Saturday, September 13, 2008

Apartheid Yet? How about a Crusade?

The human rights monitoring centre B'Tselem released a report this week about continuing seizure of Palestinian land by colonists in the West Bank, entitled "Access Denied."

Settlers pave patrol roads and place physical obstructions on Palestinian lands adjacent to settlements, at times with the authorities’ approval, at others not. Settlers also forcibly remove Palestinians, primarily farmers, from their lands. B'Tselem has documented cases of gunfire, threats of gunfire and killing, beatings, stone throwing, use of attack dogs, attempts to run over Palestinians, destruction of farming equipment and crops, theft of crops, killing and theft of livestock and animals used in farming, unauthorized demands to see identification cards, and theft of documents.
As usual, the IDF and zionists everywhere try to pass off the seizure of thousands of acres of Palestinian agricultural land by the colonizing power as a "security measure." B'Tselem addresses those absurd excuses:
Indeed, in 2002-2004, Palestinians killed 31 Israeli citizens and injured many others inside settlements in the West Bank. But Israel allows settlers to enter freely, without supervision, the land, which ostensibly was meant to serve as a warning area free of people, but is, in effect, closed only to Palestinians. As a result, settlers move about on the Palestinian land regularly, steal their crops, and even live on and work the land. This practice breaches both the logic of a “warning zone” and the military orders closing the area.
Yet, in what is the most misconstrued conflict in the world, "serious" people in politics and journalism, who will leap to any opportunity to toast Nelson Mandela, are timid when it comes to calling a spade a spade, and labelling such a situation as being only marginally different from apartheid in South Africa or Zimbabwe.

Instead, the victim is serially blamed. Who is responsible for starting the conflict? The Arabs, of course, for failing to accept a UN vote that divided Palestine into two fragmented states, solely for the benefit of a largely European immigrant minority. Who is responsible for continuing the conflict? The Arabs, of course, even though every agreement struck between Palestinians and Zionists has been marked by faster and faster rates of eviction and confiscation. As a Dawn editorial notes, the Annapolis agreement has been no different:
. . .the area under the settlements is now 40 per cent of the West Bank, even though in 1948, when the UN partition plan was adopted, the European settlers possessed only six per cent of Palestine’s land. . . All peace plans have fizzled out because Tel Aviv never had any intention of quitting even an inch of Palestinian land. In November last, Israel signed the Annapolis document, which pledged it and the US to a two-state solution by the end of this year. However, within a week of the signing, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared that his government was not bound by the Annapolis timetable.
Finally, who is waging a religiously motivated war for global domination? As the North American narrative has it, the Muslims are, even though one has to reach back centuries to the expansionistic era of the Ottoman empire to find an example where Muslims tried to impose a Muslim regime upon a non-Muslim country.

There is, however, a reason why Zionism has been rammed down the Palestinians' throats so enthusiastically by Western nations, and there is nothing secular about it.

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