes ever more difficult to see how two peoples can be separated into two states," He didn't stop to think whose land it is, and who is stealing that land. Why should Arabs have this land? The 22 Arab states they already have aren't enough?

Satterfield said in a speech to a conference on the Arab-Israeli War in 1967, "Settlement activity must stop." If he meant in Los Angeles, and Phoenix, and Dallas, I agree. But in Hebron, where  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived; where King David once ruled, forget it!

"The course of the separation barrier under construction now remains a significant problem as well...and, like settlement activity itself, takes everyone further from the comfort and trust necessary to achieve the president's vision of two states," Satterfield said. Satterfield concluded by saying a two-state vision "must be the basis for any lasting final status arrangement." Boy is he right-on there, and I hope the Aztecs enjoy living on Bush's ranch; they have as much right to it as Palestinians have to all of Israel (which is what they want, despite their currently moderate rhetoric).

By the way, where does Satterfield live?




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