Watching the Dissolution of Palestine

February 24, 2006
For Those Who Haven't Noticed
Oxford, England.
For those who haven't noticed, Israel opposes a two-state solution. It has been doing everything in its power to prevent a Palestinian state from emerging and will continue to do so as long as it can count on the complicity of its powerful friends and on abundant popular indifference. Under such circumstances, it is incumbent upon ourselves to ask why Hamas has therefore been ordered - by Israel and its same powerful friends --to accept "the two-state solution" especially when, unlike Israel, it has stated clearly and repeatedly that it would accept a Palestinian state on the lands occupied by Israel in the 1967 war, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Indeed, all of its key spokespeople have said this:Zahar, Haniye, Meshal, and Yassin and Rantisi before they were murdered.

Judea and Samaria which are, or were, the northern and southern West Bank, have been subdivided and parceled out over decades to hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers for their houses and orchards and gardens. They have been crisscrossed and circled with Jewish-only roads that bind the land, the houses and orchards and gardens, to Israel. They have been manned with guards and gunmen and tanks and blue and white Israeli flags that defend, protect and assure the settlers, their houses and orchards and gardens, that they are in fact Israelis belonging to a single Jewish state.
Israel allots to itself first use of the natural resources, especially water, from the territory it has appropriated or surrounded. An army of thieves and wreckers has turned the remainder-- the pot-holed roads, the untended groves, the homes, the schools, the mosques and churches, the hospitals, universities, shops and remaining civil institutions -- into a series of impassable mazes, a legal no-man's-land, where travel restrictions, permits, coded IDs, passes, random searches, incursions and arbitrary accusations reduce the inhabitants into suspicious beings without names, faces, addresses or rights; a collective villain to be de-educated and de-nationalized and, one day perhaps, deported for the sake of the Israeli raison d'etre. It is becoming as difficult for travelers from abroad to visit the occupied territories as it is for the rightful inhabitants to move freely among them. It is therefore more difficult for outsiders to corroborate that the dangers they are warned against come directly from Israel, not the hapless people they have besieged. The daily threat to life and property is growing not abating.

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Aldo Leopold: "We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

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