Gaza: The Final Solution II
In the last story, I concluded this way:
This is all part of a plan by the Israeli government and the settlers and the squatters to clear all the Palestinians from Gaza, and ultimately the West Bank. I call it genocide on the installment plan.
There is one other group at the sacrifice of the Red Heifer that I forgot to mention: American evangelicals. We’ll get to that later.
The Occupied Territories
The Israelis have occupied the West Bank and Gaza since the end of the Six Day War in 1967. Israel has used the occupation as an extension of its colonizing of greater Palestine. Because that is what the “settlers” are: colonists. Israel has never annexed the Occupied Territories, because to do so would require making the Palestinians citizens, which would make the Jews an instant minority in the “Jewish state.”
And after all, no less a personage than NBC’s David Gregory called Bibi Netanyahu “the leader of the Jews.” Just like Moses! Really, David, he’s the Prime Minister of Israel, and believe it or not, David, there are Arabs who live in Israel, and there were even some in the Knesset, at least until the Deputy Speaker kicked them out.
Demographics are one reason that Israel recruits Jews to come to Israel and to populate the colonies. Israel has to get the Palestinians out and the Jews in before the Occupied Territories can be come a part of Israel.
The discussion of a “two state solution” for Israel and Palestine is a laugher. Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Moshe Feiglin, let that one slip out of the bag — not that it was much of a secret, anyway — when he said that Gaza was “part of our lands” and should be depopulated of Arabs and repopulated with Jews.
The illegality of the Israeli settlements, or colonies
The colonies that are being established in the Occupied Territories — the West Bank, really — fall into two categories: illegal and really illegal.
The first category, sanctioned by the state of Israel, are illegal under international law. The second category aren’t even legal under Israeli law, but the Netanyahu government seems disinclined to do anything about them.
Here’s a comprehensive article by the American Friends Service Committee — the Quakers — about the status of the colonies.
The Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 49 and the Hague Convention of 1907 prohibit the displacement of an indigenous population by an occupying power.
At least one, and maybe more, of the three teens who were killed on the West Bank were from squatter-colonist families. One of them had dual U.S./Israeli citizenship.
Almost certainly, this individual, at least, came with his family from Brooklyn, or Cleveland — or Austin, Texas — or some other place in the U.S. to live in a colony that displaced Palestinians.
The goal of settlement building
You cannot understand the Palestinian conflict unless you understand something about the settlements, excuse me, the colonies.
The goal is the “Jewification” of the entire greater Palestine. The Palestinians understand this, of course. They have understood it from the very founding of the state of Israel.
Part of the reason that Gaza is such a teeming mass of humanity is because it is full of the descendents of families who were displaced by the formation of Israel.
Palestinians seem highly disinclined to give up what’s left, and frankly, I don’t blame them. And early on, there were prominent Jews, including Albert Einstein, who thought the whole Zionist enterprise would come a cropper:
Albert Einstein wrote in a letter to American Friends of the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel shortly after the 1948 Deir Yassin massacre and referred to the Irgun, led by Menachem Begin later a Prime Minister of Israel, and the Stern Gang, where Yitzhak Shamir also a future Prime Minister of Israel was a member, as terrorist organizations and refused to support these “misled and criminal people.”
Albert Einstein, Sidney Hook, Hannah Arendt and twenty-five other prominent Jews, in a letter to the New York Times (December 4, 1948), condemned Menachem Begin’s and Yitzhak Shamir’s Likud party as “fascist” and espousing “an admixture of ultra-nationalism, religious mysticism and racial superiority.”
It doesn’t seem that they’ve changed much. In fact, here’s the messianic Bibi at the funeral of the three slain teenagers:
The Israeli leader lamented the killings of the three “gifted, pure, honest and decent teens,” bloodshed that he said shows “a broad moral gulf (that) separates us from our enemies.”
“They sanctify death, we sanctify life,” Netanyahu said, comparing the teens to those who killed them. “They sanctify cruelty, and we mercy and compassion. That is the secret of our strength.”
It’s a great little homily of comfort for the families, don’t you think? Either that, or a call to war. Take your pick.
We’ll get to the Red Heifer next time; I promise.
Update: From Haaretz (an Israeli newspaper), a little about the pure, honest, decent, life-sanctifying IDF:
Israeli tank shell hits the third floor of Al-Aqsa hospital in the central Gaza Strip, killing five people and wounding 70, Gaza Health Ministry says. A spokesman for the ministry says the third floor houses an intensive care unit and operating rooms. Other shells had fallen around the hospital, he says, with officials calling on the Red Cross to help evacuate patients. According to the report, all the casualties are medical personnel and patients.
It was also reported that ambulances were called in to evacuate the wounded to the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, but were fired upon by IDF troops, damaging two vehicles, the spokesman said. The IDF does not allow emergency teams to evacuate wounded with prior coordination through the Red Cross – a process which can take hours. (Jack Khoury, Amira Hass)
N.B. International law prohibits the targeting of hospitals and ambulances, even if they are treating combatants, because they are hors de combat.
Further Update: a photograph that sums up the Palestinian attitude very well. You should read some of the Israeli quotes from the web article that is the source of the photograph.
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