Saturday, June 13, 2009

Chateau Judea and Samaria

Interesting Newsnight segment last night on Zionist West Bank settlers starting vineyards in the Occupied territory. It's rare nowadays for the BBC to publish anything on the conflict, so I thought I'd fish for a clip but no such luck. But at least I wasn't dreaming, from the BBC blog:

Ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's major foreign policy speech on Sunday we look at a key area highlighted by President Barack Obama in his Cairo speech - the settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The US president says Israel must stop building settlements, but now the settlers are trying something new.

They are taking over large areas of land and planting vineyards. We will be previewing the speech and our reporter Tim Franks has been visiting the new wine-growing area.

The new wines appear particularly popular with a certain segment of Right wing Israelis who're being bamboozled into believing there's something 'biblical' about the wines: it's just Merlot plonk with a fancy label, ferchrissake!

But that's not their real function: vineyards, to be productive, have to be quite large, much larger than a small settlement. So this kind of land expropriation is very effective.

Footage was shown also of an Arab winemaker whose vineyard had been repeatedly vandalised by settlers.

Thankfully the situation is being meticulously monitored by one of Israel's Rights groups.

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