Saturday, September 6, 2014

Israel Demolishes A Dairy

Israel on Thursday demolished a Palestinian dairy in Hebron in the West Bank that had supported two orphanages. The dairy had been in operation for 24 years and was demolished for no apparent reason.

Palestinian orphans - ISM photo
This story isn't just depressing but demonstrates something many US supporters of Israel don't seem to be aware of.

This isn't Gaza, this is the West Bank. The West Bank basically is the part of Palestine Israel didn't take (they took more than half) when Israel was founded in 1948.

At least it's the small part of the West Bank the Palestinians still have, that Israel hasn't confiscated for settlements. Palestinians have less than 10 percent of historic Palestine. What people don't seem to realize is that this remaining small part of Palestine is militarily occupied by Israel. Israel determines what Palestinians can and can't do there, where they can and can't go. There are Israeli military checkpoints everywhere. It takes hours to get from one village to the next, or from your house to your olive orchard or grazing land or job, hours standing in line, waiting to be searched and often being humiliated by Israelis.

Former dairy - Youth Against Settlements photo
If you're a Palestinian and want to build something you need a permit from Israel, but Israel doesn't issue permits to Palestinians. If you build anyway, as Palestinians do, Israel will eventually demolish your house, barn or factory.

So there was a dairy in the West Bank that supported two orphanages and Israel just demolished it. They didn't like it. The same as they didn't like the 27,000 Palestinian homes and businesses they've demolished since the occupation began in 1967.

Things like this happen every day, every week. Just a few days before the dairy demolition, Monday, Israel confiscated 400 hectares (1.5 square miles) of Palestinian land for more settlement building. A link on the right hand side of this page leads to weekly reports that list the dozens of home demonlishions, arrests, killings of Palestinians, and home incursions, where a whole family is ordered out of their house in the middle of the night and stands outdoors in their night clothes while Israelis ransack the house, that Israel carries out in occupied Palestine every week, every month, every year.

The US has been Israel's chief enabler. The US arms the Israelis and runs interference at the UN for them and supplies a lot of the propaganda for Israel, such as the narrative that there is a "peace process".

Israel has confiscated most of the Palestinian land it has stolen when "peace process" negotiations were underway. Israel, which for publicity reasons has engaged in talks with the Palestinians for 30 years, always demands that the Palestinians ensure Israel's security. This is the only case in history where the occupying force demands that an occupied people assure its security.

But of course Israel doesn't want peace with the Palestinians. They want the rest of that land. They want the Palestinians gone. That's where the periodic slaughters in Gaza come in.

What US citizens hear on US television, of course, is that the Palestinians have set off another bomb or fired off another rocket. You can argue about whether that's the best way to try to get your land back or to resist the continuing theft of your land, but you can't call just call it terrorism and not tell the rest of the story, what Israel has done to the Palestinians.

Just Peace Mideast graphic

(Note: Another account of the dairy demolition is in the online magazine +972, which is run by young Israelis. +972 is an interesting publication. It provides credible and honest accounts of Israeli atrocities but its viewpoint is that of Liberal Zionism, which has dwindled to represent a small fraction of the Israeli population. Israel as a whole has become radically conservative and wants the Palestinians erased. Liberal Zionism holds out hope that Israel can be saved from itself, and for a "two state solution.")

(And here's a piece in the Economist about the 400 hectare/1,000 acre land theft. It goes into how Israel has become more conservative and how this plays into its treatment of Palestinians. And one by Robert Fisk in The Independent.)

(Yet another note: The demolition stories don't stop coming. An article in Ma'an about various demolitions Wednesday in Gaza - the coastal strip of land Israel just demolished.)

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