/ Ein Fara in Palestine, West Bank.
A number of international climbing web sites documenting climbing sites world wide have this crag down as being in Israel which is factually incorrect. This crag is located in the Palestinian Occupied Territories in the West Bank. Access is accessible via the colony (settlement) at Almon (Anatot) and is restricted. The settlement and the 'nature reserve' in which sits the cliff, is illegally run by the Israel National Parks Authority (INPA) which is not recognised under international law. Settlements are illegal under international law and breach the Fourth Geneva Convention. The land owned by a Paletinian Yassin al-Rifa’i and his family - whose lands have been taken over by the settlement of Anatot (also called Almon). There have been regular reports that the settlers of Anatot have abused the family for years; in repeated attacks, they uproot trees, block water sources, steal agricultural equipment and harass and attack the farmers attempting to reach their lands. Attention is drawn to the international climbing community that this regionally important crag is at the centre of an ethnic cleansing and human tragedy.
Ans: Actually, it's in the part that under the Oslo treaty is administered by Israel.
Access is accessible via the colony (settlement) at Almon (Anatot) and is restricted
Ans: Not when I was there.
Anyway, not true. The access to the park goes off before this.
The settlement and the 'nature reserve' in which sits the cliff, is illegally run by the Israel National Parks Authority (INPA) which is not recognised under international law.
Ans: Since when was the INPA not recognised? Again, under the Oslo agreement, this is
Settlements are illegal under international law and breach the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Ans: Not true. This is your allegation and has never been tested in any court.
Climbing and area is nice. Warm strong limestone, bit loose at the top, though.
Do you make a habit of checking all international climbing sites to see if there's a dispute over ownership and access? Or do you just hate Israel?
yeah, this is the only post you ever made on UKC and you don't have a climbing profile. Seems like you just joined UKC to dump on Israel
If you look at this link from the UN you will see that Ein Fara (interesting you use the Hebrew name, not the Arab name which is Wadi Kelt) is in 'Area C and Nature Reserves'
Area C, as defined by the UN, is 'Full Israeli control over security, planning and construction' So for Israel to run a National Park there is completely legal under international law and the Oslo agreement
If you look at this reference on Google Maps
you will see that the park entrance a right turn before the settlement.
So since you falsify these easily verifiable facts, then one would presume the rest of your post is equally false.
> yeah, this is the only post you ever made on UKC and you don't have a climbing profile. Seems like you just joined UKC to dump on Israel
Good planning, it seems he waited 7 years to do so.
seems he waited 7 years to do so.
I know. It's really weird that he crawls out of the woodwork with this as his only post.
> seems he waited 7 years to do so.
> I know. It's really weird that he crawls out of the woodwork with this as his only post.
Is that except for the posts in 2008, 2010 and 2011?
Not sure what your point is?
It seems that Yassin Rifai, the Arab who claims land in Anatot, has a record. He was sentenced for rape of two tourists to 14 years in jail.
My point of course is that this guy suddenly starts posting lies with a political agenda.
> yeah, this is the only post you ever made on UKC and you don't have a climbing profile. Seems like you just joined UKC to dump on Israel
As has already been pointed out, he's been posting since 2008. Since you falsify this easily verifiable fact, clearly the rest of your assertions must also be false. Just saying...
OK. I didn't check his whole history. But he hasn't posted for a couple of years.
The important thing is not when he posts, really.
The important thing is that what he posts is just wrong. And it would have remained unchallenged except for the unlikely happenstance that on UKC there is someone who climbs there and knows what is actually there.
I think the really important point, Mike, is that you are so very eager to support Israel, so very passionate in her defence, that you are totally blind to the multitude of abhorrent acts that Israel commits in the name of "self defence".
... is a fanatical supporter of the country he lives in!
You accusing others of being a bit one subject posters is just a little rich don't you think?
> I think the really important point, Mike, is that you are so very eager to support Israel, so very passionate in her defence, that you are totally blind to the multitude of abhorrent acts that Israel commits in the name of "self defence".
Absolutely, the mike ts clearly has an issue with the rights of palestein.
Respect to Southern Man, Cthulhu, and Bruce Hooker and everyone else who gets it. My basic point behind this thread is that Ein Fara/ Wadi Kelt is not in Israel and I am pleased to see there is consensus here. Thanks by the way for confirming the Arab name which like Palestine is being wiped off the map.
