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The Acts of the Democracies
In the Old City of Hebron 40,000 Palestinians are subjected to local curfew for more than a month while 500 armed Israeli settlers can move about freely. 34 schools attended by thousands of Palestinian children are closed for more than a month while settler children are free to walk in the street among and with the Israeli soldiers stationed there.
The country, which is the largest recipient of USA aid, expels Palestinians from their land and builds illegal, heavily armed settlements (colonies) for Israelis. Between 1993 and 2000 the number of settlers has doubled to 200,000. In addition, 170,000 settlers reside in East Jerusalem, illegally annexed by Israel in 1980.
Water supplies are diverted from Palestinian areas to Israeli towns and settlements. Israelis are allocated 6 times as much water as Palestinians. Over 450km (300miles) of roads (built on confiscated 35,000 acres of Palestinian land) divide the West Bank into islands that prevent the free movement of Palestinians. Israeli closures (sieges) of Palestinian towns lead to unemployment and hunger.
1,400,000 Palestinians live under Israeli occupation in the West Bank plus another 800,000 are crammed into the Gaza Strip. Millions of Palestinians are refugees: 460,000 live in Lebanon; over 2,500,000 reside in Jordan; over 400,000 in Syria; 600,000 in other Arab countries and another 550,000 are scattered around the world.
The Oslo Peace Agreement (supported by Europe and the USA) does not allow for these refugees to return to their homeland, in violation of United Nations and Geneva Convention declarations. The Oslo Agreement also allows Israel to annex large swathes of land in the West Bank, control most of Arab East Jerusalem and its environs, and maintain most of the illegal settlements in a pattern that would divide the West Bank into non-contiguous cantons. This agreement is opposed by most Palestinians.
The USA plays the dual role of the chief mediator of the conflict as well as the chief diplomatic, financial and military backer of Israeli occupation forces. Over the past 30 years, the USA has used its United Nations veto power to protect Israel from censure more than all other members of the United Nations Security Council (UK, France, China, Russia) have used their veto power on all other issues combined. It has blocked enforcement of United Nations resolutions calling for Israel to withdraw its settlements from Palestinian land. These settlements were established in violation of international law, which forbids the colonization of territories seized by military force.
Mohamed el-Dura, a ten year old Palestinian boy, is shot by Israeli soldiers in Gaza while crouching in terror behind a wall next to his father. A cameraman risks his life to film the gunfight and the film is shown around the world. The boy becomes an iconic symbol of the Palestinian intifada (resistance).
|Mohamed el-Dura, a ten year old Palestinian boy, is shot dead by Israeli soldiers in Gaza while crouching in terror behind a
wall next to his father.|
A cameraman risks his life to film the gunfight and the film is shown around the world. Israel has been occupying Palestinian territory since 1967 with financial and political support from the USA.
A United Nations Special Report published on 13 November 2000 states: "In the past seven years... Israel's confiscation of Palestinian land and construction of settlements and bypass roads for Jewish settlers has accelerated dramatically in breach of Security Council Resolution 242 and of provisions of the Oslo agreements requiring both parties to respect 'the territorial integrity and unity of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.' Since 1993 the settler population in the West Bank and Gaza has doubled to 200,000 and increased to 170,000 in East Jerusalem."
The report also describes and condemns the demolitions of Palestinian houses, the diversion of water to Israeli cities and settlements, the policy of closures that has damaged Palestinian social and economic life, and the "widespread violation of their [Palestinian] economic, social and cultural rights" both within Israel and in the occupied territories. It also assails Israel's use of excessive force against Palestinians and hundreds of Intifada killings, "most of them unarmed demonstrators."
This report is given little publicity in Western media.
The Israeli author, Israel Shamir writing in the Israel magazine, RI, in December 2000 admits:
"[Israelis] are taught they belong to the Chosen People... They have been indoctrinated in belief that the Gentiles are not fully human, and therefore can be killed and expropriated at will. The Jewish state is the only place in the world possessing legitimate killer squads, embracing a policy of assassinations, and practicing torture on a medieval scale. But do not worry dear Jewish readers, we torture and assassinate Gentiles only."
Gentile is a Jewish term for a non-Jew.
According to writer, Edward S. Herman:
"Jews living in distant countries can come to Israel and immediately obtain rights denied Arab citizens, and of course the Palestinians expelled from their homes in Israel have no rights to return or compensation. In the Negev, where the indigenous Bedouin have been blocked from grazing their flocks, the state has allowed Jewish farmers to occupy the land, build on it, and then have their seizures recognized retrospectively in a process of 'Judaization' of the land (Orit Shohat, Ha'aretz, March 27, 1998). This is structured racism, and a set of policies which if applied against Jews in Italy or France would justifiably cause a furious outcry."