Archives: November 2007
Tue Nov 27, 2007
The advancing ethnic cleansing
“At the most general level, however, ethnic cleansing can be understood as the expulsion of an `undesirable` population from a given territory due to religious or ethnic discrimination, political, strategic or ideological considerations, or a combination of these” [Andrew Bell-Fialkoff, `A Brief History of Ethnic Cleansing`, Foreign Affairs 72 (3): 110, Summer 1993.]
The stage for ethnic cleansing of Palestinians has been set in the Occupied Territories, and ethnic cleansing is in progress. At present, this is the major project of the State of Israel. For an impartial person of medium intelligence, a tour of the Occupied Territories may be sufficient to understand this fact. The prime ethnic cleansing tool is, forever, Palestinian land grab in conjunction with settlement expansion. Various stages of annexation process are in evidence in the originally rural part of the West Bank, constituting sixty percent of its area. By now, nine percent of the West Bank land has been transferred to the direct control of the settlements . A recent Peace Now investigation revealed that only twelve percent of this land is being used at all. `The state earmarks huge tracts for the settlements, out of all proportion to their size, in order to prevent Palestinian construction in those areas. Yet once an area is closed to Palestinians, the settlers begin seizing adjacent Palestinian lands, often privately owned, that lie outside their jurisdiction` [1,2]. According to B`Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, already in 2002, 41.9% of the West Bank was assigned to the Israeli regional councils . And for years, the entire rural Area C has been under administrative control of the so called `Civil Administration`, which, in close cooperation with other branches of the Israeli army and with the settlers, toils to make the life of its Palestinian residents as miserable as possible; the obvious objective being to make them leave [4,5]. More...
Separate but unequal in Palestine: The road to apartheid
On the eve of the meeting intended to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians at Annapolis, Maryland, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced that Israel will build no new West Bank settlements, but will not "strangle" existing Israel settlements. This means that construction in the 149 existing Israeli settlements throughout the West Bank that are strangling Palestinians, including the settlements on our village's land, will continue unchecked. Olmert's cynical announcement underlines our fear that Israel, with US support, will insist on retaining most West Bank settlements in the upcoming negotiations, locking Palestinians into a "separate but unequal" position. More...
The right to our land must be restored
This week in Annapolis, Maryland the United States government will host a conference between Palestinian and Israeli leaders to launch peace talks on a permanent agreement. A vital component of the peace proposals to be discussed involves exchanges of territory that would allow Israel to keep its West Bank "settlement blocs" while compensating Palestinians with land inside Israel. More...