I stand corrected if access to Ein Fara/Wadi Kelt is not via the settlement itself – it is, none the less, still under Israeli Military control within which Palestinian movement is controlled by humiliating permits and checkpoints – Israeli’s travelling to Ein fara/Wadi Kelt have no such restrictions. Yassin al-Rifa’i may or may not have a very serious conviction but an individual’s crime does not invalidate another crime - least of all Israeli war crimes. Settler harassment of Palestinians is a long standing feature of life in the Orwellian ‘area C’ and continues – see: http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2011/oct/19/From-the-west-bank-part-two/ or better watch the Oscar nominated doc. 5 broken camera’s http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2125423/
The Oslo Accords are dead in the water along with the rest of the peace process. Had it been implemented the 1995 Interim Agreement called for the gradual transfer of power and responsibility in the sphere of planning and zoning in Area C to move from the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) to the Palestinian Authority (PA) by 1999. See: http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/59AE27FDECB034BD85257793004D5541
Area C remains under the authority of the Israeli Ministry of Defence to this day. The ‘Oslo Accords’ were intended as a first step towards Palestinian self-rule, with a staged withdrawal from the Occupied Territories by Israeli troops. However, illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories continue to increase and their expansion remains a major obstacle to peace. It is of course extremely misleading to suggest that area C is “defined by the UN”. Area C was the product of Oslo Accords not the UN. The United Nations itself has repeatedly called on Israel to withdraw from the West Bank see Security Council Resolutions especially resolution 242.
I do not hate Israel - only injustice! The land has been stolen and should be handed back and administered to its rightful owners.
Hmm so does this mean that our Uni club can have their annual 'Movin' on to trad' weekend there or not?
The problems of the middle east aren't going to be solved without compromise on both sides.
Which sadly means there's going to be zero progress for the foreseeable future.
Well I'm glad you replied and basically showed you agree with me: that you are leveraging this issue to roll out an attack on Israel and its policies regarding Palestinians.
But you are still wrong whenever you get into details. For example, Resolution 242 does not say that Israel must move from all off the West Bank. It says that all parties should agree on withdrawal lines. And are you saying that Oslo is not an internationally accepted agreement: not what I saw saw at the signing ceremony?
To be a bit more detailed:
1. You are dead wrong access. Arabs have as much access to the park as anyone else. In fact, probably more easily. I have to go through a checkpoint to get there: but if I lived in East Jerusalem I'd have a clear run.
2. The rapist record of the claimant to the land is important to the story. What happened in 2011 was that he set up in a tent in the centre of Almon. This is a small family orientated village. Their objection was to having a convicted rapist setting up in a tent inside it. Land right campaigners came to his support, and there was what the news called a riot as a result, both sides throwing rocks at each other.
3. The park is well managed by the Israel Parks Authority, and is a great public space of unspoiled beauty. It is I think the only year round stream flowing West to East to the Jordan, so it is important. It was under the British the pumping station for city water to Jerusalem. It also is a bird sanctuary: you can only climb on the North crag because the South is reserved for nesting birds.
To the other Israel haters on this thread: I support a two state solution. I support equal rights for all religions and ethnic groups in this troubled land. What I oppose is specific lies and misrepresentations, such as those made by you on your original post, that just make peace here more difficult to get to.
> Hmm so does this mean that our Uni club can have their annual 'Movin' on to trad' weekend there or not?
You're welcome. But it's more bolted than trad, being limestone and loose at the top.
What sort of compromise do you have in mind when the 78% of historic Palestine was lost in 1948 and now half of the West Bank is now under settlement construction? I point you to the fact that a land grab is taking place on a monstrous scale. The route of the ‘separation’ wall takes a path deep inside the green line. How do you think Palestinians should reach a compromise when at each round of so called peace talks is followed by more settlement building? You may or may not know that the rights of people living under an occupation are supposed to be guaranteed under article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which states that ‘the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its civilian population into the territories it occupies”. To do so is a war crime, indictable under the international Criminal Court but don’t take my word for it check it out yourself.
The point we should make is that the nature reserves are an integral part of the occupation alongside the settlements, the network of Apartheid roads and the checkpoints.
I'm sure that like you and the more astute readers of this thread recognise how supporters of Israel’s belligerent occupation operate online in an attempt to make sure the rest of the world doesn’t find out what is going on. Here we have the familiar tactic of personal attacks, incendiary distractions, obfuscation, and interpretations of international law bordering on the bizarre. For example UN resolution 242 dated 2/11/1967 calls for the ‘withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories it recently occupied’. Nowhere does it say that ‘all parties should agree on withdrawal lines ‘ the latter is pure invention and difficult to debate seriously. In any event people can read it for themselves at: http://www.un.org/en/sc/documents/resolutions/1967.shtml .
Israel is a signature to the 4th Geneva Convention although you would be forgiven for thinking that they were not.
One of the single barriers to peace and a viable Palestinian state is the growth of the settlements http://www.ochaopt.org/eastjerusalem and we (and I am talking about the vast majority of world opinion) have every right to oppose them for that reason.
Let’s get back to the climbing and the role climbers are being asked to play at Ein Fara/Wadi Kelt.
Climbers of conscience in international climbing community should seek answers to the following questions:
1. What is the relationship between the settlement at Anatot and the nature reserve – are they different sides to the same coin of occupation?
2. Are any of the access roads off limits to Palestinians and if not what restrictions if any are in place?
3. What role does this nature reserve play in promoting tourism to Israel and beautifying the military occupation?
4. Is the nature reserve and the climbing primarily set up as a recreational resource for settlers and Israeli citizens?
5. Is access to the nature reserve and the cliff at Ein Fara dependent on the settlement at Anatot?
6. How are the local Palestinian population affected by the settlement and the nature reserve?
7. In what way if any does the nature reserve play in controlling the water supply, where does that water go and who controls it?
