Monday, June 22, 2009

Natural growth

Ma'ele Adumim "settlement" in the distance.

All this talk of limiting Israeli colonial settlements on the West Bank to their "natural growth" is a red herring. All settlements built on the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967 are illegal. They have all been built on Palestinian land. If there is to be a two-state solution - Israel and Palestine, side by side - then they must go.

When the Israeli war machine rolled across the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967 it continued its policy, perfected in 1948, of driving the native population from villages of particular strategic interest. In scenes reminiscent of the Armenian holocaust Palestinians were forced to leave their homes at a moment's notice and driven away at gunpoint, before entire villages were bulldozed into dust.*

In 42 years under Israeli military occupation the rest of the land has been devoured by the cancer of settlement. Concrete excrescences dominate every hilltop. And still it goes on, the relentless theft of land and homes. The ethnic cleansing.

So I join my Palestinian brothers and sisters in saying "Forget the talk of natural growth. Respect international law. Force the Israelis to get out and let us, in our turn, bulldoze all evidence of their occupation."

See Reham Alhesi's article, "The Tale of 3 Cities", online at the Palestine Think Tank.

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