Effects of Political Zionism on the Palestinians
presentation is based on a talk given at Napier University, Edinburgh on 8th
March. It demonstrates some of the ways in which political Zionism, as it is
being conducted by the Israeli government and military, is deliberately causing
great suffering to the Palestinian people. The first slides are from The Olive Cooperative, a fair trade company
forms a major part of the Palestinian economy; 65% of Palestinian families live
in rural areas and are connected to agriculture in some form. Olive oil is the
The Israeli military, aided by settlers, destroy rural livelihoods by taking land or denying access to it, uprooting trees, controlling water resources and obstructing trade, all of which are escalating as the building of the annexation barrier ("The Wall") progresses. The occupation severely impedes the movement of goods and people, resulting in Palestinian farmers facing acute problems with selling their oil.
between Palestinian and Israeli economies: In 2003 Israel's GNP was US$108,581 million (World Bank), or US$16,240 per
capita; 19% of the population of
A number of courageous Israelis and internationals accompany Palestinian farmers to their olive groves, trying non-violently to reduce army and settler violence aimed at dispossessing the farmers of their harvests and their land.
One of these accompaniers
settlers parade around as proud religious Jews, posing themselves as
"defenders of the faith." But even a cursory reading of Jewish texts
tells us: "When you besiege a city for a long time... you must not destroy
its trees, wielding an axe against them" (Deuteronomy ).
of Control (left panel)
is series of mechanisms which allow
blocs control strategic corridors in the
all of this must be added the psychological costs of life under occupation: loss
of life, imprisonment, torture, harassment, humiliation, anger and frustration,
as well as traumas suffered by tens of thousands of Palestinians (especially
children) who see their homes being demolished, their loved ones beaten and
humiliated, and who suffer from inadequate housing and lost opportunities to
realize their potential in life.
Jeff Halper, www.merip.org)
Security barrier (right panel above)
of the annexation
barrier started in 2002 and was proceeding fast at 65 locations when I was in
are 195 settlements (ie illegal towns or smaller areas in which only Jews are allowed
to live) housing more than 400,000 Israelis, roughly half of whom live
One night I heard a huge explosion in Rafah in the Gaza Strip. This boy was one of over 100 people living in 5 multi-storey buildings which had been blown up. What will be his thoughts about the Israelis who have destroyed his home and have previously killed members of his family, and made life as difficult as possible for all Palestinians? The explosions damaged another 17 houses, some of them so badly that they also were uninhabitable.
to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, since 1967
In addition, Palestinians are killed each week but the number is carefully controlled so as not to be large enough to trigger an international outcry. Many more are wounded and left disabled.
In January 2006, Israelis killed 18 Palestinians, mainly non-combatants and children; no Jewish Israelis were killed by Palestinians (numbers from US Middle East Policy Council). In February the figures were 31 and 1, and in March 19 and 5. Thus in the first quarter of 2006, 68 Palestinians were killed, compared with 6 Israelis.
bombings, such as that which killed 9 Israeli in Tel Aviv on
17th April, must be very strongly condemned, but are they surprising
in view of the regular intentional killing of Palestinians by the
Israeli military? If Israel
wants peace it will have to make peace with the Palestinians by ending its brutal oppression and suppression of them.
17th April, must be very strongly condemned, but are they surprising in view of the regular intentional killing of Palestinians by the Israeli military? If Israel wants peace it will have to make peace with the Palestinians by ending its brutal oppression and suppression of them.
Charring is still visible houses in which people were massacred in Qibia 53 years ago.
Ariel Sharon is a psychopath for whom the death of Arabs, and indeed of Jews, is of little account provided the Zionist aim of obtaining all the Holy Land for a Jewish state is furthered.
I was in Deir
Ballut the day after 4 unarmed farmers had been shot. They were remonstrating
with the driver of an army bulldozer who was clearing their grazing land in
preparation for building of the Wall. The army had agreed that the Wall would
skirt this land but the agreement was not respected. One was shot in the chest, one in the lower abdomen, the third in the
arm and the fourth in the leg.
A few weeks
previously, a tomato greenhouse was set on fire by soldiers. As well as a crop of tomatoes,
there was a quantity of fertilizer in the greenhouse so the fire reached a very
high temperature. Thirty people depended on the greenhouse for their livelihood.
months before, a warehouse in the village caught fire. It burned down completely
while a fire engine was held at the checkpoint.
Two winters ago, a woman was going to Ramallah in labour with twins. She was held up at the checkpoint just outside the village in the cold and the wet for over 90 minutes The first twin died 20 minutes after being born in the open. The other twin was also born at the checkpoint but died a little while later in hospital.
This 11 yr old
boy was shot through the arm pit 17 months ago, leaving his arm paralysed. He
was fortunate: a 7 yr old from the next flat
was shot dead and a number of other people were killed when tanks came into their
residential area in Gaza and started firing at
This nursery in Gaza City was machine-gunned by the Israeli army.
I met a relative of this baby. An Israeli soldier snatched the newborn from his mother and hurled him on the floor, fracturing his skull. Fortunately the baby has recovered.
– the movement to establish a Jewish homeland – dates back to the latter
part of the 19th Century. Britain
has a major responsibility
for encouraging and making possible the colonization of
The declaration mentions safeguards for the Palestinians but these provisions
have been ignored and are now being completely disregarded.
The declaration mentions safeguards for the Palestinians but these provisions have been ignored and are now being completely disregarded.
left hand panel shows in green the 45% of
Unfortunately such chilling barbaric racist views are not confined to a handful of egregious rabbis, but are shared by a substantial number of Jewish religious fundamentalists. Fundamentalism -- Jewish, Muslim or Christian -- creates an unbridgeable divisions in society and is incompatible with democracy.
peace group in New Zealand
recently wrote: "The horrific suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, with
its resulting death, injury and grief, reminds us that innocent
Israelis can also become victims of this tragic conflict. The main
cause of the suffering is