8. If we climb at Ein Fara are we being complicit with the occupation?
9. Should the international climbing community boycott Ein Fara until the nature reserve is under control of the Palestinian authorities?
10. Are there any other climbing sites in the West Bank affected by the same issues?
Have you visited? Or know anyone who has? Regardless of whether a boycott is the politically/morally the right thing or not to do, does anyone go to either Israel or Palestine to climb? I have, for instance, friends who have climbed in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt - but I don't know anyone who has climbed in Israel or Palestine (beyond Mike on this thread who lives there and I've only communicated with via UKC/email). Boycotting something that no one does anyway doesn't seem particularly fruitful.
Interestingly, in 20 years of reading the British mags and from time to time the US mags too, I don't remember ever reading anything about climbing in Israel/Palestine either. Does anyone else? If Rock and Ice or Climb want to commission me to go and visit the area and report on the climbing and politics of the climbing, I'd be very happy too!
> Let’s get back to the climbing and the role climbers are being asked to play at Ein Fara/Wadi Kelt.
> Climbers of conscience in international climbing community should seek answers to the following questions:
> 1. What is the relationship between the settlement at Anatot and the nature reserve – are they different sides to the same coin of occupation?
They are different places. And people live in one, not the other. Agree there is controversy over settlements and you can argue about this. But this settlement is outside the park where the crag is, so what is problem here?
Have you ever seen Ein Fara in an Israeli tourist ad? Suspect not, since an ad to visit Israel a few years ago showing the Western Wall had to be withdrawn on grounds it was over the Green Line
No. Equal access. It's a favourite picnic area for Palestinians.
Not in the slightest. Access to park is off road before entering the town.
There are none. The park's too barren for agriculture, and has been public land for a least a century.
Water goes down to Jericho, which is PA Area A and they are very interested in it being kept clean: which the Parks Authority is doing well.
Actually, it's closed for climbing: some of the cliff fell down in the winter!
Since it's in Area C, there is no legal or moral problem here.
Well if they are in Areas B or A, Israelis are not allowed in by Israeli law, and I don't know any, climbing not being a big Palestinian sport. And, as I pointed out, parks in Area C are currently agreed by both Israel and Palestine to be administered by Israel So this whole post is all a bit of wank anyway.
Here is an example from Climbing Magazine which lacked any sensitivity to the issue and gave a one-sided perspective: http://legacy.climbing.com/travel/the_holy_land/
Awareness and education comes first so you could play a role here. People need to know why they are being asked to join the boycott movement and is it boycottable? I accept your wider point that important as this sports climbing location may be regionally, its hardly going to be on the international climbing circuit - but then that's not the main point.
The writing is pretty rubbish though in the sense that it's not that they're trying to avoid politics; rather they don't seem to understand the politics:
"If you look past the headlines, you’ll find cool, peaceable people living on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides of this small nation."
What one nation?
There was an article in a shortlived UK magazine whose title I can't remember, it was probably over 20 years ago. The article was about the climbing in Wadi Amud which is to the west of Kinneret just north of Tiberias which even Simon Cardy would agree is in undisputed Israel. Some of the routes in this Wadi were put up by our own Pete Livesey.
Of course there are lots of people on both sides however you define it that are not cool, nor peaceable - they're the ones that make all the headlines.
See how easy it is to get in a mess with the Middle East :-)
> Here is an example from Climbing Magazine which lacked any sensitivity to the issue and gave a one-sided perspective: http://legacy.climbing.com/travel/the_holy_land/
This article very carefully used the words Holy Land, which is a nice way to avoid being specific about who claims what. Reads like good sensitivity to me.
The 2 countries are trying to cooperate with tourism. For example, you can stay in West Jerusalem (Israel) and visit 30 mins down the road to Bethlehem (Palestine) or vice versa. So the local companies set themselves that way. Simon: it's not a conspiracy, it's pragmatism, FFS.
The coolest thing about climbing in Israel was not mentioned in the Climbing article. This a crag in the centre of Jerusalem called Gay Bin Hinoon. It is the entrance to Hell! Tradition has it that Hell's entrance in this valley, which is below the old city. YOu can climb and look over to the holy places at the same time.
I once met a guy wearing phylacteries (Jewish ritual accessories for the head and arm) abseiling down this cliff as we were climbing up!
'm pretty sure it means both sides of the small 'region', since it seems to acknowledge there are two countries here. An Israeli writer would not call Arab-Israelis 'Palestinians' since this word to Israelis could only describe a nationality. So I agree it's not clear syntax: but it is clearly trying to be sensitive to there being 2 countries in the area referenced in the article.
And is trying to say there are good people in both countries. (Unlike Simon, who shows his sensitivity by abusing and lying about Israel)
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