THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
January 30, 2010
The Independent (UK)

In the West Bank's Stony Hills, Palestine is Slowly Dying

In the richest of the Occupied lands, Israeli bureaucracy is driving Palestinians out of their homes

by Robert Fisk

Area C doesn't sound very ominous. A land of stone-sprinkled grey hills and soft green valleys, it's part of the wreckage of the equally wrecked Oslo Agreement, accounting for 60 per cent of the Israeli-occupied West Bank that was eventually supposed to be handed over to its Palestinian inhabitants.

But look at the statistics and leaf through the pile of demolition orders lying on the table in front of Abed Kasab, head of the village council in Jiftlik, and it all looks like ethnic cleansing via bureaucracy. Perverse might be the word for the paperwork involved. Obscene appear to be the results.

Palestinian houses that cannot be permitted to stand, roofs that must be taken down, wells closed, sewage systems demolished; in one village, I even saw a primitive electricity system in which Palestinians must sink their electrical poles cemented into concrete blocks standing on the surface of the dirt road. To place the poles in the earth would ensure their destruction - no Palestinian can dig a hole more than 40cm below the ground. . . .

In Area C, there are up to 150,000 Palestinians and 300,000 Jewish colonists living - illegally under international law - in 120 official settlements and 100 "unapproved" settlements or, in the language we must use these days, "illegal outposts"; illegal under Israeli as well as international law, that is - as opposed to the 120 internationally illegal colonies which are legal under Israeli law. Jewish settlers, needless to say, don't have problems with planning permission. . . .

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Rory McCarthy, "Palestinians Lose Faith in Two-State Solution," Guardian, September 4, 2008

Chris McGreal and Rory McCarthy, "Obama: Halt to New Israeli Settlements is in America's Security Interests," Guardian, May 29, 2009

George Galloway, "Aid Convoy Arrives in Gaza, Situation 'Desperate'," Democracy Now!, January 7, 2010

[So the propaganda war is on. Forget Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the 15,000 Lebanese and Palestinian dead. Forget the Sabra and Shatila massacre that same year by Israel's militia allies as their troops watched. Erase the Qana massacre of 1996 - 106 Lebanese killed by Israeli shellfire, more than half of them children - and delete the 1,500 in the 2006 Lebanon war. And forget, of course, the more than 1,300 Palestinians slaughtered by Israel in Gaza last year (and the 13 Israelis killed by Hamas at that time) after Hamas rockets fell on Sderot--Robert Fisk, "Israel feels under siege. Like a victim. An underdog ," Independent, February 2, 2010]

The first map thus shows what the League of Nations imagined would become the state of Palestine. . . .

The second map shows the United Nations partition plan of 1947, which awarded Jews (who only then owned about 6% of Palestinian land) a substantial state alongside a much reduced Palestine. . . .

The third map shows the status quo after the Israeli-Palestinian civil war of 1947-1948. . . .

The final map shows the situation today, which springs from the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank in 1967 and then the decision of the Israelis to colonize the West Bank intensively (a process that is illegal in the law of war concerning occupied populations).--Juan Cole, "The Map: The Story of Palestinian Nationhood Thwarted After the League of Nations Recognized It," juancole.com, March 16, 2010]

Juan Cole, "Top Ten Reasons East Jerusalem does not belong to Jewish-Israelis," juancole.com, March 23, 2010

[Let's talk with an Israeli government that boasts of at least six ministers in its "forum of seven" of top decision-makers who say they do not believe in an agreement with you.--Gideon Levy, "Let's talk," Haaretz, April 1, 2010]

Noam Chomsky, "Peace that could happen (but won't)," Asia Times, April 28, 2010

[In sum, there are great dangers ahead for the Palestinians, who will continue to suffer terribly at the hands of the Israelis for some years to come. But it does look like the Palestinians will eventually get their own state, mainly because Israel seems bent on self-destruction.--John J. Mearsheimer, "The Future of Palestine: Righteous Jews vs. the New Afrikaners," Palestine Center, April 30, 2010]

Anisa Abd el Fattah, "Death of a two state solution could give birth to a free Palestine," National Association of Muslim American Women, April 30, 2010

Nahida, "A Letter To The American People From The Heart Of A Muslim Woman," countercurrents.org, May 5, 2010

VIDEO: Max Blumenthal, "Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel,," c-span.org, December 2, 2013

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